There’s been debate in my suite about whether or not we should pay to get cable in our common room. Comcast is currently tempting us with free cable this week, and I took advantage of this last night to watch a bit of the US Open during a study break. I watched for about 20 minutes as Roger Federer dismantled Robin Soderling in the second set. Federer would go on to win the match in four sets, but what I watched of the second set won me over: we need cable.
A value of TV, as epitomized by watching a Federer night match at the US Open, is that it is relaxing. But it is important that we as college students (and as people) remember that we are not relaxing only to be able to perform better, whether academically, socially, or in other “serious” pursuits. Watching Federer’s dominance is critical as an end to itself. Yes, it’s important to relax in moderation; hedonistic pleasure should not be our only goal. Nevertheless, kicking back must be valued.
For those of you in suites, sign up for cable is from 2-6 today in McCullough. Federer faces Djokovic Saturday.
Note: I don’t mean to imply that the value of TV is only in relaxation; Jason Mittell’s class on the wire is an excellent example of the expressive value of TV.