In the realm of pretentious comments, “I don’t watch television” ranks up there with “I’m a vegetarian for moral reasons.” and “I don’t wear deodorant because it’s bad for the environment.” I always thought people without TV at home were giant assholes. Then I moved in with my girlfriend, a broke grad student, and we decided to get rid of our cable to cut down on costs. It’s not that much money for cable, but on principle, I found it hard to justify spending $1200 a year just to have the ability to watch MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEEN. When you explain to people you don’t have cable, they look at you like you told them you’re missing testicles. “Did you watch TRUE BLOOD last night?” “No, I don’t have cable anymore.” “What about CALIFORNICATION?” “No. I don’t. Have. Cable.” When I canceled my cable service (but kept the Internet), the guy at the cable company responded as if I told him I was murdering a baby. “How are you going to watch your shows?” “I guess I’ll get them on iTunes. Or read a book or something.” I don’t miss cable that much. I now have to make an effort to watch television, focusing on shows that I really like (THE SIMPSONS, TOP CHEF, GENERATION KILL) instead of zoning out to a skank-marathon of ROCK OF LOVE. Most major shows can be found for free on sites like Hulu.
And until I got a DMCA violation notice (for downloading GENERATION KILL – I’m a huge THE WIRE fan), I could steal everything else off Bittorrent. But now it’s down to stuff that’s available legally. The difficulty comes with certain programs and cable channels that haven’t figured out the audiences and money are all online now. So I have to go down to my local British pub and ask them if I can watch PROJECT RUNWAY. Nothing makes you feel like more of a closeted homosexual than striding into a room packed full of Brits watching soccer and sitting there with a Miller Lite catching up on the latest gown Kenley designed. And you should see the looks they gave me when I started “enjoying” my favorite Skinemax show.
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