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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > June 2019 > Turn on, tune in

Turn on, tune in

Sailors like to spin the line that the hours you spend on the water don’t count towards the final tally of life. You get them for free, they’re extra. I’ve felt that way about watching sports. My mother used to bug us about the way we spent whole summer days and weekends and post-school afternoons in front of the television. Glotzen is the German word. When my grandfather came to visit us in Texas, he snapped us all on the sofa in the television room. Under the photo in the family album he wrote the caption: Die Markovits Kinder glotzen wieder—they’re staring again. But somehow we managed to persuade my mother, who had zero interest in sports, that watching a ballgame didn’t count towards our TV allowance.

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In Prospect's June issue: