I have mentioned here a few times that I was seriously considering getting rid of my cable television subscription. I have been thinking about it for a while due to the growing cost of it and lack of interest in watching most of the hundreds of channels in my package.
This decision is bittersweet. When I was growing up in the early 1990s, we were one of the last households (it seems) to get cable. I remember begging my dad to get us cable TV because it seemed like all the cool kids had it. He didn’t understand why we needed to pay for TV when we could get five broadcast channels for free.
Eventually, he relented, and we got cable, and I finally felt like I was part of the in-crowd. There was a lot of great things to watch back then for a curious kid. I was finally able to watch Teen Summit on BET and Yo! MTV Raps on MTV. I believe Tevin Campbell’s music video for Round and Round was the first video I had ever seen.
MTV was great back then because they actually used to show music videos! There was also this new show called The Real World, which was awesome because it exposed me to people and issues I wouldn’t have seen in my life. I think Pedro from the San Francisco cast was the first openly gay, HIV-positive person I had ever seen, and Tami from Los Angeles left an impression on me when she had her abortion on the show. MTV culture back then was different from today. The VMAs were worth watching back then, Kurt Loder was MTV’s Walter Cronkite, and who could forget Bill Clinton being asked about wearing boxers or briefs?
In my later teens, I started watching more CNN, which helped me decide to become a journalist. I loved watching Christiane Amanpour reporting from Bosnia and Bernard Shaw covering the Gulf War.
Today MTV, CNN, and the many other cable channels have become complete garbage. It is possible that I have “aged out” of MTV’s targeted demographic, but the programming on there now is just awful and lacks any substance. The same is true with CNN, which used to report the news. The last time I turned it on, I was watching Anderson Cooper, who had ten people on his panel yelling at each other. Now with Trump becoming president, I will want to watch even less of the cable news pundit yelling.
Enough, enough, enough!
In the next few weeks, I am going to look into alternative options to replace my cable. I get most of my news and entertainment from online these days. It is funny how life makes a full circle. Most of the shows that I like to watch today are on broadcast channels, like Law and Order SVU, Jane the Virgin, Designated Survivor, Quantico and Madame Secretary. The only regular newscast beside local news that I watch are Democracy Now, BBC, CBC, France 24 and CNN International online.
If you have any suggestions for the cable weening process, please let me know. I need to get off this cable habit real quick!