Monday, February 20, 2012


Lisa Rosen

            It’s funny how a few years ago, I wanted my life to be like The Simple Life, The Hills, Gossip Girl, or any of the shows that similarly dominate the television screen in a 16 year old girl’s bedroom.  How easily I was entertained by these fantasy worlds that seemed achievable if only I had the resources.  If I could have a designer closet at my disposal, I would always look perfect.  With endless money for shopping sprees, I would never have to look at price tags.  I could spend my evenings at gourmet restaurants and nightclubs, surrounding myself with a circle of friends; together we would be at the center of a lavish, A-list social scene.  This once sounded like a dream world. What’s funny is that today? I want anything but this type of life.

            My world today is being a UC Berkeley student, living in an apartment with 8 roommates.  We buy groceries together at Berkeley Bowl, study at Cafe Milano, watch old episodes of Buffy on Netflix, and get ready in my room before a night out at Kips Bar, always ending up at our base: the living room couch with Top Dog and a bag of donuts from Kingpin.  We talk in code words that only we understand and do yoga and ballet in our bedroom as a compromise for not going to the gym.  Nothing is better than this group of friends whom I share everything with and trust in all entirety.

            Not having cable in our apartment is just one of the factors that has brought us this close together.  Instead of viewing television as a form of escape into a fantasy world, we have built such a supportive unit. Our lives are more fulfilling than being spectators of a contrived plot line.  Our stories and reenactments of the awkward encounters that we experience during the day have become our own form of entertainment. We don't need TV to make our lives feel fulfilled or to find excitement. Watching other peoples' lives on TV is literally living vicariously through fictional characters; we can all do much better than that. We can live our own lives, and feel it every step of the way. As Leonardo says in the Titanic, "Life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it."

Real Friendship Doesn't Sit in Front of a TV Screen, by Noe Piters

            Friendships, like the one that my roommates and I share, are more valuable than any material objects can grant us, or any TV show. Instead of desiring more possessions, we are comfortable with what we have because we are happy, together.  Today, I have found that the resources I once felt I needed for a happy life have nothing to do with admiring the lives I see on TV. By valuing the good natured qualities in the real people that surround us, we continue to grow, evolve, and learn.

The Woman Behind the Back to the Basics Section:

Lisa Rosen is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in the Study of Film. She is truly an inspirational person-- quick witted and personable. Through many internships and the dedicated following of the film industry, Lisa has been able to capture what most of us have lost site of: the bare basics of modern life. 

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