Addiction is a problem in this country. Drug addiction is the one we hear about, but I’m not so quick to judge. Because what is addiction? It’s the increasingly frequent doing of something you genuinely enjoy doing. So frequent can it become, though, that it can claim a significant portion of your time, health, money, and relationships, turning your brain into a fiend, thus being detrimental to your overall well-being.

I’d like to talk about an unspoken epidemic: fiction addiction. I’m shocked at how cavalier people are about recommending a new TV series to watch. I have never seen Game of Thrones, The Office, Entourage, or any of those other dumbass series, not to mention sports and movies, that you fellow humans seem to love. People, all the time, will be like, “Dude, you haven’t seen Game of Thrones? It’s, like, epic!” To which I say, “Dude! I think it’s, like, well documented that people who watch an episode of that presumably mesmerizing series go on to watch the entire series, a full 60 hours of God-knows-what. When that’s done, they’ll crave another series to fill the void. If losing sixty, let alone six hundred, hours of my disposable time is the risk I take by experimenting with your series ‘just once,’ I’m going to pass. I’m a risk-seeking addiction-prone hedonist like the rest of you, but there are some vices even I can muster the strength to avoid.”

More broadly, I declare fiction in general a complete waste. The problem with it is right in the name: fiction. What a self-referential diss. What a defeatist attitude to a supposed form of art. Fiction, by definition, did not happen, will not happen, and rarely relates to something that could have happened. I know you forcefully disagree. Fiction is, on the whole, contrived, overdramatic, vapid, pointless, and devoid of substance. Fiction offers no accurate insight into how the world works, and figuring out how the world works should be everyone’s only goal, in my view.

I got a call from my cable company the other day. It was an agent who wanted to sell me a TV package because he noticed I didn’t have one with my internet package. “Hello sir,” he began, “I wanted to tell you about some specials we have on TV packages. Would you be interested in that?” “Nope,” I said, aiming to shut him down right there. “Aren’t there TV shows you’d like to keep up with? We have some great deals on...” “I said, ‘No.’” He redirected his line of inquiry. “And why is that? Don’t you think it would be nice to watch some television shows in the evening after work? Maybe you’d like to keep up with your favorite sports team in your free time?” I raised my voice. “For the third time, no!” Then, I went on a totally uncalled-for rant.

“No, I don’t want to watch some ‘television in the evening’ because I don’t believe watching television is an appropriate use of time. Did you know that there is an awful famine going on in Africa in which twenty million people are without food and are perishing in great numbers? Did you know the carbon levels are rising at such an alarmingly fast rate that animal species are going extinct five thousand times faster than they were before we started burning everything that we could get our hands on? Wouldn’t it be nice to think about those things when you come home from work in the evening? Shouldn’t you want to keep up with those societal ills in your free time? Shouldn’t you personally acknowledge your own role in this mess, peddling your visual crack to us educated New Yorkers who have the connections to make a difference, attempting to endear us would-be concerned citizens to your mindless, addictive, saccharine gunk which serves no other apparent purpose than to distract us from the literal burning of the world?? …Hello???”

“Sorry, sir,” he said with a Filipino accent, breaking the silence. “Please call us back when you will be interested in our TV packages.”