TV Off The Grid

When I had a TV subscription, my viewing habits were fairly simple. In the evening, I would put on the television and try to find a sporting event. If nothing of interest was on, then I would flip around the channels until I found something, but more often than not, I’d settle for a re-run of some show like Seinfeld. I never had the patience for channel surfing, so much of it went unnoticed and unwatched. Most of the time, the television was just background noise while I did something else like screw around on-line.

When you cut the cord, television watching becomes something different than the ever present background noise. If you want to watch something, you have to think about what you want to watch. Then you have to figure out the source. I’m an Amazon Prime customer so I have their library of movies and TV shows. I also have access to the dark underworld of pirate sources. The Kodi app for the Amazon Fire gives me access to television channels from all over the world. I’m spoiled for choice.

Anyway, since I have never been much of a TV watcher, I ask people for recommendations and then find a source for them. Someone I know has been binge watching a program called The Walking Dead. He told me it was OK. I had some vague recollections about it from a few years ago. A bunch of people started writing about the best tactics for dealing with a zombie attacks. There was probably a National Review article on the conservative case for surrendering to the rage zombies.

I downloaded the first season and I can see why people like it. You can’t think about the zombies as they make no sense. The claim is a virus turns the dead into walking attack corpses, but that’s silly. The human body starts to decay at death, so in a few weeks, the zombies would have fallen to pieces. A supernatural explanation, like the war skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts gets around that problem, but I’m not the target audience for this stuff. Maybe the writers don’t want to spend time on the science of zombies.

The funny thing about that though is the novel that kicked off the whole end times plague genre had a simple solution that would probably make the story better. I Am Legend used a disease that turned people into something like vampires. They were still alive, but they just liked killing people and eating them. The cause of the vampire-ness was a blood disease. There was also an evolutionary angle as not all of the infected became murderous ghouls. Some retained their humanity and their faculties.

Doing some research on-line, I learned that the show is very popular and has a devoted following, even after seven seasons. I’m only through one season, but I can see why people like it. Most of our video entertainments are just poorly disguised lectures about how white people suck and men are terrible. This show is just a good drama for adults to enjoy with their kids. The men are men and the women are women. More important, the writers seem to respect the male and female characters by writing them properly.

For some reason, the show reminded me of the series Justified that was popular half a dozen years ago. That was another show that  was just good old fashioned drama aimed at adults looking to be entertained. The fact that Hollywood is able to make these sorts of programs means they make the PC crap on purpose. It’s not that they are just a bunch of moonbats making what they like. It’s that they really want to make lectures so they do it as often as they can. These normal programs are happy accidents that pay the bills.

That last part is probably a huge driver for Hollywood. One of the things you learn when you go off the grid for your TV is that there is a lot of crap produced every year. I have an app that let’s me scan through all movies released by year. I bet most people have not heard of 90% of them. Anyone heard of Lazer Team, released last year? How about Doris, staring Sally Field, who I was sure was dead. How is that people allegedly good at making movies cannot see that these are terrible movie ideas? How do they get made?

The most likely answer is the business works on the theory that if they can get financing for a project, they make it, even if it is hilariously stupid. It’s like the venture capital business. The winners pay for the many losers. As a result, even dumb ideas like a King Arthur movie with black guys as the knights gets made. Of course, the fanatics who want to make lectures are driven to get the financing so they can deliver their lecture. That’s why so much of what is made looks like a deliberate insult to the intended audience.

That’s the other strange thing about all the terrible shows is that Hollywood has a massive amount of data on audiences. They use this to market test all sorts of things about movie and TV projects. Big budget movies are now written by committees, that include marketing people and data analysts. It seems like the obvious step is to use the data to determine what is worth financing. There can be no model that says a movie like Catfight has a chance to earn enough to pay for the camera rentals.

Maybe that’s what’s over the next hill as people cut the cord and the business model begins to unravel. The music business had to adapt when digital technology broke up their oligopoly. Maybe a similar thing will happen with video. We’ll get fewer shows, but they will be driven by market research, rather than the whims of studios. Or, maybe they just pay everyone less and keep pumping out crap movies like the Brothers Grimsby. As long as there are suckers with money, Hollywood will be happy to take their money.

One final thought on this topic. For those thinking of going off the grid for television, be prepared for your viewing habits to radically change. I found I watch less sportsball than when I had a sub. Even the limited effort to find a sports stream is enough to have me looking for other things to do in the evening. On the other hand, you will binge watch a series, which means spending a rainy weekend on the couch watching a full season of a TV show. You watch less, but more, if that makes sense.

120 thoughts on “TV Off The Grid

  1. I’m not a sports fan, read news online for a couple hours each day and cut the cable cord more than a dozen years ago. I use Kodi – Exodus to stream and have a tendency to binge watch, often waiting until a season is almost over before starting. I watched Lost in it’s entirety in the 8 weeks leading up to it’s finale. I find I watch a lot less TV and prefer shows that you actually have to pay some attention to. Currently following The Americans. Bloodline is interesting after one season. Recommend Friday Night Lights, Longmire, and the Jesse Stone movies is you haven’t seen them.

