Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Evil Boxes

I'm tardy on writing this entry by a week. For one thing I was out of the country. For another I have tiny evil boxes that keep me occupied for much of my time.

Two months ago I got a Hi-Def DV Record cable box. I figured I could stream line my viewing. I could eliminate wayward channel surfing and the need to be home on time for fear of missing my programs. Both of these things were accomplished. The third reason for getting the recording device was the expectation that I would save time. Not having to sit in front of the TV waiting for a program to start and not just wildly watching after the programs' end would allow me to do everything I want to do during the day.

Something unexpected happened though. I'm recording more than I can consume. Movies I haven't seen, movies that I want to see again, TV shows I've heard about but was never around to see, TV shows that aired during other shows I watched. All of these things and more have added up to more than 50 hours of video on my cable box. What's worse is that I want to watch it all, just not necessarily when I have the time to. With the fact that I was out of the country last week, I am now behind in my viewing by more than a week.

This could all be one thing I could deal with. However, at the beginning of the year I started one of those mail only DVD rental deals. I get 3 disks for as long as I need. When I watch one I send it in and get the next one in my line of choices. I count myself lucky. I only have 40 titles in my queue. I know people who have over 100 titles. Some of them have the DVR cable box too.

Don't get me started on my Video Games.

All of this adds up to a total overload of information.

I know its my choice to get weighed down by all this. I got the cable box, I got the DVD thing. I need to get entertained though. I'm not a successful guy. I need something I can blame for that. Too much entertainment is the perfect match.

The other side of this for me is that I've been trying to write an article for my Brother-in-Law. The topic I chose: Illiteracy. Why? I think too many people read, at least read the wrong things. That's right, I want to start an Illiteracy program in the US.

I just can't finish the article in a timely fashion because I need constant video and sound input. I have a terrible feeling that media sources take advantage of this. Follow me...

If I need to consume 50+ hours of television, 90% of which is pure entertainment, how am I going find out whether the Media or Public Officials are telling me the truth. Or even question whether their telling the truth. Those two groups often count on the fact that the average person will not look farther into the issues they hand us. They count on it because we are inundated with gross amounts of white noise packaged neatly onto channels devoted to movies, sports, comedy, golf, the home, courts, shopping, entertainment, music (except for MTV, total ass), women, the arts. I could go on but you know, you have cable too. With all of this pointless stuff we deserve whoever ends up in office.

Unless I give up my cable I'm always going to be behind. But if I give up cable I won't be able to relate to the popular culture around me. I might actually start reading informative pieces. I might go to City Council meetings, volunteer my time to improve my community. Without cable I would be so bored I might even call my mom and have a conversation.

Remember this, successful people don't watch a lot of television. They spend their time doing things they enjoy. They also never wonder why they haven't done anything with their lives. Just think; if I didn't love "the Simpsons" so much, I might have actually become someone you've heard of, instead of a guy ranting on the internet.


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