At last a blessing from above

June 1, 2007

So, the longtime faithful readers of the jonsonblog are only too aware of the many slings & arrows madam technology has cursed me with, from a lack of Verizon Fiber Optic service in my neighborhood to… well, that’s the primary one that bugs me, but I’m sure there are others.  And besides, that one bugs me enough to count twice.

Fortunately, St. Isidore of Seville (the patron saint of technology) has smiled upon his faithful servant at last.  No, I’m not getting higher speed internet access, but according to the good people in the heavens above (DIRECTV), I’ll soon be receiving over one hundred (!!) high definition television channels.  Soon, as in, a month or two from now.

Now, the funny thing about HD service currently is that even with only the bare 15 channels of HD entertainment that DIRECTV is offering now, they’re already liberally stretching the definition of the word “entertainment.” Three of the 15 channels only exist to show old HD content like network sitcoms & dramas that failed within the past three years.  One of the other channels is ESPN 2, which shows a LOT of non-HD content like repeats of old poker, billiard & bowling tournaments. 

I’m thinking that by the time they get to adding the 30th through 85th additional HD channels, they’re just going to be putting on any crap they can find (“Stunned Mouse In a Dixie Cup Channel,” “Used Car Lot Infomercial Channel”).  But the cruel truth is, it doesn’t matter.  I’m sure their early studies have confirmed what everyone I’ve spoken to (every fellow HD customer, that is) would say, and that is “watching paint dry in HD is more compelling than watching interesting things happen in Standard Definition.”  And as soon as they realized that format trumps content, they probably signed 60 or more of the new channels in the space of a day.

One of the gags in Mike Judge’s film Idiocracy was a nation so dumbed down that the number one show was called “Ouch, my balls!” and it featured a hapless male protagonist repeatedly struck in the crotch in a number of cartoonish situations.  I won’t be surprised if Ouch My Balls is playing on one of my 100 HD channels in a couple of months.  And I won’t be surprised if I’m watching it.



  1. Before my HD tv blew up on me, I would sit for hours watching the most inane shows. There were shows that were just videos of a beach or of a jungle…no narration, no story, just the scenery.

    Even better were the HD movie previews.

    If marketers really want me to stop 30 second skipping their asses on the TiVo, make more high def commercials…and maybe an HD TiVo that isn’t fucking $500.

    Speaking of TiVo, I had “rented” Idiocracy from Amazon Unbox, which downloads it straight to the TiVo. Their DRM is irritating. I didn’t start watching it until the 30th day that I had it…I was in the middle of the fricking movie (they had just went to the Costco or Sams or whatever it was) and the stupid ass thing stopped because it was EXACTLY 30 days, to the minute, from when I purchased it.

    Thank God for bittorrent…there’s nothing like being able to download a full lenght movie in about 30 minutes. Fios fucking rocks!

  2. Curse you & your entire town of Cooterville!!!

    Also: your HDTV “blew up” on you?

  3. Well, not literally “blew up” on me…that is just what it felt like in my heart. The integrated controller died two months after my warranty expired. It’s going to be about $450 to fix. It’s sitting in my garage now just looking sad.

    I can’t believe I missed the jihad on the religious thread!

  4. Since you killed the comments on your latest post, I couldn’t comment in the proper thread on the single most funny thing you’ve ever posted: “Tragically other gringos got them already.”

  5. Thanks. Apparently you’ve got to act quickly if you want to get your comments in on contentious threads. Be here next Tuesday for my views on abortion & whether slavery was actually beneficial for black people in America today.

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