2014-08-29 / Commentary

The end of the world comes with over 400 channels

40–Something

Is it just me or does anybody else think a television channel numbered 384 is a sign of the impending apocalypse? Actually, there are much higher numbers than that, but that’s the one the new S.E.C. Network has been assigned by our local cable provider.

Don’t get me wrong, even as a Clemson fan, I’m happy to have the S.E.C. Network. How else could I watch Mississippi State and Kentucky battle it out in women’s volleyball?

I say it isn’t enough the Gamecocks dominate the front page and seemingly, every ensuing page of The State newspaper day...after day...after day. I need more. I need to see a documentary on Steve Spurrier and how he’s been kicking Clemson’s butt for the last five years.

And now, thanks to the S.E.C. Network, I get all that.

But why channel 384?

Couldn’t we get rid of those home shopping channels in the teens? I could live without Channel 2 and the City Council meetings. I’d even give up NBC if I didn’t have to surf past Channel 64.

That’s how simple my life used to be...before I got the HD Box. I didn’t ask for it. I was required to get it. Apparently, it was part of my package deal. My television and cable worked just fine without it. I got 64 channels...and that was enough.

But then came the S.E.C. Network... on Channel 384. If I wanted the Texas A&M game and others, then I was going to have to get the box and the other 400-plus channels that come with it. I guess that’s a small price to pay for football.

Call me lazy, but I really only watch about five or six channels. It took me a few years to figure out there wasn’t anything worth watching on the other 60. Now, I’ll have to slug through another 400 to figure out that once again I’m not missing anything.

Fortunately, I can save some time because I’ve noticed many channels are duplicates. I guess we need two versions of MTV and just about every other channel.

It also appears I’ve got six or seven home shopping channels. What is that about? I thought we had the Internet for that.

A gozillion channels and the one I don’t get is ESPNU. Oh, I can find endless deals on cheap jewelry and pocket hoses, and I can watch Miley Cyrus on multiple channels, but I can’t find Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe because that’s the one channel on earth I don’t get (OK, maybe that’s a bad example, but Wake football still beats cubic zirconia and twerking any day of the week). It doesn’t seem that long ago when I was lucky to get three channels with a pair of rabbit ears and some aluminum foil. Some of the younger readers just went, “What are rabbit ears?” There was a time when TV didn’t come through a cord, and it didn’t cost $100-plus a month. It was free and sometimes challenging ... depending on how long Uncle Bob was willing to hold the antennae so that “Hee Haw” wasn’t too fuzzy. Television came in something called black and white, and high-def was a stoner with a hearing problem. Times were simpler back then. No one got carpal tunnel syndrome working hisway through a wasteland of channels.

Having said all that, I will freely admit it is nice not to have to hold an antenna just to see Minnie Pearl through the “snow” of a 1976 Zenith portable, and thank goodness “Hee Haw” isn’t on multiple channels. That really would have been the end of the world.

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