  2. You did a nice job of explaining how life changes when the cord is cut. One aspect you did not mention is the total lack of commercials. Perhaps with Amazon Prime, you have some, I don’t know. Since cutting the cord several years ago, I have lost track of models of new cars and what new blockbuster movie is coming out. And local news is gone. I could watch it via antenna, but don’t. Popular culture is slipping away, and I’m good with that.

    • you become like a stranger in your own land (when you stop watching commercials)

  3. “I also have access to the dark underworld of pirate sources.” In the first place, it’s not as “dark” as you think. Game of Thrones, year over year, reigns supreme as the most downloaded show in the world. There’s a very popular blog dedicated to events in that world called Torrentfreak. Right there, out in the open.

    From that “underworld” alone, a person with the right self-protection skills (VPN) can find access to more viewing opportunities than one can rationally make time for, and still have a job and a family.

  4. What TV I watch I get over the air for free. I can watch most of the football I want (ESPN can suck it), lots of old movies and sci fi, and it’s in high def. I get like 15 stations with actual programming, and a couple dozen more shopping/religious/Spanish stations for those so inclined. It’s almost like 1969. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll even be able to go to the moon again.

  5. A great way to watch TV is to download I2P an anonymous internet client. It has a built in anonymous BitTorrent that uses magnet files that are served anonymously. It’s a bit slow but you just let it run. You can also get regular torrents if Vuse BitTorrent clients are streaming as it has I2P built in. This means for very popular torrents you can usually get them. I’ve been watching “Better Call Saul” which is ok. Using it you can get most of the popular series.

    Best of all Hollywood gets…zero.

  6. Walking Dead was good for the first few seasons, but by season 3 it had fallen prey to progressive moral preening. The left eventually destroys everything it touches and the Walking Dead was no exception. Shame that.
    So enjoy season 1 2 and maybe 3 and then witness the inevitable progressive induced decline of the brand in subsequent seasons.
    Im done with that show.

    • I only recently started watching TWD because of my wife’s interest and loved the teaser with Jeffrey Dean Morgan saying “Little pig, little pig, let … me … in!” Such a hard ass. He was great in The Loser’s also.

  7. Zman, have you watched ‘Fortitude’ on Amazon? It’s about a small town in Iceland. And the older series ‘The Wire’ ? Filmed in Baltimore, excellent.
    ‘Blood Brothers’ was another short series, 2 or 3 seasons.
    There is some good stuff out there but you have to go through a lot of slop to find them.
    TWD held me through 6 seasons then I gave up. I kept waiting to see how the country was put back together and man kind saved. Wasn’t going to happen. The scariest zombie movies were ‘Eight Days later’ and sequel, “Eight Weeks Later”. They had the screaming, running, jumping ragers. Made the slow walking mumbling walkers look like child’s play.

  8. I went through a period, (2008-2011), where I quit watching tv, only watching what I could pull up on my laptop, through Hulu, Netflix, nefarious means. I watched a lot more stuff than I’d ever watched before in my life. Then, one day, about mid 2011, I realized, I wasn’t doing it any more. I haven’t watched a tv program since. I think we still have all the cable programs, Netflix, I’m not really sure. My family watches something, I just hang out in a different part of the house, thankfully.

  9. It is the rare modern teevee program or movie that isn’t stuffed chock full of diversity obsessed, politically correct, cultural indoctrination.

    Since cutting the cord I find myself digging thru some of the vintage stuff on Amazon Prime & Hulu.

    One recent favorite has been the early 60”s “Peter Gunn” PI show on Amazon.

    Every guy wears a suit & tie. The babes all in dresses. The bad guys reliably filled with lead or beaten to a pulp receiving their just desserts.

    Great jazz background music, and the exchanges between Pete and his songbird squeeze Edie are pretty entertaining.

    You Tube has a bunch of great channels too. One of my favorited being “Jay Leno’s Garage”. Entertaining and informative, even for non car nuts.

    • Even I read that I immediately heard the theme song in my head and it’s been decades. Dang that was a great show.

  10. FWIW:

    I haven’t had a TV for 15-20 years, but do like some of the TV series fare that’s been offered, like Justified and Firefly (“shiny!”) that I watch on my laptop. And the dramatizations of written works, such as John Adams, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Wolf Hall, and Poldark, and Longmire (I’ve usually read the books already….)
    I ask my kids for recommendations — they know that I don’t “do” hard-core gangster stuff or stupid stuff, and I’m cheap so I wait for “free” on amazon prime or get disks from my library. So my filters are the lapse of time and family reviewers.
    My DIL hit the spot with a recommendation for “Blue Bloods,” about multiple generations of an LE family. “Blacklist” is interesting, too, and I’m waiting for Season 3 to go “free.” (I’d never seen James Spader in anything, and wow, he plays a tremendous role.) “The Expanse” was good, both the book series and the dramatization (although I doubt I’d have followed the plot as unfolded in the movie if I had not read the book first.)
    I’m on the library wait-list for the first season of Last Man Standing, although I’ve seen YouTube short clips. I absolutely love Tim Allen.

    I have little patience for sitting at my desk for 1-2 hours, just watching little people run around on my laptop screen — so what I watch has to grasp my interest and not let go.

    • That’s the thing. There is some really good stuff being made, but it exists in a sea of crap. What I like about doing off the grid is I can find the good stuff a little easier and therefore enjoy TV time.

