'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American
newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
NEW CABLE NETWORKS IN THE NEAR FUTURE
One of my favorite
writers, P.J. O’Rourke, notes that his three-year-old daughter loves to
watch the “Sugar Cereal Channel” on television. A careful review of the
various cable networks listed in the TV Guide shows there is not an actual
“Sugar Cereal Channel” (not yet anyway). However, a cursory viewing of
typical Saturday morning programming—brief snippets of low-budget Japanese
animation constantly interrupted by loud commercials for products such as
Kellogg’s “Chocolate Covered Obesity Flakes”—might lead one to conclude
there really is a network devoted to giving all children the opportunity
to experience the joys of Type 2 Diabetes.
There are, however,
many actual cable networks that are so specialized, you’d think a clever
Irish-American humorist (O’Rourke, of course, not me) made them up. For
The Food Network – An
actual cable channel devoted to recipes and various cooking techniques.
Although the technological advancement in television sets is impressive,
no matter how large or flat or “hi-def” the screen may be, it is still
impossible to taste food on TV (and take my word for it, licking the
screen doesn’t help). Therefore, why people would watch food on
television is beyond me.
The Golf Channel – A
recent survey found that watching golf on TV came in second-to-last in
the category of “Most boring thing to do on earth.” Watching paint dry
came in dead last. I can’t imagine a channel that broadcasts
golf-related programming 24 hours a day has any viewers at all, unless
the network struck a deal with the criminal justice system. Judge: “I
hereby sentence the defendant to three years of being forced to watch
The Golf Channel.” Defendant: “Nooo! Anything but that! Give me the
electric chair instead!!”
The YES Network –
This channel broadcasts New York Yankee baseball games, and when the
Yankees aren’t playing, it broadcasts reruns of old games and other
riveting Yankee-related programs such as, “Mickey Mantle’s 1954 Knee
Surgery: The Untold Story.”
The NO Network – This
channel is just like the YES Network, but for Chicago Cubs fans.
Since the cable TV
industry is becoming more and more specialized, I suspect we soon will see
networks similar to O’Rourke’s “Sugar Cereal Channel.” Some possibilities:
The Watching Paint
Dry Channel – Hey, if there really is a Golf Channel, can this be far
The Watching Grass
Grow Network – For those people who find the Watching Paint Dry Channel
a bit too stimulating.
The Bunion Network –
Twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, of nothing but
programming devoted to painful feet.
The Cheese Channel –
Tune in tonight for part 4 of the 6-part mini-series: “How Gorgonzola
Changed My Life,” hosted by Hal Linden, Pamela Anderson, and the Mormon
The Noogie Network –
For folks whose heads still ache from a daily dose of noogies back in
Junior High School.
All-Paris-Hilton-All-the-Time Network – Oh wait, we already have that.
It’s called MSNBC.
Channel – (Not to be confused with the Leftist Channel, which we already
have: again, MSNBC.) This network will broadcast nothing but
informational programs and documentaries about left-handed people,
including historical reenactments such as, “Battle of the Bands: Paul
McCartney vs. Benjamin Franklin,” and, “Who was better in the clutch
with men on base: Babe Ruth or Leonardo DaVinci?”
I’m-Sick-of-Television Network – This specialty channel will be for all
the people who have become disgusted with TV programming nowadays. At
any hour of the day or night, this is the network that millions of
people will be able to happily NOT watch.