September 13, 2011

Anybody who doesn't have cable TV is a loser

In the discussions over the new statistics showing ever more Americans in poverty, I was struck by this line from Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation: "Nearly two-thirds [of the officially poor] have cable or satellite TV" and "One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV." 

Unlike, apparently, the more on-the-ball sort of impoverished person, I haven't had cable or satellite TV for over a decade. I bought an old-fashioned TV about seven years ago. That was fine at the time because we got the major networks on broadcast TV. Then, after a delay, old-fashioned analog broadcasting was halted in June 2009. Various officials made various promises about how this wouldn't be a problem, that with simple fixes everybody would be as well off as before. 

That didn't turn out to be true. Despite trying various work-arounds, we haven't gotten CBS since the switchover, NBC comes and goes. It's a mess. Digital broadcast TV has gifted us with a plethora of new fourth-tier channels. My favorite was the This channel, which broadcast, apparently off old VHS tapes it had bought at a garage sale, 1970s movies that nobody had ever heard of. But then that fizzled out. 

This is no doubt a problem for many millions of Americans who don't have cable. It's an extremely minor problem for me, but for people who don't like the Internet (often old, sick, illiterate, etc.), it's a big problem.

And guess what? Nobody who is anybody cares about them.

A simple rule of thumb is that if you don't have cable or a nice TV in contemporary America, you are a nobody.

70 comments:

Eric said...

Meh. Who watches TV any more? Do you like commercials?

I only watch commercial TV when the internet is broken.

Mac said...

"A simple rule of thumb is that if you don't have cable or a nice TV in contemporary America, you are a nobody."

Actually a friend of mine doesn't have a TV. Maybe an old one him and his family can watch DVDs on. I remember a few years back blogger Noah Millman said he didn't have one either.

Remember on Star Trek: The Next Generation it was said that TV died out c. 2040s from lack of interest?

No doubt not having a TV makes one an oddity in contemporary America. But since the advent of the web I don't think TV plays as large a role in our culture as it used to.

An Unmarried Man said...

Not to mention expensive smart phones with expensive data plans to match. Best Buy credit lines are a smash in the hood.

Anonymous said...

I finally got a widescreen TV this yr cuz my old TV finally broke down. I must say.. it's amazing.

bjdubbbs said...

I expected the latest MSNBC debate would be on one of the many NBC digital broadcast channels but apparently only cable subscribers vote and the rest of us watch track and field reruns. I'd like to see that question asked at one of the debates, that seems like a real digital divide. But NBC owns cable channels, ABC owns ESPN, Fox owns Fox News . . . it's almost like a conspiracy. I have this problem too, but since I turned the rabbit ears upside down against the wall, reception improved.

Anonymous said...

I only watch commercial TV when the internet is broken.

Internet will get you through times of no TV better than TV will get you through times of no internet.

RKU said...

Well, based on what I remember reading about the French Revolution back in high school, I've been telling people for years now that the best current investment is in guillotine manufacturers...

Ed said...

I had something of the same reaction to this as the three previous commentators. I had heard about the digital TV boondoggle, but not having nor wanting a TV at all myself I didn't pay too much attention too it. I had a vague impression that this was yet another rent seeking exercise, where TPTB made everyone's TV suddenly not work and forced people to go out and buy a new one.

I bought a new TV and cable this year when my new, non-American, wife demanded one to enable her to practice her English when I wasn't away, and I've concluded that I don't seem to have been missing much.

JS said...

Lots of SWPL hipsters don't have cable, or even own TVs, for that matter (in Brooklyn, at least). Steve, you're on the cutting edge.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

90% of the TV shows I hear people talking about I've never even seen. I've seen two episodes of Glee, one episode of Modern Family, probably three of Mad Men, and maybe a half-dozen of Idol - virtually all while at other people's homes, not my own.

