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Saturday, February 18, 2012
Why Cable Television Sucks
This week I changed my cable/satellite television plan. I had three receivers - one in each bedroom and a third in the living room, two of which were armed with recording capabilities. I am sending two receivers back and with tears in my eyes, moved the surviving receiver (the best one - most heartily equipped) to the living room. There will be no more burying myself in my nice sheets and letting Alfred Hitchcock or another dismal Suns loss carry me off to Dreamland. That makes me sad - Sucky-Point #2.
I cancelled my Showtime subscription - the only reason I had it was to watch Rick Springfield on "Californication", then got hooked on the show like a crack-whore. The rest of Showtime was a magnificent disappointment - since I signed up for the channel two years ago, the station has introduced a total of two new movies, both starring Nicolas Cage - Sucky-Point #3. The upside of having the Underachieving Showtime family of stations was that I also got the Encore family of stations, which runs the beloved "Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (Encore Mystery) and a spate of fine Western entertainment (Encore Western). I often enjoy a good Western picture. These stations are gone now, too - Sucky-Point #4.
I also cut my plan down to the bare-bones - the least expensive package possible. When I fired up the living room television (see Sucky-Point #2), I found that I had lost the station that carries the dismal Suns losses and Diamondback games during baseball season. I braced myself for local sports on the radio - it was good enough for my pop and his pop; it was good enough for me. Further investigation revealed that I had also inadvertently nixed The Golf Channel, History II, The Military Channel and a Few Others. I grumbled and switched back to the original plan, sans The Showtime/Encore Package. Back to the television and I was delighted to find the D-Backs/Dismal Suns Loss Channel back in commission. Further perusal revealed that I had apparently permanently assassinated the Golf Channel, History II, The Military Channel and a Few Others. Were they somehow inexplicably linked to the Underachieving Showtime Family? I didn't know and have yet to learn the truth - Sucky Point #5.
If these five Sucky-Points aren't enough to convince you that cable/satellite television sucks, please feel free to leave a comment in the space provided below. I will then add more. Or you can add your own and save me some work, which I always greatly appreciate, being one of the laziest souls on the planet. It's a gift.
Now, all that said, I would like it to be known that I am not one to simply sit back and bitch and wait for someone to give me a hug, although hugs are also nice and equally greatly appreciated. I have a solution that would solve most, if not all of the Sucky Points and seems to me to be fairly straightforward and simple. And when I am King, this will be one of the first changes I will enact. That and cell-phone-blockers installed in all automobiles. There is nothing that can't wait until you get off the road - just last week, I witnessed two accidents where a vehicle was rear-ended by another vehicle whose stalwart driver was thumbing away at a cell-phone. I didn't stop, however - I assumed the police would be able to figure these accidents out, given the lack of skid-marks and the times in which we are living. My do-gooderness only goes so far - especially when I'm driving home from work, which is time-consuming enough as it is... But I digress.
What the cable/satellite companies should do is come up with a plan where the valued customer picked his own stations from the list of available offerings. Perhaps a 10-station plan for the resolute, a 25-station plan for those who have a fair notion of what viewing they prefer, 30/50/100 station packages on hand for the extravagant and indecisive. It seems to me that this would be a popular change and would revolutionize the industry. It would also see an unfortunate but necessary end to the peripheral stations with little to no subscribership. Bye-bye "The Watch-Fixer's Network".
Here is a list of my sample-subscription package. The 10-station plan (for I am nothing if not resolute):
1) The D-Backs/Dismal Suns Loss Channel. I would prefer to be able to support my home teams in my home, where beer is cheap, food is plentiful and I can watch in my skivvies. Hockey may be included in the programming - not sure, since even hockey games in the listings on the guide make my eyes glaze over...
2) Showtime. Purely for "Californication", the bastards.
3) Encore Mystery. Or better yet, The Alfred Hitchcock Network, which would be put into the rotation once I have been elected King.
4,5,6,7) ABC/NBC/CBS and ESPN: For sports. It's a pity to waste four selections on channels for sporting events, but again until I am elected King and decree that all sports are to be aired on ESPN and cut out all their useless drivel between events, we are caught in a tough, tough place.
8) The Food Network. Which would be named "The Chopped Network" and appropriately programmed when I am King.
9) The History Channel. I like History. And documentaries - preferably in black and white.
10) TCM. I like classic movies as well. Also preferably in black and white.
There should also be a "Raquel Welch Channel" and a "Silent Film Network", both of which would make my ten-channel list, effectively booting "The Food Network" and CBS, which invariably shows the crummiest sports, straight to the curb.
So comment if you wish to help me finalize my plan for submission to congress, the cable/satellite companies and George Clooney and we will get this thing started. It will enrich all our lives and take a little of the cock and bull out of our daily lives and cut it down to the preferred and enjoyable. And remember to vote Jerry Ford for King in the upcoming election. If elected, I will wear epaulets.