Archive for the ‘television’ Tag

06-29-2015 Journal – Down With Cable TV!   Leave a comment

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I’m still in bed. I don’t want to get up. I’m actually bored with this day already and it hasn’t even begun.  What does that tell you?  Nothing I’m willing to bet.
Today is one of those days where it’s been raining for 36 hours, the sky remains cloudy, everything is drenched, and I’m once again stuck indoors. I have a few things on my mind I’d like to accomplish but concentrating on them is problematic.

I seem to have painted myself into a corner. No that’s not really correct. I feel as though I’ve been forced into that corner and had it painted around me. I’m in the throws of a dilemma concerning of all things something that I’ve come to love over many years.  I’m just a few days away from canceling my Dish Network affiliation.   I have the same feelings as I had when I made the decision to eliminate my home landline telephone years ago and to convert to cellular once and for all.  I’m a little uneasy because as we all know, change is sometimes difficult.

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I’ve gotten to this point because cable television as it currently exists is nothing more than a scam.  When I had my old telephone removed it was for the same reasons.  I dislike being manipulated and lied to.  We have the technology to do miraculous things these days but I’m supposed to believe that no one within the television industry can figure out how to set up a system where I can choose those stations I constantly watch and not the hundreds of channels I’m forced to accept as part of their bundle. Then add on a few surcharges and taxes and all of a sudden it’s costing me $70.00 a month to watch those twenty channels I actually frequent. That’s money I’m forced to pay because their basic bundle is being rammed down my throat leaving me just two options. Keeping paying and shut or get the hell out completely.

I’ve been working on my own bundle for TV which I suspect will be in place sometime this summer.  The first thing I’ll do will be to cancel the Dish Network and have their equipment removed from my house.  I’ll then sign up for Netflix and Hulu Plus which will supply me with all the movies and TV programming I could ever want to watch.  Total cost for those services will be no more than $25.00 a month. I will have an additional one time cost for two ROKU devices that allow my second and third TV’s to connect with my home network with access to the Internet.  Total cost for the two devices is $100.00.

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I’ll end up with access to thousands of old and current movies, more television than I could ever watch, and a monthly cost that will save me $50.00 a month for a total yearly saving of $600.00. That’s enough money to pay for my entire car insurance bill for the year.

After all of my time spent researching and the possibility of major savings I’m still uneasy.  I need to suck it up and make the change but for some reason I hesitate.  It requires that I shake off more than forty years of brainwashing where I’ve been constantly told I can’t live without TV and the ever increasing costs they keep shoving down my throat. I’m slowly working through this situation much as I did with the telephones and very soon I’ll have more of my money in my pocket and not in theirs. 

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If and when they again figure out a way to continue increasing my costs I’ll be forced to do away with TV watching entirely and resort to movie watching and TV programming from my vast DVD collection.

I can only assume that many of you are in the same situation and I wish you luck. Land of the free and home of the brave?  Not so much anymore.

06-19-2015 Journal – Back to the Past!   Leave a comment

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I’m spending this rainy morning in bed for at least another hour because watching old reruns of Sports Night has become part of my morning routine. It was a show I enjoyed watching back in 2000 even though I’m really not a  sports guy.  The show still holds up pretty well and the inane patter between the characters still makes me smile.

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Have any of you noticed just how many of the old shows seem to be resurfacing on such a large number of channels.  It started two years ago for me when I stumbled upon reruns of Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.  I never missed that show as a kid and thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the episodes once again. Is it a little lame? Absolutely! Is it an easy and relaxing half hour? Absolutely! Then followed Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Dragnet, One Adam 12, and a host of others. I began to wonder why it was happening so frequently.

Can it be that the networks are beginning to see a change in viewing habits? Is it possible that the ratings for these old shows are higher than those of the half hour long commercials that seem to be on every channel?  Is it more fun to spend a relaxing half hour watching a show where the good guys always win and the bad guys always lose? Can it be that people are sick to death of watching hour long shows about corrupt politicians, corrupt police officers, heroic serial killers like Dexter or pedophiles who aren’t responsible for their criminal behavior and blame everything on society? It’s a politically correct "No-No" watching those old shows where it’s celebrated to be patriotic, honest, religious, and a responsible citizen.

