No Cable

There are certain luxuries you give up when you force yourself to learn the value of budgeting. Cable is probably the one thing that’s been the most noticeable loss. Considering I only watch a handful of channels, the value just wasn’t there anymore. When I lived with my parents, I would watch marathons of Pawn Stars, Swamp People, and Duck Dynasty. This is mostly because that would be the only semi-tolerable stuff on after midnight, which is usually when the cable parasite burrowed its way into my brain.

After a day of doing this and doing that the brain grows fatigued and thoughts form, but are quickly aborted as the brain rebels. It wants the sweet relief of a vegetative state, and boy is television great for that. The CIA’s nearly quarter-century long experiments with “behavioral modification” (read: mind control and the like) eventually reached the conclusion that film and video were the most effective means of manipulating group thinking.

When I learned that, it made sense. Look at the kind of stuff on TV these days, with a majority of shows attached to the word “reality”. On some broad philosophical level, you could argue that the subjects’ world technically exists and the people are real so therefore it is a form of reality. But we all know it is not reality as you or I know it.

We’re not given basic premises or outlines for our days. We don’t get redos or the chance to recreate something the camera wasn’t rolling for. So when you confuse a manufactured reality with reality in general, it’s easy to see why so many people are disillusioned and lost, running towards anything that might provide relief for the pressures of being human in a world of that is as massively rich as it is gigantically poor.

But television is no longer there, at least not the ever changing cable universe kind. I’ve seen all my DVDS, and NetFlix’s tendency to be as fruitful as a dead apple tree makes the motivation dim. After all, with cable all you do is turn the TV on and click the up button. So mindless and yet so consuming. It’s a form of meditation, but rather than reducing the stimulation in the mind it just dumps all sorts of disconnected shit—most of which are commercials—on the cerebral cortex, oozing into all the crevices and gumming up the works.

And man do I miss cable, but I miss it less each day. I do a lot more thinking, which has its pros and cons. I do more pushups, which seems like a good thing. Organizing and rearranging various items has a zen-like quality to it and reading more is a nice change. It’s just a shame that the internet is my goto spot for reading. I mean, it’s so vast and infinite as far as reading goes. You can read on the internet for hours, all types of interesting or flat-out crazy shit. YouTube comments or online comments in general provide plenty of quality minutes of entertainment. Some of my favorite places are White Supremacist message boards because face it, racist or ignorant people of any kind are basically savants who excel in brilliant stupidity.

I can understand why the rich people in charge want to control the internet. They already got television locked down, but the internet is the last bastion of free thought and expression. If you want to save the Earth the internet has plenty of places for you. However, if you’re more into scuba or scat porn, there are also a plethora of options. Want a recipe for anything at all? Google that shit.

I’m not saying anything you haven’t already realized, which is the internet is pretty awesome, but imagine how much it would suck if only a small number of companies controlled everything we were exposed to. It would be like cable and the food industry and pretty much everything else.  It’s weird to think that when the internet goes, people are going to have to return to expressing their opinions in public.

written: July 2012

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