Thoughts on a Tuesday

I was late leaving the house this morning, partially due to a couple of adorable kittens sleeping peacefully in my lap, but also because the morning paper had a few particularly interesting editorials:
  • E.J. Montini wrote about the federal government's TV subsidy to assist the conversion from analog to digital.
    "It strikes me as outrageous, given all of the problems with the economy and the many needs that we have, to be spending more 1.34 BILLION dollars in order to help people watch more television," Darrow told me. "But then, when you read the other article, well, it tells you everything you need to know."

    Just below converter-box story was a headline that read: "Study: 1 in 7 U.S. adults lacks basic literacy skills."

  • George Will's Sunday column from the Washington Post ran in the AZ Republic this morning, talking about our litigious nation with one of the best opening lines of an op-ed:
    " Called to a Florida school that could not cope, police led the disorderly student away in handcuffs, all 40 pounds of her 5-year-old self."
  • Umm...there was a third editorial I liked that, like Will's, is pulled from another paper. Unfortunately, the Arizona Republic doesn't list it on their site, and I can't remember it right now. Will need to update later.
In particular, I completely agree with the woman Montini writes about. As a gamer, I often face scorn from people about "wasting" my time playing games, yet watching hours of television each night is somehow more acceptable. While I personally feel that playing games is a more constructive use of my time, I'm not going to judge the majority of Americans who prefer watching TV. But I don't know why we should subsidize this conversion.

Chris and I cancelled our cable service over a year ago and, since we don't have an antenna, don't even have basic television reception. Other than my father-in-law bemoaning our lack of TV, we haven't missed it at all. If we want to watch something, we can access it either online or on DVD. Buying an entire season of Stargate SG-1 is cheaper than one month of basic cable. Streaming it on Xbox Live Arcade or Netflix is more efficient and cheaper (since it's part of our regular subscription). But for the most part, we play games, or read, or just spend time with each other.

Regarding the other article, we were just thinking about this topic as we read the ridiculous number of cautions and warnings on a pair of night-vision goggles (a gift for my father-in-law: "Do not wear while driving." "Do not put batteries in mouth." "Will not facilitate accomplishment of Splinter Cell-like missions." Seriously. If you put batteries in your mouth, you deserve to face the consequences. Idiots.


  1. They did not seriously have a Splinter Cell warning on those goggles did they?

    I can't even imagine the whining, complaining and possibly rioting we would face if people had to purchase their own converter boxes with no government help. While I did take advantage of the $40 government coupon (since I refuse to pay for cable), I wouldn't have been all that put out if my tv habits were reduced. But then, I'm not that one in seven of illiterate adults either.

  2. Note: author may have exaggerated some or all warnings on said night-vision goggles - but not much.

  3. I am part of the viewing people who does watch a lot of tv, but is also literate. I did downgrade my cable to basic partly cost and also partly because it didn't seem worth it. Aside of being behind in the Dr. Who and Torchwood and not watching Mad Men or Daily Show, don't miss it all that much

    And yes, I was much like your father in law when I was at my dad's over the holidays since all he has is pbs and channel 69. He also has too many Bergman or art movies. So I rented some dvds like snl's 25th anniversary and Miss Pettigrew and Get Smart, so I could chill out. I prefer not to do streaming video since it'd be on the computer and that's not all that comfy.

    But like you, while I don't game, I get it and understand why people enjoy it. And it's valid.

  4. I do not believe we should subsidize TV but I also believe it should not be mandatory. The fact that everyone needs to change seems silly to me. Of course, I do not know the cost of broadcasting in both. Or some stations (maybe local or otherwise) could do analog for those who do not want to change. Of course, those people could not get their old stations.

    I have never owned a TV myself. Of course, I have always had roommates who did, but I will only but a TV to play games. TV is what I watch when it is there.

    But seriously, when will the ridiculous lawsuits stop. I don't want me or my society dragged down anymore by these lawsuits. How as a community can we get rid of the fluff? I have heard complaints for many years yet it just seems to get worse. When will people accept blame? And if they never do, how are they getting money that is only vaguely associated with their case? I hate to say it, but is it possibly to start sueing those who stupidly sue? or the court system that is doing reckless stupidness? People are getting punished (like kids no longer suppose to run) for the actions of few. That has always irritated me.


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