Thursday, January 7, 2010

Things we don't watch

A few years after we moved out here, a company had the brainstorm that they could make a killing by bringing in cable television. From what I could gather is, they counted all the buildings in town and assumed every single one of them would go for cable TV. Bad assumption.

Some people had satellite dishes and few of them switched to cable. Apparently when they were counting houses, they assumed all the seasonal places would get cable. Almost none of them did. Few wanted to pay for 12 months of service when they were only using the vacation place 2 months of the year.

Once the cable was strung, the company soon became desperate for subscribers. At first they offered to waive the hook up fee. Then they began to off the first month free. Eventually they offered free hook up and 6 months of free cable.

The cable company went bankrupt soon after.

Another company took over the existing lines. I'm told service was fairly poor as they had no one local to take care of problems. Not much money was ever put into maintenance. The service limped along for years until the parent company closed it down completely. Too few people out here in the woods for too many miles of cable.

Some people went to satellite dishes, but not every house here in the mountains gets a clear view of the satellite. Sometimes the view is blocked by trees on the neighbor's land.

I'm told there'll be a TV option piggybacked on the new fiber being run out here in the rural areas.

Once again, we won't have it at our house.

No matter how good it gets, it's only TV.

Occasional I'll see television at friends' houses. The commercials drive me nuts. There I am perfectly happy with my health and things I own. After a couple hours of commercials, I begin to wonder if why I'm not on any special drugs. Why am I not driving a new car? How come other people have all these wonderful technological gadgets and I don't. The commercials seem to work very hard at making me feel unhappy with myself.

Do people become inoculated to commercials? Is it like becoming accustomed to small doses of poison and building up resistance over time? Perhaps they push it out of their conscious mind, but the subconscious absorbs the message? All I know is that my tolerance of them is quite low.

One thing that bugs me is that when we visit people the TV has to be going at all times. The idea of having a quiet conversion with no TV background noise makes them uncomfortable. Does silence scare them?

On my more paranoid days, I imagine it's the mind numbing power of television keeping the sheep from revolting. Think about it. Don't people just "zone out" in front of the TV? Maybe that's what causes riots during power outages. The TV's are dead and the steady drip of electronic opium's shut off. The rioters are druggies going through withdrawal.

Ever notice prisons always have TV? Keeps the prisoners quiet.

Every four years political ads go nuts for NH's first in the nation primary elections. When people who normally passively watch TV complain about political commercials, I know it's bad. During those times I don't even listen to commercial radio. Politicians send a lot of paper in the mail and invade my house that way. One day so many political ads came in the mail that burning them in my woodstove heated enough water for a pot of coffee.

So no TV for me. Maybe it's like the old computer programmer's motto, GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. Maybe that's one of the reasons people are so crazy -too much televised garbage downloading into their brains.



  1. Well Sixbears this is a very well explained observation that explains the marketing business from a lay person point of view, which as a holder of a degree in business and associate degree in marketing & advertising you have saved yourself about $68,000.00 in college tuition. The whole of ad world is to make you feel incomplete in your life from wiping your butt to some unknown (before they invented the cure) illness that you just can't go another day on planet earth without. As you have noted the sheeple are addicts to the boob tube and low and behold don't even know the art of conversation without it being based upon "American Idol" or some other crappy show of wishful thinking on the way the hell out in left field fantasy thinking. Great blog today and now that I'm back in country I'll keep up more. Happy New Year.

  2. Great post. You explained what I have felt. We dont have tv either. Its available but we dont want it.

  3. I forgot to say we dont have tv we have life. I like it better.

  4. Welcome back Jim, and thanks!

    Debbieo -when I was a kid I gave up Saturday morning cartoons to go outside and play. I'd still rather go outside and play.