Monday, December 22, 2008

Hooked on Cable

At the risk of sounding like my Dad (raving)...

This headline from the front page of the Pioneer Press Sunday (12/21/08) Business section caught my eye:
Hooked on Cable

Under the headline read: "We detest the bills, but we love the programs. Comcast [the major cable TV provider in the Twin Cities] says it's a great value, but alternatives are few. Is there really a choice?"

Uh, yes, there is a choice! When did cable TV become a necessity? I suppose it was probably while we were living in WV, where we couldn't get cable TV, or over the air TV either for that matter. I didn't read the entire article, but right in the first few paragraphs there's a quote from Gene Kimmelman, "vice president of federal and international affairs for Comsumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, and vociferous critic of the cable industry." He said, "for better or worse, television has become an essential service." Huh. Essential. Just like food, water, shelter, air...

I guess this just underlines one more way in which my values differ from those of most of my neighbors. This alarms me, that people really feel like they don't have a choice when it comes to cable, that people really see cable TV as essential. There is always a choice--those complainers just don't like any of the choices available. One more sign of the times. One more thing that makes me feel like a foreigner in a strange land.

So here's a quote from the chief complainer from this article, Peggy Briarty, a 72 year old retiree: "with the stock market and the bailout on Wall Street? And they have the guts to raise their prices?" Right. Because, Ms. Briarty, people like you are willing to pay. Comcast is in business, not to provide a public service, but to make money. When you complainers decide to put your money where your mouth is, on a widespread basis, prices will fall. Why is that so difficult to understand?

1 comment:

  1. Since gas prices are so low, I think our president elect should switch his attack on "big oil" to ease the pain of high cable prices. Who needs food or water when you have 500 channels to watch on T.V.? And really, what is shelter if not a place to hold the big-screen T.V.?


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