I’m so glad I don’t have a TV

I’ve been going through the pile of accumulated junk mail this afternoon, separated stuff into recycle bin, shred, look at, quit sending me your catalog, etc., when I came across this letter from AT&T.  It starts out “On February 17th, TV’s going to change for the better.”  Oh really?  They’re going to stop showing mindless drivel and corporate-puppetry?  They’re going to start showing programs that are actually good and stop broadcasting the message that only by consuming material goods can one be happy?

It goes on.  “As you may have heard, television stations will soon discontinue broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting, which provides a clearer picture and more programming options.  The freed-up airwaves will be available for use by emergency responders.”

Gosh.  I had heard about it, but I figured they were just changing the technology as a way to make everyone have to buy something.  But gee, they’re freeing up the airways to make them available for emergency responders!  How altruistic!  How humanitarian!

The letter continues “Full power TV stations will stop broadcasting in analog on Feb. 17, 2009.  If you have an analog TV set that uses an antenna to receive TV broadcasts, you need to take action!”  Oh my goodness!

“What are my options?

  • Connect to AT&T Advanced TVSM or other paid TV services.
  • Purchase a television with a digital tuner.
  • Keep your existing analog TV, and purchase a TV converter box.  A converter box plugs into your TV and will continue to function after the digital conversion.”

So…in other words, if I have a perfectly functional analog TV, and I wish to continue watching it for longer than just the next four months, my choices are to spend money, spend money, or spend money?  Why, if I were a cynical person, I might surmise that this whole conversion idea was dreamt up by some wealthy corporate executives as a way to force people to spend money; planned obsolescence not being good enough for them, they would force perfectly functional machines into overnight obsolescence, millions of them all at once.  After all, they probably reasoned, everyone watches TV and couldn’t bear to go without it!  Everyone but a few weirdos and freaks, right?

Oh, wait, that’s right, I am a cynical person!  Ha!  And I am so glad I don’t have a TV!  If it makes me a freak, that’s fine.  I don’t think I want to be “normal.”