Remember When?


May 19, 2014 by phicks2012

TV-Head Gorilla-SToday we have neither poetry, nor recipes, nor comic strips, but maybe there’s a bit of humor.

Remember the days when Ambulance Chasers couldn’t advertise on Television? Admittedly, it’s been a while, since those halcyon days of yore before we were being offered “the compensation” we “deserve” during every possible commercial break, and being encouraged to jump into every conceivable sort of class action lawsuit if we, any of our remote relatives, ancestors, or childhood idols have ever suffered from an ailment, taken a prescription medicine, owned a vehicle with a questionable nut, bolt, or sun-visor, or been in any sort of automotive accident. I have friends and relatives who are Attorneys, but when it come to TV, to paraphrase the Bard, “First kill all the Lawyer Ads”! PLEASE!!!

Remember the days when Loan Sharks were only generally to be found in rather shady locales, and not on TV encouraging us to pawn our car titles at ridiculous interest rates? Hard to recall that, even if you happen to be old enough, right? Let’s face it, these are so bad now that already they’ve spawned a new sub-species of loan shark promising to get you out of debt to the first category! Imagine that! By the way, as far as I know I have no friends or relatives in the Title Pawn business. Just sayin’.

Remember the days when TV Stars were expected to have actual talent of some sort? Okay, it’s been a while since that was the case, too — back before bad so-called “Reality” shows (carefully scripted and cast to create negative drama, back-stabbing, histrionics, and bad behavior) took over so much of the airways, but some of us still fondly remember those blessed days before the entertainment train-wrecks that are the so-called “Real Housewives”, “Dance Moms”, “Honey BooBoo”, and “Party Down South”. There were still some really bad shows back then — any one remember “Manimal” or “Holmes and Yo-Yo”? — but if the show was bad generally we didn’t also see the “stars” plastered all over the tabloids at the grocery stores and have Kardashians burned into our retinas. Aaaaah!!! Those were the days! By the way, I have no friends or relatives in show business, though my brother once got hired as an extra on Dukes of Hazzard, and the Castle has been scouted as a location by both Vampire Diaries and Devious Maids.

Remember the days before Infomericals, when you only had to sit through 30 seconds worth of bad hard-sell before you could heave a sigh of relief? True, some of the commercials were just as brainless and badly-conceived as are many today, but at least they didn’t last as long, so that even if we couldn’t mute or fast-forward our poor beleaguered brain cells had a better chance of recovering!! Also, I have only rarely bought anything advertised on TV, and only about 10% of the time has the item purchased performed as advertised, so I am doubly averse to sitting through an hour-long informercial hawking a product I know to be defective, ineffective, or shoddily constructed.

Sometimes when I’m channel-surfing — looking in sheer, frantic desperation for something to watch that doesn’t involve a price tag, a hard-sell, or a Kardashian — I find myself slogging through a sucking morass of mediocrity and bad taste where the ruling premise seems to be “Well, this is brain-numbing and tasteless, so let’s make a reality show about it”, and where the equivalent of a cultural air-boat would be a total brain-saver. But I live, apparently, in a world where, statistically, a sufficient audience will support televised train wrecks like Toddlers & Tiaras, Bridezillas, and (God Forbid) Bridalplasty to keep them on the air — and when these shows finally and blessedly start to fade the networks will desperately try to revive them by adding has-been celebrities to the mix.

So here’s the question: There’s a way to select a show as a “Favorite” on my cable box. Why is there not a way to select “Oh My God NO”? They want to know what you like. Why don’t they want to know what you really cannot stand? Remember when they had that? Well, not yet, but maybe one day!

Hey! Cable and Satellite!! Take a hint from the old TIVO system I had a few years ago. Thumbs Up is fine, but give me a Thumbs Down button too, okay?


2 thoughts on “Remember When?

  1. woodie says:

    My u verse has a favorite s selection process that takes you thru a possible 10,000 chanel list.after i went thru an plcked out the ones i might be remotely interested in i clicked “save”. Proudly thinking i had saved valuable guide watching time, wrong.thereafter at random times att would add new channels ,many of which i do not pay for ,to MY favorites list .that to me totally defeats the loffty idea of “your favorites”.big brother is still out there trying to control your mind-he knows what you need more than you do.

    • phicks2012 says:

      Comcast doesn’t do THAT, thankfully. Favorites are favorites, and you can get the guide to list ONLY Favorite “Channels”. There’s just no way to tell the system you’d like to avoid certain “Programs”. TIVO used for have thumbs up and thumbs down, so that when it “recommended” certain programs it didn’t usually include shows I’d given multiple thumbs downs.

      I’ve never understood how the algorithms work that recommend programs to viewers based upon what They’ve already watched, because the recommended programs frequently seem to have no commonality with your preferred programs. Oh, maybe both the preferred program and the recommended program share a very broad category, but quality level seems to have little to do with the suggestions. It’s rather like liking Lord of the Rings, and having the system recommend Sharknado. 😉

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May 2014


I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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