random post o’ the day

July 2, 2009

i don’t have cable at home. i mean, i have limited cable – local channels, PBS, a couple of others – but i don’t have cable the way that most people do. this is largely because i live alone and i don’t watch that much television and i simply can’t rationalize paying comcast $50 every month just so i can watch law & order in the middle of the night.

but there are times when i really do miss it, like when i’m sick and stuck at home. or sometimes, it’s late and you’re at loose ends and channel surfing brings you something odd and cool, which is what happened last night. i was at my editor’s, where i am currently house-sitting. she has satellite, with all the channels. usually it’s too overwhelming for me; i hate spending half an hour flipping through 500 channels for something to watch. but last night i was bored and ended up watching a documentary on the history channel about the goths and the fall of rome, which is exactly the kind of thing i like to watch. since i was kind of tired and not actively doing something else while watching tv (as i normally am), i had all sorts of time to think random thoughts:

  • the talking heads on this program were pretty great. one fairly normal guy; one who reminded me of my friend’s dad, which just sort of amused me; one with the sort of soothing, pleasant british accent that puts undergrads to sleep during lectures; and, best of all, one who looked like mark mckinney with corky st. clair’s hair sytle (i am not making this up).
  • i kept thinking that the narrators and THs were throwing around the terms “barbarians” and “barbarism” pretty loosely, and i wished i’d seen the beginning of the show. maybe they’d defined those terms. then i would wonder if i’m too sensitive to linguistic matters like this.
  • i would so love to be an actor on these sorts of documentaries. i wonder how one goes about becoming a historical re-enactor for the history channel. i’m sure i can wear rags and flee the oncoming hordes as well as anyone else. 

there were some other things, i’m sure, but i forgot. the point here: i wish i was independently wealthy and could rationalize having cable just for those nights when i am bored and in the mood to channel surf.


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