“Hey, Matt… Where’s Your Cable Box?”
It’s gone. Along with the cable. And the remote. And even the TiVo.
As of Thursday, I have discontinued my cable television — in fact, all television — reception. After too many years of giving way too much money to Comcast for programming I almost never watched, I decided to end that parasitic relationship and bid adieu. So, it’s gone. And I couldn’t be happier.
Of course, I realize the magnitude of this social sin I’ve just committed and I’m sure to be reminded more than a few times. Modern television programming rules the heads of most everyone and to leave the fold is pure heresy. When I tell people I don’t like cola or seafood, I get a surprised glance at best. Even when I say that I find most public venues draining and not worth the effort, people sooner or later understand. But, if I admit that I have not sat down and voluntarily watched network TV since the early-1990s (the final episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, to be precise), the shock on their faces is beyond reason. “Fuck God” almost seems a lesser statement. (Sorry, Freddy.)
I’m not entirely down on television… only about 99.9 percent of it from the last three decades, that’s all. I still have a love for many TV shows from the 1960s and the 1970s, when the writing was halfway decent, women looked a whole lot better, and the herd values were so overblown as to be amusing caricatures. That’s all on DVD now. And best of all, it all belongs to an era that no longer exists. I like that. Today’s TV reflects modernity’s moronic state and it would be insulting for me to volunteer my time to such degeneracy. Besides, I know many of you will continue to blather on and on and on about all of your favorite new shows so much that I’ll unfortunately know just as much about them as a result. Like carriers of a disease, I suppose.
Aside from ’60s/’70s fare, the only other stuff left that TV was good for — documentaries, movies, news, and tech shows — is amply taken care of by Netflix and free video podcasts, the latter of which can be sent to a TV set via a networked computer. Seems I’m covered, and without having to pay $82 a month for commercials, trash culture, youth trends, bad “music,” retreads, and all of that so-called “reality.” Reality? The “fakeness” of the Brady Bunch, The Odd Couple, Bewitched and Wonder Woman is more interesting than all of your sad, desperate and very expendable “reality” lives put on the small screen. They even dressed a lot better back then, too. Bonus!
So, while the hoi polloi wrestle with — and actually pay for — their slavery, I’ll be home watching forgotten shows, reading books no one cares about, and listening to music that couldn’t possibly result in a resurgence. In short, I’ll be happy and even more in control of my private environment.
How about you? Can you claim the same? And if so, what steps have you taken to minimize influences hostile to your own aesthetic?