I only seem motivated to drop a post here once a month so I’ll make it a tradition.
This has been a turbulent month for me in a lot of ways. It all started when I returned to work after the New Year’s break and discovered our parent companies had filed for their country’s equivalency of bankruptcy. The American division is ok so far but it’s not a pretty sight overseas. I hear about companies all over laying people off left and right and I can’t help but feel a bit worried, especially after my other New Year’s surprise – my property taxes went up 10%. Thanks Corzine!
Other turbulence: The other Saturday I flipped on the old boob tube (which doesn’t have a tube. Oh well.) and found nothing but infomercials for hair products & yoga mats. What the? When I was a whipper snapper I lived for Saturday Morning Cartoons and now they are nowhere to be found. I suppose they’ve moved up the dial. You can always get something animated on the Cartoon or Nick networks but Yoga and Hair curlers? Damn… kids are going to just have to go outside to find entertainment!
Two days later I was shocked to hear G-Rock, my favorite radio station, suddenly change formats. Without warning they went from a progressive alt-rock station to a soulless top 40 cookie cutter TMZ mess. The station had been the anchor of my presets and it left a giant hole where “4” used to be. I wasn’t alone in my disgust. By that weekend 7500 people had organized on Facebook (yeah, I got drawn in) and 3500 signatures had been signed on the Bring Back G-Rock petition. As of this writing Facebook has 9500 members & the petition is up to 4600 signatures.
I’m disappointed but I’m afraid the station wont go back to what it was. Nor will the institution of Saturday Morning Cartoons draw children together on weekends. Times they are a changing and terrestrial radio will be the first to go. Network Television may eventually follow. The Internet is largely to blame and though I love some of the changes, I’m sorry to see my options diminished. I could go with Satellite Radio but then I’ll have to get subscribed. I could get a plan on my phone… but once again, they make you subscribe. Not for me, man! Information & Entertainment was meant to be free. I’ll reconsider when “data” isn’t a “plan” and “commercial free” really is free from commercialism. One day in the hopefully distant future I’ll look back at the early 00’s and remember them as the golden age of entertainment & information – when it was still free and available in multiple ways.
On one hand it will be excellent to turn on The Fiosion to check your email, pull up the latest pictures of your nephew and instantly begin watching the latest episode of The Simpsons (Now in it’s 33rd year!) but the flip side of that coin is that you’ll be locked into a 5 year deal with T-Mobile/Verizon (Officially branded as T.V.) and subject to personal commercials directed right into your psychy based on the things they know about from your Gmail account. Don’t think it’s possible? Get a glimpse of the future on Facebook. Change your birth-date to something in the 50s and watch the ads change to wrinkle cream & arthritis pills. Mark yourself as “Single” and the dating ads will fill your sidebar. Just wait until they know your car just went over 100,000 miles, that you’re addicted to Chap-Stick, and that you never returned that overdue library book (ya know, from back when Libraries still existed).
Ok, that’s enough grousing for one month. I’ll be back next month with less insight and more hindsight.