Wednesday, December 16, 2009

TV or not TV

I never watch television, unless there is a baseball umpire on the screen somewhere. But since my darling wife finds 200 cable channels more entertaining than I do, it is often on in the background at our house. And frankly, there is a lot about it I simply don't understand.

Perhaps those of you who watch television more often than me could help me figure some of these things out. Here goes:

-Why does the Food Network never prepare any, um, food - as in, something you would actually serve your family or friends? Unless, of course, you serve them things like braised eel with garlic aioli on a bed of risotto.

-Where do all these people under 30 come from purchasing houses on the Home and Garden Channel for sums like $852,000? And do they all sell crack for a living? When I was that age I was scraping up a $4,000 down payment on a $78,000 condo.

-How come they call it The History Channel when it is actually filled with people like Gnostic bishops, UFO hunters, and end-of-the-world theorists? Perhaps the idea of calling it "The Kook Channel" didn't pass muster with the ol' marketing department.

-Whose brilliant idea was it to rename the SciFi Channel to SyFy? And why do they call it either of those things, when most of their shows involve teenage girls uttering bloodcurdling screams as they outrun some pustulating monster? I'll bet talent auditions at SyFy are pretty straightforward: "Next? All right, honey, let's hear what your scream sounds like."

-Memo to people like Bill O'Reilly, Chris Matthews, and Glenn Beck: do you folks ever smile? And did your parents teach you not to interrupt your guests in mid-sentence? None of you are getting invited to our house for dinner. (Oh, all right, Keith Olbermann, I'll make an exception for you, because you used to work with my brother at WVBR in college, and he tells me you're actually a nice guy. But smile once in a while as we're passing the potatoes, OK?)

-When newscasters tell us to "stay tuned for this important story" for 40 minutes and counting, do they really think I am going to sit there in slack-jawed suspense? Instead of simply going online and reading the story myself three clicks later?

-I am as much a fan of diversity as anyone, but do we really need five different Nickelodeon channels? Or am I missing something here?

All I can say is that I am looking forward to Spring Training in another three months or so. Then watching television will start making sense to me again.

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