I haven’t had cable television for a couple years now and I love it! I actually love what I miss because I no longer sit in my family room watching back to back commercials interspersed with whatever it was I thought I was watching.
I actually started off by simply evaluating my time spent day to day and realized just how much of my life I was wasting in front of the proverbial “boob tube“! And then, when I added in the time watching this constant barrage of commercials the waste simply overcame me and I cut the cable.
I’m old enough to remember how cable television came about. Needless to say I’m dating myself here but I also remember going to some warehouse with my father when I was still a small boy and getting our first black and white television set. We were the hit on the block as we were one of the only families in our working class neighbourhood to have one.
There were only tv broadcasts at certain times of the day back then as opposed to our 24 hour access to hundreds if not thousands stations pumping our their material. I hesitate to call it “content” as even back then, commercials were the most prominent percentage of whatever you go to see.
And then later in life there was the introduction of cable television where, for a monthly fee, you could get rid of the commercials.
Today, of course we have 24 hours of everything from the Kardashians (I’ve never really figured out what it is that makes them celebrities or our social fixation on celebrities for that matter) to endless sporting events either live or on events past.
I’m a Netflix subscriber and today I also have Kodi where I can get streaming television shows, sporting events, news and pretty much anything else that I see on television all through WiFi.
Now, with Kodi you still get commercials on live material but archived airing of programs frequently don’t have them which is just fine with me. Watching television on my computer gives me the ability to easily mute the commercials.
I really don’t even get commercials but then, I’m gauging the viewer based on me and as I said, I hate commercials. I don’t play commercial music or radio and I don’t watch commercial television. I don’t recall ever seeing a commercial and saying that I had better run out and “get me one of those“!
Apparently commercials affect others differently than they do me as if they didn’t work companies wouldn’t pay millions of dollars for 30 second spots in the Superbowl and other major sporting events. Frequently the commercials are better production value than the actual content of the program.
What I find so offensive is that these now mega corporations (Rogers, the most hated company in Canada research has shown and BCE, the other half of the monopoly in Canada’s air waves) have been able to perpetuate a “Bait and Switch” campaign so effectively right under everyone’s nose and no-one is upset about it.
Today, we pay these companies hundreds of dollars a month for simply running the cable into our homes. Families are paying hundreds a month to give these mega corporations the audience to advertise to. They sell advertising for outrageous profits yet the consumer still has to pay for the pleasure of having the cable available.
And then, the latest twist is that they regulate how much came come through your cable and when you surpass your allotment, the get to charge you more! While all the while they are pumping video advertising (eating up your consumption quota) that you have no control over (and most recently commercials that you cannot pause or get rid of).
Who made these two massive conglomerates so special that they can wield this type of control over the masses?
Today, I live quite comfortably knowing that I’m not missing anything. I do get CNN in the gym where I work out every morning at 5:00 a.m. and watch the re-cycle their new cast every half hour. I’ve called CNN “Commercials Not News” for years now in my blogs as it has become downright insulating to watch this grossly mismanaged supposed news broadcaster shamelessly hawk products and its alleged celebrities (CNN didn’t even cover the Richard Quest, one of its own reporters, arrest on Crystal Meth charges and he remains one of their go-to guys for international affairs).
Topics like numbing down society come to mind when reflecting on commercial television and that is downright scary! If you took entertainment away from North Americans what would you have left.
Sporting events make up a horrific percentage of material watched on TV. The Stanley Cup playoffs, the NFL’s Superbowl, the list is almost never ending! Add to that all the movies and movie reruns, the music, the news and all of a sudden you’ve got a massive compilation of meaningless information that everyone truly could live without.
Yet society invests the greater majority of its time and personal resources to staring endlessly at this never ending continuum of propaganda assembled to get them to buy stuff.
Without the masses buying stuff, the economy falls so consumers are brainwashed into being mesmerized by the moving (many times sleezie) images and slanted messages that designed to lead them to buy stuff that they really don’t even need.
Is it time for cable to go? You betcha!