Friday, June 27, 2008

The End of an Affair

This post is self-serving and offers little value to you. I just figured it was worth telling this story, since we all know what a tool I am for television.

This morning I called my cable company, Charter Communications, and asked them to discontinue my service on Monday. Currently I have the expanded cable package with DVR and HD channels, which comes out to $99 a month with tax. Unfortunately Athens is too far from Atlanta, where the networks broadcast their local affiliates, and I am unable to pick up any over-the-air channels. So starting Monday I will be completely in the dark (no internet, either).

I've been sitting on this decision for a month or so ever since a couple of co-workers told me they didn't have cable. This was pretty shocking to me, as television is such an integral part of my daily routine. I keep up with about 15 scripted shows at a time, then throw in a few reality shows, game shows, and let's not forget over a hundred baseball games a year. In the instance that nothing is on, a bit of channel surfing will certainly come across something that catches my interest, and the cycle repeats.

Maybe getting older has made me a cane-swinging, big-eared, grumpy old man, but I am sick to my stomach of all these "celebrities" on any given channel. These guys who wear eyeliner and girls who were on a reality show in 2003 who now get hired onto well-respected scripted shows because...they're "famous" supposedly. People who I have no reason to know exist, yet somehow I do. Take Billy Ray Cyrus for instance. Why the hell is he on TV? He had a joke of a hit and haircut, and now he's forced himself on his daughter's TV show, and somehow is a judge of a country version of American Idol. What?

But it's not just Mtv and Nashville Star and all that paparazzi garbage. It's in sports, too. All these "personalities" on ESPN. Just show me the damn highlights of the games. You watch Monday Night Football or the College World Series and the commentators are talking about what it would mean if this team beats the other team when there's still more than half the game to be played. The tired goofy-old-man schtick from Lee Corso and the biased, hypocritical joyless Herbstreit having an influence over how teams place in bowl games. John Kruk saying last week, in all seriousness, that Tim Hudson's win over the Mariners shouldn't count because they're a bad team.

I'll miss the Braves and SEC football conveniently beamed into my home, and watching 24 and the other shows as they air. But really can it be that bad? I'll get to hear Skip and Pete call the Braves games on radio, watch so many shows and movies with Netflix that I've never had the time for, and I'll get to read more books that educate me on how far our government has deviated from the vision of the Founding Fathers.

I know how cheesy this is, but it's not too late to make a change in your life for the better. A good friend of mine has similarly recognized that an element in his life just isn't best for him, and is making a huge decision by leaving his really good corporate job to find something that fits him better. Yeah, we're in our mid-twenties, but that doesn't mean everything is set in stone.


Patrick said...

This little phase will last no longer than 3 weeks.

I would bet you $100 but last time I bet a friend $100 he couldn't do something I lost. That and I am out of betting money after my Bodog account went from $220 to $0 in two days thanks to Georgia's baseball team.

HANK said...

I haven't followed a scripted TV show since You Can't Do That On Television went off the air. I moved on with my life, at the tender age of 6.

I think you have made a life saving decision, Ryan. Good luck, and read books more than you watch movies.

Joe said...

You could also exercise.

Snuffy said...

Mr. Wallace (former BC English teacher) got rid of his TV and turned gay.

Donnie said...

You should be like a writer or something.