posted by Matt W on January 8th, 2014

I have always enjoyed hanging out with my uncle. He is far more than “a bit” eccentric, which has always made for interesting times together. He’s an amazing artist with his true area of genius being carving, which as you can imagine in present day United States means he made his living from a variety of other odd jobs. Over time, I believe this lack of a creative outlet for his genius drove him a bit crazy; think Michael Angelo painting fences for a living. A few years ago, he was actually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia and placed in a home for his safety.

I got to hang out with him a week ago and we had a long chat. I mentioned that he looked good and he seemed happy. He said indeed he did feel pretty good and that he was in a pretty good place lately. It had taken him awhile to get used to the idea that he was going to be in a home for the rest of his life, and it took a while for him to get used to his medications. “But mostly, I’m just hanging out with more positive people lately. “

He then told a story about how he had argued politics with a group of people for a long time and that it had brought him down. He would go back to his room and basically stare at the walls for a while. Then he met some really nice people, they were always so positive, and it just made his day better. He had started carving again and had read some books, and was getting along with his nurses much better. I said that was awesome.

He then mentioned again that debating “with Wolf” was always so negative. It was then I realized that he was arguing with the TV and that Wolf was Wolf Blitzer from CNN. The positive people turned out to be the cast from Good Morning America. It’s the only show he watches these days.

The conversation with my uncle got me thinking that there seem to be more and more negative inputs into everyone’s lives these days, and television supplies more than its share. The news is pretty negative, and as my uncle recognized, there are hundreds of pseudo-news shows spouting negative trash. It seems like pretty much every drama show starts with a murder, rape or abduction, and don’t forget the variety of reality shows that allow viewers to make fun of the cast. Recently, my wife suggested we go the month of January without watching a death on TV. Of the shows I regularly watch, that left Modern Family and The Daily Show. My god, even Downton Abbey offed Matthew last season, so I wouldn’t even feel safe with that show.

We saw our first television death January 2nd.

We shouldn’t have to see a death every time we turn on the TV, and we don’t need to be told what is wrong with the world (I can see that for myself), what we need is a few positive thoughts, ideas, and solutions to get us through the day. That sounds kind of like Good Morning America to me.

Maybe my crazy uncle is the only truly sane person I know.

File Under Jack of all Trades