Sunday, March 09, 2008

About not having a telly

A few years ago Mrs The Millbrooker and I got fed up with the unadulterated shite being pumped into our living room via the airwaves and into the steam-driven cathode ray tube device that we laughingly referred to as our television.

After a family discussion (and we were fair, the kids got every bit as much of a say as we had), the telly was abandoned. No licence fee ever again; no more wasting of evenings glued to dumbed-down arrant nonsense masquerading as entertainment or news. Huzzah, we cried!
Strangely, our decision sometimes took some explaining to incredulous colleagues or acquaintances. The most frequently asked question was "what do you do with yourselves?" We talk, we occasionally play board games, we listen to music, we's not that hard to replace the moron box really. To be fair I still spend a fair bit of time staring at a screen, but that's mostly so I can write this drivel.

My personal favourite question was to Mrs The Millbrooker from an erstwhile colleague at Working Links "...but what do you point your furniture at?"

Anyway to the point of this musing. We've now discovered BBC iPlayer which means that the dreaded telly has found a way to slip into the household. I tried Top Gear because lots of people seem to rave about it, but I had to switch it off after about five minutes because I can't bear being talked down to by smug gits. (No sarcy remarks about pots and kettles from the peanut gallery, thank you.)
I tried Panorama or Horizon; can't actually remember which because I had to switch that off too once it became obvious that it was now aimed at an audience with about as much imagination as a caravan site (wonderful phrasing copyright Neil Innes and used completely without permission).
One programme has sneaked into our schedule, though. As a result of Mrs The Millbrooker's frequent visits to Milly's house she's discovered "Ashes to Ashes" and each week we find ourselves setting up the laptop enjoy the pastiche of 80s cop shows a week or so after it was first broadcast. I can't imagine making viewing iPlayer a frequent or long lasting non-activity once this particular series is over; we've got very used to making our own entertainment. It is, though, a very enjoyable guilty pleasure.

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