Friday, February 04, 2011
It's probably to those few that this will make the most sense.
I grew up watching television in the late 50's and early 60's. It was back when there were two knobs on huge TV consoles that dominated a relatively small screen.
A black and white screen up until sometime around 1968.
Those two round knobs controlled the channels. The top one usually controlled the VHF channels, which fed the 3 major networks and the bottom button was the magic, smoothly-turning knob that introduced you to UHF.
Clunk, clunk, clunk...
That's the sound the top knob made when you turned the stations.
To complicate matters, if you changed channels frequently, the plastic nub that the knob fit onto would eventually get rounded off. You had to use a pair of needle nose pliers to change the channel. I remember that stripped-out knob sitting on top of our TV for years...
Along side that set of needle nose pliers.
As far as gaining reception and signal? It was done by a set of "rabbit ears" that generally sat on top of the TV. People with money had roof antennas.
And for you folks that wonder how we got by without remote controls?
We had them...
Kids were the first remote controls invented.
But TV wasn't really that bad back then...but then again, if you don't know what you are missing....well, you don't miss it.
I remember memorizing when my TV shows were on.
Rin Tin Tin
Many shows aired live, with all their bloopers and imperfections and baseball players could be seen smoking cigarettes in the dugout.
Then there was "rerun summer".
There was a pattern, a rhythm and structure to it all.
Today not so much.
I still watch TV. Howdy Doody has been replaced with Fringe, Sky King with Human Target...
But the types of TV shows isn't the only thing that's changed.
seasonal replacement for something else. Many shows switch the day they air like most of us change shirts. TV shows don't run in parallel anymore. One show might start a new season in January, others in April. Most of them have adopted the infuriating practice of taking a "mid-season break", lasting as long as 90 days. Even award-winning programs like "Breaking Bad" make their viewers wait almost a year for a new season. You have to create a database just to keep track of what's going on.
Yeah, cable has changed things. The advertising dollar rules most decisions. Technology has prevailed and given us choices we couldn't imagine when we were kids. Hell, some of us even remember what a record is. Do you realize that most of the people I deal with don't understand the context of the saying...
"You sound like a broken record"?
So now I understand.
Some of us have rode the tech wave into the present. In place of the promised flying cars and video phones we have the PT Cruiser and The Internet.
Many of us have taken a keen interest in technology, we choose to. But as I mentioned in a less than gentle way recently...
Some people don't want to.
Sky King and Rin Tin Tin are fine for them. It's what they know, it's within their comfort zone and even if Burn Notice is a better show, they don't care.
They don't feel a need or a want to immerse themselves into it.
Timmy will fall down another well, The Captain will get another bucket of ping pong balls dropped on his head and Sky King will catch the bad guy every time.
It's comfortable, it's predictable and it's what they know.
Even though they know the channel will fuzz out or fail from time to time, they are willing to deal with it. Walter Cronkite will set things straight.
No amount of telling them how good something else is will sway them.
Maybe they like hearing clunk, clunk, clunk when they turn the TV channel.
And I guess that's ok. Sometimes I wish Lassie would come home too.
blather and mumbling provided by Unknown at 10:44 PM