Monday, January 11, 2010

The crap peddled on cable TV

It's bad enough that a good chunk of the population shells out hard-earned cash each month - about 60 bucks - for the luxury of cable television. We do so because at the end of the day we're too exhausted to do much of anything because we stayed up too late the night before watching cable television and didn't get enough sleep. So that reason is rather cyclical. Some of us pay for cable television because we've forgotten how to read a book after so many years of cable television and then there are those of us who have it because it gets the children out of our hair long enough to go out in the back yard and pound back some vodka from a plastic jug and forget how sad our lives are.

I used to be the exception to the cable television rule. I grew up on the family farm far removed (5 miles) from the "big" city and thus did not have cable television. We had five channels - two of which were PBS (one from Iowa!) and didn't have FOX on our home's two televisions until late in the 1990s. Somehow - even if it did suck when the president was giving a speech carried on every network - I survived. Having all that time not spent glued to a TV probably got me to appreciate various types of music and had it not been for that relative "lack" of TV I probably would not have had the initiative to explore graphic design and would probably be even less employable than I am today.

But once I got married and we bought a house, rather than cut expenses we sprung for cable television. I had lived in my suburban bachelor apartment for two years with only the local channels and cable internet but my old lady insisted on 80 channels of mindless drivel. Sure, there are tidbits of entertainment and useful content there from time to time but in the end I could probably do without about 75% of the shit passed off as programming. I'd miss the Discovery channel but crap like WEtv and Animal Planet makes me want to smash my 231 lb. Sony and vomit in disgust over the fact that I pay for crap I have no interest in.

But what really pisses me off are the ads. At least one day on the weekend I get up when the toddler wants to get up and that's often around 7 AM. When I drag myself downstairs at 7 AM on a Saturday morning I flip on the TV because that's about all I have energy for at that ungodly time of the weekend. I expect to find at least one mildly entertaining program but after flipping through 70-plus channels I find little more than local news programs and paid advertisements for colon cleansing and exercise machines. Emery Cat - the stupidest invention for cats that we didn't know we neededAnd the actual commercials look like videos for crap from the Lillian Vernon catalog...

So the cable channels get money from me for basically not watching their channels but paying because out of the 60 channel package I want 3 or 4 of these channels but they get more money for airing 8 or so hours of program length commercials - not to mention the standard 16 minutes per hour (or more) during their regular programming which costs substantially less than that aired on the big networks. With my disgust building and hating the fact that my kid could very well be raised by a TV if I don't intervene, what do I do? Should I dump all but the most basic channels and buy earplugs for when my old lady complains about being bored? Or should I finally move deep in to the woods and swear off society and technology once and for all?
My best advice is to avoid it all and check out the photos at MinnPics. It's quickly skyrocketing towards being the best Minnesota photo blog hosted on Blogger showcasing the awesome photography of others - quite the feat.


Anonymous said...

Best thing we ever did: We never bought the conversion boxes for our old T.V.'s this summer, nor did we replace any of those T.V.'s with the cool new ones.
After Christmas, we were given a newer T.V., and we still have yet to even watch it for more than an hour on any given day!
Any T.V./cable we have since watched just feels like a huge waste of time now. It's laden with way too many commercials/mindless fodder, and we can just feel ourselves getting more stupid with each passing minute whenever we do allow ourselves to indulge in it.
I personally do not miss it or need it in my life. Books and maybe a half an hour per day of the Internet has been much more worth both it's time and options to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at this forum. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of financial piramyde, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For several years , I make money with the help of these programs.
I don't have problems with money now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I make 2G daily, and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I'm very close at catching at last a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Turn to my web site to get additional info.

[url=] Online investment blog[/url]