Every now and then I catch a glimpse of TV drama as I use the BBC's digital version of Ceefax to check the latest weather forecast or news headlines. It's fractionally quicker than firing up my laptop and also a habit I haven't yet dropped.
Sometimes I'll watch a minutes of drama with a kind of embarrassed fascination and for me that's new - the embarrassment. For years I've ignored almost all TV drama, but I was never embarrassed by it, so something has changed.
I watch the actors grinding their way through a contrived and endlessly confrontational script or the plot clunking its way into another predictably tangled relationship or people shouting at each other, behaving as only actors behave in the fantasy world of TV drama.
I don't mean I'm embarrassed in any supercilious way, but until recently I wasn't embarrassed at all - not even by EastEnders. It's nothing I've worked out not a conclusion I've reached after due consideration because I haven't given it any consideration. Not consciously at any rate. Why would I? Yet now I'm embarrassed.
Why should I care about the awfulness of TV drama such as EastEnders? I don't, but I'm still embarrassed. Maybe the conditioning is wearing off - because we can be conditioned to accept this kind of rubbish. Only when the conditioning wears off do we see it for what it is.
Maybe that's where the embarrassment comes from.