Thursday, April 6, 2006

Junk on Television

There is a lot of junk on television.

I'm not talking about the programs, although there are enough of them to qualify. The junk is the stuff going on around the programs - icons, crawls, shrunken screens - all sorts of things designed to distract us from the program and make us pay attention to what else is on, rather than what is on now.

Several years ago, I purchased a 32-inch television to replace the 21-inch one that I had. Partly out of rebellion to a failed marriage, and partly because I wanted a bigger TV. (OK, mostly because I wanted a bigger TV) I could do what I wanted, and I wanted a big TV. Sure, it's not big by today's standards, but it was big then.

Little did I know that the 32-inch screen would soon become 21 inches, with the advent of modern technology that does little but make me yearn for the good old days - not the married part - just the TV part.

I'm trying to watch the news on CNN Headline News (the middle 'N' stands for News) but what I get is a screen full of so much junk that I can't concentrate on the news. Maybe that's the plan, I don't know, but whatever it is I don't like it.

There's a story about a movie, I guess, but I'm confused by another story about McDonald's, the weather in Dallas and a baseball score. I don't live in Dallas, so I don't care what the weather is, and I suspect that if I lived there, I'd already know what the weather was.

It's not like CNN is the only offender. Turn to any channel and there are spinning icons, crawls across the bottom of the screen and stuff that slides from one side to another telling me what is on after the show is over. It's distracting to the point that watching TV is a chore, and it shouldn't be a chore. It's bad enough sometimes, without making it a challenge to pay attention.

I wonder if the evolutionary process will bring about people with eyes that move independently, and are slightly more vertical than they are now, so that we can follow everything that's going on.

Or, maybe we'll end up like this guy?


Meg said...

I can't get over the split-screen thing. Like for March Madness, you could, if you signed up for Direct TV, watch 4 different games at once.
Basketball is too important to split like that.

Anthony said...

Wow, 4 games. That guy is screwed, since he only has 3 eyes!