The fact is that if you even carry so much as a credit card balance, you shouldn't even have a cable connection. It's the easiest cost to cut - easier than a cell phone or an internet connection. The share of people's incomes that increasingly gets sucked into the cable/cell phone/internet connection biz is obscene. It's not unusual for people to spend over $200/month on that crap, and probably more than a few of them are on food stamps.

Anonymous said...

haven't had TV since 95. don't miss it. internet + netflix + bittorrent...

Anonymous said...

I'm another one without TV.

Anonymous said...

In case you do want TV, you can buy a digital-to-analog converter for about $30-40. Or less, used.

Anonymous said...

It's not about "what you have", it's about how much economic value you produce. No one really understands this anymore because it's not taught in schools or discussed in the media.

If you make something or provide a skill that people are willing to pay for, then you can trade your skill for their skills or their things.

Can you fix computers?
Can you bake cookies?
Can you wash windows?
Can you repair cars?

And can you find people who need that particular skill? Especially people who are skilled at, say, digital signal processing or satellite engineering (i.e. indirectly those who are providing your cable TV)?

Money is just universal barter that lubricates and scales this process of trading skill for skill, good for good.

If you don't put any thought into making something people are willing to pay money for, you can hardly complain about your lot.

Simon said...

Steve, buy yourself a proper TV you interminably cheap bastard!

There are many things to complain about in the modern world. The West may be regressing but resolution at least has improved. Enjoy the fruits of the modern age!

How about you play LA Noire in HD so you can remember an LA worth missing.

I feel sorry for your family. The British tax payer subsidizes very expensive documentaries that you no doubt watch. The least you could do is enjoy that waste optimaly!

Simon said...

Steve, buy yourself a proper TV you interminably cheap bastard!

There are many things to complain about in the modern world. The West may be regressing but resolution at least has improved. Enjoy the fruits of the modern age!

How about you play LA Noire in HD so you can remember an LA worth missing.

I feel sorry for your family. The British tax payer subsidizes very expensive documentaries that you no doubt watch. The least you could do is enjoy that waste optimaly!

Steve Sailer said...

Yes, I get all the track and field reruns I want on one of broadcast digital's fourth-tier networks. I don't get The Masters, but I get all the track and field reruns. (Actually, I kind of like track and field reruns, but not quite that much.)

Anonymous said...

There's nothing worth watching on TV except live sports, Steve. If there are any shows you like, get your son to teach you how to torrent.

Mike Hunt said...

A simple rule of thumb is that if you don't have cable or a nice TV in contemporary America, you are a nobody.

While you are being sarcastic, I agree with this statement on its face.

nooffensebut said...

Well, I’ll say it. If you are willing to be a bad person, like me, there is very little on the TV that you cannot find through a DSL connection via streaming or illegal download. Plus, the whole sensibility of sensationalist cable news is stultifying compared to radio, even most commercial radio, but definitely NPR. There is talk that the ISPs will crack down on piracy in a couple months. We shall see. I suspect that most illiterate people have worse problems than missing Jersey Shore.

Kaz said...

Why would you buy an old tv..

A decent LCD only runs a few hundred, and it consumes significantly less energy than your traditional CRT.

Let's! said...

"for people who don't like the Internet (often old, sick, illiterate, etc.), it's a big problem....And guess what? Nobody who is anybody cares about them."

Those poor dears. Here we are, going broke from propping them up with Medicare, when we should obviously set up Cablecare. To show we care.

SFG said...

TV is worthless for news, at least. On the internet, you can get the NYT, WSJ, BBC, Der Spiegel, and Steve Sailer...

Ray Sawhill said...

I have a great big beautiful HDTV, but I only use it for watching DVDs and Netflix Instant. It's great for both. Haven't had cable for years, and don't get to movie theaters much any longer either.

Reg Cæsar said...

Nobody who is anybody cares about them.

A simple rule of thumb is that if you don't have cable or a nice TV in contemporary America, you are a nobody.


