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Over 60 and Getting Younger: April 22, 2011

I realize that at my age (over 60) I should be reading great books and filling my off hours with intellectual and enlightening methods of erudition.

However, at the end of the day I find myself yearning for relaxing and mindless activities. During my lifetime I have studied many of the great Shakespeare plays, read James Joyce’s Ulysses, studied U.S. and world history, and written over 600 essays. Evening is the time to get on the couch, slow down and unwind.

What better medium is there than television? Over 100 entertainment channels beckon the person seeking restful relaxation. Actually, if one is careful, they can find meaningful programs along with the drivel. 

Let me outline some of my daily programming. If I happen to be at home at 4 p.m., just when I am starting to sag, I watch Judge Judith Sheindlin. She is full of the energy and zest that I am fading from. The judge is acerbic, quick witted and surly, but she is truly knowledgeable in the law. I admire her.

At 6 p.m. through 7 p.m. I watch or listen to the news. It is our duty, even though we are getting older, to keep up with current events.

At 7 p.m. there are the Simpsons, a cartoon look at an American family with Homer as role model. 

Jeopardy is always a challenge.

Next we have Seinfeld with the silly and outlandish quartet of zany characters. The Office is also a bit of understated comedy, if I am in the mood.

At 8 p.m., I turn to FOX for the Bill O’Reilly show. Even though he interrupts his guests frequently and substitutes his words and thoughts for theirs, it is lively and informative. His thinking and mine coalesce on many issues. I also watch old black and white movies on Turner Classic Movies.

At 9 p.m., I look for a baseball game (preferably the Mets), or a basketball game (the Knicks), tennis in season or an English premier soccer match. The yawns are coming and sleep beckons.

I have found much interest in Dateline 48 Hours, and channel 171 the crime station, Investigation Discovery. They simulate interesting stories and use scripts and actors to flush out the factual incidents.

If I haven’t nodded off, I watch until I do fall asleep. I wake up at 3 a.m. and watch Red Eye on FOX, a panel show. There you have it, my wasted night with my remote control. That’s life!