Tube Rubbish

Posted Thu, 04/17/08

I've felt really dreadful for the last several days, the root of which will hopefully be put to rights after my surgery later this month. I'm so tired of feeling like hell one day to the next, or having it creep up on me out of the blue. It's debilitating and frustrating because there is so much I want to do every day. Sometimes the nausea is just too much for me to take on, so I'm effectively useless at the moment.

To that end, I've been spending much of my time either sleeping or lying in bed watching television. I should say I've made half-assed attempts to watch the tube as these days a large portion of the content seems to contain an excess of commercial advertisements.

The ads are lame and tiresome. If the increase keeps up as it is, there will probably be ten minutes of program with the rest being commercials. The excess as it is now is annoying beyond description, and results in one of two reactions from me: never buy the products being pushed over and over again, or quit watching television all together unless I manage to find ad-free shows (such as offered on PBS during the fund-drive off-seasons).

The upswing in marketing and commercialization has been introduced gradually, as if those in the know assume the American public is comprised of idiots and won't notice the influx. That annoys me even further – being treated like a moron in much the same fashion in which the government treats its citizenry.

Frankly, I don't want to see commercial ads: I don't care what anyone is peddling, it's not worth the time and effort to watch their litany just so one can watch a television program. I'm not interested in products that are essentially crammed down the throats of consumers whether they like it or not.

I'm not even mildly interested in the few-and-far-between "funny" or visually appealing ads, because in the end they do the same thing: cut time off from the program you tuned in to watch in the first place. Local commercials are the worst, however. There is one in particular in my area that depicts a father-son-run furniture store, whereby the twosome are dressed up like old cowboys and dancing like idiots all over their premises. The ad is stupid and it makes them look stupid, and thus ensures its one place of business I will never frequent.

A recent article by Alain L. Sanders at Time Magazine says it all:

American television viewers are being assaulted with more commercials than ever before: a record 15 minutes and 44 seconds' worth in an average hour of prime time, 25 seconds more than last year. Blame it on soaring television production costs and a declining per-network viewership caused by an increase in cable and cyberspace alternatives. These twin pressures are pushing the networks hard to get more money out of their assets, says TIME senior business editor Bill Saporito. The result is to provide less product and sell more space.

Unfortunately, the government cannot step in:

Despite popular perceptions, there are no governmental limits on how much commercial time TV stations can air.

At least until consumers get their fill of the garbage and decide to do something about it.

In the meantime, it's either lump the advertisements or pay even more for the privilege of having a television.