Nobody who ought to be anybody gives a sweet horse's hemorrhoid about television, or what's on it.

"Reality" programming is a desparate attempt to distract dull viewers lest they discover how incredibly boring the "act" of watching TV is.

"Television? The word is half Greek, half Latin. No good can come of it." - C P Scott, 1928
.

Reg Cæsar said...

...and anything aimed at three-digit IQs will be available on DVD at the public library within two or three years.

jody said...

i know when a commercial is on television, because an african person is talking to me.

new FCC rules state that 86.7% of all television commercials must feature at least one african every 30 seconds.

i'm only somewhat joking about the FCC. and i'm not joking at all about my new "I know it's a commercial if" policy. try it out and tell me if LITERALLY 50% of commercials now don't have africans in them.

hbd chick said...

nope. no tv here, either. for over 15 years now. don't miss it. (get weirded out whenever i see it now like on vacation or something!)

own some dvds of favorite (usually old) shows and some movies and documentaries. watch 'em on the laptop.

jody said...

the track and field world championships were actually pretty good this year, but US television decided to basically not cover even them. ESPN actually covered them way less than even network television. which is to say ESPN did not cover them at all.

walter dix looks like the fastest american now that tyson gay is starting to become suspect of sports drug use - lots of the jamaican sprinters look like probable drug users now. david greene somehow won 400 hurdles over LJ van zyl. the south africans almost won the 4x400 with 3 white runners. jesse williams won high jump and trey hardee won decathlon again. this dwight philips guy is awesome at long jump. germans swept the throws.

now that ross greenburg is out as president of HBO sports, you can actually get some decent boxing matches on there, finally. vitali klitschko knocked out thomasz adamek on saturday. he's now 43-2 with 40 knockouts. this puts him at the highest knockout ratio in the history of boxing. for the 5 million bucks adamek got to take his beatdown, you would think SOME black american would be willing to get in the ring. i mean, david haye was paid 23 million dollars to take his beat down from wladimir last month. 23 million dollars. that's more than any guy in the NFL or NBA makes in one year. NOT ONE of those guys wants to make 20 million dollars for a single night's work?

breaking bad is the only show on television worth watching. i don't even have a television though, so i have to watch it on DVD. which is the only way to watch stuff anyway. no commercials, move at your own pace from episode to episode.

dearieme said...

cable or satellite TV: no.
wide-screen plasma or LCD TV: no.

I don't think we've been to the cinema since 2006.

Jeff Burton said...

We losers have to stick together.

Want to instantly signal your oddness? Tell anyone that you don't watch television. Ever. I actually enjoy observing the stunned incomprehension turn to wary distrust.

elvisd said...

Shot my tv (literally) in 1987.

Anonymous said...

I've got a ten year old TV that I won't switch on for days on end. I'll watch it for sports, but that's about it. Movies I can find on torrents and music videos of classic songs I like (new stuff doesn't interest me much) on youtube.

I've caught the occasional episode of Glee and a couple of the newer sitcoms whose names I don't know while at other peoples homes. These shows actually aren't too bad at all. I just can't be bothered taking the time out to watch them. I draw the line at reality TV (cooking, singing, renovating etc) and cop/legal dramas -- if people are watching those I'll make up some excuse to leave.

Silver

AMac said...

> Old-fashioned analog broadcasting was halted in June 2009. Various officials made various promises about how this wouldn't be a problem... That didn't turn out to be true.

Yeah, no kidding. I live 8 miles from the transmitters, located catchily on "TV Hill." With leaves off the trees, it's line-of-sight from here to there.

Analog reception was fine. Digital with the amplified rooftop directional antenna -- comes and goes.

Some of the cheaper digital TVs have receivers with poor sensitivity; that accounts for part of the problem. "Sold another bill of goods by our betters" seems to explain the rest.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the This Channel captures my thoughts on what many Satellite channels show.

beowulf said...

