Life Without Cable
Ever since a tender age, I have felt a certain amount of comfort, even reassurance from the radioactive glow of a television set. I remember the highlight of my weekdays growing up were at 6:30 p.m. when “The Simpsons” came on. I’m of the opinion that syndicated episodes of “The Simpsons” did as much to shape parts of my personality and worldview as my parents/sister/teachers/friends did growing up. I have a bit of the recklessness and “damn the consequences” mindset of Bart, Homer’s undying love of booze, Marge’s ideas good natured actions and Lisa’s cynical, stereotypical liberal worldview. (Not to say my life is entirely shaped by television, I have a multitude of experiences, highs and lows that have contributed to who I am as a person.) But now, in a new city, where I can count the people I know on one hand, completely on my own financially (and partly socially) I have decided to forgo the expense of cable TV (I still have internet) in the hopes of getting out more, reading more and because, as a person in their early 20’s I have no idea how to properly handle money and therefore, cannot afford television.
Going from cable to strictly Hulu and those sites that have TV shows with Chinese subtitles that get shut down all the time, I would think is akin to something like a junkie going on methadone. You get what you want, but you just don’t really crest that wave. I’m just glad I didn’t have HBO or movie channels. I would have to start selling bodily fluids and bits of furniture to finance that habit (and at the moment, booze and smokes are hard enough to finance). After six days, I’ve read a lot. Wasted a lot of time on the internet, caught up on a few shows on Hulu and rode my bike. Frankly, I’m kind of enjoying it. Now, when someone asks me if I caught something on TV the night before, I get put on that holier-than-thou air, turn my nose up a bit and say in a pretentious tone, “no, I didn’t. I don’t have cable.” That way I look like someone who is above it all, who doesn’t need to buy into your stupid pop culture world, when in reality it’s because I’m just as broke as Nic Cage (did you no he bought not one, but TWO islands in the Bahama’s at one point? Seriously, how long did he think that check from “The Rock” was going to last?)
So here I am, sixth day, cable TV-less and it’s Thursday. The single best TV night of the week. I can make it through. I should probably have put some effort into going to a bar early but, eh. I guess I can sit and pine on: What sort of douchey/hilarious things will Joel McHale say tonight? Will Chang make it into the group? What’s going to happen with the Pawnee Harvest Festival? Will Aubrey Plaza finally respond, on air, to those hundreds, upon hundreds of love letters and written marriage proposals I have been sending her? Will the Office be entertaining again? (Fuck, is this the week with Will Ferrell?) What will happen behind the doors of 30 Rockefeller center? Will I catch herpes from watching this week’s episode of Jersey Shore? Is there more sweet riot footage from the Middle East I can be watching on CNN? (BTW, Really, Egypt and Bahrain, ousting your dictator? That’s like, so two months ago. Tunisia called, they want their discontent back.) I guess I’ll never know. Or I’ll have to wait the few days for them to show up online.
At least I won’t have to watch “Perfect Couples.”