Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You Want to be Avant Garde? Join the Plug Pullers...

I'm watching the Council meeting tonight.

After hearing about someone's lack of options regarding cable service, and then some issues about rates ("Ohh!  The rates!") I just want to offer a suggestion to everyone who is tired of paying absurd monthly cable rates -- just stop.  I'm not advocating some kind of civil resistance, or proposing some kind of scam, but I am saying that there are other options.

I went back to the stripped-down option from Comcast.  I still get all the local channels, plus the low-number news channels, and then a couple of legit cable channels.  But that's it.  No gazillion-channel, movie/sport/rerun bonanzas.  By my estimate, I am now saving more than $900 annually by taking this key step.

The best part?

I don't need to be embarrassed, or feel shame, when someone asks if I saw a particular thing on cable, when I respond, "I don't have it."  In fact, I can actually say it in a way that implies that I'm cutting edge.  I can stream Netflix for $9/month, and YouTube seems to be offering more and more good content as it's now figured out how to get its business model right.

Eventually, more people will go this route, and the cable companies will be forced to offer more appealing "bundle" options, or even -- gasp -- a la carte channel ordering.

In the meantime, I'm not that sympathetic for anyone who complains about the cost of cable.  


Anonymous said...

We haven't had cable in ages, instead we stream Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. If we want something that isn't available through those services, we'll order it via Amazon Instant Video. We pay way less than we would for cable and are able to watch what we want, when we want.

The only downside to this system, I'm told, is that we don't have access to sports (not an issue for us, but probably an issue for some people.)

Daniel Patrick Murphy said...

Greg, I want to be avant-garde and have found that if I write obscure letters to departed literary people, it nudges them from their eternal slumber and places a gentle smile on their faces. I often wonder if the ‘tube’ never arrived would we live in a different environment one that is more connected in a neighborly way. I ask my Self, what is “going on inside the house?” Why are the mice eating the cheese? Do they think that they are immortal? Why is our ‘house’ bugged? All I know is that occasionally I’m able to lift the cheese from some mouse’s unruly spaces. I realize this comment may be obscure and better placed on the posting ‘Talkin’ Bout Stylometry but, as you know, “It’s beyond the letter of the law.”

Letter to Emily

Policemen showed up at the house this morning—
They asked what was going on inside the house—
I told them I was struggling to write a longing—
They said a mouse ate the cheese—
As the morning filled—the dust was spite cloudy—
—It’s beyond the letter of the law—
They said they’d file the ice—not for being rowdy—

They asked if I was bugged inside the house—
I said maybe I was in the garden—shooing off
Some pests—sprinkling some flowers with douse—
The old cop slyly slid his gun home and doffed
His cap while unlocking his right and left knee—
—It’s beyond the letter of the law—
He bowlegged toward marigolds to talk immortality—

When I dropped my furnishings to itch and scratch—
Squall red ants—blood-eyed pincer-gores crawled—
I knew I had the offence of a poem to catch—
I had broken through some barrier or some wall—
When the policemen deserted the dark places
—It’s beyond the letter of the law—
I lifted cheese from the mouse’s unruly spaces—

--Daniel Patrick Murphy

Murph said...


We're still adjusting the dosage with the above.

Still not sure whether it should be more or less.

The New Englander said...

Haha Dan I'm just happy to have escaped from my own echo chamber here! Daniel Patrick Murphy is my favorite Daniel Patrick since Moynihan, and that's saying a lot!

I read Letter to Emily on the train, and I dug it... Oh, and Mariannika you're right about the sports thing but it's nice to see other ways to watch opening up. For instance, with March Madness, I was able to see all the games I could handle thanks to the NCAA app on my phone and iPad..

C R Krieger said...


And, less cable means more talking to the kids.

Regards  —  Cliff

Renee said...

I haven't had cable since I moved out of my parents' house in 2000. No Fox News or MSNBC for us.

Daniel Patrick Murphy said...

Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a mean dispenser of wisdom and Guinness when he was a part-time bartender while attending NYU. The latter places him in cordial company.

About once a month, I have the pleasure of viewing two male warriors attempting to slaughter one another. It has become a magnificent obsession with me. In olden times, when I was a boyo of age five or six, I’d roam the streets of the Flat section of Lowell, and return home exhausted yet energized by the expectation of listening to ‘The Shadow’ or ‘The Thin Man’ or the sounds of that eerie voice coming from the ‘Inner Sanctum’ out of the radio’s mouth. Terrified by the sound of mysterious, imminent death or destruction, I’d shiver inside.
My imagination ran amuck as the members of my extended family heightened my fears by either turning off the light or by lighting a candle that ominously flickered, which added to my quaking fears: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” And then the terrifying laughter of Raymond Johnson enveloped the parlor--and my fledgling, vulnerable spirit trembled. As I lay curled-up on the floor, I would grab a homemade afghan of my grandmother’s and pull it over my head and shoulders and say an ‘Our Father’ to quell my shaky yet total absorption in the sounds that emanated from the squat, big-knobbed RCA radio.
And then one day, my father returned from the Pacific Ocean where he was serving on the USS Bennington aircraft carrier to save democracy for the world and the perils of the foreign enemy. Shortly thereafter, circa 1946-47, my father came home from Gamont Brothers store (?), that was located on Middlesex St. just down from Middlesex Supply, with a thing called a television. It had a tuning apparatus, a dual eared antennae with a plastic base, from which one might receive clarity on the 7” inch screen. This mysterious invention actually had pictures passing through wires that showed up magically on an oval shaped glass. It was later enhanced in size by a magnifying ‘face’ made of plastic.
The ‘tele’ was ours for a three-months trial period. After this trial period, it would be returned and another store would have the same offer and, for about two years, we sat for an hour twice a week enthralled as we peered at it. Sometime later, for time was unimportant at that age, the ‘Friday Night at the Fights and Saturday Night Championship fights arrived. It was then I became addicted to watching the manly art of self-defense.
Now, about sixty-five years later, I walk up to the second floor and plunk myself on a chair, Guinness or Smithwick in hand, and watch a replay of some pugilistic match that took place around a week or a month earlier.
I watch TV, in a word, about one hour a month, and as CR Krieger suggests on his blog posting, the rest of the time is spent talking or listening to family members, friends and challenging adversaries. Even with cable TV, it is still possible for us to exercise our garrulous temperaments and to laugh hysterically. When they're around, I still talk to my ‘babies’—and that, of course, includes my beautiful wife. And all of this blather comes from a working class Da!
And, O Yes, Papa (that’s me) hopes to continue the art of talking and listening to his extraordinary and brilliant grandson, Oisín Moore Murphy.