Today CBS programming is gone from my cable line up. Whether this is temporary or permanent is a mystery for now. And, while that fact does nothing to alter the quality of my life, there are some flakes that have stirred in the snowglobe.
As I hear the thoughts in my head, it seems I’m (unhappily) stepping into the role of a member of the older generation but I can’t stop it so here goes anyway ….
When we were kids, TV service was … FREE. We watched commercial programming, and plenty of it (including lots of baseball), on ABC, NBC, WOR, WPIX, WNET and CBS. And we were happy. Wrapping foil on the antenna and twisting it six ways to Sunday was part of the game. And, come to think of it, we saw news only a few times a day (NOT bombarded by mindless, repetitive, hypnotizing blather) and programming STOPPED at around midnight with the National Anthem giving way to that test pattern, if I remember correctly. No TV to be used as an excuse to keep us awake through the night.
Somewhere along the line things changed. As technology advanced, we were sold on the idea that the BEST way, the ONLY way, to watch TV was to pay for it. And the bonuses were that we could get a gazillion cable channels and premium programming that was COMMERCIAL FREE, plus get clearer programming on ABC, NBC, WOR, WPIX, WNET and CBS!!! WOW!!!
Wait … AND I can PAY to watch sports, too?!?!?!? WOW!!! SIGN. ME. UP. Take some more money for TV.
Having gotten used to the comforts of cable TV, when I moved to NYC I signed on with Time Warner Cable. It seemed the easiest way to go, friends had it and the package seemed like a good deal. Of course, I HAD to upgrade to HDTV as well. Recently, in addition to suddenly tacking on a charge for using their cable box, I was informed that a $5.99 charge would be added to the use of the cable modem. WHAT?!?! AFTER TWO YEARS!?!?!? That wasn’t part of the deal. Should’ve read the fine print OR the charges should’ve simply been on the bill all along. Rent them NOW? Ridiculous.
AND today CBS, one of those “in the beginning” stations … CHANNEL 2 … is missing … MISSING … from my cable TV lineup and my head’s gone upside down. Well, OK, CBS is still listed but its data is unavailable because there’s a dispute, anchored in money of course, going on between the CBS Corporation and Time Warner Cable. TWC decided, in its infinite wisdom, to remove the programming while “negotiations” for how much more money we’ll pay for these services (because that’s ULTIMATELY where this will go even though TWC swears to have its customers’ best interests while taking this action against *CBS Corporation* … point one finger and three point back at you, right????) continue.
The CBS Corporation counters that it’s not their fault service isn’t available because THEY gave TWC the opportunity to keep programming up and running during said negotiations (into our pockets).
*CUE: image of the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” pointing in two directions here*
AND we’re being needled by posts from CBS programming sites and SHO series sites asking us to CALL Time Warner Cable to INSIST they resume programming before the new seasons begin or, as in the case of Dexter (my FAVORITE) before the FINAL season comes to an end.
And they say they are looking out for the best interests of their customers.
Now THAT’S a big glass of BULLSHIT with an *ARE YOU KIDDING ME?* chaser.
G-R-E-E-D. GREED. Plain and simple.
CUE FILM CLIP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONXpaBQnBvE
It’s corporations of people continuously manufacturing ways of sticking their hands into OUR pockets as a means of serving THEIR pockets; ingeniously tweaking and tapping into our own greedy needs for more and more stuff, for continuous upgrades, for bigger (or smaller), better, faster, prettier.
And they have the upper hand because when my pocket’s done, I’ll just have to leave and they’ll never notice. They WON’T miss me when I’m gone.
CUE SONG and get the cup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmSbXsFE3l8
So they push and suck us dry, knowing that we want to keep up with the Joneses to infinity and beyond or for as long as we can. And then they just let us go. Like Sparky tied to the Griswald’s car and keeping up with them until his little legs gave out. When will it end? Ever? Never?
I suppose it ends when I decide it ends; when I take control and jump ship or zip my pockets shut because TV is not really a huge necessity in my world. Since I currently only watch television on Sunday nights and maybe one other night during the week, this could easily be the beginning of some kind of *season finale* at least in my world.
Back to, specifically, the CBS/TWC dilemma. It bugs me that, after watching “Dexter” for all these years, I probably won’t be able to see how it all ends. But, honestly, the pissing in the sand by these huge, greedy companies at the *expense* of their customers bugs me so much more and on so many levels. The inherent issues are bigger than “Dexter” but not completely unlike being *serial killers.*
Truth … TV or not TV … while I’m grateful for the option … doesn’t matter and doesn’t influence the quality of my really cool life.
Truth … there are STILL almost a gazillion channels that I can watch, or listen to, if the boat floats that way.
Truth … losing CBS programming is seriously NOT a matter of national security; there really are more important things to grouse about.
And you can be sure that I’ll find ’em … or they’ll find me.
Peace & ♥