Things That Are Neat: Television!

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Sometimes, people take for granted a lot of things; they’ve been around them so much they’re used to them and don’t see the magic in them and may even grow to hate them; TV seems to be square in this category. But think about it for a bit; TV’s grandfather, radio, is a box that pulls signal out of the air and converts it into sound. Sound that was sent to you from a long ways away! Stuff you couldn’t just hear without it; stuff that you wouldn’t even be able to hear even faintly without any sort of receiver. Like, if it was just some guy yelling where the transmitter is, you wouldn’t have any idea what he was yelling about, or that he was even yelling — but with a radio, you can find out that he’s there, he’s yelling, and what exactly he’s yelling about.

TV’s even better! It’s the same principle, except instead of just pulling sound out from the air from a long way away, it’s pulling pictures along with that sound out from the air! And nowadays, it’s even more interesting, because the TV networks have satellites — not only are they sending stuff through the air for you, but they’re now sending it up through the air, into space, then back down through space to someone, who then sends it through the air to you! These pictures and sounds are leaving the planet to get to you! Isn’t that cool? If you turn on your TV right now, you’d see something that’s come from outer space! Space! Where it’s all dark and inky and there’s planets and stuff. And, even if it’s just a local broadcast sending the normal way, it’s still pretty neat since it’s flying through the air to you and anyone else who’d want to pick it up.

And now, we also have cable — which still has the space element (since the networks have to send their programming to the affiliates and all), but it takes all the sound and picture data and runs it through, in better quality, through a copper wire leading direct to your TV! Or if you’ve got digital cable, it goes through a plastic tube! I mean, OK, I admit that I do think normal broadcast is cooler; I love what cable provides (the whole lots of channels scene is a scene I happen to be a fan of), but there’s just something neat about this information just sort of free-floating around in the air — the same air we walk around in and breathe and whatnot. I just think that’s pretty superb.

And what about the TV itself? That’s pretty cool, too! It’s a glass tube with an electron gun inside shooting out the colors of the picture over and over so fast you can’t even tell that the screen’s being painted with the image! I’m not going to go into the actual science of all of this, since you can look that up really easily in any encyclopedia or even a lot of children’s books will have this stuff. It’s just cool the way that this box is pulling stuff out of the air or wires and giving it to you to watch! And now, with the digital TV, it’s doing the same thing with ones and zeros — and, well, I don’t even know how the plasma TVs work, but it’s pretty neat, too.

I know a lot of people say bad things about TV and radio and talk about how it’s contributing to the downfall of civilization and everything. I don’t really buy it, though. Sure, a lot of programming is really awful; I mean, really awful, like, make you and everyone you know stupid awful. But don’t blame TV or Radio for it! They don’t want to play that stuff; it’s just not up to them. Which makes sense, since radios and TVs don’t have any actual feelings or emotions or thoughts or whatever, so they don’t have much opinion either way on what they’re presenting. But if they did, I’m sure they’d still present it for you, since they’d want to serve, but they’d want better shows. After all, TV knows (or, rather, would know if it could know anything) that it’s the best thing in the world except for when people don’t realize it’s the best thing in the world, and put on crap like some sitcom about a bunch of pretty people and their problems resulting from their own stupidity. TV doesn’t (wouldn’t) like that.

So, television producers of the world: You owe it to us, yourselves, and most importantly, that magic, genius box of Philo T. Farnsworth‘s to remember that television is incredibly cool and neat, and create shows worthy of television’s majesty.

And TV watchers and non-watchers alike: Do not blame the wonderful, beautiful box for the shortcomings and failures of the networks, writers, directors and producers. It is not its fault, and rest assured if TV had (could have) any choice in the matter, it’d prefer to bring you quality, uplifting programming that not only you deserve but television itself deserves to serve to the waiting beloved viewer of its magic tube and listener of its small speaker.

 

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