"And the TVs had these funny little knobs you'd use to change the stations..."

I had this exchange with my son this morning:

Him: "Wanna watch Martha [i.e., Martha Speaks, a new PBS show based on the children's book series of the same name]?"

Me: "Well, buddy, it's not on right now."

Him: "Martha."

Me: "No, it's not on. And we don't have any taped."

Him: "Martha." (Emphasis totally his. Your average 3 year old can be pretty forceful.)

And at this point, I realized the issue here. Between DVR, OnDemand, and DVDs, he's pretty much able to watch any show he likes whenever he wants (or at least when we allow him to, whether it's because he earned the privilege for being good or he's just been so terrible that we allow ourselves to be bad parents and let the TV babysit for a while because OH MY GOD WE NEED A BREAK.). Waiting for a specific time and/or place to see a specific program or movie is a concept he will probably never actually encounter in his life, at least not like we ever did, certainly.

And then I realized another thing: we're really a bunch of pussies now, aren't we? I mean, when I was a kid, my dad and I were out on a drive and he decided to retrace his old paper route. What he didn't tell me was that his paper route was about 2 or 3 miles long, and he did it on foot every morning before school for years. Mine, on the other hand, was about a block and a half, and I'd beg for automotive assistance on cold days. This is the legacy of my father's childhood, his "barefoot through the snow, uphill both ways" story. Mine's gonna be, "We had to wait a whole week to see the new Dukes of Hazzard episode! And basic cable only had thirteen channels! And forget about ever seeing boobs on TV, unless your friend had Cinemax..."

1 comment:

Chance said...

Sad but true.

This is the kind of thing comedians toss off but it's actually pretty deep when you think about it. This is now a generation that literally almost never has to wait for anything --- looking up information (why own an encyclopedia? why go to the library?), hearing a song (no putting on records, or rewinding tapes), watching a show. It does alter the psyche.