We tried to watch "The Last Samurai" on telly yesterday afternoon and about 3 minutes into each segment (following Simpson's movie trailer commercials), the entire bottom of the screen was plastered with popup marketing. Who are these geniuses? It was impossible to read the subtitles with Homer Simpson chasing a donut across the lower one-third of the picture.
Which brings me to another sore point today.
Who remembers real cable? You know, those "dark side" stations that had no commercials... because our monthly cable bills PAID for commercial-free television. That was the bargain the stations struck up with us. We didn't have to subscribe, but we could if we didn't want to be bothered by marketing. There was an alternative: antennae. All of the major networks--and some minor ones as well--could be viewed without cable and those who couldn't afford a monthly bill didn't have to subscribe. Now we have no such choice. If we want television we have to subscribe to cable. And I don't trust this all-inclusive media crap, either. I'm not sure it's good for us to get our TV, internet, land phone, cell phone, car radio, home radio, teleporter, holodeck and toilet paper dispenser wrapped up in one corporation.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that television isn't a necessity, it's a luxury. Well, perhaps in some parts of the country this is true, but in Tornado Alley TV is not a luxury, it's a life line. If not for that I would happily discontinue the cable service and use our TV only for movies. I lived like that for four years in the 90s. Didn't hurt me a bit. In fact I had a bumper sticker on my car that read, "Kill Your TV". I liked not watching television in the evenings after work and on the weekends. It gave me more time to sit in sidewalk cafes, drink beer and laugh with friends. But that was when there were only two adults in the house and I lived in California and Denver.
While I'm on the subject of television, what about these?
- MTV: Do you remember when it actually had something to do with music?
- AMC: Do you remember when it actually played movie classics?
- The popup ads during TV shows and movies: They started out small, tucked into the bottom right corner, but now they take up half the screen and are accompanied by sound.
- "Blond Bimbos and their vain, pathetic men" shows like The Girls Next Door and Dr. 90210
- Celebrity "reality" shows: Don't even get me started.
- Celebrity anything. I'm so effin' sick of celebrities and celebrity gossip. Who really gives a rat's ass?
- Neither of our cars would make the trip and come back in one piece
- Nettl and Lauren, if they drove, would have to rent a car
- They would have to spend two nights in a motel
- Time off from work
And then there are new issues with "the Ex". He pops up every now and again, just like a cold sore. Nettl's blood pressure doesn't need his crap and I don't care if he's reading this. Her life may not mean anything to you, but it does to me, so leave her alone.
(No, I don't know who that guy is.)