Life Before Cable

Who here can remember life before cable television?  I know I can, and at the risk of sounding overly idyllic, I think that life was nicer, if not better, way back then.  Sure, sure, television viewers were saddled with “only” four television channels, those being the local affiliates for NBC, ABC, CBS, and PBS; and some communities had to make do with only three, or less of those four.  You know what though, most of us never really felt deprived, or shortchanged; it was simply what we knew.

It is all too easy for those who aren’t old enough to remember life before cable to criticize the quality of the television shows way back then (it was only about 35 years ago), but you know what?  I used to be critical of the early television shows that my parents used to watch too; so the idea of quality is a relative thing.

Here’s another thing that I remember from in that long ago ancient time, before we were blessed with hundreds of television channels, if people felt that there was nothing worth watching on, then many people simply turned the television off and actually did something.  I know, that is a shocking concept there, but trust me it did happen.  Let me ask you a question, how many times have you simply scrolled through the channels hoping that something good will magically appear that piques your interest?  I know I have done that – too many times.  I remember on nights when “nothing” was on, my family would turn-off the TV and breakout the board games and spent quality time together.  For all of the cable/internet generation, when was the last time your family did that?

Of course I realize that we cannot go back, cable television is here, and honestly there are several cable networks that I enjoy watching.  No, I am not advocating the abolition of cable, but I do have a little lamentation for the days of yore from time to time.  Maybe I’m just getting too damn old, or maybe it is because I was tired of scrolling through all of those channels and muttering that there is absolutely nothing on.

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