Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Live TV Is Dead

Sadly, I grew up watching television. I didn't play outside. I didn't do anything constructive. I had a full time job watching television. I ate thousands of meals and spent hundreds of thousands of hours watching it.

So, in theory, I should be the perfect victim for broadcasters. Somewhere in the dark lizard-like curves of my forebrain, there is a gland or a batch of cells that only relaxes when exposed to the light of a large CRT. If I could relax and get into it, I'd let them illuminate my eyeballs until they bake and bleed.

However, I barely watch three or four shows a week. And what I do watch is recorded.

I almost NEVER watch live television. I refuse to spend 25% of my time (15 minutes out of every hour) watching ineffective advertisements for products I will never purchase and never consume. And the truly obscene thing is that it is practically impossible to avoid the hordes of commercials because all the major broadcasters are in collusion. They coordinate their schedules so perfectly that almost every channel is showing a commercial AT THE SAME TIME. You can not avoid them. You have no avenue of escape.

Not me. Not any more. I set my PC to record a few shows, and it automatically removes the commercials. Then, when I'm ready, at my leaisure, I catch up on a week's worth of shows in an hour or two.

This, my friend, is the only way I will ever, ever, ever, ever watch television.

What does Jon record? Fight Quest. Intervention. Paranormal State. Ghost Hunters. And Monster Quest. And when it is a new season, I record The Ultimate Fighter.

Notice that none of those shows are on ABC, NBC, or CBS? (Fox gets a reprieve because I record House M.D. when it is a new season!) The "Big Media" channels hold nothing of interest these days. There's almost nothing original or interesting or even remotely creative on "prime time." Nothing to challenge the viewer. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

So, I watch what I want, when I want, and how I want. And I watch it without surrendering a quarter of my time to advertisers.

I've washed my hands of most of it. I've divorced "the tube." Live television is dead to me. And I'm holding no funerals to mark its passing.

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