  11. It seems to me that 90% of recent Netflix productions are SJW crap.

    When I’ve watched their library of stuff that appeals to me, Netflix is gone too.

  12. In our house the default is the Science Channel, or as some Korean once remarked “The White Guy Channel”
    There’s a show called Outrageous Acts of Science where the producers, in order to compensate for the wanness of the guys (and it’s always guys) doing the experimentation they have assembled an astonishing cast of black Mexican transgender dwarfs to comment on them.

    It’s a hoot.

  13. In case everyone didn’t hear, they just canceled Tim Allens hit sitcom, despite good ratings, he had better shut his mouth:

    “The series, which stars Allen as a conservative man who did not like President Barack Obama or political correctness, delivered a strong 8 million viewers on Friday nights, according to Entertainment Weekly. So when ABC announced Last Man Standing would be among the shows it axed this spring, upset viewers believed the decision was a form of punishment for the show’s politics and its conservative star. They organized a petition pledging to boycott ABC, and Allen himself said he was “blindsided” by the cancelation.

    ABC President Channing Dungey said the show’s politics were not behind its cancellation, but rather “business and scheduling reasons,” according to EW.”

    But don’t worry, there are plenty other sitcoms on TV, The Goldbergs for example, about a normal jewish family, or Black-ish, about a normal black family, or Fresh Off the Boat, about a normal Chinese family, or Modern Family, about a normal mixed race and gay married couple where the only normal dad is a bumbling idiot.

    Well there is one sitcom about a normal White family called The Middle, but they are literally named the hicks, and portrayed as such.

    Heartiste is onto something when he calls TV a feminist and gay ghetto.

  14. We got rid of our tv a long time ago. Then 9-11 happened. The internet was so slow we couldn’t get news and we had all our family calling us telling us that NY was under attack. I didn’t see it until I got to work and then we watched it in the conference room.

    Funny thing, that very day the Muslims at work insisted that we not blame the Muslims. That it wasn’t Muslims and was probably Jews.

    Weird, because no one was blaming anyone. We were all in shock.

    • “That it wasn’t Muslims and was probably Jews.

      Weird, because no one was blaming anyone. We were all in shock.”

      Wrong, the deep state tool, Richard A Clarke was blaming Bin Laden within two hours of the first plane hitting.

      I personally saw it on TV at the time, probably CNN.

      I was astonished.

      • The Muslims at my work were prisoners and we were in lock down with inmates cable off. We had to go to the admin conference room to watch it.

      • Even Howard Stern was blaming Bin Laden within hours of the attack. Wonder how he knew,,,cough…cough.

  15. The scary thing? ‘Lazer Team’ looks like it might be amusing after a fashion. The same with ‘Doris’. Not good, but good isn’t necessarily the same thing as entertaining.

    Then again, I stopped watching television in 1998 (for which Amazon and Barnes & Noble and ABEBooks are grateful) & I rarely go to movies so my view of much of popular entertainment doesn’t quite match up with the culture.

  16. Coincidentally, I was link following earlier this week and found myself reading about the Rural Purge. There is probably some Millennial Fred Silverman out there about to flip the dominant programming theme from “gritty, preachy, and urban” back to something that is more escapist and less dogmatic. Based on the You Tubers my kids watch, that may have already happened, but in a distributed, Internet kind of way.

  17. I recommend Breaking Bad, if you haven’t seen it yet. One of the things I liked about it was just how Middle Class it was. Even the higher levels of bad guys tend to be quiet with a well-practiced efficiency.

    Regarding that new King Artgur movie, I found it mildly entertaining, as Guy Ritchie montages are something of a guilty pleasure for me. I also noticed something amusing about the diversity casting.

    Typically, the entire story world is diverse so that it’s supposed to be a plausible background for implausible characters. But the black knight is the ONLY black guy in the kingdom. Moreover, he was one of the good king’s right hand men. So when they’re all casually “blending” in the city crowd, it’s even more ludicrous that nobody stops THE ONLY BLACK GUY IN BRITAIN, who was also ONE OF THE HIGHEST RANKING SOLDIERS IN THE KINGDOM.

    Also, there’s a chinaman named George, presumably to pander to the chinese audience.

    • I thought you made a typo for King Arthur with Clive Owen. I thought that was a very good movie! And if I recall, not a black to be found anywhere in it.

      • No, I quite enjoyed the Clive Owen flick. I was referring to the brand new Guy Ritchie version.

  18. Don’t make this stuff too difficult. If you can’t find it for free on-line, then don’t bother. Used paperbacks at the second hand book store. There is plenty out there, and the “one thing you cannot miss” doesn’t exist. Everything turns up, sooner or later. The trick is to learn how to separate the good stuff from the dross, per your own preferences, and not waste too much time on stuff you don’t like.

    Also, don’t be afraid to watch or read things other people hate. Everything has some sort of message about the human condition, even if it is unintended by the author. Mid-20th century “B” movies, pulp novels, and popular music are some of my things, and I know a lot of it is not very good at all. But it gives me a window to a time and a place, done at the time and not given the whitewashings that looking back from today does to the narratives.

  19. I have another way of cutting down on TV watching. I still have cable, but I got rid of the DVR because I was trying to keep the bill under $100. I noticed that cutting out the DVR has reduced my TV watching considerably. I also primarily have it on in the background as noise.

