I watch most of my television via the Internet these days. It's so much better for all the right reasons. I get to watch my programs when I want, and the commercials are fairly minimal. So when I do get around to exposing myself to the nonsense that is old-fashioned cable television, I experience a good deal of culture shock at the level of bullshit people have grown used to.
Recent example: I go to my open-24-7-gym and get on the treadmill. I put in my earbuds, set the pace to a brisk walk, intending to take only a brief moment to find a decent channel, such as Discovery or SciFi, and break into a run as soon as I find something good. But I can't find something good. Because I can't find which channel is Discovery. In fact, I can't find any channel at all. Why? Because it's ALL commercials! Everything! I flip to a channel, hoping to find something, anything, and all I get is commercial. This goes on for 20 minutes! By the time I finally find Discovery and SciFi, I find that nothing is on. I check CNN, but it's boring analysis second-guessing why the President chose this moment to make a surprise visit to Afghanistan. I check Fox, but even more boring shit there. I check MSNBC, but no, it's Sunday, and on Sunday MSNBC turns into nothing but crap about prisons and pedophiles. ESPN is showing womens' tennis without Anna Kournikova. Big yawn. ESPN2 is showing mechanized wheelchair races. Seriously?! Finally, I settle in for Spike TV showing a House marathon, meaning that I get to watch episodes I already watched -- on the Internet. What the hell ever happened to the days when you could at least always put on MTV and always count on something good enough to just veg?
So, in the interest of standing up for human rights, and more importantly, having half my workout blown in a futile attempt at channel-surfing, I'm calling for a television revolution. We demand the following changes be made to the television landscape immediately!
One: Enough with the cable commercials! Cable repeatedly shows more commercial per programming minute than network broadcast. Knock it off! You corporate bigwigs already got your pound of flesh when you charged us $50 per month! And you charged us this exorbitant fee -- for what? For the privilege of getting more saturated with commercials than the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar! Fuck you! If we have to sit through commercials, cable is free. Either that, or have the common decency to donate our $50 to PBS, who at least have the common courtesy to show quality programming without commercials when we fork over the money. And I call for a worldwide ban on infomercials! (Sorry, I meant dis-info-mercials.)
Two: No more shit television! You know what I mean. Late-nights and Sundays come around and there isn't anything to watch, because you think that's when to show the so-called "human interest" shit. Look, late nights and Sundays are when we need good television the most! If we have to turn to the God network just to find something that raises our blood pressure, somethings wrong. Fuck, since when did the FOOD Network have more exciting shows than E!? And if you're a news network, tell the talking heads to go home for awhile and start reporting the mass genocides in Africa that we should have been hearing about for the last 30 years.
Three: I want a Constitutional Amendment requiring that all network identification icons (you know, that helpful little tag in the lower-right corner?) be shown DURING COMMERCIALS! It is so goddamned annoying to have no idea what channel your on because there's a commercial playing. So you wait until the commercial is over, only to find it's the Home & Garden channel. You got all the commercial, and none of the programming. FUCK YOU! Tell us which channel we've landed on during commercials! Oh, I know, we have new & fancy remote controls which are supposed to tell us that stuff. But not all of us have those, okay? At least do it for the benefit of those of us who have no idea where any of the channels are because we're traveling and staying in hotel rooms, only browse through cable on infrequent occasions, or are watching a friend's cable, or are in the gym. Because us rare-time users need that info the most! Then, if we land on a commercial, we'll sit through it, knowing there's something likely good at the end because it's our favorite channel. And we really shouldn't be exiled to channel 2, where we have to watch the channel and program listings slowly scroll up while forced to endure some stupid celebrity gossip we have no interest in!
Four: Televangelists pay premium for broadcasting rights!
Anybody out there have equally cool ideas? Join the revolution and chime in!