November 26, 2004

Why TV-B-Gone is a Good Thing.

I've been meaning to write about TV-B-gone for a little while and explain why I think this is a good thing. The concept of being able to shut off TVs isn't in an of itself good or bad, much like television itself isn't good or bad. A friend of mine gets apoplectic at the idea of people having the power to shut off any TV at any time in any environment stating, correctly, "If you don't like it, don't go to that restaurant, man.".

I agree with him on this, but that exact reasoning is why I think anyone should be able to shut off a TV in an Airport or other public place where you literally cannot get away from the damn things. The TV as intrusive device in Airports is a -bad- thing. I like being able to read, listen to music or try to pay attention to when the airline is telling me my flight will be late and overbooked, TV gets in the way of all that, and TV-B-Gone is a great solution to that problem.

The idea that we should not be able to be tv-free in these environments is very much like the smoking debate that some states are currently going though and that California (America's non-smoking section) went through years before. By passing laws that prohibit smoking in bars, restaurants and public spaces like courtrooms, airports and the like, we made life longer and better for the vast majority of us that don't smoke.

Likewise, I don't choose to watch to pabulum they like to pump out via CNN-Airport, or CNN-hertz-courtesy-shuttle or whatever, but since they have a TV vomiting this crap out every 20 feet, I don't have any control over this particular annoyance.

Please note that I'm not complaining (whining, moaning, etc) about the Wells Fargo near my house that plays Fox News on the TV, or the many many restaurants that put TV's in prominent placement around their bars and other places. Why? Because I can and have chosen to not go to them and wouldn't dream of shutting off those TVs (well, mostly not). I'm simply saying that I should not be subjected to having to watch TV when I literally cannot escape it.

And, no, it is not legitimate to require people to have to watch TV to take a plane trip. I'm picturing the chaos that might erupt if people stop watching TV 24 hours a day....the fantastic chaos, people might read, or play wih their kids, or, gosh, talk to one another.

Chris DiBona
Posting From: Placerville, Ca.
Posting Via: Blogger Interface

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