After reading an excellent post made by Mik Furie, I decided to develop an idea of the post that was in my mind for some time.
Upon my humble opinion, invention of television is, among electricity, phone, PC and burek with yoghurt, one of the most important things that happened in 20th century. It literally changed the way of life. And it
was is the most mercilessly obused device ever.
Long time ago, when I was still a kid, we, in former Yugoslavia lived in informatic and communication Heaven. We had only 2 channels of official government-led television, only the rare owned video players, no signs of PCs or mobile devices. Even the phone line was a luxury for some. But we had a TV. And radio, too, BUT we had a TV!!! During parts of the day when I was not in school or learning, I spent free time in reading or watching TV program. During that time, it consisted of mostly boring political "Big-Brother-will-tell-you-what-to-think" shows (that no one watched), some sports, news and movies. My father was interested mostly in football (soccer, for my USA friends) and basketball, and it was broadcasted usually during afternoon so mornings were mine (when I was not at school). I spent my time watching "The World of Survival" (does anyone remember David Bellamy?) and some of the movies when they made them from a heart.
First time I felt bored from it, was during 90s. Great economic crisses, the World`s biggest monetary inflation plus wars in our former country made a TV program obused by a leading party for spreading their political views – something similar to "Big-Brother-will-tell-you-what-to-think" but much more aggressive. We didn`t have money to buy a proper food but there was a lady on the news telling us how great our life is and that everyone else are wrong in everything; we were the most beautiful, most intelligent, magnificent nation and all the others are thinking evil thoughts. Suddenly, all the beautiful shows about nature disappeared, instead we got more political and quasi-political shows – some of them included half dressed women from show business. They still talked about how beautiful our life is, especially that part when they explained how easy it is to drive brand new Mercedes they bought; and about "material for their new project" which, more or less sounded like this:
Need any comment? We didn`t have to wait for too long before soap operas came and after that Big Brother, Farm, Changing a Wife, Moment of Truth, etc, etc. I am not sure if the last two came from abroad, they could be "projects" of some ingenious mind from here – Serbia or some other Balkan country. In first one there are two families, and father of families exchange wives – for a week or so – and then we can all see how a new wife/mom is adapted to a new family :faint: At the end, they all return to their original families, share impressions, and someone pick a family who will get some money for displaying all of their stupidity in public. Moment of Truth is even worse (I think I saw something similar in one USA TV), for a certain amount of money participant need to answer questions that reveal all of the personal trash he/she hided for a whole life – using of alcohol and drugs and cheating on husband/wife are the top of that pile of shit – and the most wanted :left:
Where "The World of Survival" has gone? Suddenly it was transformed into survival of watching so called pre-election political marketing, another pile of shit that no one wants to see but we all have to pay for.
All of this represents collective state of mind in Serbia and some of the consequences are described in Mik Furie`s post.
So I stopped watching TV. Anyway, there was, and still is, nothing interesting to see. At the beginning of 21st century we finaly got another miracle of developed world, a cable TV :hat: So, one day a company dedicated to cover cable TV broadcast in my part of town, offered to make free of charge connection to all new users; so I applied. A friend told me there are some great programs to watch, like Animal Planet, History Channel, National Geographic and I got myself hooked. Representative from a company came to my home, offered me some application form to fill and on his way out, told me they will send someone to connect me. After 15 days I got a bill for a first month :eyes: Being without service I refused to pay and called them to sort things out. They apologised and told me someone will come soon to connect me. After a month, I called again and they told me they have a big "project" (that word again) on the other part of the town, but my neighbourhood is the next. After another month I called again and the excuse was: "Sorry, we don`t have cables, we need to wait for next shipment…" So, I tore contract to pieces and forgot about whole thing. It was in 2002. and I think they are still waiting for that shipment to come 😛
Few days ago, I was buying a new fridge, and used that opportunity to take a look at some of the TVs in a shop. Flat screen, plasma, big with beautiful colours, they all look like from a Star Trek comparing to my 19 years old Kamacrown TV I have at home. Since my grandma broke a hip last year, my grandpa must stay at home to help her. She is mostly sleeping now so he spends a day watching TV, and I thought it would be nice to buy a newer one, not plasma or flat, they are too expensive for us, but anything that will ease his eyesight. So I asked him about the idea. I would pay for it anyway.
"Why?, he asked, "It would be a waste of money".
My thought, exactly :yes: