I owe a lot to my iPod. Ever since I got the little blue thing in 2004 (having stoically waited until the features/price balance made enough sense to justify a purchase), it has become indispensable. Somewhere on the sidebar of this journal will eventually be a list of information sources I regularly avail myself of, most of them audio podcasts. Most of those are converted radio and television, made available for free, as an incentive to both buy the hardware and peruse the offerings of paid content on the iTunes store.
We got rid of cable tv in our apartment back during W’s first usurped term in office, as a direct consequence of economic need. Times got tough for a couple attempting to stay out of debt, and cable was an easier habit to break than protein. Over-the-air television sufficed to bring us the few shows we could rabbit-ear into viewable reception.
The results: NPR’s Science Friday, The Thomas Jefferson Hour, This American Life, and Radio Lab. PRI’s The Sound of Young America. PBS’s Bill Moyers’ Journal, I Cringely, and NOW. Escape Pod, The Tech Guy, MacBreak Weekly, The Onion Radio News, Scientific American’s Science Talk, Gruber & Benjamin’s The Talk Show, Your Mac Life, and Magnatune’s Sitar Podcast.
Most of these are informational, keeping me in touch with the world through my chosen conduit of science and technology. A few cover the cultural and entertainment categories, and I’m loathe to admit to some of the ones I’m leaving off this list. Still more will follow once I replace my 4gb iPod mini with one of the new touch models, because There Will Be Video, as well. So what will I have to give up to make room for the new stuff?
So fuck you, Verizon, Time-Warner, and Comcast, for not allowing me to subscribe to the cable stations I actually want without appending a huge, costly “package” of crap I’ll never need. No interest in modifying your customer-service software for true á là carte shopping? Fuck you all.
I’ll happily suffer the mild disdain of the high-renter thirty-year-olds I work with when I tell them about how relatively simple it was to rig up an over-the-air antenna for the inevitable digital video signal changeover. I don’t need to be reminded how ADD-illiterate network drama or local tv news has become, as long as I can still receive the two or three public television stations within my range.
Call me a snob, but I just don’t need that much noise in my life. And that’s all you purveyors of crap are to me, until one or more of you can prove me wrong with a consistent lineup of better product. I’ll abstain from premium cable if it means not paying real money for the likes of American Idol.