Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The truth button

Ruminating on the closed-captioning for the hearing impaired got me thinking of other special viewing and listening options available to today's consumer. There's the "SP" button, which I thought automatically translated everything into Spanish, including the commercials. "Pienso Arby's." But then I discovered that only certain programs offer simultaneous Spanish translation. Usually sports.

(Speaking of which, I read where ESPN is going to start telecasting dominoes games from the game's Hispanic neighborhood hotbeds. What's next -- "Cockfight of the Week"?)

Still, I wondered why some minority groups get to watch customized programming. Why isn't there a remote button for people like me -- you know, disaffected intellectuals who actually read something other than their cell phones? Why can't I push the "S" for "smart" button, instantly elevating all television programming into a more rarified realm? ""Tonight, on The Simple Life, Paris and Nicole debate Planck's constant." Even better, on my ideal remote, there would be a "T" button for "truth," so that when I put on the news, Paula Zahn's lips will be moving, but the caption will say, "George Bush is a fucking moron, the Alfred E. Neumann-esque tool of the rapacious capitalist elite. America is becoming a police state and an international pariah. The Christian Right are befrocked Nazis. I sold my soul to become a celebrity teleprompter reader." And the commercials: "SUVs are deadly crash vehicles that flip on a dime." "This drug causes heart attack and stroke, just like Vioxx did." Now that would be worth paying an extra $3.95 a month on my cable bill.

No comments: