At last a blessing from aboveJune 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.