Posts Tagged ‘ skelton ’

Television in the new millenium?

As I sit here writing this post I am listening to “Las Vegas Jail” on Tru TV on television in the background. I have a pretty decent cable package from ATT Uverse. There’s 100’s of channels with all kinds of shows. There’s a shit load of channels I’ve never watched? Ethnic networks, religious channels, and shop at home channels. The dozens I do watch on a regular basis including a ton of movie channels I often find myself saying, “There’s nothing on to watch!” The reality is I have become over stimulated.

I think back to when I was a kid, we had 3 network channels, and 1 UHF channel, and a PBS channel. With only a handful of channels I always found something to watch. It was the days of a big Curtis Mathis console set with a heavy wooden cabinet.  It was the days of waiting for the TV to “warm up”, the days of rabbit ear antennas with tin foil, clickers, and the national anthem right before network daily sign off. I used to like to watch the TV turn off and wait for the little white dot to appear in the middle of the dark screen. Does anyone else remember testing the TV tubes at the drug store on that big machine?

Cable TV soon came around and we were blown away by the 32 channels!!  As kids we liked to take a book of matches and jam it in the cable box dial and wiggle it so the dirty channels would be visable!

Soon after cable we got a VCR. Video tapes were about the coolest thing ever! They turned family rooms into movie theaters and seem to bring people together. It was an event to go to the video store and rent a couple flicks and hang out with friends or family. We’d make popcorn in the kettle with oil and watch horror or sci-fi movies. Before Blockbuster the Mom & Pop rental stores had all kinds of cool B horror, music movies, and weird ass shit! I remember first seeing things like Water’s “Pink Flamingos”, “The Decline of Western Civilization”, and all the “Faces of Death” videos. It was a glorious time in TV entertainment!

As the convience of DVR, video on demend and 100’s of channels I think we’ve taken our life long pal the TV for granted. It’s kind of sad, I can’t remember the last time a bunch of my friends or family all sat around together to watch a movie or program. I miss the good ol’ days.

Girl Scout Shenanigans!

As a kid I was always excited when the Girl Scout cookies would show up at my house. I loved the small colored boxes with those delicious cookies inside…except those ones with coconut, they tasted like shit! I haven’t bought Girl Scout cookies in years and I want to tell you why! All kids groups… Indian Guides, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts all had some type of product to sell to the neighborhood to raise funds for to pay for activities throughout the year. As a Boy Scout myself we sold Christmas wreathes and garlands. The money was the most important thing but second was the lesson learned of working and going door to door to sell our product. Besides the Boy Scout stuff I did the same thing for Cystic Fibrosis and magazine sales in Middle School. I walked my neighborhood after school, usually the kids who sold the most got some kind of prize. The CF one was the best, I won a 12″ black & white TV one year and an Oddesey 2 game system the next for having raised the most money! In 1980 this was a huge deal considering kids then didn’t have TVs in their bedrooms let alone a video game system too!! Every spoiled brat has this kind of stuff  today, but back then it was unheard of.

Fast forward to 2111. A girl scout hasn’t showed up on my doorstep in about 15 years or so. I wish one would because I really like those cookies! The only kids who ever come door to door are kids from the inner city who sell gummi bears for 8 bucks a box. I buy them every time for the simple reason that they got off their asses and are at least trying to do something productive. The Girl Scouts in my neighborhood obviously don’t share the same work ethic as the dirty ghetto kids. The Girl Scouts have chosen a different and much lazier business plan. I walk into the supermarket or coffee shop and am immediately shanghaied by the parents of the Girl Scouts who sit at a strategically placed table right by the front door. The parents do the sales pitch as their spoon-fed kids sit around and chit chat and text with their friends. “Would you like to buy some cookies?” with a big prozac smile, I say “no thank you” but feeling like saying, “Get those lazy little bitches off their asses and make THEM go door to door and sell the fuckin’ cookies!!”

I have talked to others about this and have been told “it’s different times than when we were kids…there’s too many weirdos nowadays”…BULLSHIT! Even though it didn’t get the dramatic headlines like it does today there have always been creeps in this world and the odds of something happening to a child are as low as they were in the 1950’s. I would never minimize crimes against children but the whole “the boogieman is everywhere” mentality is wrong and very sad!! Shame on the parents who follow this way of thought, your kids are growing up to be lazy, entitled, and fearful of the wonderful world we live in.  Hopefully some brave Girl Scout will come to my door so we can order some fuckin’ cookies, but I doubt it!

Cup a joe…and a Jag-Off!

Ok, First off I have lived in  Cleveland Ohio for most of my life. Cleveland mirrors dozens of other midwest, rustbelt, broke butt towns across the country ie…Detroit, Gary IN, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Akron, Weirton WV… These cities and towns a century ago were the backbone of the nations innovation and manufacturing power machine…that was a century ago! What is left are crumbling buildings, crime, poverty, and stories of better days. We for the most part are the Grandchildren, great Grandchildren, and Great Great Grandchildren of those who busted their asses to live the American dream, innovate, and make a difference. The spirit of Midwest ingenuity is as dead as the steel mills and auto factories, it has been replaced by a disturbing trend of  taking semi creative ideas from other cities and hustling them in butt town belt!

One of these ideas which has recently irritated my cerebral hemorrhoid was brought to the masses by of course… reality TV. I don’t remember the shows name but it was basically some kind of competitive challenge between a half dozen lunch trucks. Lunch trucks have been around for decades. Usually operated by some fat slob who runs a daily route to factories and labor jobs. The truck would offer coffee, donuts, sandwiches, and other barely edible finger foods. Not the best stuff in the world but for the poor schmuck working in the freezing rain it did the trick. In the year 2010 someone had the idea “Hey, lets get a lunch truck, make expensive restaurant quality food and hustle it to other dipshits like ourselves”! GREAT! If it works, do it! LA, San Fransisco, Portland seem like the perfect place for this pretentious twist on peasant food. But just like all ideas that are born in the big cities it’s usually a year or two when a few folks with no good ideas of their own try to re hash what they saw on TV and make it work here in America’s butt towns. I just heard today about some lunch trucks making the rounds to Cleveland hot spots to sling their slop. I can imagine it without even seeing it…a few 20, maybe 30 something white hipsters who have sold their parents on the idea of  financing the truck. I can’t find fault with someone tryin’ to make a buck but I can’t stand the monkey see, monkey do America nowadays. What ever happened to people actually sitting down, brainstorming and coming up with a new fresh idea that suits the current midwest marketplace? Maybe this kind of stuff is the reason why places like Cleveland aren’t the cities they once were? People would rather bootleg an idea from a more progressive, higher educated, and wealthier market and make fools out of themselves trying to make it work in butt town! Some people will never learn. When you see a lunch truck with fancy vehicle wrap graphics stuck in a snow drift, slow down, roll down your window, extend the middle finger and say, “That truck was great idea…ya fuckin’ JAG-OFF!”