Idiot Box

11:37 AM

With DH out of the country for a while my evenings are spend in company of that big square black box sitting on top of my entertainment unit (aka TV stand), eating snacks and absorbing whatever shows.

Welcome to the era of MAE (machine assisted entertainment)! Unlike many others I still open my newspaper in the morning to check what movies are on in the night, and if there is nothing I will simply switch the box off and or head straight to the computer to read a few blogs, catch up on my message boards on iVillage, or even chat with some of my friends scattered around the globe before heading to bed with a book. Heck I even spent 4 year of my life in Switzerland NOT owning a TV (you read that right), many of my friends then thought I was weird and wondered how it is even possible to survive without one!
TV in my house is rarely on before 7pm as I don't like making it an habit to switch it one just for the sake of it. As a matter of fact, I have a love hate relationship with this piece of technology. Love, because there are some good shows, especially on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic (I just wish the channel authorities in India would renew their programme more often), and hate because I have the feeling it sucks our wallet dry be it in matter of cable subscription and then by attempting to hypnotize us with ads every 10 minutes so that we buy stuff we clearly didn't even need in the first place or didn't even cared about until we saw it on TV. In the ad department, the latest one that make me cringe is yet another "Shah Rukh Khan" one where he stupidly dance in a bakery trying to fool you into thinking those are fresh cookies (those living in India right now will know what ad I'm referring to), and as a matter of fact it annoys me that every 2 ads or so are endorsed by "SRK", the guy irritate me. And not only I pay dearly for my cable subscription but it seem that no matter what I see more commercial, and more stuff I don't want to see, but the same "SRK" has been driving me nut on almost every channel for a show I'll never watch because I don't speak enough Hindi, But last Friday night on the occasion of the premiere of that show, all the channels belonging to the "Star network" seemed to have been high jacked so that even if you wanted to give that show a miss, by watching something else, you still had a good 15 minutes of it aired everywhere...not to mention the past 2 months had lot of teasers, and games and stuff to advertise it, now if you haven't heard of "Kya aap panchvi pass se tez hai" it's because you aren't living in India or watching an Indian channel, and if you live in India, well if you still go huh? that means that oh you blessed soul do not own a TV, or have been vacationing on Mars.

It is also interesting to notice that, all around the globe, the academic Summer holiday means more crap going on TV. More cartoon, more serials, more stupid games, more ads, more sport...yes sports! Or should I specify that here it's all about Cricket and that the latest buzz is the newly created Indian Premier League (IPL for short) which is to cricket what United Manchester, Real Madrid and the like is to football in Europe, an highly commercial affair, with shorter matches airing every night of the week for the next 2 months. I have a couple of neighbours who watch those as I can hear the cheers and passionate screams all evening long.
Leaving me wondering if the next step is household with multi-TVs as it is not the case in US and Europe. After all if you want to avoid a blood bath in a household of 4-5 or more you need that, or else you will cope with fierce fights over the remote when Mrs want to watch a serial, Mr a cricket match, and the kids a cartoon (preferably 2 different one on 2 different channels which air at the same time).
So in order to preserve peace and harmony in the family you open your wallet, buy another TV, pay the extra on your cable subscription or your Dish system to hook more than one receiver in order to watch more TV, more ads and buy even more crap in the end, and spending less time talking to each other.

Forgive me for being sarcastic here, but it seems to me that the best way to preserve peace and harmony in the house hold is to unplug the box, throw out the remote, sit everybody at the table and play a good old fashioned board or card game munching on cookies and sipping chai...try it from time to time, because let me tell you it's fun and way more entertaining than seeing SRK sing high on helium in a imaginary too good to be true bakery every 5 minutes!


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