Friday, January 30, 2009

Won't Someone Think of the Couch Potatoes, Please?

The House this week correctly affirmed the 17 February Digital TV Transition. However, it was by accident, as a majority vote for delay until June failed the necessary 2/3rds margin. The Senate had previously unanimously approved a delay to June.

Question: Is there anyone left in this country that is either ignorant of, or unprepared for, the DTV switch next month?

Answer: Who cares! They will find out soon enough and can decide (freedom of choice!) what, if anything, to do about the change in their lives. Why is it that Congress feels it must hold the hand of every couch potato in the country? Incredible that our 'dear leaders' are wasting oxygen over this one...they have dug themselves a hole. Now, no matter what Congress does, they will mess up the DTV transition. Ms. Chung, president and chief executive officer of Self Help for the Elderly in San Francisco says it best: "Whatever day Congress decides, we'll work around that..."

The New York Times, also turning couch potatoes into victims, has this to say:
Vesta Clemmons, who is 77 and lives alone, relies on the battered Zenith television in her tiny apartment here as more than just a lifeline to the outside world...for those older and low-income viewers like Ms. Clemmons who still use set-top rabbit ears or rooftop antennas to pull in images of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” or “The Young and the Restless,” the switchover to digital television has often proven a bewildering and cumbersome burden.
The photo of Vesta is Priceless, she is a refined woman of obvious taste and style, she is no shut-in. Matter of fact, Vesta's preferred music: Pink Floyd, Ozzy Osbourne and Nine-Inch Nails. Folks, you don't develop a taste for the metal without a little help from your friends.

But, who is that in the picture with Vesta? Why it is Meals-On-Wheels delivering a digital converter box!:

For several months now, drivers and volunteers for the Houston-area program have been delivering and installing digital converter boxes for its clients — as a side dish alongside the baked chicken and stewed peaches that are their usual fare. Ms. Clemmons’s turn came last week.

The thousand points of light... our citizens helping each other, without congressional action. We know the right thing to do.

And BO-44 is also proposing delay. You know what would make me proud: if BO were to say "The country cannot afford to delay progress. My Fellow Citizens, I encourage each one of you to call your friends, to call your family, and to reach out to your new neighbors, your old neighbors, your tired neighbors and your shut-in neighbors to aid them during this transition. We will not delay; nay, the thousand points of light will shine, and together we will do without delay, without further expense."

(P.S. The House can and probably will still screw-up the DTV transition next week with a simple majority vote, all in the name of defense of the helpless couch potato victims of course. Won't someone think of the couch potatoes, please?)


Anonymous said...

Communities better organize to pick up the old televisions people are leaving around.

Bob in Los Angeles said...

Perhaps we should stimulate trade by exporting them to NTSC countries?

OBloodyHell said...

The real question here, is whether it is possible to actually watch TV and not know this is happening to the point where you would want to know how it affects you.

I put it to all and sundry that, if by some phenomenal miracle you don't know all about it, you really, really, REALLY don't watch TV enough to give a rat's f***ing ass about it in the first place.

Given the number of TV watchers out there, I believe the population in question consists of about 6 American professional archeologists working in Outer Mongolia, give or take one or two.


OBloodyHell said...

Oh, and, btw, as a consequence I don't see how delaying the switch or more advertising and government programs are going to help very much...

Bob in Los Angeles said...

Agreed -- delay will not help. Delay will cost money (public service announcements, publication of new rules, all those bureaucrats that will need additional training to deal with re-announcing the delay, not to mention the mental toil and anguish on countless millions that are wondering what the heck is going on.) Not only will delay cost money, holding the hands of couch potatoes only reinforces bad behavior -- it is called co-dependence.