If you have internet service, cable TV is definitely optional.
http://www.thefreetvnetwork.com/

Carol said...

We bought an LCD for the digital changeover, then I replaced cable with Netflix. Now I'm sick to death of movies. Such a time commitment!

I do get a chuckle out of our rinky-dink local news, and must absolutely have weather of course. If I want to "listen" to a debate, I follow a drunk blog somewhere.

Liesel said...

Will Rogers said "America is the only country where you drive your own car to the poorhouse."

Anonymous said...

We're thinking about dropping cable. We never watch it. My media consumption has turned to the internet...Blogs, Hulu, Netflix...

Thorfinnsson said...

I don't understand. Why don't you just buy a new television?

New televisions are very nice and relatively inexpensive, and in theory you'll come out ahead eventually since they consume much less electricity.

Additionally, if you have not done so already you should put up an outdoor HD antenna if your local zoning regulations permit. HD Air is extremely high quality and you'll likely receive more distant channels than you currently do.

Anonymous said...

Netflix is all you need.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute here...

First of all, not having a TV is echt-SWPL. (See also: Netflix, Hulu...)

In fact:

#28 Not Having a TV (1/26/2008)
http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/26/28-not-having-a-tv/

"The number one reason why white people like not having a TV is so that they can tell you that they don’t have a TV."

And, all the way back in the Al Gore era, the Onion was on the case:

"Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own A Television" (2/9/2000)

http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-constantly-mentioning-he-doesnt-own-a-tel,429/



However, it must be said that in terms of numbers, we differently-televised individuals are marginal.

A friend taught school in an underprivileged area. Yes, all the deprived folk there had huge TVs.

Also, we recently went house shopping in a large metro area. EVERY SINGLE HOUSE had the living area centered around a huge honking flat screen TV. And this is in a relatively BoBo shabby-chic part of town, at least by flyover-country standards. Cable TV really is part of "normal" people's expectations of a "normal" life.

Anonymous said...

"A simple rule of thumb is that if you don't have cable or a nice TV in contemporary America, you are a nobody."

I would amend this by saying that if you don't have cable or a nice TV BECAUSE you are poor and can't afford it, you are regarded as a nobody. If you don't watch TV for other reasons you are an outlier, a curmudgeon, or (dare I say it?) possibly even cutting edge.

I haven't had any TV connection in 12-15 years. I didn't stop cold turkey, I just became gradually disgusted, especially with news. And sports - (somewhere stuck between the endless commercials there MIGHT be some kind of sporting event going on, but sometimes it's hard to tell).
So all in all I'm not missing a thing.

Truth said...

"Yes, I get all the track and field reruns I want on one of broadcast digital's fourth-tier networks"

I'll bet you and Jody both sit there watching with your red-white-and blue LeMaitre jerseys on...

Also, dude, are you really pooh-poohing this network? Get out of here that's a great addition for a guy like me who has never had cable. I was watching some movie on Sunday where Tony Randall rubs a magic lamp and Burl Ives pops out as a genie while the football game was on.

Excellent stuff!

Anonymous said...

to Jody @ 9/14/11 12:27 AM:

I call this phenomenon Negro Insertion, or the Negro Insertion Point. It cracks up my friends and makes them notice it from then on.

Anonymous said...

Once you discover that commercial television is 90% Jewish propaganda, it becomes almost impossible to watch it. Sports used to be a place of refuge for men who didn't want to have their brains massaged and their emotions manipulated by propaganda, but thanks to the untiring efforts of Howard Cosell and his tribe even that has become unwatchable unless you do it with sound turned off.

