You Pay for What You Get

I’m excited. Not that mushy love excited, the kind of excited that can only come from buying something. You know what I am talking about. The brand of excitement that usually comes with Christmas. Here I am felling a little bit like a little boy of eight, feet wrapped tightly in “footy” pajamas resembling cased haggis, blond thin hair all flopped to one side, buckteeth smiling proudly from the wide creases of a little mouth, big ears extended to pick up small satellite transmissions, and hunkering down before a piece of hacked off pine that once occupied the skirt of the sand pit that conveniently was located at the end of a dirt road up the street. THAT kind of excited.

Now “what” you may ask demands this kind of excitement from a thirty-eight year old man? A new television. That’s right. I said it. A BRAND SPANKING NEW TV!! But one thing…I don’t watch TV. Now let’s set the record straight before we go any further.

About October of 2006, I returned from vacation in Colorado to find that Comcast had, once again, raised our cable and internet rates. Now I have (had) one thing that I watched TV for…HBO. That’s it. I could do without the rest. Reality TV? HATE it. Don’t come walking up to me and ask my opinion on the latest American Idol, Project Runway, Survivor, Big Brother, or even the now most excellent incarnation of evil on the tube, American Gladiators. Didn’t we all get together about twenty years ago and decide this was a bad idea originally?? Thanks writers strike. So my cable bill (basic digital), plus internet, had now ballooned to $150 a month. No way. Not for THIS version of television. Even Tony Soprano couldn’t make me think that I was going to get raped monthly and still like it. So, I told them to shut it off.

I’ve never taken heroin. I’d rather fall from the top of the Space Needle that even attempt that drug. Ever seen Trainspotting? Point made. I went through TV withdrawls. I was waking up in the middle of the night like some Dickensian antagonist being visited by the ghosts of Anthony Bourdain, Keith Olberman, and Ian McShane. They were begging me to take them back, damned be the cost. Nope. F- Comcast. Period.

So what do I need a new TV for you may ask? Well, does anyone really need a new TV? Well you will in about 10 months, or at least you will have to pay someone else (again) to have a set-top box so you can watch on your “cruising toward the landfill” television set. You need look no further to our government for that decision. Evidently we were running fast out of analog bandwidth. All our shows crammed into one little spectrum of light. Then along comes digital. More space is needed…bada-bing, let’s pass this one on to the consumer. You may now drop your pants and face the wall, knees akimbo, with a smile on your face.

But I found an alternative. Unless I sound like some bitter man raging against the rampant juggernaut of commercialism, I watch TV. That’s right. I still enjoy Anthony Bourdain, my HBO series’, Weeds, BBC America and many others. I just had to get creative. I go to the local movie store, Wal-Mart, and online. Know what I found? They sell these shows on DVD, and no commercials! But you knew that right? So why drop the cable altogether? Because I found I can watch what I want, when I want…for about a third of the price. That is, if I don’t mind waiting a little longer than those bent up against the wall of their house, being held hostage. In fact, I can now watch a show, the night after it airs, for about a buck. It’s called my Xbox. Welcome to the digital age.

But is this really why I am buying a new TV? Emphatically no. Is it that HDTV is around the corner and I have to fit into the masses before my socially structured ego is yet again rent asunder? Not even close. So here are the reason I am so excited about a new TV…I’ll just give you ten to get the gist of it.

1. Akira Kurosawa
2. Julie Taymor
3. Wes Anderson
4. Michel Gondry
5. Spike Jonze
6. Alfonso Cuaron
7. Robert Rodruigez
8. Quentin Tarantino
9. Milos Foreman
10. Stanley Kubrick

I could go on with a list as long as my arm. The reason I am excited is to finally see some of the greatest moments, scenes, and directors to ever be captured on celluloid and transferred to DVD.
I want it big, loud, and bursting with all the color one man, or woman, can cram into a single delicious frame. Now if that doesn’t get you excited, weak in the knees, mildly aroused, and ready to have your senses bombarded, then I don’t know what will.

Maybe give Comcast a call.

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