  20. I think the appeal of “The Walking Dead” is that we have been living in a world extraordinary affluence for several generations now, and consequently we never get exposed to genuine existential threat in our daily lives. Yet, our evolutionary ancestors actually lived this kind of existence and we are descended from the survivors that overcame these kinds of difficulties. Perhaps at the subconscious level, we secretly yearn for the opportunity to test and measure ourselves under circumstances of extreme duress and see what we are really made of. If we can’t find that in real life, then the vicarious version on TV may have to suffice. This could also explain the paintball fad from a few years ago.

  21. Man, I thought most of the “virtue signalling” was done by the Left!

    Good on you who have cut the cord and don’t own a TV. But for goodness sake, this is a free country. People can spend their money, and use their time as they see fit.

    Getting on your high horse may make you feel somehow superior but it just makes you seem like a Grouch, IMO.

    I agree with you that reading, learning skills, spending more time with family, etc. are all good activities, but there are also a lot of people with differing needs, mentally, emotionally and physically just as a for instance.

    There are also many alternatives with or without cable, so let the buyer choose and the market will decide the winners.

    If people choose garbage, well, hell, half the country wanted Hillary but what can we do about it but offer up a better alternative.

    It’s called competition.

    Give it a break.

    • I’m inclined to agree, but for many people this has become part of the fight against the left, and anyone who is fighting against the left is someone I sympathize with. They refused to give us ala carte and used monopoly power to flout our wishes while stuffing PC crap down our throats. Now we are seeing things starting to change in our favor and they just can’t happen fast enough.

      • Yes Doc you are right. The fight must be taken to them. But there are many fronts. I myself am trying to ween my buying habits off of Amazon. I am looking for books from other retailers and if I need merchandise, I will buy from The Burning Platform who gets kickbacks from purchases made from his link. Little ways to cut into the profit while still meeting my needs.

        I guess I am just reacting to the ones “preaching to the choir” so to speak. I don’t buy much music any more. I don’t buy movies. Everything I watch is pretty much free, or when I do watch, it is from cable. And I am close to cutting that cord simply because 1. there is very little I find of interest and 2. the cable fees do support a host of liberal crap that would otherwise die. What I find interesting is that I usually don’t catch up with new tv series until several seasons in when they have proven themselves and have a viable audience that I can relate to. By then, it does become time to do some binge watching.

        But, I think you have to admit, that trying to find or keep up with entertainment, sports, etc. can be a trying effort and time consuming without the cable. And sometimes, when alone and feeling lonely, just having background “white” noise on is helpful from a psychological perspective.

        • I find background noise distracting. I used to like having music playing in surgery when I was young, but it became annoying as I got older. I don’t complain about it when I’m assisting someone, but the nurses who know me well get folks to at least turn it down when I’m in the room. I no longer listen to the radio when driving, too.

    • Cheap entertainment without moderation is a vice. It’s demonstrably the case that people who spend a great deal of time consuming these serials are otherwise deficient in productive skills or the general comings and goings of the real world around them. This makes these individuals ideal pawns in the game of progressive politics and a de facto threat to the survival of everyone else around them.

  22. Two signal events molded my life:
    1) Paperboy age 11 to 14 and had to get up at 4 a.m. Result am an early riser and tend to fall asleep early as does my wife who lives her life in hyper speed.
    2) Years in Higher education and service 1959 through 1973, never developed TV habit or saw many movies. After 1973 was too busy in career to watch tv. Current tv averages less than an hour on a day. Reading became my hobby.

    Now for the irony, recently retired and moved to Southwest and new home has an enormous family room. Wife not happy with tv as it is too small, a 42 inch 10+ year old flat screen that replaced a 27 inch 20+ year old Sony Trinitron. Was told to get a larger one that will have a screen that can be seen by the wife. All she watched yesterday was about half an hour of the Amgen Tour of California. What a waste of money. But orders are orders!

    Dan Kurt

    • Funny, but I have had similar experiences. Growing up, we had a black and white TV, but reception was poor so it was not a big part of life. As kids, we watched TV when we could not go out for some reason. “Go outside” used to be a thing parents said to their children, believe it or not. The result was a I never developed the TV habit. In my 20’s, I started dating a woman and she refused to come over to my place because I did not have a TV or cable.

      Guess what happened.

      When we split up, she took the TV.

      Even so, my TV watching has always been sports. Baseball, hockey and college football. In reality, I don’t actually watch. I mostly listen. I can’t sit still that long.

  23. Zman, so what is this app you use that helps you review all the movies released by year, quickly and easily?

  24. It’s stupid as hell. Maybe city people are stupid enough to let walking zombies take over a city. Every country boy would get a brick of .22 LR and start tallying up their scores. “I got me 25 just this morning!” “I got me 30!”

    Any decent cert or ert team (the goon squad) from a prison could clear a block at a time wearing their armor. In a couple weeks every small town would be secure and with a tight perimeter.

    And what’s with the lack of weapons and ammo? When I was in the deep South I was several homes that had enough firearms to outfit a platoon and enough ammo for a weeks worth of work for all of them. We’re supposed to believe every gun just dropped off the face of the earth.

    • you should watch the show. it’s set in the countryside outside of atlanta. and there are all kinds of weapons and ammo around; that’s the problem. everyone is armed to the teeth and looking to plunder other humans.

