Once upon a time there were just two channels of TV. Once upon a time there were phone boxes and, if you were lucky, a home phone. You had to book a call to Australia. Music was on vinyl. We had BBC Radio and the odd Pirate Radio station.
Now we have computers, TV channels coming out our ears, mobile phones that take photos, videos and do your shopping for you. Music is digital. You can buy it with a flick of the thumb.
But is it better?
4 million channels of crap. Everything available 24/7. Shop til you drop. You can watch anything, anywhere if you’re willing to pay.
Where is the fun of anticipation? Where is the excitement of discovery?
When something is rare or not easily available it seems to me that it takes on a greater importance. It is valued more and savoured.
Too much choice; too much availability has taken the spice out of it, devalued it. Everything is now consumable and cheapened.
“57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” – Bruce Springsteen
With a trunkload of hundred thousand dollar bills
Man came by to hook up my cable TV
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past down
There was fifty-seven channels and notin’ on
Well now home entertainment was my baby’s wish
So I hopped into town for a satellite dish
I tied it to the top of my Japanese car
I came home and I pointed it out into the stars
A message came back from the great beyond
There’s fifty-seven channnels and nothin’ on
Well we might’ a made some friends with some billionaires
We might’ a got all nice and friendly
If we’d made it upstairs
All I got was a note that said “Bye-bye John
Our love is fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”
So I bought a .44 magnum it was solid steel cast
And in the blessed name of Elvis well I just let it blast
‘Til my TV lay in pieces there at my feet
And they bsted me for disturbin’ the almighty peace
Judge said “What you got in your defense son ?”
“Fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”
I can see by your eyes friend you’re just about gone
Fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin’…