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God forbid anyone should love their country and voice it out loud these days.  We wouldn’t want to piss off the media elite who decide what we should be watching and how to think. How can the Mainstream Media possibly maintain control of the masses and continue to dictate our politics, morals, and outlook on life when we’d rather watch Joe Friday or the Lone Ranger  doing the right thing no matter what. I think our kids would certainly benefit from a stream of positive role models, don’t you?

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I find myself drawn to those simpler and more honest shows even though they aren’t up to speed with all of the politically correct crap we’re being fed these days. Maybe it’s time for the people of this country to once again hear some positive messages instead of the constant in-your-face drumbeat of commercials, reality shows, and just plain crap that’s filling the airways.

Find that cable channel that’s decided to step back and regain some simple and positive programming and support them. When their ratings begin to climb the advertising money will soon follow. More money begets more of the same type of programming and all of us and our kids are the winners.

11-17-2014 Journal – Blood, Guts, and Ratings!   2 comments

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I usually find myself posting about my personal life, friends, family, and the crazy things we do, but not today.  After having an up close, personal, and distasteful incident  with my television I feel the need to vent. This posting will be a tad longer than most but unfortunately for all of you I have a lot to say. Bear with me for a few minutes.

What I’m about to post may piss off a few people.  I’m not a card carrying member of any special interest group advocating non-violence on TV or elsewhere.  I’m just a regular guy who’s concerned with viewing trends on TV and in the movies. I take my responsibilities as a citizen seriously as accorded by the Bill of Rights which gives me the right and responsibility to voice my displeasure about things I’ve been seeing.

This is the time of Obama’s dysfunctional presidency and more importantly the end of Mad Men, the end of Sons of Anarchy, and worst of all the end of Justified.  What will we now do to satisfy our deep, dark, and secret needs for illicit sex, adultery, criminal activities up to and including murder and mayhem? 

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We may be forced to feed our disturbing need for uncontrolled violence with the next generation of those gritty, realistic, murderous, and graphic programs like Hell on Wheels.  Who doesn’t want to sit at home after a hard days work to watch rape, murder, and worse on their 60” big screen HD TV. Fortunately we still have our old list of favorites to fall back on if we can’t find enough blood and guts to satisfy us. That’s what Hulu Plus and Netflix are for, don’t you know.

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We now have Dexter the serial killer who spends his off-time killing other serial killers.  How much more graphic killing do we really require on TV before we begin to realize that our kids and ourselves are being desensitized to all this death and destruction.  Watch a few seasons of Criminal Minds where the ever increasing number of serial killers justifies the continued ridiculous story lines that include everything up to and including cannibalism.  We can’t see enough blood and guts I guess and there seems to be no limits of decency any longer. Anything is acceptable as long as it keeps the ratings where they need to be and the revenues flowing. 

The politicians certainly did their part by making the famous "V" chip mandatory for manufactures.  Just another politically correct gimmick used  to quiet the critics and maintain the status quo.  Do you know anyone who’s actually ever used a "V" chip or even knew there was such a thing?

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Let’s watch more of that continuous  stream of murderous zombie programing that seems to be the latest fad. There you can fill your need to smash someone’s skull and splatter their brains and blood everywhere.  If all else fails we’ll always have those thousands of werewolves out there to rip out some throats or tear some hearts from chests for our viewing pleasure. It’s just so damn exciting. Also, there’s nothing hotter than a graphic sex scene between a human and one of those romantic and super sexy killing machines. It’s just so freaking cool. Start shining up those pretty trophies to prepare for next years round of award shows where we applaud and award the stars and producers of this nonsense.

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I guess I’m old-school enough to appreciate television when it was just entertainment.  The need for censors was minimal and the programming was easily watched by everyone, children included.   I liked it better when the good guys won and the bad guys lost.  No gray area that required the good guys to be recovering drug addicts or alcoholics who’d been rehabilitated and continued to fight that good fight.  I didn’t need the bad guys to be portrayed as good guys who were mistreated and abused throughout their entire lives giving justification to their inappropriate and criminal activities.  Good is good, bad is bad, it’s that simple.

It wasn’t until “reality TV” arrived  on the scene that things started really going to hell.  I for one like to see bad guys pay for their sins.  If it happens that they’re shot fighting with the good guys, I can live with that.  What I can’t live with is the perverted need to see the slow motion bullet flying through the air, entering the body, and sending blood and guts flying in all direction. 

