Grumpy Old Man Rant #2,375,216 (Yeah… I have been busy)

October 30, 2012

Back when I was a young-in (when the dulcet tones of Wham and Culture Club filled the air) television programs had a simple, if somewhat formulaic, structure.  There was a beginning, a middle, another middle, probably a couple more middles and finally an end.  You could tell which was which by the presence of opening credits, commercials and closing credits.  You got this with dramas, comedies, the news and , hell, even the WWF (no.. not the people that want you to send money to save the eleven toed marmoset or some such) which probably counts as both drama and comedy.

What you DID NOT GET was parts of one program being displayed side by side with parts of another program.  Occasionally a live event (which you know… sort of had to just happen as it happened) would even encroach on a particularly good episode of Laverne and Shirley, or something about some wall getting torn down by ten-thousand drunk Germans would interrupt a rocking episode of Thudercats (HOOOAAA!).  Guess what would happen?  You would miss parts of one of the programs.  Guess which one.  Here is a hint… NOT THE LIVE ONE.

It would appear that sometime between the last time I really watched TV in earnest (I think something with someone called Screech was all the rage at the time) and last Wednesday, stations happened upon a novel approach.  You see… if you overlay the first 5 minutes of Program A with the last 5 minutes of Program B then rinse and repeat (I learned that phrase during one of the aforementioned commercials along with the fact that itchy ass syndrome seems to be a wide spread malady transmitted by toilet paper you could rough sand mahogany with) you can, apparently, cram an additional 32.7 useless commercials into every Broadcast Day.  I have coined the phrase “Time Douching” to describe this phenomenon as it is like time shifting with a DVR if that concept were conceived by the biggest douche in the universe (which, for the record, is currently Donald Trump).  In fact… you don’t even have to limit yourself to overlapping the opening and closing credits.  You can (gasp) even overlay actual actors speaking actual dialogue which is ACTUALLY THE DAMNED TV SHOW!

Now… I realize that for those of us with the attention span of a 13 year old on crystal meth laced Red Bull, this is just totally awesome.  I mean… who doesn’t want 32.7 more opportunities to learn about the cause and solution to unmentionable body odors (which oddly still get mentioned) or the latest  blanket-slash-something-that-should-never-be-crossed-with-a-blanket that has recently hit the market?  Or how about a 4 minute guided tour of how horrifyingly unpleasant aging is along with an alphabetized list of shit on you that is soon going to stop working properly? Or even better how about having to become Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek in your ability to process, separate and then assimilate completely different audio-visual stimulae from often wildly different subject matter?  I mean who hasn’t wanted to try to separate the plot threads from the end of a primo Sanford and Son episode from the neuron pulverizing ramblings of the first 5 minutes of a Rush Limbaugh broadcast?

<PJ RAISES HAND> I don’t want to.

I will make a deal with all of the stations that have turned to this latest attempt to squeeze more ads into television while squeezing more content out (as in out of the equation entirely).  If you all agree to just let one damned show end before you start another I will agree to not invent a death ray capable of selectively vaporizing TV Ad execs, TV Station heads and Clowns (long story but to sum it up… I hate clowns).  And this is no idle threat… have you noticed how the bees keep disappearing?  Let’s just say I take getting stung VERY PERSONALLY.

Well… that’s it for now.  And remember… wherever you go… there you… better stay off my lawn.


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