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A Satirical Take On the Revolutionary Switch to Digital Television

Estuans interius ira vehementi in amaritudine loquor mee mentii*


Ian Patrick Freely (IPF) is conducting a telephone interview with a Disgruntled Television Viewer (DTV).

 IPF:  Mr. Viewer, I understand that you are quite upset about the recent conversion to digital television.

DTV:  Yes!  Thanks to this conversion to digital television, I've gone from eight or more stations to only one, and I am very angry about how this all happened.

IPF:  Have you thought about perhaps reading a book?

DTV:  Reading Sucks!  Reading a book sucks about as much as watching television!

IPF:  I thought this was about watching television?

DTV:  As Marx said "Television is the opiate of the people"...

IPF:  Religion!... I believe that Karl Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people.  Television wasn't around when he was alive...

DTV:  If Marx were alive today, I'm sure he would agree that television has supplanted religion as the opiate of the people....This opiate called television has cleared my system and it is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever.... (IPF):  That's Dickens.... (DTV):  No! I don't think so.... (IPF): Yes! that's from 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens.... (DTV):  Well be that as it may.... To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles..... (IPF):  Now, that's Shakespeare.... (IPF):   No! I don't think so.... (DTV): Yes! That's Hamlet's soliloquy.... (IPF):  I'm trying to foment an insurrection here; These injections of fact are interfering with my rhetoric.

IPF:  So!  Do you have a plan for this...this...whatever?

DTV:  I am calling for all those ardent survivalist, those budding Kaczynskis and McVeys, and other disenfranchised souls to ferret out those S.O.B.s responsible for this digital television fiasco and exact retribution....Furthermore, they should wherever possible to jam or disrupt all television transmissions whatever form they may take....

IPF:  Don't you think that's a bit harsh? Won't people be turned off to your cause if they lose their television because of it.

DTV:  It would make me feel better!.... They would experience what it's like to be deprived of television due to circumstances beyond their control....If I can't watch television no one else should be able to either!...  Besides this is a political movement; American politics is all about self-aggrandizement and ego stimulation.

IPF:  How do you think the American Public would react to rule by a radical fringe group?

DTV:  Speaking of radical fringe groups, Bush and Cheney ruled for eight years (they may still be in control as far anyone knows); If that didn't cause rioting in the streets, it's hard to imagine what would.... Besides, Obama should continue to be president so, that he may reach his full potential as a great leader unfettered by the plutocracy.

IPF:  But we live in a democracy...

DTV:  You are sadly mistaken; we live in a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy. There is a difference.

IPF:  How do you think the government will react to your endeavors?

DTV:  Anyone in power would act adversely if losing that power was in peril.....Oh!  I hear government agents coming up the walkway....Must go!

 

  Click here for second interview  

A Call To Action

    If you have been adversely affected by the switch to DTV,   CALL or WRITE your congressional representative.  Use e-mail only in addition to CALLING or WRITING a letter.

   When you contact your congressperson, urge them to introduce legislation to correct this injustice by either compensation for loss of service over public airwaves with service equivalent to the service which was lost, or an immediate return to analog TV broadcasting until the shortcomings of DTV broadcasting are resolved.

    When you contact your senator(s), urge them and their colleagues to support any legislation that corrects the unjust loss of service due to the switch to DTV.


The following are some of my thoughts about the switch to digital television.

The transition to digital television was engendered by the National Security Act to free up bandwidth for police and emergency responders, however only a small portion of that bandwidth is needed for police and emergency responders. The rest of these once public airwaves are to be sold to telecommunications companies.

The virtues of digital television were extolled for over a year before the conversion, but just a couple of months before DTV-day, the issue of signal loss was trotted out for all to see. In my opinion, the transition was not thoroughly scrutinized before implementation began, otherwise, this current signal loss problem would have been addressed.

This current situation greatly angers me as have lost the signal of six or more stations. In an attempt to diminish my anger, I have sent e-mails to numerous TV stations, created aphorisms such as DTV means Disenfranchised Television Viewer and set up a web page with a diatribe against digital television, to no avail, anger continually returns. The government has robbed me of my option to sit in front of the boob tube and watch mindless drivel.

Point 1: no one has figured out how to tax TV signals over the public airways, but if these signals are provided from cable or satellite, federal and municipal taxes come into the picture (no pun intended). Point 2: cable and satellite companies' subscribership will increase because people have lost their TV signals and/or the digital TV picture is inferior to their old analog picture. The cable & satellite companies get money, the cities get money and the federal government gets money. Conclusion: There seems to be some collusion going on here.

One would think that TV stations would be concerned about loss of viewers, but they seem rather placid about the issue; they don't want to rock the boat. (Of course, I don't really know because I don't have any damn TV reception).

I have heard from time to time about a cable or satellite company dropping a TV station from it's line-up. I have often wondered why this happens; why that particular station? Are there any Federal requirements about what a cable or satellite company must provide? Given that a cable or satellite company can drop a station for any reason it desires, a TV station might feel pressure not to 'rock the boat' on a given issue, because it might affect the bottom line of a cable or satellite company. Given that the loss of viewers from being dropped from a cable or satellite line-up would far greater than the loss of viewers due to the DTV conversion, the boat would not be rocked; principles or survival, a difficult choice.


* Written by an unknown 12th or 13th century poet; featured in Carmina Burana.

Literal translation:  Passion inside rages violently; in bitterness, I talk to myself fictitiously.

Embellished translation:  Rage boils violently inside me; ensnared in bitter affliction, I talk to myself fictitiously.


Other LeoCentaur Web Pages (All Powered by WebRing)

LeoCentaur's Theremin Page - http://leocentaur.angelfire.com/theremin.html

LeoCentaur's Fractal Antennae for DTV reception - http://leocentaur.angelfire.com/dtva.html

E-books: The Memoirs of John F. Doe - http://leocentaur.angelfire.com/alitw.html

Stand-Alone File Sort Utility for Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP - http://leocentaur.angelfire.com/wrqsort.html


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