ferries and television

Darren Barefoot mentioned he has broken his television habit. I have to admit, we don’t even own a television, and I have never owned one myself. Also I have never owned a car. Am I a complete minority, or is television as boring and uninteractive as I think it is? And are cars as bad for the earth as they appear to be? Anyway, I think it’s unfair for me to also claim that I have broken a habit that I don’t have. It would be like saying I quit smoking after trying it once.
All that being said, there are a few shows I actually like, but I don’t think I’d ever want cable. Such a broad selection of programming seems really odd to me – like subscribing to a music service and getting tons of music you don’t like, maybe 95% of it you think is garbage. And ads. Would it be cheaper because of the ads? Right, that’s called radio.
Despite how my tone might have sounded in that last paragraph, I think there is a lot of value in authoritative broadcasting – that is, to say, that someone with some semblance in taste or quality is in control of what gets aired. The only problems are that this is such a subjective notion to begin with, and that there are other objectives at play – such as pleasing the broadest demographic to capture those large advertising contracts, yadda yadda – I could go on. There are still gems on television and in radio.
The other reason to get a television is obviously gaming. I don’t have a lot of time for that.
What I really want to say is that I was considering cable for similar notions to Darren – specifically, hockey. Well, it was pretty clear this year that the Canucks didn’t warrant their own television in my living room and $32.95 a month for the service to watch (some) of their games. At this point, on-demand hockey is only partially available online. If they’re doing good, I’ll see you at the pub.
Another item of interest from Darren’s post was television on the spirit class BC Ferries. The first time I saw these TV’s I was thinking that it is completely ridiculous to have televisions on the ferries when there is so much to look at all around you – the scenery is amazing. I understand some people have children they want sedate or make hyperactive, so the televisions are there. Usually they’re tuned to a random channel – celebrity news or other garbage media. One time – in the “quiet” area – it was tuned to some subtitled news item on CBC about the sexual relationship between teachers and students.
I should mention that the “quiet” area is right beside the “noisy” area which the family stuff is. It’s actually somewhat quiet there believe it or not. Maybe even quiet enough to hear things rattle in the ceiling. Not a bad problem to have.
The idea that they have something called the Seawest Lounge where you can essentially purchase “quiet” is pretty telling of the way BC ferries is run. Does installing televisions and toys in the family area drive up demand for quiet, adult areas? I’d imagine so. They say you can look at newspapers and have unlimited coffee and muffins in the Lounge, but it’s ridiculous. As Darren pointed out, there is no WIFI in there. Headphones win over the Lounge every time.
What else do you find a bit odd about the ferry?

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  1. I agree. Owning a vehicle these days seems more and more of a waste. I mean I have an old beater, that will someday just stop working and I’ll need to consider a replacement, but I don’t want a replacement. I only use it to go grocery shopping once a week and for the occasional small road trip somewhere like Vancouver. But otherwise I live and work downtown, our small city where everything is walking distance. A new vehicle is way over priced, and is a black hole in terms of investment (as soon as you buy it, it’s worth thousands less). And then there is the whole gas thing… polluting, pricey. It’s just a money sink hole. I wish we had a better option.
    And TVs, well I have cable but I don’t really use it. Only for Battlestar Gallactica, The Office and the occasional other show that I put on for background noise. The main reason I have one, and will be buying a new flat screen one in the near future, is for games, movies and other entertainment I stream from my computer or console. It’s essentially my computer monitor and the outlet of all my entertainment systems, except for DJing of course. So I guess I’m just saying that for me, TVs are an integral part of my entertainment, but not for cable. And I think cable is going to start seeing a shift (as it already has) to being something that is more computer related, where you pick what shows to watch and when.
    Also, without a TV, how would I rock out? 😉

  2. Have we, as a species, become SO accustomed to constant external stimulation that we NEED television to pass an hour and a half?? Seriously… it’s an hour and a half trip, not a round-the-world cruise… if you can’t entertain yourself for that long without watching TV you’ve got bigger problems! I like to sleep on the ferry… or listen to music and look at the view… or TALK to someone. Sometimes I do homework. Its amazing what you can get done in that time if you’re not distracting yourself with fancy moving pictures.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love TV, and I watch too much of it at home… but I still know I can turn it off for a few hours and just enjoy the silence.

  3. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, don’t get me started on DVD players in minivans. I get it for a 5 hour trip, but do your kids need “Finding Nemo” just to get home from school in the afternoon… I shudder at the people we’re going to be letting loose on the world.

  4. I think you guys are over thinking things… Cars are utilitarian. TVs are entertainment. They each serve a purpose. This is a greater debate than can be solved within comments. This requires beer and a patio, and probably a couple of hours.

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