Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ah, technology.

Ah, technology. The word itself gleams. Conjuring images of a perfect steel robot cleaning your house. In reality, the robot would probably have a glitch and destroy your house. “EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!” Yes, there’s an eternal gulf between the sales pitch and the reality. Being eternal and all, that gulf has always existed. The only difference?

Nowadays, we believe the hype. We actually think that stuff should work. “We” as-in “I,” OK?

Case in point: Batman. Growing up as a child in Sarasota, FLA in the 1960s, I was on a Batman-deprived media diet. See, we used to fetch TV shows with these here TV antennas, yep. You young’uns might not know this. But, in those days, there were only three VHS channels – CBS, NBC and ABC. Yep. Seems like, back in those days, there was an ABC affiliate squatting on Channel 10 in Largo, and another ABC affiliate what had Channel 10 in Ft. Myers. Sarasota was smack dab in the middle – which means the signals arriving from both stations were weak and interfered with each other. Thus, tuning into ABC, Sarasota TVs in general (and our black-and-white Zenith in particular) received only snowy images and white noise sound. We saw only the ghost of Batman. At a time when Batman (the dumbass, campy, Adam West TV-incarnation) was a !@# national craze.

Unless, of course, you had a bigass, gunga-mongous TV antenna. Like our wealthy, electronic-savvy neighbors, the Wilhelms.

And there were times, I confess, that I’d sneak out and (like some video Peeping Tom) press my face of their Florida room to behold the Batmania whereof I had been so deprived. While mosquitoes ate me alive. Slap! I considered it a necessary sacrifice.

Never once did it occur to me that the !@# media monopolies had screwed me – that this was a personal insult and a form of theft. Nah. It’s TV. It’s a signal in the atmosphere. Our antenna is small and crappy. Stuff doesn’t always work. I accepted it philosophically.

Unlike now …

When I see that REINSTALL NETFLIX warning on our streaming feed from said company. When my eyes roll back in my head and I wanna put a bullet through the HD screen like a reincarnated Elvis. My attitude is no longer philosophical. I’ve been conditioned, you see.

I really think this stuff should work.