Saturday, May 27, 2006

TV and the Internet, What They Have in Common

Spam, my friends, good old spam!

I grew up in England many, many years ago, and I remember then we got the third TV station, that was BBC2. Yup, the whole country only had a choice of 3 channels. It does not sound much by today's standards.

I live in Calgary these days and subscribe to the regular cable package, I think in total we get about 60 channels. Now we can discard about 10 of these because they are in French, and I do not speak French. I am still left with 50 channels, my goodness, I'd have gnawed my right arm for 50 channels when I was 10 years old!

All is not as it seams though, I have 50 channels but what is on them? The answer is........ Mostly rubbish, there are 3 or 4 shopping channels, a couple of public access channels, a weather channel, a what's on TV channel, even a channel about the channels (Shaws pat themselves on the back channel).

So I guess that brings the total of watchable channels down to about 40. That's still a lot more than 3 though!

So then I start to analyze my watching habits, I hate Sitcoms with a passion akin to eating at Mac Donalds. I don't do quiz shows, and if its 'reality TV' why do they have script writers? I am not keen on Soap Opera's, the last good one I followed was the OJ Simpson trial.

When you take all of those items out, you are really not left with much.

The truth is the only channels I watch are CNN, The Cooking Channel, a very little of Discovery, TBS (if it is showing "O Brother"), and OLN (but only if they are showing the Americas Cup.. That happens every 3 or 4 years).

Because my wife does not like CNN, I only get to see about 10 mins a day. Discovery seems to have run out of new programs, so I probably watch about 1 hour a week, or 10 mins a day.

I like the cooking channel, the Iron Chef is must see TV, specially if Chen Kenichi is on! I like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey on the Cooking Channel, I never thought I'd see the day where a cooking show is preceded by a coarse language warning! hahahahaha

When I total this up I get about 2 hours a day, so that's about 60 hours a month. And for this I pay $50! What a rip off!

If we multipy the number of hours in a day (24) by the number of days in a month (lets say 30) we end up with 720.

So there are 720 possible viewing hours in one month. If we multiply that by the number of channels (60) we get 43,200 viewing hours per month.

I watch about 60, which is means I watch about .02% of the stuff that's available.

That's a strange coincidence, .02% is about the percentage of emails that I get that are not spam! 2 good emails for every 98 offering to enlarge my manhood, make me rich, or get me an online degree or PHD in less than a week!

So there is my conclusive proof, that the tv and the Internet are a lot alike!


Anonymous said...

PH.D. in less than a month!?!?!? What the hell, I am doing it the wrong way!!!!


Simon Barrett said...

If you give me your email addy, i will be sure to forward the PHD in a week email to you! hahahahaha

Anonymous said...

My TV is on constantly when I am home (unless I have guests over) mostly because I need some human noises around so I don't feel like Ted Kazinski living in seclusion in the mountains. Most of the time, I am not actually paying attention to what's being shown.

So lately, I've been doing some thinking...."why the heck do I need cable?" Right now, I am paying about CAN $50 for an extended cable package that gives me access to 60 channels. But like you, I find most of the programming on TV to be braindead. When I really do -watch- TV (rather than just having it on to provide background noise), it's usually later on in the evening when they are showing re-runs or movies.

I use to watch the Showcase Revue because they showed a lot of foreign films, until they clone themselves to create the IFC and Showcase Action and migrated the bulk of their movie programming there. Now all the foreign films require a digital channel package (in my area) and Showcase programming has gone to crap. I use to watch CNN, but I found that it was bad for my health because I would always get angry at the crap they were reporting (or more accurately, how they were reporting it). I use to watch TLC (The Learning Channel) because occasionally, they would have some interesting documentaries, except now I can't find the damn channel!!! So this is what I do watch now:

- CSI (the original, not the CSI: Miami spinoff where we get subjected to David Caruso's awful TV persona), because it is a show that is so good and so bad at the same time (as opposed to most of the shows on TV, which are just downright bad).
- Most Haunted: You should know this one Simon. It's being shown on WTN (the Women's Network). Yes, I am a skeptic, but I am also fascinated by the paranormal. I am actually more interested in hearing about all the macabre events that have taken place at a haunting site than listening to that psychic rehearse his communiqu├ęs with the spirit world ("Sam? Thank you Sam. Someone was murdered here…." – uh…yeah, duh….).
- Battlestar Galactica (the new series): when I saw the first few episodes, I found this show to be surprisingly smart (a surprise considering how awful the original was). But lately, the season 3 episodes have become stale. I think it's running out of steam and a cancellation may be foreseeable.
- The Surreal Life: It's a VH1 "reality" show that can be seen on Much More Music. The premise is they put a group of former celebrities (child stars, 70's/80's sit-com stars, one hit wonders, etc. etc.) in a house and watch the sparks fly. It's sooooo bad, which makes good.

And that's about it. There are no shows that I watch religiously (I miss even the shows I enjoy, and I don't feel like bothering to set my VCR to tape them….). I'll sit through the occasional interesting movie I find on CityTV, the Space Channel, or the History Channel, but not much more. So do I actually need to spend $50 a month to be medicated by cable? If you think about it, that's what TV has really become for industrialized societies: a medication we ingest as a society to keep ourselves content and entertained. Meh, now I am going off on a tantrum….

Anonymous said...

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