Sunday, December 26, 2010

Goodbye DirecTV

Dear DirecTV,

I know we've been together for a while. Eight years is a long time. When we first met, I was so excited. I loved the crystal clear picture. I loved the huge channel selection. And you've added features since then - DVR, local stations. Everything you do is still beautiful.

But it's time for us to part ways.

It's true, your price keeps going up. Costs have increased. I understand. But, that's not the real issue. The real problem is this: Your content no longer meets my needs. All those channels for children are great, but my child is a teenager now. She's long outgrown Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. And the channels I liked to watch? Most of them have devolved into showing things I have no interest in. There has been a long standing joke that MTV doesn't show videos anymore, but that joke has become the new norm. The History Channel doesn't show history anymore. The Sci-Fi channel shows less and less Science Fiction each year. Now they show wrestling. It would be easy for me to make a joke about Sarah Palin having a show on TLC, (formerly The Learning Channel), but that's just water over the dam. You have lots of shows, but not very many I want to watch.

I'll miss BBCAmerica. I've learned to love Top Gear and Doctor Who, but they're just not enough to make me want to continue our relationship.

I've gotten back together with our old former friend Tivo. I've realized that most of what I am watching was on the networks now, so we're recording all those shows that I like to watch.

Also, I have to confess. I've found someone new. I've started a relationship with Netflix. They have more content then I'll ever be able to watch. And they cost 1/10th the price. No, the picture quality is not as good, but I'd rather see things I like in mediocre picture quality than a crystal clear picture of something I'm not interested in.

I'm sorry DirecTV. That's just how I feel.

Don't take it so hard. I'm sure you'll find someone new.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rock and Roll Christmas Music - HUMBUG!

Am I the only one that HATES Rock and Roll Christmas music? It's not that I hate Christmas music, per se. Some of it I enjoy quite a bit, but there's something about Rock and Roll Christmas music that I just find...repulsive. It's like the worst of both kinds of music - sickeningly sweet lyrics, simplistic cheery melodies, mediocre vocals and a bunch of musicians that sound like they just learned the song in the previous take.

I've never been a Bruce Springsteen fan, but I respect him as an artist - except when I hear his version of Santa Clause is Coming to Town. Please, Bruce, just stop. Ugh. I hate Jingle Bell Rock and it seems like people keep making new versions of it, but it never gets any better. The song I hate the most - by far - is the Beach Boys Little Saint Nick. Don't get me wrong. I think the Beach Boys are great. Good Vibrations is one of the best songs of the 60's, but Little Saint Nick is horrendous, like fingernails-on-a-chalkboard horrendous. Seriously, it sounds like the Beach Boys making fun of themselves - Blech!

Maybe part if it is that I hear the same few irritating songs year after year - over and over and over. Of course, it that were true, then the cure would be MORE of this crap and that's not something I want to encourage - at all. In the last decade or so, I've started hearing country versions of Rock and Roll Christmas songs. Since I generally dislike country music, I'm not hopeful.

Great - now I'm imagining a country version of Jingle Bell Rock. You'll have to excuse me now. I need to play my copy of the "Charlie Brown Christmas" album. Maybe Vince Guaraldi can wipe that other slush out of my brain.

Good Grief.