10.22.2004

a-hole of the week

someone invented a keychain called TV B Gone that can turn off almost any tv.

from what i can tell, the guy who invented this thinks that he's offering some kind of public service by basically forcing people to watch less television. i guess the idea is if you are distracted by a television in a bar or a restuarant, you can turn it off. in other words, it's a real obnoxious way to say, "what about me?"

two things from the story that i'm gonna break down for you. first,
He has tested the TV-B-Gone remote discreetly in many places, and in other countries, and -- with the exception of Hong Kong -- says he usually gets little to no reaction from others after the background TV noise disappears.
what this should tell this guy is that no one except for him is really distracted by the tv being on in a public place. i suppose it's a waste of electricity, but that's really beside the point.

second thing, a quote from the inventor
I can be mischievous, but I'm not going to do anything malicious, and I don't want to make anyone's life more difficult. I just don't like TV, and I'd like people to think more about this powerful medium in their lives.
what an ass! first of all, just because you don't like television, doesn't mean it is a bad thing. the whole "i just wanna make people think" is your classic bs excuse for "i want people to have the same values as i do." what if i said, you know i think that certain books have too much of an effect on people's lives (are you listening to me wal-mart?), i want to make people think about that by burning them. it's the same goddammed thing. last time i check, we didn't live in nazi germany. it's like farhenheit 9/11, if you don't like what you think the message is going to be, then you don't have to go see it, a-hole.

i don't get the whole luddite thing. in fact, i think that when luddites say stuff like "technology dehumanizes us", i just think it's code for, "i liked things better when black people couldn't live in the same neighborhoods as us, gay teens just did us all a favor by committing suicide, and women couldn't vote." all this yearning for a bucolic time when people really talked to each other is just bs. just ask black people, gay people and women if they think that people really talked to each other while they were systematically discriminated against. it's just not a good argument to say that technology is ruining our lives. how we use technology may be the culprit, but humans are repsonsible for that. i for one say that there is no shame in having the television on just to keep yourself company while you are mopping the floor or something.

think about it, without seeing rodney king on television, it might have taken us a lot longer to realize that some cops like to beat up black people. without the footage of the bodies coming home on television, the US might have stayed in vietnam even longer costing even more lives. without television, brooke burke would have never gotten her start as the host to E!'s wild on show and wouldn't have been able to grace the cover of this month's playboy.

look, i'm not saying that we watch too much television, cuz we probably do. but the solution lies in people taking responsibility for how much television they watch, not someone else telling us what to watch and what not to watch. just like the solution to obesity is not telling people not to eat. it's getting them to get their fatass of the couch and stop watching tele...oh wait a minute. anyways, you know what i mean.

anyways, the stupid keychain is supposedly selling like hotcakes, so the douchebag inventor probably thinks that he has some kind of following, but i can guarantee you that at least half of the people who are buying are high school kids looking for new ways to pull pranks.

No comments: