September 22, 2013 § 3 Comments
I’m one of those people who rarely watches TV. Not someone who says they rarely watch, I mean I rarely turn on the tube at all. Honestly, I’d rather be drawing, painting, reading, writing poetry, walking in the Alps, having tea with friends. But I do catch some news while doing dishes, and once a week might tune in for half an hour to some nifty thing on the history or biography channel, or something about aliens or Aztecs. Still, there are times when I need some plain old good entertainment just like anybody else, and watching a little tv seems like an easy ticket. That’s when I want to break something, because when on earth did it become so damn complicated? I think it might have been when we had to use more than one remote control – that was the beginning of the end.
Worst thing is when you can’t find the remotes (plural) because somebody didn’t put them back where they belong. If you’re lucky enough to find them (after much grumbling), you have to remember which one turns on which device and THEN, sometimes you have to switch servers or some such thing to get to the right stream ~ tv or apple tv, and then to Netflix or whatever thing you’ve been suckered into to watch movies you thought would be a bargain but aren’t because the good ones are only available if you pay extra…. which defeats the whole purpose. But I digress. Sort of.
Tonight I decided I’d finally start watching Downton Abbey. Recommended highly, and free on Netflix. I’ve resisted because I don’t have a lot of spare time to begin with and it sounds like something I’d get wrapped up in. But the time seemed right. So I get to the proper channel/server/device/whatever and it’s not accessing. Then I google the answer and finally find one. Happy day. Next I go to Netflix, and it’s not listed. Again, I google “why” and discover it’s no longer streaming through Netflix and will soon be paid only viewing through Amazon. (Amazon?) But, I learn, you can still get it on Hulu. So I go to my tv screen and punch up Hulu, but there’s only Hulu Plus, which I have the privilege of purchasing. I decline. Besides, I thought you could watch it on the “regular” Hulu thing for free. (I’m all about “for free” with this stuff. I know, silly me.) But apparently as of sometime in 2013 that’s no longer the case. So I spent my precious time going around in frustrating circles and what am I gonna do? Go read a book, which is what I was going to do in the first place. I am sorry not to get to see Downton Abbey, I’ll be honest. But it can wait.
But before I go ~ my rant isn’t quite over ~ I just want to add that I don’t expect things to be free in general. Air, water, hugs, yes. But we’re a society driven by commerce – we work, we get paid for our work. Companies and individuals offer a service, they get paid. Farmers put their produce by the side of the road and people pay for the veggies the farmer toiled over. But at what point does it get completely ridiculous? When you have to pay for a tv service, movie service, special channels – oh, but yea, you get 8500 channels that come with the deal that you’ll never, ever need – and then all these OTHER special networks come on offering amazing deals, which as we all know aren’t so amazing, and all of this in the name of choice. There’s too much choice ~ not to mention that most of it’s garbage, not worth watching. Although I guess a lot of people think they are worth watching, or maybe they wouldn’t be on. So maybe it’s just my overly discerning taste, my over-the-top sophistication, the royalty running through my veins from previous incarnations. Or maybe I just don’t have the “gotta watch the screen” gene. But when I do want to imbibe in some mental diversion via the tele, it’s often more aggravating than not.
Gone are the days of simply turning on the tv. “On”. Done. No hundreds of steps to get there. No wheeling and dealing. Commercial breaks didn’t bombard you with every pharmaceutical offering in the universe or the push to put men on Viagra. (Don’t get me started on that…) You flipped through a tv guide that didn’t require a doctorate in research in order to navigate. There wasn’t round-the-clock programming to keep people in a continual state of distraction. There wasn’t a tv in every restaurant, bar, doctor’s office, grocery check out line… It’s really beginning to feel like science fiction come to life with these talking boxes everywhere keeping everyone “entertained” and god knows what kind of subliminal messaging coming through. Yes, I do think like that sometimes. It’s an utterly fantastic medium for mind-control, if, by chance, that were of any interest to anyone in positions of power. Control the masses sort of thing. (This is the point where my daughter rolls her eyes – MOM, I can think for myself, it’s not evil…) Which is all really unfortunate, because television also has the potential to be really worthwhile, educational, enlightening, etc. But again, I digress.
The point was – well I’m not sure except I started out wanting to watch a quality show, had a whole bunch of hassles in between and never got to see it. Instead I got riled by the hoops one has to jump through, and the money that passes hands for the luxury of wanting to throw the thing out the window. Kind of like booking air travel… oh but that’s a whole ‘nother rant, for another time.
Guess I’ll just have another cup of tea, because tea fixes everything, and go get marvelously lost in the pages of a good book.