I haven’t had cable or satellite TV in eight years. I’m not saying that to brag, like some obnoxious commune hippie who travels to town every month to gloat about how much more boring they’ve made their already lengthy existence on this planet. I’m just saying it as a fact. I haven’t had cable or satellite TV in eight years.
The weird thing is, I love TV. I love cheesy pop culture, mindless escapism, and Dr. Oz shows where people have goiters in their eyes. I love garbage. Give me the most worthless, selfish, degrading piece of entertainment you can find, and I’ll lap it up like George Rekers’ rentboy. I’ll barely even move from my spot on the couch. You’ll have to periodically check on me to make sure I’m blinking enough.
Yet, with five channels of such poop already available for free, I just don’t see the point in paying for more poop. One might suggest that multiplying the poop will allow you to discover more gems, but is finding more poop gems really necessary? I mean, cable poop is excellent poop – there are a lot of shows on cable I like – but is any poop worth paying $60-$100 every month? Call me old fashioned, but poop should be free.
To put it into terms my readership may understand better, paying for cable or satellite TV is like paying for internet porn. Sure, maybe the paid stuff has better selection and more kink, but topless photos of Ayn Rand on Google Images do the job just fine and don’t cost a penny.
Look, here’s what 700 channels of cable or satellite TV brings you: 400 pay-per-view channels that offer the same thing as Netflix, 100 movie channels that also offer the same thing as Netflix, 50 home shopping network channels showing identical video feeds, and 140 channels broadcasting 24-hour reruns of old sitcoms you’ve seen a million times. The remaining 10 channels have original programming, but only five shows, and they replay the latest episodes 24 hours a day.
“Don’t worry if you missed the latest episode of The Real World! It will repeat seven more times today.”
To make matters worse, cable and satellite don’t have much HD content, because non-broadcast networks are notoriously cheap. Probably 75 percent of the shows on their HD channels are in standard definition, while broadcast TV networks have almost all their primetime, news, and late-night shows in HD. Cable and satellite networks are able to get away with this because I’m the only human being dorky enough to complain. When I do, most non-tech savvy people look at me like I just farted.
Which is how you’re looking at me now.
Specialty channels have also become a blunder. These channels, which are the whole reason cable and satellite became desirable in the first place, now only stay true to their specialty for maybe a year before low ratings require them to water down their content and fill their entire lineup with shows that are only vaguely related to the specialty. The History Channel now has very little history, The Cartoon Network is filled with live action shows, TechTV changed their name to G4 because they no longer have tech shows, and of course MTV has no music. It’s like paying for 200 different versions of WGN. Boring.
Years ago, cable and satellite TV was worthwhile because of the barrage of curse words, but the broadcast networks have really upped their quota of swearing in recent years, removing that advantage. If cable and satellite TV added more HD boobs, that might sway me, but nudity has always been more of a movie channel thing, which costs extra.
Yet, problems persist there as well. If a movie channel had lots of boobs and good original programming, I’d be sold, but unfortunately, those two features seem to be mutually exclusive. Cinemax has lots of nudity, but no good shows. HBO has “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Starz has “Party Down”, but neither channel is sleazy after 10pm. I mean c’mon, who the hell watches “The Pelican Brief” at midnight on a Friday?
I know life in Duluth can get a little dull, especially during those long winter months, but it’s amazing how willing people are to pay $60-$100 per month for five or six shows they like, plus an all-you-can-eat buffet of “Knight Rider” and “King of Queens” reruns that they didn’t ask for in the first place.
For far too long, cable and satellite companies have raised their prices without providing equivalent increases in nudity, swear words that start with the letters “f” and “c”, or even one single reality show about a nudist colony. Granted, cable and satellite TV are still essential for sports, DVR recording, and occasional James Bond marathons, but it’s time to cut the cord. It’s time to make a stand for better programming.
Unless I’m wrong about HBO or Starz being stingy with the boobs. In which case, someone please contact me.