Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bought a 46-inch Television?

At the electronics store the other night . . .

I'm looking around at the same program on at least 20 huge televisions mounted along the walls. It's like being at a game show. Lights are flashing. Bells are ringing. Beethoven (the dog) is romping around on screen.

The fact that I'm shopping at all is shocking and inexplicable, except that it's R's birthday, and I want to do something worthy of the celebration.

Oh, how about buy the biggest TV in the whole wide world? Yes! Well, the biggest costs more than $5,000 so I'm exaggerating a wee bit.  

But it's true. Change has grabbed our alternative family by the britches, and we're moving into the 21st Century at lightning speed. A few years ago, you would have been less surprised to find me riding an icy comet down the street in front of your house than buying a Titan-size television and getting cable.

Times are a-changin' pal. Times are a-changin'.

There's a snowball effect to change. I think that's why people fear change. It's not just the one thing, oh no. Once the "thing" arrives in the middle of the living room, then the entire living room needs to be redecorated, then the foyer painted, then a new front door, hours of sweeping and swatting away autumn's dying gnats, and scrubbing everything in sight.  

I guess it all escalates when you realize it's impossible to connect cable to the little old television there on the dusty credenza. Well, we could force it but we don't want to. We deserve better.

We -- those inhabiting our little house in Takoma Park -- are getting fiber optics. Think spaghetti with eye glasses. Fiber optics is a far cry from the team of squirrels who run the programming now by rubbing their bellies on the attic floor to create an electrical current.

As Charlie Kauffman (the screenwriter) says in the movie "Adaptation," change is not a choice.
Fiber optics is a collective decision among the 13 of us. I think I mentioned we have an alternative household. Two humans, two cats, one dog, and 8 puppets, including a lion, a big bad wolf, a bear, a sheepdog, and two foxes. We don't discriminate by species or inanimate status here.

Every "thing" (and I mean that inclusively with the exception of any rodent) within our home receives respectful "person" status. "Good morning, dear" is not reserved for humans.

It's the Pinocchio Effect. Talk to something long enough, and eventually it talks back to you.  

But right now, everyone's quiet. We're watching the new television. Shhh.