Where I live, it seems that there are suddenly TVs in every public space. Bars, which we’re all used to. Cafés–disturbingly, as I used to like to write in them. Even public transport now, elevators, lobbies, airports, etc, all blaring advertising or quiz shows or The Big Game. As you can tell, I’m not a fan. The only reason I hit the $tarbuxx to write more often than the indie coffee shops is that, in my area, the indie shops now all seem to have the idiot box filling up the once-quiet space with idiocy. I’m just waiting for TVs in the library or in public bogs.
I can’t imagine that there has been such an outcry in favor of Inescapable TV that once-quiet spaces have caved to the demand and installed them. There must be some financial scheme–a share of the ad revenues in exchange for blasting captive audiences with unwanted television. This was the case in the cash-strapped school district where I used to teach. Schools could get free A/V equipment in exchange for making students watch 15 minutes of advertising at the beginning of the day, and five minutes at the beginning of each class period. Teachers who turned off the sound or refused to show it were subject to disciplinary action.
How do you feel about Inescapable Television? I, personally, won’t frequent a business if the TV is on. If I’m going to a cafe, it’s to work. If I’m going to a pub or restaurant, it’s to socialize, and by “socialize,” I don’t mean sitting slack-jawed in front of a screen with other people at a common table.
Maybe I’m not hip or with it, but the constant stream of crap gives me a headache.