June 13, 2008

Changing Channels

Bouncing around basic cable tonight, I thought about dropping in a video of Springsteen's "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)" or even Dylan's "TV Talkin' Song" ... but I'm not that motivated by the former and really not willing to promote anything from Under the Red Sky ... which in my opinion is not even as good as Down in the Groove, which at least has "Silvio" on it. Still, these lines from "TV Talkin' Song" are relevant.

"It will led you into some strange pursuits,
Lead you to the land of forbidden fruits.
It will scramble up your head and drag your brain about,
Sometimes you gotta do like Elvis did and shoot the damn thing out."

I think he was actually talking about the internet without knowing it. But the original context also works; if the best thing on TV is an infomercial for Girls Gone Wild videos or some kind of colon cleansing scheme, where are we exactly? Post-rapture maybe? Bah.

(What follows, just to cheer me up, is a non sequitur: Dylan doing "Silvio" at the Prince's Trust concert in '96. If you look close, you'll see that he's got "Wood.")

'What follows is a non sequitur.' That might be the funniest thing I've ever said.

But back to TV: I liked it better back in the late 80s and early 90s when ESPN was all Australian rules football. At least it was a sport. I couldn't figure it out, but it was a sport. Folks, poker is not a SPORT. It's a game. I don't like splitting hairs of classification, so I'm not going to argue about bowling or Nascar or horse racing/abuse, but I know for sure that poker ain't a sport. What's next? Uno? Yahtzee? Smoking?

And MTV of course had videos. It's '91, son.

Comedy Central, instead of steering the course of American government, was mostly standup clips from the like of Emo Phillips.

More channels, more noise ... I guess that's about right.


Unknown said...

I confess to liking the "sport/not a sport" debate. How does one define "sport"? My personal definition: "a competitive physical activity in which the taking of steroids or human growth hormone can clearly help one succeed." Thus, poker--obviously not a sport. Competitive eating? No. Bowling? No. Fishing? Yes, if you're the one on the hook. My definition still leaves me with the problem of "sports" in which the winner is decided by a judge. I'd like to rule them out, but I probably couldn't get away with it.

Tom said...

As for "sports" in which the "winner" is decided by a judge, I suspect the appropriate term may simply be "competition": a gymnastic competition, an ice-skating competition, an elocution competition. So, in my own capacity as judge, I'll rule them out of bounds as sports, too.