America has a problem. It is a problem brought on only by ourselves, we have no one to blame but the instant gratification man that stares back at you from the mirror. It's your fault, it's my fault, it is the fault of our very culture.
Americans are a prideful people, it's in our very nature. It is an earned pride based on the accomplishments of our predecessors but it is pride none the less. It is this pride that blinds us and prevents us from admitting our mistakes, our failures. It is this pride that shields common sense from us, that hides hard truths and bathes easy outs in nice little 30 second soundbites.
We take pride in our ability to cope, to overcome any obstacle. We take pride in knowing that we are the best and if we are not, it's only because we haven't tried yet. We take pride in our system of government, our architecture and our technology. And it is the technology that will be our downfall. Skynet is not coming, he is already here.
My daughter asked me to fast forward the scoobie doo she was watching. Daphnie is still hot and I would still do many things to her. I told her I couldn't. She looked at me with a puzzled expression, her eyebrows crinkled like I was speaking something very un-American. She may think I am now a communist sympathizer. I can't is not in the American Dictionary.
I told her I couldn't fast forward through the commercials because it was "live" TV. She looked at me like I was speaking Martian, which I can but wasn't at this point. I tried to explain it to her but honestly, how does one go about that?
This generation of youth have been raised on TiVo or DVR's. This has given us, the parents who are failing, the power to control time itself, to warp it to our demands. This is what we have taught our children. There is no "live" there are only events that we control with a hand held device.
I tried to further explain this to my daughter. I tried to explain to her that the show she was watching was on TV right now and didn't come on some time in the past. I told her that I couldn't fast forward anything because nothing was recorded. This show was happening in real time. "I can't" I explained. "I no longer have the ability to control time." She continued to look at me like I was wearing the colors of a hammer and sickle.
It was obvious that she wasn't understanding. She knows about death, babies and how to chop the heads off little bunnies (previous blog, I'm not a monster.) But she doesn't understand the concept of TiVo or "live" television. I tried to explain to her that before about 10 years ago, this is the way we all watched TV. And that we only had 3 channels and something called a special "UHF" dial that had to be plugged into an "antenna" and tinfoil. I stopped talking at this moment because I realized that I started to sound like a very old man who was about to talk about how he walked to school three miles in the snow each day. I did, but there was no snow. It was acid rain and meteorites.
She still didn't understand what I was talking about and decided to ignore the subject completely. She wouldn't listen to commie speak.
"It's ok Dad, I just want to watch Dora."
"I can't" I said again. At this time she picked up the phone to call in a child abuse complaint.
Our DVR died, the hard drive crashed. 150 hours of prerecorded TV disappeared with it. All of her shows that she loved to watch, gone. All those movies that we had recorded, gone. Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, gone. Dora, Diego, Scoobie, Bubble Guppies vanished like they never even existed.
She has never learned of a time when things were not "on demand". She does not know that things can't be controlled with a push of the button. She does not realize that Dad doesn't really have the power to make cartoons appear as if from no where. Whatever she wanted, it was there in seconds. No commercials, no credits, no sad ASPCA infomercials that guilts her into sending 100 dollars a month. This is foreign to her, this is a world that she does not know.
She back handed me and demanded to know who I was working for. She wanted to know who got to me and how. Nervous spittle flew from my lip as I tried to explain that it was the technology that had failed us, not we that failed it! She wouldn't have any of it. Dora was out there somewhere and I was not letting her watch it. In short, Dad's a dick.
This is our problem America. We control time with impunity. We control matter like it's our plaything. This is what we have taught our children. TV is never "live". TV is never on a schedule. It is what we want, when we want it. But when technology fails and the lie is brought to the surface..................
Maybe one day it's us that gets deleted from the hard drive when we can't find Dora.