letter from a thief


I wanted to see how you were doing these days.  I know you never expected to receive a letter from me, but I’ve often wondered what my crimes against you did to your life.  I think you should know they weren’t crimes of passion:  I planned every minute.  I tricked you, I forced you, I took advantage of your weaknesses.  I struck again and again; I haunted the best days of your life.  I took more from you than you ever realized.

You didn’t notice I was stealing from you.  I took everything in small amounts.  There might have even been stretches of time when I stayed away from you, or you managed to travel away from me.  These times were few and far between.  I was with you many mornings and every night.  I waited in the house while you were gone, and sat between you and family and friends.

You couldn’t stay away from me.  You knew something was wrong.  Some days you came closer than others to realizing what I was stealing from you.  But I was careful to dress up my crime in pleasant pictures and pleasing sounds.  Sometimes you thought I made you happier, or better.  I never did.  I stole, relentlessly.  I never stopped, and my only aim was to hurt you.

I stole your money every month, and you gladly gave it to me.

I stole your health every day, keeping you immobile while you ate things that people wouldn’t have recognized as food 100 years ago.

I snatched away the seconds of your life, then the minutes, the days and the years.

I filled your brain with the desire for things you didn’t need.

I kidnapped you from your family.

I showed you murder, rape, misery and all the horrors you could take – and you came back again and again for more.

I took it all from you and you never once complained.

I don’t know if you can find it in your heart to forgive me.  Maybe you won’t.  Maybe you can’t.  I can’t stop myself, and I don’t want to stop.  I steal from almost everyone you know.  Now I even creep into your children’s lives, dangling toys in front of them and singing happy songs while I lure them away from their parents.

Maybe you read this, or maybe you were sitting – even now – in the room with me, mouth agape, eyes reddened, body and mind softened by the years of abuse I have heaped upon you.  It doesn’t matter.  I’ll still steal from you, until you stand up for yourself – and you probably never will.

Best wishes,
Your Television

15 Replies to “letter from a thief”

  1. Hi! While all the hipsters were echoing each other about TV in a very 1999 sort of way, I kept quiet but hey, I was equally poisonous. From several years of wasted time out, how do all those hours and days spent staring slack-jawed at “productivity” and “zen” sites look now bub? Bwahahahaha.


    Your laptop

    1. @Hotlittlevaio: Haha! Good point, don't disagree a bit. If you ditch TV in order to spend more time online you haven't really changed anything.

  2. Love it. I did a TV free month earlier this year and could nto believe the difference it made in my life. We waste so much time watching unnecessary rubbish!

    Great post, thanks.

  3. Some years ago, when our children were 6, 10 & 14, our TV was broke for 2 wks & we entertained each other by playing games as a family. We all agreed that was the best 2 wks we had, because we were “family” for that short time & the TV didn't “steal” our attention. I often wish we had never had TV repaired!

  4. I love this post. TV is such a sneaky little thief.

    I've been trying to get my family to watch as little as possible. There are a few shows I really enjoy but for the most part we were just watching TV for its own sake. Even if there was nothing on it lulled us in.

  5. Couldn't agree more! My other half is a self proclaimed TV addict who gets narky if I'm in another part of the house crafting instead of sitting beside him silently watching a load of crap on the box. This does my head in! However if I bring my craft stuff into the living room he's content to live with the unholy mess I create, so long as I'm visible. Explain that…

  6. Cancelled our cable TV service back in 2003 and ran off of bunny ears since. We lost signal when everything went digital last summer, so we got rid of our TV's. Been TV free for about a year now. More time with our children and they're not zoning out staring at the tube.

    More time with family and one less bill. Also, our kids aren't zoning out, amazing how much our daughter loves to read. Just as important, you don't get the mood swings from watching all of the bloody political pundits and political ads.

  7. That is powerful! As someone who doesn't watch a lot of TV, very few shows on DVR (which I could go without) and a major sporting events. This serves as a powerful reminder of how easy it is to let material things take a hold of us. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Well , the view of the passage is totally correct ,your details is really reasonable and you guy give us valuable informative post, I totally agree the standpoint of upstairs. I often surfing on this forum when I m free and I find there are so much good information we can learn in this forum!

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