So I successfully set up the Tivo I got for Christmas. Very exciting, the dream of several years now come to fruition. Sarah assures me it will change the way I watch TV forever. For 12.95 a month, it better. Actually, I have a gift subscription, so I won't have to worry about paying until next year.
Once I waited the requisite 4 hours after setup to start programming it (why does it take so long?), Stephanie and I went through and selected all the shows we want to watch and might want to watch, as well as a bunch of old movies, which Stephanie likes to watch. Considering that we have trouble keeping up with our Netflix as it is, Stephanie pointed out that between cable, Netflix, and now the hypothetical price of Tivo, we're now paying about $80 a month for access to a volume of entertainment media we can't possibly consume, and that's not even including what we pay to see movies in theaters, or DVDs we purchase, as if there's ever time to watch something, let alone re-watch it.
It's insane. We're over-entertained. The amount of entertainment we have is no longer a comfort but a source of stress. How much entertainment are we missing out on because of troublesome things like school, jobs, friends, love, meals? Scratch that, meals are a chance to watch TV. We need more meals, actually--that would give us more precious entertainment-consuming time. We're not getting our money's worth! Portable DVD players in airports are not a luxury but a necessity--we must seize every spare moment to be entertained. There's no time to be bored, not at $12.95 a month, $19.95 a month, $48.98 a month. Every second you're bored, every hour you read a book is money down the drain.
Unless you paid for that book. Then you'd better read it, and fast.
How many books did I get for Christmas? Four? Plus the one I bought myself shortly before. How many DVDs? Two Hitchcock box sets plus Napoleon Dynamite plus a Twilight Zone DVD--what, eighteen? That's what, thirty-six hours of entertainment? Not counting special features?! Wait, Lydia gave me Azumanga Daioh (appreciated, this post notwithstanding). So, thirty-eight. I still haven't watched the commentary on my Freaks & Geeks set. And I wanted to re-watch those sans commentary too. I've given up on ever hearing the Futurama commentary. Good thing I resisted the pull of the Seinfeld set at Costco today--I've seen those multiple times already.
I forgot about video games. Is there time to continue making my way through True Crime, to take another crack at Making the Moon in Katamari Damacy? To get tricky in SSX3 just for the hey of it? How many hours will that take?
Meanwhile Tivo is set to deliver hours more entertainment on an ongoing basis. Am I a fool? I should have an entertainment embargo! I should cancel cable for the next six months, until all my entertainment is cycled through. Stephanie would never stand for it. While she got into selecting old movies on the Tivo, she prefers the spontaneous nature of old-school television. I guess in some ways it is comforting. If you missed it, you missed it. Don't worry about it. It's not piling up in some digital storage center, adding to your guilt-inducing unwatched Netflix, your shelves full of DVDs, your stacks of unread books, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weeklys (a guide to Entertainment? How many hours have I spent reading about entertainment, comment on entertainment, Internet message boards responding to entertainment, critics on entertainment? I waste too much time reading about entertainment and not enough being entertained!).
How can anyone consume so much media? Why is there so much? What have we done? There's a Twilight Zone story in this somewhere. And it ends with the guy breaking his glasses.