      • When I last watched, guns and ammo were in a distinct shortage. But that was years ago. No, I should not watch the show.

        Deeply converged, nihilistic, you can’t win, you can’t break even and you can’t quit in the walking dead world.

        People do the dumbest damn things I have ever seen then do them again. I quit watching when they had the perverts on. If I want to see perverts I can watch a Progressive commercial.

        • @TWS Regarding people doing the dumbest things? Reminds me of that outstanding Geico commercial with the kids trying to run from the chainsaw phsyco? They wanted to hide in all the wrong places instead of getting into the running car. Lmao! Brilliant advertising. Geico’s ad agency pretty much summed up Hollywoods modus operandi towards us viewers. Sometimes I find it difficult to suspend disbelief.

  25. An alternative theory: quality film and television is mostly accidents of talented people happening to come together in lucky circumstances. From the financier’s perspective every project looks like it will turn out as a load of shit, but for whatever reason some percent of them just work out.

    • I’m inclined in that direction. I know someone in the legal side of the business and he says every film has at least one true believer behind it. It’s not about art of telling stories. It is about getting their film made. The film is a trophy of sorts. That and the accounting is a game of old maid. Even if the movie never sells, everyone involved gets paid. The financier is the guy left holding the bag.

      Event-ocomics is the economics of events.

      • the entertainment business trades on the fact it is glamorous, to get monied people/companies to put $$ up for production. look at the opening credits of any recent film; it’s always a co-production, sometimes with 3 or 4 different companies involved with the financing.

        guys put money in so they get invited to parties where they can mingle with hollywood people.

  26. Walking Dead was kind of entertaining in Season 1. I lost all interest after a couple years. It’s basically a post-apocalyptic soap opera. Normal people would have just killed all the zombies already and moved on with their lives.

    John Ringo has a book series along the same lines as “I am Legend”. Logical explanation about the “zombie” virus and logical reactions by the military and civilians who survive.

    • My guess is I will run out of steam long before the real zombies, the SJW writers, take over the show. I only made it through five episodes of Mad Men because the agit-prop was too much. Not paying for this stuff means no sense of obligation to clean the plate and watch it.

      Interestingly, my New England acquaintances all say the show gets good in season three, which appears to be when it goes anti-white. That’s our trouble in a nutshell. Our rage zombies wear pink Sox caps.

      • The pink Sox caps could be (I have not watched a single episode) a riff on what Boston sports radio hosts and callers derisively refer to as “the pink hats” – fair weather Red Sox fans who are more interested in going to an event at Fenway Park while their eyes are on their phones as they text.

        The pink hats may have loved Big Papi but they have no idea how he fared against Justin Verlander, though they probably could tell you that the latter is engaged to Kate Upton.

        Not surprisingly, the pink hats tend to be young women and effeminate men.

          • When I say “America’s Team” I almost always mean the Sox, but sometimes the Patriots. Yankee fans are degenerates and chronic masturbaters.

          • In my experience, visiting Red Sox fans were the most considerate to the vendors at the games, and they were consistently the best tippers as well. The SF Giant fans were awful, all around. The Giants were always coming to town; I hated working those games.

      • You’re right. It got boring fast. The comic book it was based on is mean spirited, brutal and deeply stupid.

        I’d like to see a zombie movie with an intelligent plot (other than I am Legend with Vincent Price). Ain’t going to happen.

      • The biggest problem with “Mad Men” is that it took itself too seriously. Movies do this all the time. There is the underlying message “”. Watch “Citizen Kane” with this idea in mind and it becomes a turgid mess of a movie. The better Hitchcocks have the “” attitude written all over them, which spoils some good work. Then you take something like the original “The Thin Man” or some of the Groucho Marx stuff, and it just races on, oblivious of what it is supposed to represent, and just gets into raucous storytelling and goofing on things. No self-awareness whatsoever.

        Art, music, video, literature, it all suffers from the pomposity of the creators and marketers. Hemingway and Steinbeck felt the need for every idea to be dripping with importance. Even Warhol, who supposedly meant to mock art, fell into the trap.

        • I’m old school. Fiction should never beat the reader/viewer over the head. Even in my unhinged polemics I post here, I try to take a soft touch. If I ever write a novel, the goal will be a good story, not a sermon.

        • The Thin Man movies are great, real funny stuff. Same with the Marx bros movies

    • “Black Tide Rising” is Ringo’s series. I enjoyed the books & I’m not much for zombies. What I tend to like is how the survivors go about organizing their counteroffensive(s), re-building society, and the like.
      It makes one ponder…., if you could re-create our social organizations from whole cloth, what would it look like?

  27. I’m halfway there. I’m turning in one cable box next week – everything that is watched on that TV is through Netflix via the X-Box.

    On rainy weekends, I’m browsing the free-on-demand menu – not channel surfing.

  28. Actually, “Doris” is a pretty good movie, just for a small audience interested in real human situations and topics like growing older in body if not in mind and spirit. I live in a small town, so it would never have come to my local multiplex . . . but by Internet streaming I and other people who are interested in topics that appeal to only small segments of the audience can still enjoy and appreciate.