Unfortunately for me, I am in my seventies and live alone. I need some television to occupy my time. I have found that the Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel focus on content that is very hard to spin into a political message. That is all I am looking for--neutrality--the chance to think my own thoughts without having them subtly manipulated. I am not alone in my preferences. Shows about antiques,Antiques Road Show--Junk, American Pickers, the the lives of the working class, Swamp Loggers and Most Dangerous Catch, and numerous crime and nature documentaries have become enormously popular and spawned numerous imitators. The thing that Jewish media executives seem incapable of understanding is that the only thing these shows have in common is the lack of Jewish propaganda. We are simply tired of it. We refuse to watch it anymore.

alonzo portfolio said...

Say you do have cable t.v., you're a lawyer 20 yrs. out of school, the judges give you no respect, your partners want to cut you out, your wife no longer wants to do you, and your daughter is getting turned out at public high school - you're a nobody anyway.

Maya said...

I haven't lived with a TV since I left my mother's house at 18. There's all the mindless entertainment and educational programming you'll ever need online. Seriously, if I want to pay close attention to what I'm watching while I eat breakfast, I get to watch the EXACT show I want on my laptop. If I'm getting ready to go out, cooking or cleaning and need something in the background, I can choose from any radio show or funny news show on youtube.

I used to think that I'll get a TV, as a piece of furniture/equipment that normal people usually have, when I finally buy a place of my own where I plan to settle for a long while. Scratch that. My older brother bought a condo several years back and put a nice flat screen in his living room along with a sofa and a coffee table, but he never uses it. When my sister and I come over to see him, we just go to his office and watch stuff on his monitor.

Kylie said...

I watch DVDs or Netflix movies on my TV but I don't have or watch network or cable TV. So my television functions solely as a movie screen.

I really do consider a flat screen TV essential if you love movies like I do. The first movie I watched on mine was an old favorite, Doctor Zhivago, which I'd only ever seen on the small screen. Wow. I never realized Russia was so big--it's all of 32 inches wide!

And old black and white movies look gorgeous on the bigger, better screen.

I do occasionally watch movies on my laptop but a flat screen is a worthy investment.

And Netflix is fantastic. If you skip through all the PC crap of recent decades, you can find some real gems, or at the very least, something that doesn't star Morgan Freeman or Matt Damon. You need to know enough about movies to know what to search for but the gems are there. I've seen movies on Netflix that I couldn't get on DVD and that TCM/Starz/Cinemax et al never showed. It's a real treat.

Matra said...

I get the impression that live sport is crucial to the cable/satellite business models. Without a near monopoly on legal live sports coverage cable would lose a significant percentage of male subscribers.

Back at the start of summer I worked it out that in order to only get the channels that show tennis as well as F1 races every other Sunday during June, July and August and nothing else, my savings would be approximately the equivalent of one Quarter Pounder meal at McDo's per month. This despite being able to ditch dozens of channels though also having to keep over 100 just to have the 4 or 5 channels that I wanted. It seems to be impossible to have cable and not spend less than $65 a month if you like sports. (For now streaming is not that great an option. One of the times I resorted to a live stream I got a virus that must have been the PC version of herpes).

Another problem for sports fans is networks buying the rights from a league then spreading out the games between the network's more accessible channels and some that require a more expensive package from the cable company.

The packaging of non-sports channels is also a racket. Want the classic French film channel with lots of Rohmer, Godard, and Renoir? Well you also have to get those showing "classic" Three's Company and Scooby Doo.

Unless there's some kind of internet crackdown I don't think this model can be sustained.

Anonymous said...

I've never owned a cell phone. I wonder where that puts me on the "loser" scale.

eh said...

How many of the "officially poor" read books? I mean, what else are they supposed to do but watch TV? It's probably worth it for society to subsidize them entertaining themselves at home considering what else they might get into...

Svigor said...

There is talk that the ISPs will crack down on piracy in a couple months. We shall see.

Please. The hackers will outmaneuver them, again. Not that it will actually require hacker skills...

Want to instantly signal your oddness? Tell anyone that you don't watch television. Ever. I actually enjoy observing the stunned incomprehension turn to wary distrust.

