Dear TV Snobs,

TV was invented because we were tired of talking to each other and needed something else to do. You, though, keep trying to have intellectual discussions about politics and the arts while we’re watching Dancing with the Stars. Despite your oddity, we’ve tried not to make fun of you. We learned how wrong it is to judge people by watching special episodes of Family Ties and The Brady Bunch. You, however, insist on thinking you’re better than us. You complain about how hard it is for you to find intellectual stimulation in a world that gives Flavor Flav his own show, but in fact you derive a certain smug self-satisfaction from it.

Over the years we’ve tried to make you happy. We gave you PBS. We televised golf. Cable TV was invented so that entire channels could be devoted to things like gardening and brandy snifters. All that’s changed is you’ve gone from being smug because you don’t watch TV to being smug because you watch better TV.

The problem isn’t that you believe you’re superior; it’s that you seem compelled to share this belief with the rest of us. Claiming you only own a TV so you can watch Ken Burns documentaries and C-SPAN doesn’t endear you to anyone except Ken Burns. Maybe watching Congressional Chronicle makes you more informed, but being informed is useless because nobody cares what you think. Even other TV snobs don’t care. They’re just waiting for you to shut up about your stupid opinion so they can talk about their stupid opinion. The only people who really need to keep up with the day to day minutia of the world are the people who are running it. And unless you’ve figured out how to convert photons into chemical energy or a way to accurately predict earthquakes, it’s unlikely they’re interested in what you have to say either. So, ultimately, your knowledge of the world is about as useful as our understanding the rules of Deal or No Deal.

Some of you don’t even own a TV. You’re convinced that this makes you a rebel, and that we’ll be impressed by your willful ignorance of popular culture. When asked if you saw American Idol last night, you can’t just say “no.” You have to tell us that you don’t even own a TV. And then the conversation has to be about you and your stupid decision not to own a TV like a normal person, and we have to wait for you to go away before we can talk about American Idol. Although first we’re going to talk about what a pretentious jerk you are. You should probably confine your social activity to sitting in the drawing room with your like-minded friends, drinking sherry and saying things like “tut tut, old chap.” Because the rest of us don’t want to explain to you what extreme wrestling is while you sneer like someone just farted on your ascot.

Thinking you’re superior because of what you do or don’t watch on TV is ridiculous. Thinking you’re superior because you’re opposing the mainstream is an idea most of us discarded after our punk phase in 10th grade. A person’s true value isn’t found in his intelligence anyway; it’s in his looks and financial status. So if you’d rather listen to some 300-year-old opera than watch a Top Chef marathon, crank up your Victrola and have at it. But don’t interrupt our shows to complain that no one has conversations anymore. We do, actually, just not with you.

Beverly Petravicius