I also refuse to watch as attempts are made to convince viewers that the good guys were at fault and shouldn’t have shot the bad guys in the first place. They should have handled him with kid gloves, shown empathy for their terrible childhood, and then set them up in a comfortable jail cell with cable TV, Internet access, a gymnasium, conjugal visits, and an attorney to file an endless list of appeals. 

To me it’s all interconnected and as always a steady stream of propaganda works.  I hope some of you agree but I hold little hope for that as well. As in the book 1984, when Big Brother controls the Media, we are screwed.

I’m done with this.  I’ll be back to writing about my semi-boring life tomorrow.

10-16-2014 TV Rehab Needed!   Leave a comment

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As with most people of my generation, I’m addicted to television.  A TV addiction is much like a heroin addiction.  All the while your doing it you know it’s no good for you but you can’t stop yourself.  We’re  unfortunate in that we were born before TV and were hooked at an early age when it became readily available to the masses.

I remember those days with a B&W TV screen the size of a cereal box turned toward the dining room table so we could all watch as we ate our meal.  A large antenna on the roof that rotated 360 degrees to help us pick up the signal.  Three fantastic networks held our attention for years and made the TV our friend. It was on constantly in the house more for the company it provided than for the enjoyment of what was being aired.

As things progressed over the years my addiction really took hold and I was lost.  The only thing that kept me from being lost forever was my time in the Army. I was located in a somewhat isolated part of South Korean and we had no television whatsoever.  Two years which allowed me to kick the habit and resume a normal life (if you consider the Army a normal life).  It was quite the shock to my system when I finally returned home.  The TV at home was now in color, the screen was three times as big, and there were so many more programs to watch.  It was all I could do to control myself.

As the years went by it became a love/hate relationship.  Most of the programing was garbage and I found myself watching things that were ridiculous.  That has continued unabated until now as I sit and watch a few hundred HD channels filled with more and more crap.  Since there doesn’t seem to be any kind of rehab available for this addiction I guess I’ll continue to watch, be disgusted with myself and the programming, and continue to bitch and complain about the increasing costs.

I’ve always enjoyed trashing most of the pop culture nonsense that the airwaves and cables deliver to me every day and I hope that continues.  I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I recently stumbled onto a program I actually liked  and will continue to watch.  It’s a program on the Sundance Channel called “The Approval Matrix”.

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‘Host: Neal Brennan’

Neal Brennan is someone I’ve never heard of and and I knew absolutely nothing of the backstory of how the Approval Matrix originated.  Finding out it was a product of New York Magazine would normally have put me off a bit but surprise, surprise, it didn’t.  I found myself captivated almost immediately by the format, the variety of guest commentators, and the subject matter.  We now have a show that will help us determine what is cool, what isn’t and why.

Watching Brennan deliver his lines is priceless.  It seems as if the writers are channeling Dennis Miller but at half speed.  It’s smart comedy for those people who are willing to pay close attention.

Finally I have a smart and funny show to bookmark and to watch religiously.

08-21-2013   Leave a comment

I scored a miserable nine on my first attempt.  Not terribly good but not a total disaster either.  As promised, here are the answers.

  1. Statler and Waldorf
  2. “I’ll be right back.”
  3. Kukla, Fran, and Ollie
  4. Roger Moore
  5. “Goodbye kids”, on the 2343rd-and-last episode of the popular kiddie show on September 30, 1960.
  6. 123 1/2 Sesame Street
  7. Robert Klein
  8. 4,531
  9. A policeman-it was a minor role.  The sketch was part of a 1950 Cavalcade of Stars Show.

10.  Yankee shortstop, Phil Rizzuto

11.  The Munsters

12.  “Love in Bloom”

13.  Julie Kavnar-formerly the awkward sister on “Rhoda”.

14.  The La Salle

15.  Soap

16.  Bruce Lee

17.  A pig named Arnold.

18.  Only one but the client was later proved innocent.

19.  Chip, Mike, and Robbie.   Mike moved away later and Ernie was adopted.

20. Trusty scout.

Bonus Question (Worth 2 Points): Victoria Principle’s The two feuded earlier, when Rivers was guest hosting on the Tonight Show.

Posted August 22, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Education, Trivia

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