Sunday, June 14, 2009


The Federal Communications Commission jolted me Friday.

Every school morning I have a routine. Part of the routine requires watching 5 minutes of television from a small rabbit-eared box on my bureau.

I could pretend that I watch to catch up on the culture, but most of us have long switched to cable.

I could pretend that I watch for the weather, and as much as I enjoy the pretty people in nice clothes tell me what's happening outside, I already learned as much when I got the morning paper, another habit that might end soon.

I could pretend I watch for the traffic reports, but I walk to school. (I do confess to feeling a tad smug when I see major jams--surely there is a German word this this kind of pleasure.)

I watch Kenneth and Gloria Copeland Believer's Voice of Victory for a few seconds--a Stepford wife Eyewitness Good Day Wake Up...then back through again. Smiles and colors and music and beats and boobs. They like me, they really, really like me!

So why do I watch?

Pure, thoughtless pleasure. Decades of psychological mining have produced a stream of light and sound that hugs my limbus like latex. I know I'm wasting time, and I do not care.

And now it's gone.

Anyone want an old television?

The Stepford Wives image from one of a gazillion on the net; the brain image is from the University of Vermont.


Betty said...

If you find anyone that wants an old television, I also have one to give away. We also take the paper. There's something comforting about sitting down with a newspaper and drinking a cup of coffee.

John Spencer said...

When we switched to the digital conversion, we ran into a few reception issues. I thought to myself at one point, "I miss the fuzz. I'll never again have a fuzzy reception on television." It's a strange thing to miss.

Betty said...

Kind of like the test pattern? I'll bet John may be too young to remember that one.:)

John Spencer said...

I do remember that! When I was a kid, it was a series of colored lines. I also remember the Emergency Broadcast System.

Barry Bachenheimer said...

I saved my old TV and hooked up an old Atari 2600 to it. Anyone want to play Space Invaders?

(Old TV's will still work with DVD/VCR players and video game hook-ups)

John Spencer said...

I'd love to find an old Intelevision system for my t.v.

doyle said...

Dear Betty, John, and Barry,

It doesn't get any better than this for me as a blogger, watching three of my favorites carry on a conversation.

I think I will use it to hook up a VCR, good call.

This morning two of the channels were still giving instructions on how to hook up the digital converter. It was better than watching the snow.

(Not much better, though.)

Kathryn J said...

You aren't missing much really.

John - I'm glad to hear it's clearer. Maybe I'll be able to ditch my 10 channel cable which I only have because I'm too close to the broadcast antennas to get good reception. Nobody has been able to tell me yet if it will solve that problem.

Tracy Rosen said...

Move to Canada. We still have tv with rabbit ears. That's what I use :)

doyle said...

Kathryn, I agree.

And Tracy, there are a lot of good reasons to look up to Canada. Not sure living there to enjoy the freedom of rabbit ears is on the top ten list, though.