So true. Steve is not making this up. I was actually surprised the first few times I saw people kinda, well, kinda squirm. It's a bit surreal.

Whiskey said...

A lot of younger people are "cord-cutting" and going with stuff like Hulu, Amazon on demand, Itunes, etc. to get their fix, and various internet options for things like sports. According to various studies, it is definitely $$$ driven. Cable or Satellite is expensive, and people will cut it.

I agree about analog. It degrades gracefully, I'm also in SoCal and with digital stuff that came in like CBS with analog no longer comes in well.

Whiskey said...

Don't get rid of your CRT TV. It has superior viewing angles to LCDs, and you already own it. Why spend more money if you don't have to?

Live network TV is good for: knowing what storms are coming in SoCal, fire coverage, any local disturbance (avoid parts of town), and local football teams. True you can get some or all of this on the radio (and its good to have a couple of battery powered radios around for power outages). But TV can get you info quickly and conveniently.

Rain And said...

I don't get it. "Don't own a television" is a stereotypical higher status signal.

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/26/28-not-having-a-tv/

All poverty simply needs to be reframed as enlightened lifestyle choice. I'm sure there are thousands of hipsters out there right now racking up brownie points bragging about how they don't have a cellphone, a car, Internet, indoor plumbing....etc.

Jean C. said...

We FINALLY got rid of cable (I only watched it very briefly in the morning) so we wouldn't have to see, hear or be reminded of the Obamanation since it seemed he was on there CONSTANTLY...and I only watched CNBC very, very briefly in the morning before going to the internet to try to find SOME truth.

TGGP said...

I could have sworn you reviewed some cable programs. Curb Your Enthusiasm?

Kylie said...

"I've never owned a cell phone. I wonder where that puts me on the 'loser' scale."

Let me take a guess. Up a telephone pole like Oliver Wendell Douglas?

"Hello, is that you, Anonymous?"

Get Off My Lawn! said...

A few thoughts:

1. Watching movies or a TV show on a computer screen is like seeing the Grand Canyon through a car window. I just don't get why people would prefer to watch any non-interactive program while sitting in an office chair staring at a small screen when they could be relaxing on a couch or recliner watching it on a 30"+ screen. Being proud of doing so is like being proud of not having hot running water. "Eh, who needs it? Cold showers are good enough for me!" Do these people still have CRT monitors because LCD monitors are frivolous luxuries? Then again, my ancestors were Cavaliers, not Puritans, so austerity for its own sake has never seemed much of a virtue to me.

2.It's cheating to say you don't watch TV if you download shows and watch them on Hulu or through BitTorrent. How is that "not watching TV"?

3. There have been a few very good shows on TV recently. "Justified," "Mad Men," the Cinemax action thriller "Strike Back," "Spartacus," "House" and "Burn Notice" when they were in their heydays, and "Walking Dead" come to mind as examples. All of these but "House" are on cable.

4. There are plenty of entertaining and sometimes informative non-fiction shows on NatGeo and the like. For example, I enjoyed the show on what would happen to the Earth if people simply disappeared. Also, specials on disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 and 2011 earthquakes/tsunamis are better than most fictional horror or disaster movies. (And when such a disaster is actually happening, there is simply no substitute for TV if you want to keep up with what's happening NOW without having to surf the 'net from site to site. And, liberal bias or not, CNN is still the best for this type of coverage - better than the broadcast networks, much less Fox.)

The point here is that there is more to TV than reality shows and sitcoms, and most of best is on cable.

5. Basic cable is pretty cheap, and the other poster is right: HDTV sets are also relatively cheap nowadays and absolutely worth every penny.

6. Watching a football game - especially a college football game, with its enthusiastic, color-coordinated fans (for example, Clemson) - on a decent-sized HD TV set is a completely different experience from watching it on an old-fashioned TV. If you're a sports fan, the color, clarity and size of the image alone is reason enough to invest in a decent television and basic cable (to be able to watch more games and get a greater variety of sports).

