Saturday, 19 June 2010

The Idiot, er, Slab: a rant

I'm not much of a TV viewer. In fact, it's been years since I've bothered to sit down and watch the good old 'idiot box'.

Crikey, what happened? In the years since I stopped paying attention, the humble telly has become a monster! It doesn't even look like a telly any more. Modern TVs are as thin as a sheet of tissue paper and take up half a wall. And now there's digital TV and they're going to turn off the analog thingy and I had to get a set-top box for the microscopic 30cm box that I only ever watch the motorcycle racing on anyway.

The number of remote controls has proliferated and I had to get Boomerang Boy to tell me which buttons to press on which remote, just to turn the bloody thing on. I took copious notes that I keep by the box of remote controls. Seriously!

I used to be able to turn on the TV and change the channel via an on/off knob and a channel-changing knob on the front of the TV. Gee, what a novel concept! Now I have to press half a dozen buttons on various different remote controls, in a complex sequence that would do the space-program proud. Just the thought of it raises my blood pressure.

I liked my television uncomplicated. I liked 5 channels and a channel-changing knob. Now you need a pilot's licence to work the space-aged things that are HD, 3D, LCD, 4WD or Plasma (wtf? I thought that was something to do with blood). No-one watches videos any more, and DVDs will soon be as obsolete as clay tablets. Blue things are taking over the world - Bluetooths (Blueteeth? God, what are we doing to the English language?), Bluerays.... I'll tell you what's blue - me, that's what! Me and my language when I try to work my bloody TV!

I had a look in the TV section of a department store recently, and the latest enormous new-fangled things seem to do everything except the laundry and the dishes (proof that they were invented by men!). They cost about as much as a new Aston Martin, too... but where's the effing ON switch? I was too embarrassed to ask, and slunk out of the shop in search of coffee, sympathy and a psychiatrist.

Who needs a TV anyway? These days, despite the existence of millions of channels, there's nothing worth watching. Reality TV? Four thousand different-but-similar CSIs? No thanks, I just can't be bothered.

Quite apart from everything else (I'm on a roll now) what are we to call the latest generation of hi-tech wafer-thin wall-sized tv/game console/dvd/blue-thing/music/recording/watching/listening slivers? Your TV no longer bears any resemblance to a box. Are we to relinquish the term box for something more appropriate? Slab just doesn't sound right.

If we continue to call the TV a box, what will we be doing to the minds of the next generation, who can see very clearly that a TV is nothing like a box? They're still reeling from being told that their constant requests for new technology sound 'like a broken record', and wondering why that's a bad thing. In their world, the only records that get broken are sporting records. Most of them have never seen a vinyl record. Those who have think they're some kind of ancient frisbee prototype.

HD3DLCDTVs, Blueteeth, MP3 players, iPods, and bloody e-Banking are doing my head in. The e-juggernaut (iJuggernaut? Bluejuggernaut?) is out of control, and so am I. I am a woman on the edge, and it's all your fault, geek overlords of the world. I beg you, pleeeease, for the love of God, give up this rampant technology-tweaking obsession! It's frustrating, expensive and downright ugly.

Henry David Thoreau once said that 'men have become the tools of their tools', and he was right. Me, I'm opting out.


Anonymous said...

Bit rich, that, coming from someone with a mobile phone and e-mail, who has her own blog, and a fuel injected motorcycle. We tried the set-top box option for a year with our 30cm telly, then gave it away and bought an 82cm LCD, which was a revelation.

Sue said...

lol Andrew! So you would know where the on/off button is, right? And don't get me started on mobile phones! Every time I get a new one it takes me FOREVER to learn how to use it! And I've never figured out the blueteeth that seem to be in my phone and my computer... When it comes to technology, my brain is already full. PS fuel-injection technology doesn't count, coz I don't need to understand it to start my bike :-P

JohnO said...

Crikey Sue, make up your mind! You tell me to get the popcorn and choccies to settle in for the night and you go and turn the TV OFF!

lemmiwinks said...

The next person who looks at us and our 48 (or possibly 52, I don't actually know) cm TV and says pityingly that we need a bigger TV will get a smack in the chops. Would a 62 inch plasma screen TV somehow filter out the shit or make my life more fulfilling? I doubt it, go read Affluenza. As for 3D TV, WTF? Get off your arse, go outside, almost everything is 3D, it's brilliant!

Though I did concede to digital TV (worth it for ABC2 alone). Instead of a set top box I got a Mac Mini and USB tuner so I can record on a hard drive and pause live TV (no more hanging out for the next ad break when you're busting for the loo). Hey, I am a geek after all ;-)

Anonymous said...

Indeed, but you know that the bike racing is soo much better on a big screen digital teev. It really is. And if you get Fox, there actually ARE some entertaining shows to watch.

But I understand your frustration with the remotes. Don't despair though, it's a girlie thing. All that stuff was invented by guys and we LIKE all the gizmos and dials and gadgets and stuff.

I find it easy to use three remotes to fire up the TV, Fox unit and home theatre system. My wife on the other hand typically throws a tanty and goes off to sulk. Which is fine, cos then I get free access to whatever show I like, even Family Guy.

And that, Sue, is sort of like Heaven.

Just me and the TV. In its full, 42inch, plasma screen digital hi-def glory.