Nothing But Static

via Daily Prompt: Static


There was a time in the not so distant past where television programming just stopped. Crazy to think of now right? For anyone who sits around moaning that “there is nothing to watch on tv” there was a time when there literally was nothing to watch on tv.  In the world before cable television became mainstream, the major networks would play the national anthem at midnight and then — blink — no more programming. If you want an actual demonstration of what this was like I recommend watching the original Poltergeist (1982). At midnight the anthem comes on, programming goes off air, static comes in and all hell breaks loose.  If nothing else, I’m sure that’s not hard too imagine – sans the poltergeist of course.

CNN launched the first 24-hour news channel in 1980, paving the way for the 24-hour television and entertainment cycle we now take for granted.  Having news and entertainment at our fingertips has enabled the development new technologies to satisfy our hunger for constant stimulation.

  • Cable & Satellite TV Going Mainstream
  • Explosion of Specific Networks (MTV, Cooking, HGTV, History, Sy Fy)
  • Internet/Streaming
  • Smart phones
  • Tablet Devices
  • Virtual Reality

I’m sure I’ve missed a few but you get the general idea. We are bombarded on daily basis with political commentary, consumer marketing, celebrity gossip, reality TV, sports analysis, etc., etc., etc. Anything we want is now only a click or a download away.  Ironic then, that in many ways it still feels like there is nothing but static on television.


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