I got cable TV I have found that I actually watch less TV than ever
before. There are two reasons for this;
1. There are about six and a half million channels of crap to flick
2. I have no idea how the damn remote works.
I need a TV personal assistant, someone who sits there switching
channels and stuff for me, someone who knows how to get from channel
to channel without having to flick through 51 shopping networks
and 19 cartoons.
I don't control the TV anymore, and it doesn't have any control
over itself either. It just sits in the corner of my living room
and I'm never sure what it's going to do next. It's like a robber
who has taken the staff and customers of a bank hostage in a robbery
that went horribly wrong. Except in this case no police negotiator
is about to phone up and negotiate my safe release. We're stuck
in a channel 22 situation.
I had almost got the hang of cable when for some unknown reason
the cable company remotely upgraded the software on my 'set top
box'. It's as if they were showing off or something. I mean, I can
barely change channels and here they are changing the entire operating
system without even stepping foot in my apartment! According to
the cable company the new set top box software will 'enhance my
viewing pleasure', which is presumably why they have completely
disabled the 'off' switch!?
I now have channel after channel of stuff being broadcast at me
like a screaming infant trying to get my attention. It's TV pulp
forced down a cable 24 hours a day and intravenously fed into my
Most of the time I simply wasn't able to get many of the channels.
My choice, though still staggering, wasn't completely overwhelming.
However today it now looks like I can view every single damn channel
there is, including all the music channels and the so called 'adult'
channels that show all that simulated "ooing" and "ahhing"
with various wobbly bits included.
The thing is though, the added channels haven't enticed me to watch
more TV, instead they have now driven me out of my living room cowering
like someone escaping from a house under fire in a time of war.
I have three controllers, one for the video, one for the set top
box and another for something I'm not even sure I still own. I thought
that a billion channels of garbage would turn me into a lounge lizard,
a person glued to the phosphorescent glow of the screen, surviving
only on potato chips and coke while gearing up for an early departure
from this world with chronic heart failure and extreme paranoia
having not been outside for seven years.
Instead I've become a far more regular visitor to the gym, a place
safe from the threat of TV choice. There are TV's there, but no
remotes. The channel never changes from MTV, so I can work out to
the beat of music and the questionable quality of shows like 'Undressed'
In the past some people have labeled me a control freak, but in
a strange ironic twist when it comes to television I am anything
but. In fact I would go as far as to say I am perhaps a TV controllerphobic.
There has to be a support group or a website out there for people
like me. A place where other controllerphobics can get together
and share their own remote control multi choice set top satellite
and cable horror stories. There must be a twelve step program for
the likes of us? Surely I can't be alone in my fear of cable, can
I constantly make fun of my friend Will for becoming a 'Podgy
Dad' as he approaches thirty. But perhaps now its time for me to
come out and admit a sad truth, something I feared might one day
happen but I never realized could happen quite so soon.
Folks, I have no idea how to work the TV!