bye, bye, Sky!!

15Dec08

Hooray!

We got a Freesat HD Box today, and despite an afternoon of cursing as various bits of related technology did/did not work correctly with it, t’old man (t-o-m) finally got it up and running this evening. It is of an order of magnificent on our projector, and I swear it sounds better too, although I’m informed that’s not technically possible, I’m just imagining it.

What impresses me most of all is that we have cancelled our subscription with Sky. I am overjoyed. I don’t really watch much (any) TV at all unless there’s a good movie on, but the children and t-o-m enjoy it and I’m not that much of a killjoy that I’ll spoil their fun. I do mutter dark comments about television being anaesthetic for the soul, stopping you thinking, dreaming, acting, being, but no-one takes much notice of me so I’m kind of a lonely voice in the corner.

What is particularly invidious is the advertising on the children’s channels. It is so aggressive, and so pervasive, that even Rumpus can do brand recognition on any number of names and he can’t even read yet. I had seven shades of a blue fit a couple of weeks ago when I heard them both singing jingles . . . drives me mad how those adverts get into their heads, and of course they are not old enough or experienced enough to understand what is being done. Even Honey, who is relatively sensible and mature for her age, turned me after a debt-company-advert and said “mummy, you could have more money if you took out a homeowner loan with xyz”. I nearly spat my coffee into next week, I was choking so hard. I explained to her how debt & credit works, and that the long and short of it is that you end up paying more for the things you get using it, and that you usually are still paying for them long after they’ve finished being useful to you. I’m not sure she really understood, but I think she grasped the edges. The gender-targeting is poisonous, too . . . lots of pink and babies and nurturing things for little girls, and equal quantities of action, violence and explosions for boys – there is simply no middle ground, and no room for children to explore different toys and games depending on their interests, talents and abilities. I think it absolutely iniquitous how early in their lives corporate homogenisation starts in on children. I know there’s the argument that advertising income funds the programming, but to be honest the quality of the programming on some of them is so poor, I’m of the opinion that less programming might not be a bad thing. I just hate the way the television turns them into voracious, indiscriminate consumers, feeding their discontents. It’s not restful or relaxing, it turns them into miserable, hyped-up malcontents, and I get more fights, arguments and bickering post-tv than at any other time. It’s just not good for them. To say nothing of the fact that whilst it’s on, they’re total zombies and its impossible to talk to them or interact with them in any way. GAH! Kill the television. Bad, bad, bad . . . .

Anyway, I can rest easy (or easier) now, because the switch to Freesat means that we’ve lost almost all the children’s channels and are left with a mere 6, most of which the children don’t like. By necessity, and process of elimination, they are back on Cbeebies/CBBC and guess what? “Mum, this is cool. Why didn’t you let us watch it before?” (head: wall). I particularly like the fact that there are real people on these channels, whereas on some of the other ones we were getting (Nickleodeon, for example) you could go days without seeing an actual human. Nonsense. And the escape from advertising is just pure heaven. Less, yet again, is definitely more.

I am loving it.

Hallelujah.

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One Response to “bye, bye, Sky!!”


  1. 1 curse of the mummy | Digg hot tags

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