This past Sunday, I had grand ambitions on how I’d spend my evening.  I thought I could settle in the basement workshop and change all the strings on my guitars.  Or I could sift through my CDs, rip a bunch of songs and make a cool mix tape.  Maybe I could write another blog post, this time pointing out what a colossal waste of time the NBA Slam Dunk contest was (it was fucking terrible, done).

But, nooooooo.  I got the message loud and clear that my attention was needed in front of the TV watching the goddamn Oscars with the missus, and she’ll have no argument about it.  Having kept some ungodly hours at work last week, leaving her to deal with our two ingrates single-handedly meant that I owed her, and if that means three hours of mental flagellation in front of the TV, so be it.

5 minutes into the Oscars, I wanted to throw myself out the window.  I mean, seriously, who gives a shit.  All this pompous, self-congratulatory bullshit celebration of a horribly, horribly mediocre industry filled with awful terrible people.  Billy Crystal going the extra mile t to prove that nine times is way too many times.  And what the fuck was all that circus bullshit – did anybody understand what that was going on about?  Seeing all the cringeworthy banter from plastic-faced people like Gwyneth Paltrow made me want to pull a Sylvia Plath and wear my oven as a helmet.

But this isn’t about the Oscars.  No, this is about what saved the Oscars for me: Twitter and live blogs.

There I was, stretched out on the couch, iPad in hand, my eyes darting between the TV and my Twitter feed.  And Gawker’s live blog.  In particular the live blog made the whole affair not just survivable, but actually enjoyable.  It didn’t make me like the Oscars, but I do know the hilarity of the live blog couldn’t have happened without that train wreck on TV.

And Twitter.  Seeking out the #oscar hashtag provided a steady stream of bullshit comments.  Some funnier than others, most quite dull.  The tweets seemed to average one comical comment for every thirty or so dull-as-fuck ones.  Yet I still tracked the action on Twitter like some degenerate gambler at a racetrack.  Somehow I seemed to be seeking validation for my agony of watching the Oscars.  And I realized that this wasn’t the first time I felt dependent on tweets and live blogs while watching TV.  I did the same thing with the Grammys.  And the Super Bowl.

Why the fuck can’t I just sit and watch TV like a normal human being anymore?  How did I suddenly develop this unnecessary dependence on mobile devices piping in a steady stream of social commentary horseshit?  It’s not like most of the shit on Twitter is stuff that I really need to know anyway.  Most of the time, it was like “OMG, did u c Nicky Minaj perform! WTF!!” (no, Sherlock, you were the only living person tuned to the TV at that moment in the Grammys, the rest of us several million folks collectively got up to go take a slash), or some pointless declaration like “Go Giants!! #patriotsuk” (that’s right, because without your all-important tweet, the Giants surely would’ve lost the game).

And it’s not limited to big TV events, is it.  I mean, Vanity Fair tweet throughout every episode of Downton Abbey every weekend.  Why do I know?  How the fuck do you think I know.  It’s Downton Abbey, for God’s sake.  We’re all tweeting… about poncy poms sweatin’ their virginal reputations… and emotionally-barren old ladies being snippy to each other.  Dear God.

The day I find myself checking my Twitter feed or live blogging while watching an episode of Phineas & Ferb with my kids, I’m throwing my phone through the TV, I swear.  That’s probably going to happen this weekend.