Saturday, January 07, 2006

Miscellaneous: Sensory Deprivation, Day 4

All praise to St. Clare of Assisi. The new TV arrived early this morning. Our long national nightmare is over. I was even able to pick up THE IPCRESS FILE right where I left off.

Several people have asked what kind of set we bought. Rosemarie and I didn’t rush into this blindly. We signed up at Consumer Reports and considered whether this was the time to do a full upgrade. High definition, liquid crystal, MacPherson struts, all the bells and whistles.

Ultimately, we decided against it. Cost was a factor, as was the fact that optimally you want to sit at least a good six feet from an HD set to appreciate the image. We can’t really do that at Chez K without invoking the wrath of the feng shui gods. That will have to wait for our eventual home theater, once the big Hollywood/cancer research administration money rolls in.

In the meantime, we opted for what the store dismissively calls a “direct view” set. We did choose the Sony model that Consumer Reports named best of the type, though. That’ll show ‘em.

So far it lives up to its billing. Watching football this afternoon, I could see the spittle fly.

Understand that I had no choice but to write about this interregnum. Talking to friends was no help. They fall into two categories. Either they don’t own a TV and cannot feel my pain, or own more than one and can offer nothing but pity. Now that I have my own set again, I say to hell with the lot of them.

One positive experience: at no point in the last four days did I accidentally encounter the three most annoying people on television while changing channels.

In Douglas Adams’ THE RESTAURANT AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE, galactic president/outlaw Zaphod Beeblebrox is placed inside the Total Perspective Vortex, the most effective torture chamber ever devised. It shows the subject his exact relation to the sprawling infinity of the universe. The awareness of one’s own insignificance is guaranteed to break any being’s spirit at once. But when the egomaniac Zaphod comes out, he feels even better about himself.

That’s what this experiment has been like for me. I’ve learned something today. Life is all about proportion. I’m fine with the amount of TV I watch. I like having one set in the house that I can turn on – and off – whenever I want.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go fire up the original KING KONG on the newest member of the family. I want this relationship to get off on the right foot.