Thursday, September 18, 2008

Awake in the vast wasteland


An observation: people who have car alarms that go off at 4:30 in the morning two days in a row and cause certain people to be awake way earlier than they should be, especially when certain people can never get back to sleep once they're awake, should be rounded up and exiled to Las Vegas.

What's the deal with car alarms anyway? (The previous sentence brought to you by Jerry Seinfeld.) There was a time when the car alarm was a novel thing and if you heard one going off you reacted to it. Now you just walk on by, close the window (which doesn't help certain people sleep), turn up the TV. Rather pointless. The Presidential candidate who promises to do away with car alarms gets my vote. Ban leaf blowers, too, and I will vote for you twice.

AT&T is promoting their new U-Verse service in my town these days. One of the things they offer is TV (not really cable, but that's the idea) and their pitch includes the promise that you can "record up to 4 programs at once." The world has discovered DVRs, even to the point where people are as likely to use the term DVR now as they are to say "Tivo," which is sort of a breakthrough. And God knows I love my DVR. But who has time to watch half of the shows they record, let alone watching them all when you are recording them four at a time? And besides, I defy you to show me a single moment in the history of television when there were four things running simultaneously that were worth watching in the first place. Talk about technology getting ahead of human needs. Seems to me that there are so many TV channels that need to be fed programming like hungry little birds, there's not enough quality food to go around, and some of those birds are starving. It's not like there is an endless supply of talented people out there, to dream up and produce worthwhile television shows, or radio shows, or movies. If you ever doubt that, and flipping through channels doesn't prove it for you, just spend a little time on YouTube and you will see how shallow the talent pool really is.

In fact, I repeatedly have this thought that goes like "what ever happened to the good TV shows?" Seems like when the fall would roll around there would always be some new series that gave me the "That looks good" reaction - but lately, for the last - oh, 20 years? - it's been kind of drab. Feeling a little left behind here people. Everything that people think is funny, or good drama, doesn't do it for me. True, I've become an HBO snob, and I guess I expect that quality level (and that lack of commercials) all the time now. And those top HBO shows don't just grow on trees - they are a little too scarce for comfort. My old friend TV is letting me down.

Other than the sleep deprivation and knowing I will yawn my way through the afternoon, I like being up before the sun. It's like bonus time - there is nothing that my silly mind could have planned for me to do at 5am, so I can do whatever the heck I want for a little while. Maybe I should go watch some of those recorded shows. I'm sure there was a really good reason I recorded them in the first place.

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