Monday, January 9, 2017

"Erroneous, In Black And Whilte"

I don’t know where I read this.  It was undoubtedly a credible outlet – I steer clear of the alterative – someplace where I read things before and believed them.  This blatant misstatement, however, now throws everything else I read there immediately into question.  If I knew where I read it, I would cancel my subscription. 

They’re just lucky I’m old.

Speaking of old, this egregious “Egg of Inaccuracy” is not one any “Boomer” would ever possibly have laid.  We were there, so we know.  The writer in question does not seem to have been, so they don’t.  Which is not letting them off the hook.  There are other ways to learn things than by asking yourself.  That’s why they invented knowledge.  It’s out there, and accessible.  You just have to look it up.  And if it sounds fishy, seek corroborating support.   

It is always possible this is a matter of opinion.  There is always the chance that I think I know something and I’m wrong.  So I speak here not with one hundred percent certainty. 

"The man’s backtracking.  What a spineless little jellyfish.”

Though I am about ninety-six percent certain I’m right. 

“‘Perfect certainty’ or you risk the kind of inaccuracy you so recently disdained.”

Okay, I’m certain.

“Surrendering to outside pressure.  And probably lying about that as well.  Talk about your ‘Unreliable Narrator.’”

And now, with my credibility in tatters, I shall proceed.

“Why do we even bother!”

In the course of discussing the buffeting challenges of contemporary advertising, the writer in question brought up the issue of the television remote control and, more specifically, its original purpose.

And therein lay the “Whopper.”

Listen to this but don’t remember it because it’s horse poop.

The television remote control, the writer asserts, was devised so that viewers would be able to avoid watching commercials.

Think about that for a second before consigning it to the Dustbin of Mistakenness.  They created remotes to avoid watching commercials.


Just in case you thought “Yes”, or, more passively, “Sounds reasonable.”

It isn’t!

Sure, many viewers – and I readily include myself – use the remote to avoid watching commercials.  Because they are a gargantuan waste of time.  There are only so many times I can hear, “Stay thirsty, my friends”, even if they change it to the more culturally authentic “Stay thirsty, mis amigos.”

The remote can unquestionably be employed to keep commercials from polluting your consciousness.  And today, that is more important than ever.  Why?  Because in, say, a half-hour comedy, there are nearly three times as many minutes allocated to commercials than there used to be.  Think about that.  It’s like more than thirty percent of the sirloin is gristle.

Once, there were, like, three or four minutes of commercials per half hour program, an inconvenience so comparatively miniscule you put up with them even if they were, admittedly, stupider than many of the commercials today, which would be fine if they ran them a reasonable number of times instead of a hundred.  As previously argued, my brain is pounding with “You named it Brad.” 


“You’ll wonder where the ‘yellow’ went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.”

“Brylcream, a little dab’ll do ya, Brylcream, you look so debonaire.”

“He’s got ‘Go-Power’ – there he goes!  He’s feeling his Cheerios.”

Indefensible.  (And yet memorable.  Although I never bought any of those products.)

Moving on…

Get a pencil.  Because this is the emiss.  (Hebraic patois for the truth.)

It’s almost anti-climactic to explain this because it is so screamingly obvious.

The television remote was created so you did not have to go to the television to change the channel.

Not to avoid the commercials.  Because we didn’t avoid them.  We let them play.  Because there were less of them.  And because we did not want to go to the television to change the channel.

Of course, all this is metaphor for a weightier issue.  (Otherwise, it’s just meaningless fluff and we can’t possibly have that.)

The bigger analogizing question is, how much stuff do we – and I don’t mean maniacs and conspiracy theorists I mean regular people like ourselves – accept and internalize because we saw or heard it someplace we perceive to be reliable that, in fact – and if we did not have direct experience on the subject we might never realize it – is absolute and complete nonsense?  (A question which should make us feel humble, but somehow it doesn’t.)

More and more, I am admiring the innate wisdom of Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes.  When it comes to incontrovertible information, understanding and ideas, it is very possible we know…



Wendy M. Grossman said...

Yeah, there's no way the remote control could have been designed to skip commercials because at the time (there were remote controls as long ago as the late 1960s) TVs had no memory, and there were no recording devices.

But the larger point: yes, we all imbibe all sorts of untruths and never question them again. And get outraged when someone tells us a countervailing truth.


Boyd said...

Another note about the early remotes: you could only move up or down one channel at a time -sequentially. In my area there were but 5 stations so the one station at a time was no big deal. Interestingly (or not), I've returned to my roots and sans cable, we now get about 39 stations. Having a modern remote is much appreciated.