    • I’d certainly never heard of Doris, so I watched after reading about it here. I don’t imagine it will wind up on anybody’s list of must-see movies of the decade, but it was amusing and watchable, and it kept my interest from beginning to end, which more than can be said of a lot of movies these days. And it poked a certain amount of fun at young corporate metrosexuals in NYC, so it would even fit in with the sensibilities of the sorts of people who read this blog.

      Just goes to show you can’t judge a movie by its title!

  29. If you want local sports and cut the cord get Sling.
    At least 20 main channels and the local teams for $20.
    I rarely watch it but you can share with two other homes.

    Mainly it is some movie on Netflix or Amazon and Youtube for me.

  30. Interesting to see someone else doesn’t get the zombie logic. Silly, because it doesn’t have to make sense….but still! Plus, if you can walk fast, you can stay away from them. Yeah, i know, these objections are foolish. Plus, it is a pretty good show.

    • it’s like with vampire movies; the “laws” of zombification change whenever anyone wants them too. originally (in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead) they were slow. But now they show them (in The Walking Dead) as being capable of showing a little speed occasionally.

      there is one scene in TWD, the season-2 opening episode I believe, where a seas of walkers shuffles by Dale’s motorhome, which is stranded on a freeway. it was a stunning moment; but sadly not matched by anything subsequent.

    • Like all good SciFi it’s just about how people interact if just one thing in society was changed.

    • What the zombie theme is /really/ about is forbidden to notice. IYKWIM AITTYD.

  31. Hunting and fishing shows, MMA when lifting, the weather, and old movies. Currently have four places covered by the same old satellite contract, too good a deal to cancel, and one of them is out in the middle of nowhere with no other options. Will start cord cutting as the places are sold off while we age.

    • Yes. We need more old movies on the streaming services. There are a handful on Netflix. I just saw Otto Preminger’s “Laura” (1944) the other night. Not even close to best noir that I’ve ever seen, but movies of that era are refreshingly free of SJW garbage, and Gene Tierney sure is easy on the eyes. I’ll give the flick 3/5.

        • Life was strained in ’44, Doc. I was coming up fast on draft age, and the end of WW2 was nowhere in sight. Had my sights set on being a fighter pilot. Might as well go out in a blaze of glory. Then came ’45 and everything changed. Haven’t been fazed by much since those days.

          • I was mainly talking about how the plot has too many twists in trying to come to the desired conclusion. Part of my problem is that it has become more difficult to suspend belief as I’ve gotten older, but this seems to be the case with young people as well. When there are too many plot twists you find yourself thinking, “This is ridiculous.” Once that happens you might as well not even finish it. What I usually do is start fast forwarding through to see if my assumptions about where things are going are correct. Most of the time I can predict pretty much everything.

          • One of the early noir authors was Cornell Woolrich (The Bride Wore Black, I Married a Dead Man). Many of his works had outlandish, low probability plot twists to make the story work. They became known as “Woolrich coincidences” at the time. So much work depends on Woolrich coincidences in order for the story to follow, and when one is attuned to such things, it can even be used as a drinking game.

        • Maybe so but it’s high art compared to today’s zombie and vampire garbage. I don’t spend so much energy analyzing the sensibility of the plots of old films but rather take in their beauty (people and costumes and sets) as well as more intelligent dialogue (usually). My favorite films of the 30’s and 40’s are in an entirely different league than today’s most highly acclaimed crap.

      • May as well go it’s the best noir, and that is “Double Indemnity”. It’s all downhill from that one. Barbara Stanwyck pretty much owns whatever flick she appears in.

  32. George Romero, who kicked off the whole zombie craze, says he owes his entire career to Matheson’s “I am Legend.” It’s been filmed several times, as “Omega Man” (with Charlton Heston) and “I am Legend” with Will Smith. The best, and least popular adaption is “The Last Man on Earth” starring Vincent Price. It’s also the most faithful to the source material.

    I have a friend who works in Hollywood and he says they just do a handful of big projects that pay all the bills (all the uninspired comic book adaptations and mega-blockbusters like “Avatar”) and then pick up independent projects that prove themselves in jury-run festivals (like Cannes). The directors who work in between the indie and mega-blockbuster markets are feeling the squeeze (it’s the reason Steven Soderbergh only works in TV now and guys like Walter Hill also direct “Deadwood” or David Lynch had to bust his back to get financing for his “Twin Peaks” reboot). A few really market-proven commodities like Tarantino or the Coen Brothers can get between $30-$80 million with one phone call, but they’re in the minority.

    I saw a couple of good series on “Netflix,” including “Stranger Things” (a good horror/sci-fi throwback), but the guy who plays the sheriff on the show made some stupid speech at an awards show about punching Trump that was well received, and “Dear White People” was also uploaded to Netflix, which caused me to cancel my subscription.

    • I haven’t been able to watch TV or movies for about 10 years. Consequently I haven’t had cable or network for a long time. But the kids gave me access to Netflix and Amazon Prime and I remembered your post a while back about Justified, Zman.

      I’ve enjoyed several seasons. You must be right – a few long-form TV dramas slip through the cracks and provide entertainment for normies.

    • Chuck Heston totally owns Omega Man! god damn he lays the beat down on those mutant fukks. by far the most entertaining version of the IAL story.

