And unfortunately the future is now, sort of…
I don’t know how your situation at home is, but life has been hell on the boats. Let me clarify, I work offshore on a push boat going to small inland oil fields or small refineries. We never really go out into the open Gulf because we would be bashed apart by the waves. Now I was hardly the average consumer they thought of when they passed the law to convert all analog TV to digital only, but it has a had a huge impact on all those that don’t sit still. Digital TV signal, on a good day, goes out every time someone uses their radio to talk to each other, which is a lot because they don’t want to have any accidents. With analog signal you didn’t have that problem. You might have had an increase in snow, but the sound was continuous and you could still see enough of the show to know what was going on. So there’s 3 to 6 seconds of complete blackout every minute or so which is proceeded and followed by several ‘skips’ which completely disrupts any continuity especially on game shows like Jeopardy. It’s really annoying when you only see half the question or you completely miss the answer. Now you think I’m a small fraction of the population, but there is a huge offshore industry which is forced to live out here on the water and it’s one of our few entertainments and or only real source of news and weather. (Hint: Weather plays a huge factor in our daily lives and work.)
Now I know of a few people who can’t afford satellite or cable, whose costs keeps rising. My mom is one of those people, and she was forced to buy a Digital converter box, though she used the government coupon to buy it. She has an antenna, never moves and there aren’t any high frequency radios that interrupt signal, but she complains constantly about how her shows go in and out like it does on the boats. It’s very disruptive, as I said before, and it’s her main source of daily news and information. Anyone who makes enough money to not qualify (or accept) government support, but not enough to keep ahead of their bills are at the mercy of over the air digital TV. They lose much of the daily entertainment which we all took for granted when we had the constant analog signal.
Who Won Out In The Deal
Nothing happens in Washington without it benefiting some lobbyist and greasing the palm of some elected official that supposed to have our best interests at heart. I think that there was someone making a lot of money on both the issuing of the government coupons and another on the digital TV and the selling of the converter boxes. There was also the rush of people that went out to buy the latest, greatest TV so they could forever leave behind the out dated analog signal. I further believe that the powers that be knew that these stop gap measures wouldn’t work so we would all be forced to buy into the expensive satellite or cable TV.
I would personally like to know why we were forced to go along with this. Why weren’t we given the option to vote? This is a democracy (or really a republic) so there we should have had at least some kind of say. We have massive rallies and commercials for presidents who are only around for 4 to 8 years and some of them have had negligible lasting effects. This affects the whole country for the rest of our lives. This affects the way we send and receive information. This gives controlling interest and selective broadcasting rights to a proportionately small group of people who weren’t elected, or chosen by the elected, but chosen by our falsely limited choices. We may still have freedom of speech, but our ability to receive and there by create our opinions based on unbiased information due to the limited reception ability severely undermines our natural rights. I hope one day that the reception ability and broad casting power adequately improves so that all people can once again contiguously receive all broadcast information and allow us to freely choose what we believe.
3D! It’s for you; it’s for me! Yippee! Insouciant
Ok, I maybe starting to sound like an old curmudgeon, but man, oh man, do I hate this ‘innovation’ of 3-D movies. I really thought that 3-D was some kind of fad that popped and fizzled in the 70’s and 80’s. I mean the last prime time flopper of 3-D was some terrible Super Bowl halftime show. I fortunately don’t remember much except for a screen full of wanna be 3-D records floating across the screen as some guy rocked out. I guess they didn’t know that a TV doesn’t show a picture in the right way for you to see it as a 3-D image with the old trusty blue and red paper glasses. Needless to say the ‘experience’ was a flop of epic proportions.
The movies I’ve seen use 3-D in the usual, most juvenile ways. Like think of the latest Beowulf with Angelina Jolie as the monster. The use of 3-D was to make you homophobicly afraid of the king’s toga falling off and getting an eye full of 3-D eye poking wiener. Then there were the really ‘cool’ moments when lances were coming at you and other bullshit like that. I mean, was it any more interesting in Avatar when the bullets were coming at you? Even if the effects really kicked ass and enhanced the movie to any appreciable degree, the entire movie sucked anyway. I thought movie makers were making much more interesting headway with stop motion, full action filming such as in The Matrix.
When I see things in real life, it’s no more ‘3-D’ to me than watching TV. Things don’t really come ‘out at me’ until they are almost at arm’s reach. I mean I suspect most people are like me. Our lives aren’t filled with wacky visions of random crap just flying out at us. Trust me, our lives would be a stressed out hell.
Besides being mostly useless for actually adding value to the movie going experience you are extorted an extra $ 3 to 5, depending on how ‘awesome’ your local theater is and you usually can’t even circumvent the cost by bringing your own pair of glasses because it’s a ‘fee’ already calculated into the ticket’s price. The best part is you are basically forced to recycle those moronic glasses in a ‘green’ movement. I mean you pay extra money for these **** glasses and you don’t even get to keep them. You are charged full price for the same used merchandise again and again. Surely someone has to bring attention to the fact that this can hardly be ethical and shouldn’t be even legal.
For me, the nail in the coffin is the fact that my wife has astigmatism. Any movie in 3-D, any movie at all, is off limits for us. A large portion of the world has astigmatism and when you have that and try to watch a very long movie in 3-D it makes you sick and gives you major headaches. I love going to the movies even though I don’t get to go a lot. Most of the really cool movies that catch our eye because of cool previews are off limits since all the theaters playing them are only showing the 3-D versions to maximize revenue. So for my wife and the millions of people with astigmatism, and those who love them, are forever screwed out of seeing the better movies. The only real technical benefit for anybody is that 3-D movies are harder to copy and there by harder to spread around for free. So really, it would just be rockin’ if you movie makers would just get freakin’ real and drop the whole bullshit of trying to make a ‘good’ 3-D movie.
3-D HD TV in Dolby Surround Sound (Where (if ever) Available)
With the hype of 3-D raging through the movie world, the powers that be decided that It would be a good thing if they brought this ‘wondrous’ technology to our very own living rooms. I have to say ‘stop right there.’ They are trying to sell us this **** 3D TV’s idea when almost no TV programming is in actual HD quality. Now do you expect TV programmers at large to buy these expensive cameras that record in 3D? Oh no, I foresee it being more like that craptastic remake of the Clash of the Titans where they made it with regular cameras and forced to look like 3D. So it’s going to be a half ass attempt to get you to buy an expensive ass piece of **** that will work at quarter capacity at its best.
You May Actually Be On To Something
The only promising idea I’ve heard so far is that 3D has potential application for video games. This is cool because the average gamer is looking for as full immersion experience their games as possible. In fact if the average game system was VR people would line up around the blocks to get it. Plus game makers will spend whatever they have to make the latest greatest game out there because they know they will get the return. Even if one game fails others will build up on the bones of the fallen until they get it right, and with each foray into the new it becomes more practical and accessible. Besides charging a lot up front, they also make a lot of money on the back side by charging a monthly subscription rate which people who are hooked on it will continuously play, assuming they can get enough hours in the real world to hold down a job and pay for their fix. This is seriously the best and only real successful venture I see in the upcoming years for 3D.