Monday, June 11, 2012

Posting Is Haaaard, Which Is Why This Post Is Turrble

Posting is haaaaard. I really don't know what to talk about. Ummmmm, British Top Gear is on. This might be my favorite show that is currently being produced for television because it is awesome and also because everything else is terrible. I don't want to sound all, "In my day shows had scripts and we walked up hill both ways in the snow with nothing but newspaper on our feet!" But seriously, TV these days makes me sad. Almost all of what's on can be divided into three categories (in descending order of share of shows): reality shows that highlight how stupid, vain, and greedy people are; singing/dancing competitions (these are starting to make me angry with their ubiquity); or actually scripted shows that are written like ad copy from a less talented yet somehow more sexist, racist, and homophobic versions of Don Draper. I hear that the only place to find good shows are on the movie channels but I be broke so I wouldn't know.

AND THAT'S ANOTHER THING! When did watching TV become so expensive? Does anyone but me remember why we started paying for cable? It was not just to get more channels, it was to get channels with no commercials. In "the good old days" the whole premise was that yes you were paying for something you could get for free but if you pay you get no ads, sorta like ad-free website subscriptions. And this was in a day when you had two commercials in 15 minutes into a half hour show and four 30 second commercials between the end of one show and start of the next. I'm not making that up, my brother and I have a bunch of VHS tapes of old cartoons from when we were kids and that was the actual show-to-commercial ratio. There may have been more for prime time shows, but nothing near the 18 commercials for every 4 minutes of programming we have now. I realized how profound the difference when watching TV Land the other night, I had always wondered why their schedule had shows starting at 4:42 or 8:19 and I realized that scripts from the 80s and earlier for a 30 minute show were around 28 minutes and to accommodate the 20 minutes of commercials they sell for every 30 minutes of programming, the show run times become about 48 minutes. I also don't really get why advertisers do this. My brother and I still remember the commercials we saw when we were kids; we can quote whole Lucky Charms commercials and recite the address to send our Kool-Aid points. But with 4,000 commercials inundating every viewer every hour, it just becomes a din of "ON SALE NOW" and promises of sex, success, and salvation. I tune most of it out and for shows I really like, I DVR it and skip the commercials. I think if I was given a survey on brands, I'd probably only know the ones I actually buy, but if I was given a survey of brands from 25ish years ago, I'd probably know any one that had a commercial on a channel I watched (so all of them).

I also blame that stupid digital conversion they (The Government? Corporations? The Free Masons? Same diff) foisted (didn't know that was a real word until I typed it and spell check didn't yell at me) on us. I remember this one time my brother and dad were at my parents' house in Northern Virginia and the game they were showing on TV was the Redskins (LAAAAME foreskins BOOOOOO) game against someone else equally inconsequential, but by taking and old, small TV we had in the kitchen and putting it on a a ladder in the front yard, they managed to get the local broadcast from Baltimore, which was where the Giants (ALL HAIL THE WORLD CHAMPIONS) were playing. You can't do that now. OH NO! If random dumbass rich local television guy decides we all have to watch the cricket finals instead of the Super Bowl, ain't shit you can do thanks to the bullshit digital conversion. It was all a plot to keep information away from the common man and I'm pretty sure there was some classist bullshit there too(you need to buy new TVs if you want to get free channels because your TV doesn't work anymore but if you want it to work you can also buy a converter, which costs money and you can buy from us, the ones who you would have to pay to get cable and doesn't cable just make sense now? You should probably just pay us every month for cable and we'll decide what you watch). The digital conversion still makes me so.fucking.angry. I just can't even you guys, I swear I just can't even anymore.

So to sum up: television is expensive, full of ads, and the programming is terrible (the internet without the anarchy). Yet I watch roughly 20 hours a day . So I'm dumb but I can recommend with full authority that everyone should watch British Top Gear on BBC America because I have sifted through all the crap to find this one shining gem of awesome. Now that I've endorsed it, it'll totally get canceled. It's also worth noting that BBC America has fewer commercials than most cable networks though FULL DISCLOSURE the BBC commercials are THE WORST. Oh and don't get suckered into watching anything else produced by BBC because it is all terrible. If you don't believe me, try to get through one episode of "No Kitchen Required" without wanting to re-declare the Revolutionary War so that you can go around punching brits with impunity.

Oh and I don't like to get too political on here, but it seems like a good opportunity to mention that if stuff like PIPA and SOPA become the law, then the internet will be the same as television: a million channels with nothing on, ads everywhere all the time, and a few rich guys deciding what watered-down drek we all get to view. I'd probably get sued for my "descriptive retelling" of the Super Bowl without the expressed written permission of the NFL. In other words, it would be bad m'kay so, you know, don't encourage them (Law makers? Lobbyists? The Illuminati? Probably definitely the last one) or whatever.

Blahhhh. Not only is updating hard but talking about political issues that are six months old makes me feel dirty.

Need shower/nap/more British Top Gear. I always forever need more British Top Gear.

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