TV or not TV?
I haven’t really watched a lot of TV since the 80’s. When I say TV, I mean live, free to air channels. Around that time I began to get fed up with the increasing suggestiveness, violence and just mind numbing dumbness of many of the shows, particularly the “sitcoms”, not to mention the ever-increasing bundles of advertisements shown. Those ads also were becoming offensive. It got to the point where I was usually only watching sports shows. I could mostly enjoy these without fear of involuntarily being witness to a sexual encounter between two burly, ugly, hairy chested football players. I still watch sports on TV, but now I record it first, then play it back. This way I get to gleefully fast forward the advertisements telling me I may be important, unimportant, incompetent, impotent or incontinent.
Ten years or so ago, I thought I’d found the answer, PAY TV. I did my sums and happily concluded that we could afford it. When the technician waved goodbye after installing the “black magic” box on top of the TV, I couldn’t wait to get to my new gleaming silver remote control. At last ad free quality programmes. WRONG! Soon I was on the phone again. A surprisingly offended operator reluctantly processed my request to disconnect the pay TV. There were more ads on the pay channels than free to air channels, mostly promoting themselves, and the quality documentaries were about 10 years old and repeated almost on a daily basis. I decided to now spend the money I was saving, on not watching “The mating techniques of the Siberian Ground Rat” (every day, with close ups), between ads promoting such movies as “The unusually brutal murder of a dysfunctional family with an axe dipped in anthrax”,…. on purchasing my own video tapes and dvd’s. Although some of the titles I bought were a bit dated, at least I could now watch entertaining, clever, ad free movies and shows, and watch them when I wanted to, not at 2 a.m. in the morning, which is when most of the normal TV channels show anything decent, well some of them anyway. Hence my current proud collection of films and series from “Star Trek” to “Abbott and Costello”, carefully indexed and housed in the ever shrinking space of our linen cupboard, much to the chagrin of my wife.
Is it just me or what? When I was a kid, I’d come home from school to watch some innocent, clean, entertaining fun shows like “Get Smart”, “Gilligan's Island”, or “F Troop”. They made me laugh and relax and feel good about life. You didn’t feel embarrassed watching them in front of other people or mum and dad. Kids now get dropped in front of soap operas after school, those shows being full of sexual innuendo, unreal situations, sad and pathetic people and general social misfits. Talk about feeding kids junk mind food. And what about the never-ending video music shows. These mainly feature semi-naked bimbos, cavorting around overtly and deliberately suggestively, singing unimaginative brain numbing repetitive songs, for want of a better word, with voices no better that those that can be heard at the annual business karaoke party. These soft porn, cheap to produce, junk programmes are slapped in the face of kids and adults alike by TV station bosses who treat the public with UTTER contempt and see them only as sucker consumers of a cheap product to whom they can off load the latest “MOST POPULAR TV SERIES IN THE HISTORY OF PLANET EARTH ABOUT A GAY DWARF WHO FALLS IN LOVE WITH AN EXTRA TERRESTIAL DESPERATE INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGED HOUSEHUSBAND”, or similar such thought provoking and edifying contributions to human kind.
Live free to air TV news programmes are a humorous disgrace. Thirty minutes minus ten for commercials leaves just twenty minutes to fill with twaddle. The first five minutes are rehashed stories of events that occurred a week ago, but with a slant designed to reflect the station manager’s bias, in an attempt to swing public opinion their way. Then ten minutes reporting the awe inspiring activities of those self absorbed, dysfunctional, immoral, grossly over paid attention seeking dopes TV stations tell us are “celebrities”, followed by a five minute worship service to the nation’s god, SPORT.
Perhaps the bosses who run these stations will receive a special punishment from God on Judgement day, which is coming just as surely as the next ad break. Not only will these monuments to poor taste and greed in human form spend eternity in hell, but they may also be forced forever to watch their own TV programmes, with ads.
So here’s one of probably a whole army of people who have abandoned live TV, and embraced community radio stations, dvd’s, pvr’s and recorders with timeshift facilities (for the technically minded). If the question is, TV or not TV, guess my answer. To all you TV show sponsors and company advertising executives out there, my popcorn smells lovely.
I’m off to watch a couple of “GET SMART” episodes on my dvd player. BYE!