Wednesday, July 15, 2009

End of the Tube

It happened suddenly last week, just out of the blue (. . . and the pink and the green). It was just fine, but one day we turned on the television and discovered that it’s become a lava lamp. Time to play taps. Time to play sad violin music for it.

Okay . . . this ol’ JVC has served me well; I got it in Phoenix in 1989, so twenty years of absolutely-no-problems-whatsoever isn’t bad.

What’s bad is the cost of the new TVs. I feel like I’m supposed to get an HDTV, or a flat-screen something-or-other, or move to something slightly bigger than a twenty-inch screen, now that twenty years have passed since graduate school and theoretically I’ve got more of an income. But Ouch! Those flatscreen things are frickin’ expensive!

I’ve got half a mind to just ditch it altogether: Ditch the TV. Ditch the cable. It’s all far too expensive anyway, for what you get out of it, which is basically time-wasting nonsense. Or, as the comedian Gallagher put it, “Doncha wish televisions came with an intelligence knob, so you could turn it up? —Yeah, there’s a ‘brightness’ knob, but that don’t work!

As I said before, the squirrels in our backyard are more brilliant than most of the stuff on TV, and letting them have some of our birdseed is much less expensive than the monthly TV bills.

I would entirely miss Sharon Ray, Jeff Huffman, and the other members of the local Stormtrack 24/7 weather team. But at this point, their radar maps are next to useless, since the color coding is a rainbow swirl of distortion. (It surely is pretty . . . but not very helpful.) Yeah, I can catch the weather online, but it’s not the same at 3 a.m. when the weather is wild; much easier to click on the TV than to boot up the computer, navigate to the Web page, wait for it to load . . .

Hmmm. Meanwhile, we’re kinda just living with our groovy hallucinogenic kaleido-television, where a man can have a green face, blue arms, and pink hands.

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