My life was so much more meaningful before I got cable. For years my nights were a simple choice of NBC, PBS, FOX or a very snowy CBS. I read more, thought more, had more sex. Since acquiring a 200-channel package my time is spent mercilessly divided between Little People Big World, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Shop Latino.
Often I sit in my easy chair and click through all 200 of them in a race to the bottom of who can be more mindless, boring or clichéd. I usually stop at C-SPAN or C-SPAN 2 for an unnecessary length of time so my brain can suck in all the useless chatter coming out of the Beltway. Book TV, Road to the Whitehouse, and a re-broadcast of a talk by some no-name political writer whose time came and went before W stole office in 2000.
And now, the writer's strike. I feel compelled to follow all the unpublicized events of the last twenty-nine days - and counting. The only known instances where television actually redeems itself – during The Daily Show and the Colbert Report – have become a distant fond memory that somehow, through the endless reruns, cries fowl.
I find myself empathizing with the strikers, watching their amateur You Tube entries, and pining away in pathetic jealousy wishing I were an out of work writer. Somehow, life would have more importance if I were sitting around with a severe case of writer's block and reading endless blogs if I were doing it as a striking writer, rather than an employed nobody. Each of my envenomed posts would be a noble act of defiance against big conglomerate monsters like Les Moonves and Sumner Redstone. I would be advancing a cause – albeit for personal financial gain – and I'd have the respect of the world. Instead, I spend most of my time sitting in front of a blank screen in a daze. My cats don't even respect me. Gone are the dreams of a wide-eyed 20 something with designs on a cult following and a lucrative book deal.
The strike has forced me to actually think again, to harbor ambitions, make plans, face reality. MAKE IT STOP! I'm three re-runs away from starting a revolution that might prove just stupid enough to actually be televised.