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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cutting the Cord

Yesterday among other things on my personal to-do list was to call the company I receive internet and residential phone service with and find out what 24 month specials were available for the purpose of renewing..

The guy on the phone I spoke with was nice and as we're going over what the company offered, he said "I notice you don't have cable with us.."

"That's right" I replied...

"Would you be interested in switching to us and thus be fully bundled", he asked...

"No that is OK, thanks.."
"May I ask why?  I can save you additional money if...", he began..

"See I don't have cable from any service because watch very little to no TV.."

There was a little pause, followed by "Wow.."

After the call ended and I renewed for the services I did use, I started to think hard how long its been since I 'cut the cord' with cable TV as the saying goes..
And while I couldn't recall a specific date, I know with certainty it has been over Five years since I have paid a cable TV bill.

Can't say I miss it much..  All the channels seem to have changed for the worse back in the mid to late 00's & I would wager its still on a downward trajectory..

I remember when ESPN used to be about Entertainment through Sports Programming..  You know -- what their initials stand for..

Oh sure they still show a lot of sports but they have a ton of opinions too and not just on the games or the participants.   ESPN decided somewhere along the way to go heavy down the political-correctness route so all their stories of good vs evil are distorted through that prism.
Its nauseating enough when social engineering is attempted through cable news like CNN but its really awful when you just want to sit and watch some sports without being told its racial, ethnic or gender significance constantly.

I remember when MTV known as Music Television actually showed Music!   Admittedly I also remember when MTV made the switch to 24/7 of NO Music so they could create a programming schedule that TV Guide would publish instead of 24hrs of 'videos' like in the 80's

Now its all garbage aimed at the lowest common denominator teens but I'm certainly no teen anymore so I suppose in fairness, MTV is not gearing its programming to the parent set.

I do remember when A&E and Bravo were the two channels to turn to for art and culture - ballet, theater, musicals, art-house cinema..   Now its a lot of reality TV schlock.
I remember when the History channel actually showed content that was 'historical' and not so Deeply dumbed down with actors, music and action while ugly looking professors stared off camera and simplified events while seeking to find inclusiveness in its programming.

What do I mean by that phrase?

You will often see on History (as well as Smithsonian Network and PBS) the need when covering a major event like say the Civil War, to give the perspective of every minority group under the sun to appease which is akin to throwing audiences specialized 'bones' rather than just cover the topic in a straight-forward manner.

Ken Burns is to blame for this style of historical teaching using his films to digress into black issues to beat in social lessons that he wanted his audience to take from his films.

In many ways Burns injects more ideological bias into his work than Michael Moore ever did
Anyways, back to cable..

I remember when CNN used to be fair and newsworthy and relevant and when CNBC didn't do a hard left-turn to try desperately to get out of the bottom of the ratings and when Fox News didn't go out of its way to eat its own..

One channel after another full of "reality" and repeats and old game shows

By the way, here's a trivia Q for you..  Off the top of your head, think to yourself which cable TV network shows the Most commercials vs actual programming per each 30 minutes cycle?

Which channel bombards you with the most ads?

Answer: Weather Channel.  
Notice how short the weather segments are between 2-3 minute commercial clips.  The exception of course being their coverage of bad weather events

Cable television's pricing goes up and up and the quality goes the opposite direction..

If I want movies or TV shows, I will get Netflix or Hulu or watch You Tube on the computer or through Apple TV apps..

If I want sports, I would rather pay to directly subscribe knowing as long as i avoid the scores, I can see my local team as well as the rest of league games in condensed form meaning No commercials to sit through..

If I want weather, I look outside my window or open the front door..
Its a pretty cool thing to be out of the loop; to be among the genuinely last to know what the hell a 'Duck Dynasty' is, or who are the 'Duggars', or who are the latest interracial conquests for the cackle of loose-lipped (think other lips) whores known as the Kardashians

I've never seen a single episode of Bruce Jenner pretending to portray a woman or anything that begins with "Real Wives" and I feel the better for it..

Also feels great knowing I've saved at least $3600 over the last Five years by not being a cable subscriber, and that is rationale and reason enough.