After many long, loyal years together and much soul-searching, I've finally decided to end my long-term relationship - with my cable company. With a cable service, period.
I tried to make a clean break a year ago, but was lured back in with a year-long promotion rate, but with that ending, so did any desire to pay $700-plus a year. With my hard-earned (and limited) income, I'd rather give to companies that are more in tune with my values, like public radio. Cablevision doesn't come close.
It's not you, it's me.
Okay, honestly, it's mostly you. Television, in my opinion, is at the lowest standard I can remember ever seeing it, and yes, I mean all of those reality television shows. The Kardashians, really America? I don't think women fought through the rights movement to plunk themselves on the couch night after night to take pleasure at the dysfunction or vapidness of others, which seems to be the latest national pastime. People need all these high end television screens for that? These social climbing swindlers simply want to exploit their fame for profit.
I'm staging a television intervention and I'm looking at you, fellow Americans. I understand "guilty pleasure" - but is pleasure defined by Botox-riddled housewives so we can feel better about ourselves? Thinking about the time people spend watching them leaves me feeling worse.
Family sitcoms and programs - remember those, the ones parents could watch with their children without either being embarrassed by a line? My sister and I loved watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie and The Brady Bunch. Later, The Wonder Years was a cherished show. One of our beloved shows we always want to see - I Love Lucy. What are some of your favorites, and are you as disappointed as I am?
As I get older, I realize how truly fast time goes and how precious it is, and don't want to waste it on mindless television. Wynton Marsalis is so right - what a rich cultural heritage we have and I feel a better person having seen James Cagney and Ruby Keeler tap dance in Footlight Parade (from a library copy). My new favorite movie star: Dick Powell. I've also been reading far more often (the latest, Laura Hillenbrand's World War II epic, "Unbroken," which I believe should be taught in American schools).
One hiccup: reception is a major issue. All I ask is for the basic channels: CBS, ABC, NBC and Thirteen, and I'm struggling to get them. As my boyfriend likes to say, much like bottled water, they've sold the public on what they once got for free. But I'm not paying for a service - I can watch 60 Minutes or the nightly news online.
Cablevision - you and I are through.