Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Interactive TV

I don't understand all the excitement over this new technology called Interactive TV. To my mind, the one and only virtue of TV is that it is NOT interactive. I firmly believe in every citizen's right to sit in his or her underwear, feet up on the coffee table, immured in beer and potato chips, and stare moronically at the flickering phosphors of the TV set, or home entertainment system as we like to say nowadays. I will defend to the death this basic right, as long as it's during a commercial.

I don't mean to criticize all the technologists and scientists who even now are working feverishly to bring this miracle to our homes. I'm sure their motives are purely altruistic, and they see no other consequence of this technology than the enrichment of our lives, and the betterment of our planet for generations to come. Why else would they do it? I, however, unrecoverable cynic that I am, view this all as a plot to deprive me, and others like me (numbering in the ones) of our precious mental inertia. Remember that old notion, inertia? That's the law that says: "A body at rest tends to remain at rest, unless acted upon by his wife." Well, that applies to minds as well as bodies.

Now before you get the wrong idea, let me explain that the mind is most active, most creatively fertile, while watching TV. What could be more stimulating than contemplating the possibility, however remote, that Simon Cowell will again bruskly dismiss another would-be Idol? Or that the interns on Gray's Anatomy will unwittingly divulge the most intimate details of their sexual exploits to their patients? And what, of course, could possibly provide more mental stimulation than professional wrestling?

And if you don't want all that mental activity, there's always the evening news.

So I say we must fight against interactive TV. Stand up for ... ok, well sit down for your right to remain passive. Whatever.

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