I AM back on schedule. There’s a TV in the tiny flat where I’m currently residing, but it didn’t work: “weak or no signal”, it warned in the heartless way of the machines. The landlord suggested getting an aerial booster but that made no difference either.
Then, after a prolonged period of fasting and prayer, I fiddled about with it and, lo, after pressing something called “autotune” and blowing hard on the screen, I now get all the free channels. It has been a revelation to me, and my evenings are now blessed with entertainment and education.
I had a TV at the home I’ve just left, but only used it to watch DVDs really. I eschewed the schedules as inflexible and dictatorial, preferring to be a free agent setting his own agenda. But I haven’t had a good boxed set to watch for ages and, while I was enjoying working my way through the collected Carry On films (again!), these are currently in storage, along with the rest of my life.
So, now I had to sit down at a set time to watch something and, boy, did I enjoy it. “Enough freedom!”, cries this Faintheart. I need to be tellt. If you give me freedom, I just end up sitting on a rock staring at the sea. And not a dish washed.
The only thing I didn’t like in this new, or rejuvenated, telly life were the long and frequent ad breaks on the “satellite” channels. Honestly, who watches these? They’re absolutely hopeless. And it’s not as if they have a wide variety of ads. It’s all the same ones, like a commercial 1984, driving home a propaganda message relentlessly into your heid.
The more “normal” commercial channels, as I would call them, at least aren’t quite as bad and, if you promise yourself tea and toast at the next break, you almost become impatient for it.
I don’t know if there is a facility to pause this TV set-up, but I have not yet investigated it as it is a practice of which I have never really approved. It seems like stepping out of time, upsetting Einstein’s universe, as well as offering me a dangerous freedom of the sort that I have come to deplore.
At the time of writing, I am particularly enjoying Springwatch, which I’d never seen before, having given up watching nature documentaries because of the gratuitous cruelty frequently displayed. It’s one thing knowing it happens in the awful, real world, but quite another to sit down with a cup of tea to watch it.
I even watched the last Hobbit film, having boycotted the series previously because of the liberties it took with accuracy in the wonderful, real world of Middle Earth. I will not, however, be watching Game of Thrones, assuming it is around on a channel somewhere. I caught up with this in DVD boxed sets but eventually could stand no more of the appalling violence and sadism that normal people seem to enjoy. Same with Nordic noir: dreadful.
Still, maybe that’s just me. And, just now, me – I mean I – am thoroughly enjoying sitting down at the same time as other unfree people across the nation to watch television as it is meant to be watched: at a set time.