Svigor said...

2.It's cheating to say you don't watch TV if you download shows and watch them on Hulu or through BitTorrent. How is that "not watching TV"?

Kinda. But channel-surfing is a far cry from downloading TV. No commercials. And you specifically choose what to watch, and when; you don't just plop in front of the TV and hope something's on, and settle for Jersey Shore or whatever. And you're not feeding the beast. Everybody talks about saving the environment; how about saving the psychological environment by cleaning up the toxic waste dump that is TV?

3. There have been a few very good shows on TV recently. "Justified," "Mad Men," the Cinemax action thriller "Strike Back," "Spartacus," "House" and "Burn Notice" when they were in their heydays, and "Walking Dead" come to mind as examples. All of these but "House" are on cable.

Justified was ridiculous with all the "Neo-Nazi" shit. Just plain suck ass. Other than that, season 1 was decent. Spartacus was pretty disappointing. It's so unabashedly schlocky when it could've been really good. It's almost like Raimi (or is it the other guy? Can't remember) can't help himself. You're embarrassed you enjoy it. Burn Notice is worth it though. I've only seen season 1 of The Walking Dead. It's in limbo, depends on where season 2 goes. The fact that the evil racist would be perfectly justified in killing half of the cast is sorta odd.

For example, I enjoyed the show on what would happen to the Earth if people simply disappeared.

Sounds like leftoid porn. Ever notice how often leftoids condemn the human race as a species? E.g., any discussion thread about conflict. E.g., I re-watched Sopranos recently - in one of those odd, later-season political defecation scenes someone says that if the history of the world was the Empire State Building, the time humans have walked the Earth would only be a postage stamp on the roof. Semi-sly way of saying humans suck. Erm, if the history of "all the interesting shit to ever happen in the universe" were the Empire State Building, everything other than that attributable to humanity would be the postage stamp. Thanks for playing leftoids, please try again.

That said, I think I was going to watch that show at one point.

Maya said...

"All poverty simply needs to be reframed as enlightened lifestyle choice. I'm sure there are thousands of hipsters out there right now racking up brownie points bragging about how they don't have a cellphone, a car, Internet, indoor plumbing....etc."

Nah. Not having a TV might have been a fashion statement years back, but now it just makes sense in terms of convenience, lifestyle and finances. It's not a shift in culture, but a shift in technology. Most people my age planned to buy a TV when they moved out, but realized they don't need one. I can get all the shows, news and other types of info-entertainment I want at the time that's convenient for me, through the internet.
The reason all my extremely ghetto students have large TVs where they live is that their parents can center their lives around TV schedules. That's the only thing those people do- eat and watch TV. Those of us who work and study prefer internet because it lets us watch every episode of anything we choose without missing deadlines. Plus, we actually earn our money, so we care about it being cheaper.

Svigor said...

I was also implying what Maya stated outright; who wants to bend to accommodate a broadcast schedule?

One of the oft-forgotten strengths of bittorrent and the like is that they deliver a superior product, price aside. That's a major reason why piracy is so rampant.

Anonymous said...

60+ posts and no one has mentioned DVR/Tivo? I like to watch the ESPN classic boxing matches, the blue collar reality tv shows, PBS classical concerts and late 50s/ early 60s shows like Route 66. It's not even that I couldn't watch most of this stuff on broadcast as it is that without DVR I'd never be around when it was on, or I'd get bored with the commercials. Yeah, I could also watch most of this stuff on the internet, but the resolution would be lousy, and I'd have to sit hunched over a computer screen. That's not even to mention internet commercials and dubious download websites.

Investing in an obsolete technology is never a good idea. The quality, size and aspect ratio differences between the new flat screens and tube tvs is so big that it's actually weird to watch the old timey tvs now. Someone said something about viewing angle because it's the only plus that can be said about tube tvs, but that's hardly an issue on the newer ones and never applied to flat screen plasmas. And I've never actually had to watch a tv at a 170 degree or greater angle anyway.

