Downloading (Stealing?) Rather Than Channel Surfing

I’m tired of the onslaught of advertising myself, I can’t even imagine what we’ve done to our children at this point by exposing their fragile minds to the brilliance of the marketing system who are out to win them over. We have lost. I don’t know one family who has successfully guarded their children against the flow of consumerism, celebrity culture and death-dealing values that the empire around us is constantly bombarding us with.

I’m just going to go off here for a second on a random thought that came to mind once while thinking about this. I’d like some push-back because it will probably be necessary.

I enjoy good stories. I enjoy films. I enjoy TV shows. I enjoy the radio. I hate commercials. I despise that these stories can’t be told without some corporate agenda behind them to monetize the stories into millions of dollars. I despise that this kind of art can’t happen without needing to monetize it. There is something about CBC Radio that is freeing when you never hear an ad. I think TV needs to go in this direction. The problem is radio is free, TV is generally owned and operated by corporations who are profiting obsessively over it. Partly as a response, we have refused cable into our house. We don’t have channels, so I can’t watch TV, which means I don’t have to worry about commercials. We’ve ended up downloading our movies and tv shows through different means and using Boxee to play it for us on our home TV.

I realize there is plenty of arguments for cutting out television all together. I know there is subliminal messaging and product placement. I know that one option is to throw out the box in the living room all together. I’m just not there yet. I enjoy the artform. I enjoy the stories too much to throw them out. So at this point the house decision is to keep the television but cut out the cable, which pretty much cuts out advertising for us at this point. However with the approaching new technology of streaming internet shows its only a matter of times before commercials are unavoidable with that technology as well.

So at this point I’ve settled with downloading my media, most cases the commercials have been removed already. I think one of the things I want my kids to learn right off the get go would be how to obtain their media through other sources rather than watching TV and being subjected to whatever happens to be on at that specific time. So my thought is that I will probably teach them to steal before I teach them to surf. Instead of learning how to turn on a TV and just click through whatever they want. I’ll teach them how to downloads torrents, use Usenet, use the forums where people post these shows online for free and commercial free. I’ll just call it stealing since I know that seems to be the term for it. So until we can eradicate unnecessary empty box time completely, we might as well not being paying for it and not being subjected to the worst parts about it (the commercials).

I know what your thinking. This is illegal. Well, maybe, but its quite complicated and all signs from what I can tell says that its not necessarily illegal, maybe you can prove me wrong? I know what else your thinking, what about all the people in the industry you are putting out of work. Well, its true, the corporate way of doing movies and TV shows will probably become less and less likely if less and less people watch the ads. I’m OK with that though. I’d rather see smaller communities produce more creative and indie flicks anyway, we don’t need these massive industries just to entertain us.

We should probably be using these alternative ways to use the internet when we can. Join the pirates if you will. Kester Brewin wrote a great series of posts on pirates and what they do and how we need more Christian pirates. I don’t really have any interest in prolonging the inevitable death of massive media corporations who control most of the content we watch anyway, so while we try to decipher what is worth keeping and what isn’t, we might as well not be supporting them in the meantime. That’s it. That’s all I got right now, just a random thought I had while watching Shop Till you Drop, which is unrelated, but I like to let my mind wander.

2 Comments

  • You need to watch a commercial for a DVR or PVR. :)

    I hate commercials too. I’m loving our PVR. We record all the shows we want to watch. We sit down as a family to watch some of them (and some without the kids). And we fast forward all the commercials. My kids sometimes say “I want to see that commercial”, and then they hear me give my thoughts on commercials.. :)

    Best invention ever! Until the advertisers place all their products into the shows and movies I watch. :(

  • I believe we didn’t just watch a commercial for a PVR…we were just subjected to a more subversive form of advertising…word-of-mouth. :-)

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