Paul Daugherty, who writes about sports (and life) for the Cincinnati Enquirer, is not just a favorite sports columnist...one of my favorite columnists, period. In his brilliant piece from yesterday, Daugherty discusses one consequence of Monday Night Football moving from ABC to ESPN: He's considering getting a dish.
You see, this fine sports journalist doesn't have cable, just the handful of stations he can pick up with his antenna. Whenever he reveals this to people, Daugherty says, people look at him like he has one eye in the middle of his forehead. (No ESPN!)
In this column, he also reveals that he isn't too high-tech: His computer connection to the Internet is dial-up.
I suppose that I'm just a few steps ahead of Daugherty. Like him, I live in a dial-up household. I don't own a palm pilot or a blackberry, whatever that is, either. When people start talking to me about i-Pods, Tivo, or just downloading music, my head starts spinning.
We have basic cable at our house, mostly because if left to watch the programming our antenna could feed us at our suburban Cincinnati home, we'd miss 99% of the shows we watch. Network fare for us includes 60 Minutes and the now-deceased Everybody Loves Raymond. That's about it.
Otherwise, we pretty well watch the various cable networks.
Our daughter likes to watch Lifetime, or as our son calls it, The I Hate Men Network with occasional stops at various and sundry reality shows. (I refer to them as un-reality shows.)
The son, as a History and Philosophy major, naturally gravitates to The Cartoon Network and The Food Channel. He also loves The National Geographic Channel. Like me, he'll usually watch a baseball game.
When it isn't showing endless "documentaries" on World War Two or the Civil War, The History Channel sometimes interests us.
My wife loves TNT, where she watches re-runs of Law and Order. Last night, we watched a half-hour of the movie, Pleasantville, together. (I still don't get what that movie is supposed to be about. I mean, what is its message, anyway? If you think you know, send a comment.)
I love MSNBC and sometimes look at the first two incarnations of ESPN.
We all love Turner Classic Movies and enjoyed AMC until somebody got the bright idea of ruining it.
The point is that while we do occasionally find TV shows worth watching on the cable, more than we probably would find if we didn't have it, Daugherty's got me thinking that maybe I've moved too far forward in the world of technology. Maybe I should not only trash cable, but TV altogether.
I know. I know. That's a radical statement. But I've noticed that when the TV is off, three things happen more easily: family conversation, reading, and thinking.
Those are three good things, I think.