I'll make one more point that is at odds with the forum and say that reality shows are the best thing on tv now. The highest rated shows like American Pickers and Storage Wars show the audience places they'd never see and introduce people that are more hateful or endearing and far weirder than any tv writer could think up. I like to think that blue collar shows like Deadliest Catch or Ice Road Truckers show the increasingly effete and degraded American male what it means to have fortitude and physical courage in the midst of a dangerous universe.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

But channel-surfing is a far cry from downloading TV. No commercials. And you specifically choose what to watch, and when; you don't just plop in front of the TV and hope something's on, and settle for Jersey Shore or whatever.

Anonymous beat me to it. That's what DVR's are for. I haven't watched a commercial (except for a few sporting events) in a long time.


Justified was ridiculous with all the "Neo-Nazi" shit. Just plain suck ass. Other than that, season 1 was decent.

Season 2 is even better. I don't remember any neo-Nazis (although there is an evil big-coal company), and the main character is a rarity on TV - a male character who is unabashedly male, proud of it, and yet not an idiot, lout or bad guy.

Sounds like leftoid porn. Ever notice how often leftoids condemn the human race as a species?

Yes, but not here. The "Life After People" - or whatever the name was - show was pretty straightforwardly scientific, showing how the buildings would gradually decay, plant and animal life taking over cities, suburbs, etc., showing what would last and what wouldn't. I think there may have been a reference to the lack of human pollution but that's pretty much true. I suppose GW might have slipped in there briefly, but such references are easily ignored.

Truth said...

"Kinda. But channel-surfing is a far cry from downloading TV. No commercials. And you specifically choose what to watch, and when;"

Good job Sviggey, I'll bet you didn't inhale either.

Svigor said...

Has Tivo/whatever advanced to the point where it's easy to transfer the data to a computer? Last I heard (admittedly, a few years ago) you had to "hack" these things to get the data out. Fail.

David said...

>The "Life After People" - or whatever the name was - show was pretty straightforwardly scientific, showing how the buildings would gradually decay, plant and animal life taking over cities, suburbs, etc., showing what would last and what wouldn't.<

What is especially "scientific" about observing that human edifices will gradually decay without maintenance?

Sounds like leftoid porn, as Svigor surmised.

Winnerville: internet and cell phones.

Loserville: TV and land-line phones.

Live in Winnerville, like Steve. Not in Loserville.

Anonymous said...

When I was a babe in the cradle, the genius Carl Reiner was putting an episode of Dick Van Dyke Show in the can with snobby society woman sneering at a cocktail party "I don't own a television machine".

Ironically, that program and a few other classic sitcoms on Dad's whitelist (lol!) are the only things my younger kids typically watch.

My local cable company was incredulous some years back when I told them I would keep internet but no longer wanted so much as basic cable coming into my household. "But why?" "Because it is an inimical presence in my home." Long silence on phone at other end. "We will put a filter on your line, you won't even get basic channels." "Great!" said I, "how soon can you get out here?"

When the big switch to digital TV finally happened, we found ourselves without PBS and ABC. You know, somehow our lives have been none the poorer for their absence. And this despite the fact I can see clear line of site from my bedroom window across the valley where the transmitter towers are.

If I were running for president, my platform would be one of restoration. Right at the top of the list would be rolling back to analog TV broadcasting -- just because. Also, I would gather all the spiral bulbs in the united states, pack them into as many 40 foot containers as required (along with as many stink bugs as I could lay hands on), and send that toxic waste on a slow boat back to china with my compliments.

Long live Thomas Edison! Long live Philo Farnsworth! Long live the tungsten bulb, the CRT and the horizontal hold knob.

Growing Lights said...

Most of the users kicking their self because they haven't cable TV. I used to spent at least 2 hours in-front of TV. I love to see most of the commercial channels.