  33. With net neutrality coming to an end, it may become too expensive to stream anything if the ISP’s have their way so enjoy it while you may,

    If that occurs its going to be politically interesting and ironically its one of the things that could be leveraged by the Democrats quite well if they are smart,

    As to your points, cord cutting is a good thing and once you’ve done it, you won’t go back. Its not easy though as services like Hulu or Netflix can make it hard to find anything worthwhile or to search for things.

    In general though blogs much less YouTube and the like have gutted my TV viewing, I watch almost nothing on a regular basis though unlike our host I’ve never watched sports-ball at any point/

    • Recovering libertarian-tard here. Streaming is not going to disappear.

      I have no patience for the doom and gloom over “Net Neutrality” on both sides. The pro side sees a world full of evil corporations whose power can only be reduced via government rules, but have zero awareness of Regulatory Capture. The anti side thinks streaming will go away completely if NetFlix has to stop free-riding off Comcast’s bandwidth. There has always been peering on the internet, that is fundamental. Peering is not free. With or without Net Neutrality the internet willend up being mostly the same for mostly everyone. The only difference will be who gets the surplus rent, Comcast or Netflix.

      • Amusingly I don’t watch NetFlix or any of the streaming services and while I saw most of Stranger Things didn’t care for it.

        Otherwise we shall see, I suspect the US is in a “Bleed people dry” rent extraction phase and probably a lot of silent collusion as well

        That said i’ll be happy to be wrong on the issue and as our host noted 5G and other tech may proved to be a disrupter.

        • “I suspect the US is in a “Bleed people dry” rent extraction phase and probably a lot of silent collusion as well”

          I fear you are correct. Sad.

    • re: “With net neutrality coming to an end…” ABP

      Expect internet cost to drop, actually. In most areas there will be three (or four) competing technologies for delivery: cable, fiber optic telephone and cable, cell or a new radio entry like WiMax. Get rid of net neutrality and let Moore’s Law function on the internet.

      Dan Kurt

      • What has the cable guys in a panic is 5G. Within a few years, you will have high speed broadband on your phone, which means you can have it in your home too. We’re not far from a time when the cell carriers get into home internet. The fact is, so-called net neutrality was always a stalking horse for the media companies to socialize costs and privatize profit.

      • My wife got a thirty dollar discount on our internet bill today by threatening to switch.

  34. This autumn is the 30th anniversary of my giving up the TV, back in the day of 4 channels, and before wide adoption of videotape, because there was so little on that we wanted to watch that even when there was, we would forget that it was on, and should switch the box on and sit down.

    It took a while from when DVD drives were a thing before even considering “Hey, I can watch movies now.” and by then I’d lost the habit of sitting and just passively consuming video for any length of time. Yes, I can pause at will and take a break, but it’s more intrusive than doing the same thing when reading, probably because I feel less involved in the first place.

    Despite all that internet out there, I don’t feel that things have improved much in terms of things I’d want to watch — I’ve just gained the advantage of video on demand that means that if I miss a week (or several, as often happens), I don’t miss an episode.

  35. You make no mention of NO television watching. You make it appear as if it’s a little of a lot – or a lot of a little (i.e., binge watching).

    Ask yourself a simple question: Why must you be passively entertained via a TV screen? What about outdoor activities? Or a book? Or books?

    What makes those serial programs so enticing?

    I’ll tell you – the psychological programming, etc.

    We’ve been without all TV for going on six or seven years.

    Admittedly – an occasional movie (maybe four a year?) But it’s for curiosity only – and more often than not leads to disappointment. I saw some movie via a “new” online source last week – and I felt empty at the end. That My two hours of productivity were erased.

    Hollywood is a brain-fuck. For money.

    Why do the “Oscars” get mentions more than a month before that self-congratulatory jizz-fest?

    I could go on.

    I’ll close this comment out with one true fact. I KNOW that I will truly “LIKE” many TV shows out there. I know I’ll “enjoy” them. I used to “like” a dozen “good” shows on TV. (Stuff like The Shield, and others). However, that is the exact reason why I will not even allow myself to see ANY of these shows. Because I know they’ll suck me in. And at some point in time I will no longer be in control of myself, and subject to the need to “binge” watch.

    Screw that. I want to be in control of myself. 🙂

      • I like to drink while watching tv, so it doesn’t seem like a complete waste of time 😛

        • Funny, but my drinking time tends to correspond with TV night. They go together like heavy metal and strippers.

    • Way to go. I’ve been TV free for over a decade. Couldn’t tell you a thing about any series or sitcom other than what is mentioned on a blog or news site. When I do see a TV when I’m at a doctors appt. I never cease to be amazed at how empty it is, from the programming to commercials. Any videos I watch are usually a how to do something for a project I’m working on. If I need to escape I’ll read a book.
      I keep myself informed on what’s going on via the internet or the radio but otherwise just work on developing and honing various skills, working the farm, and sharing what I learn with friends and family.

      • Since cutting the chord ive noticed that i I notice that I am absolutely sucked into screens at sports bars or airports. It is hypnotic and i agree, completely devoid of worth.
        Check out “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman. 35 years ago he expanded on the Marshal McLuhan (sp?) Idea of “the medium is the message”. Basicly said the media we consume changes our brains to fit the media.
        Think of the political discourse from the Lincoln Douglas debates and compare that to The Next Top President competition we just endured.
        Telegaph and mail vs twitter and Facebook.

  36. I propose that we boycott modern American culture entirely. For too long we have subsidized the people who hate us and want to eliminate us.
    Read a book – preferably an old book.

    • It was the tendency to “gritty social realist” in British TV that turned me off the medium, way back, even when the US output we got to see could mainly be accused of being merely mawkish and sentimental.

      This is the reason why most of what I watch these days is anime — the Japanese haven’t been affected by the mind virus.

  37. “Most of our video entertainments are just poorly disguised lectures about how white people suck and men are terrible.”

    Just wait until about season 3. The Walking Dead becomes every bit as insufferable as all the other drivel that emanates from Hollywood. I gave up a couple years ago.

    • At season 7 the SJ level is so high it’s funny.
      Zero muscle yet super strong Hispanic / fat white socialist / white SJW / black low-IQ / young white anarcom woman saves the day while the young idiotic / middle-aged coward and boring / old selfish & bigotted white man is useless.
      Every single new character introduced since several seasons is a SJ caricature.

      • Maybe, but it doesn’t pay to be the black man on that show. RIP T-Dog, Bob, Tyrese, Sasha, Noah, etc.

        Morgan has managed to survive so far, but his days are probably numbered too.

        Every time I watch it, I have the image of that South Park character named Token…

    • Yes, after season one it will look different.
      White men, except for our protagonist and one other, are weak, guileful or stupid.
      Strong and sometimes malevolent women and minorities. And the good blacks.
      I quit last year, way too late.

  38. “On the other hand, you will binge watch a series”

    I did that with the first season of “The Expanse”. It’s set a century or so in the future in a colonized solar system. There are a number of parallel story arcs but it mainly appears to be about a bunch of privateers in a commandeered space corvette. The story mostly mirrors our times. Mainly “deep state” conspiracies. There seems to be a lot of stuff they could do with this backdrop that they don’t, for example how about an asteroid colonized by a family, sort of like Bonanza. How about a MGTOW colony with programmable cyborg fembots to keep the men happy.

    • I’ve read all of “The Expanse” novels – they are excellent. The series is surprisingly well done.

      There are some Expanse novellas with side-stories – not quite the sidetracks you suggested.

  39. “Stranger Things” a Netflix original series. It’s excellent. Enjoy.

    Cord cutting lite: Sling TV. $20, live TV, mainly channels I would watch. Except for three ESPNs (I need one, and only on Monday nights from Sep-Dec). The best part is you can watch back catalog episodes. Also: the cheapest Sling comes with AXS, which is LOADED with live concerts. If you like great music played live…totally worth it.

    Finally, our $20 amplified antenna pumps excellent HD quality local stuff into our house. We have Colorado-clear line of sight to the nearby antennas. Best part: NHK World, which is fun to watch.


    • “Stranger Things” was quality, but it’s hard for a show to maintain that level of quality-control for more than a season. I didn’t detect too much of the underhanded brainwashing the cultural commissars usually try to sneak into shows; among the child actors in the series, there’s one black kid, and I kept watching and waiting for him to be revealed to be a super-genius science prodigy, but I waited in vain for Hollywood to pull the usual b.s. Still, Netflix is the beast and I don’t want to feed it. Amazon is even worse, with Bezos now having a Hearst-sized imprint in media (and hiring John Podesta to work at his newspaper).

      • I was actually impressed with Stranger Things in that regard since black kid was actually kind of a clingy asshole( he got better as the show went on). When I was watching I was like “hope they won’t get into trouble for that”.

        • The advantage of setting it in the 80’s is that the 1980’s predates all the SJW bullshit. It just wasn’t part of the culture or the conversation then. I mean, there are MULTIPLE times in the show when you’re basically watching patriotic Americans defending the government because the government was protecting us from the Soviets.

          That’s about as far from the SJW crap as you can get. I sure hope they can maintain it.

          • ” the government was protecting us from the Soviets. ”

            Thanks for the laugh, I do like well done satire, please play again soon.

      • ““Stranger Things” was quality, but it’s hard for a show to maintain that level of quality-control for more than a season.”

        I’m looking forward to finding out in a few months. The chemistry of the boys is fantastic. They casted it well (like the Marvel Cinematic Universe) to achieve a level of quality that you don’t see much of these days.

        I agree that they managed to avoid most of the idiotic SJW sanctimony that saturates most television programs. Little discussed is how “The Walking Dead” lost viewership over its insistence on promoting gays in such an in-your-face way. That, and their “fan-boy service” of killing off characters people like.

        • The biggest problem with The Walking Dead is that the writers dream up entire episodes where essentially nothing happens. You could easily subtract 1/3 of a season and watch the rest and miss very little. Also, it doesn’t bother me that the premise is implausible, but I like it when there is a *point* to the plot most of the time.

          • Nothing happening, punctuated by 20 minutes of commercials. On regular TV, it became unwatchable. I don’t watch it regularly any more, and just occasionally read the synopses to see if anything interesting happened. If there are good episodes, I catch up on them on Netflix in September.

            The conceit of all horror spins on bad decision making. After awhile, that gets old.

    • All I know about “Stranger Things” is that the guy who played the lead actor when the show won an award made a speech, encouraging the world to “punch some people in the face,” if the disagreed with PC thought. Don’t believe I’ll be seeking his work out.

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