I noticed this little tidbit on Slashdot, which is explained in more detail at the San Fran Chronicle:

Analog TVs will no longer receive a signal come Feb. 19, 2009, unless users update their hardware to receive a digital signal.

Federal officials announced details Monday about how that transition will work, saying the government will help consumers buy the necessary equipment to upgrade to digital — a converter box that attaches to the TV set.

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said it is setting aside $990 million to pay for the boxes. Each home can request up to two $40 coupons for a digital-to-analog converter box, which consumer electronics makers such as RCA and LG plan to produce. Prices for the box have not been determined, but industry and consumer groups have estimated they will run $50 to $75 each. [emphasis added]

Yes, that’s right. The government is going to pay you to keep watching that boobtube. The government is subsidizing mind control devices in order to ensure the passivity of the populace.

As a person who hates TV and doesn’t own one, it really pisses me off that my tax dollars are being spent on this boondoggle. I’ve long had a nagging suspicion that TVs have always been subsidized to some extent because the powers that be wanted a window into the lives of their subjects. It’s worth noting that in 1984 the TV’s watch you.

TV is bad for you. It’s bad for your mind, your body and your soul. Why is the government subsidizing something that, by almost all accounts, is detrimental to our health? Children spend 44.5 hours per week in front of screens — as much time as I spend at my job — and the government is not only unconcerned they’re funding this? Don’t you see something wrong here?

The Romans had their bread & circuses and Americans have their TV. This is about pacifying the population. If we didn’t have TV to numb our brains people might start to wake up to all the nefarious shit going on around us. Ideally, TV would be an excellent medium to tackle these social ills, but the mega-media-corps rarely seem to do so, especially when their own bottom line is at risk.

Instead, we will all continue working all day, going home to veg for a few hours and then waking up and doing it again… and with our softened brains we’ll never have time to ponder why a highly-advanced country like ours works so much, yet has so little to show for it (besides bigscreen TVs). With American Idol on we’ll never deduce that the rich are stealing from us through inflation, real-estate boom & busts, taxes and other financial trickery that make it possible for the middle classes’ earning power to actually decline over the last 30 years despite the rich getting fantastically richer.

We are being FUCKED. But most people are too hypnotized to notice.


You can screech back, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Bread & Circuses: Why the Government Wants to Pay you to Watch TV”

  1. Erik says:

    From the < HREF="http://www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/dtv/DTVmanufacturers.pdf" REL="nofollow">rules for qualifying devices<>, Specification 18:<>“A remote control to operate the equipment shall be provided with batteries.”<>

  2. Casey says:

    Alright. You make some good points, but your argument is much to strong.As you said, you hate tv and don’t own one.You are admitting you are biased to this situation. TV does create a window into people’s lives, but of course so does the internet and the newspapers. 1984 references does NOTHING for me. Why? Because it is over used. Everyone uses it. Guess what guys.. We are living in the world of 1984 right now. Get over it.Well, not really.For every similarity our world has to that of 1984, there are a million differences. That does not stop people from pointing out every time a similarity appears and freaking out.Watch this:<>1984 Similarities<>-TVs broadcast propaganda; telescreens. news = 7 min hate<>1984 Differences<>-You have a choice to watch TV-You have a choice to watch propaganda (news)or just cartoons 😛The big theme of 1984 is an invasion of privacy. TVs are not invading your privacy. Now, if the government started watching us (in private, come on, security cameras in public are for safety, not some government conspiracy) then I would take 1984 arguments seriously.Remember, Orwell based 1984 off trends that were happeing at the time he wrote the book. They are predictions of what might happen. He was a smart man, and as a result many predictions are true.However, do NOT conclude that just because some predictions are true, all are true.So yes, you are right that the fact that in 1984 the tvs watching you is worth nothing. Now, if these government issued Digital Boxes have webcams, then we have cause to be worried.Children should not watch as much TV as you said. However, that is up to parents to moderate, not the government. If they did this, then you could cry (OMG) 1984.You only list the negatives for TV.TV can be used as stress relief. It is mindless. That means you can just collapse in front of it after a hard day of work and use it to relax. Is there a problem with this? I think not.Now, if you are watching TV most of the day then there IS a problem. But just like anything (like alcohol for example), just because some (or most) abuse a substance/item/power, does not mean that it can not be used for good or recreation without significant harmful effects.I agree with your point that people watch much to much TV.I dont watch very much myself (I am to addicted to the Internet :-\), but I do watch some random shows on occasion.TV is not evil. TV is bad if it is abused, like anything.Like I said in the beginning, you make some good points. Just try to come on a little less strongly and you could convince more people over to your point.Its not that TV is evil, it is that America (and many other countries; I am in Canada btw) is addicted to it.TV in moderation can be useful as a stress reliever, and not all TV content is filled with propaganda.Your point that the government should not subsidize something like this is valid.. You should just phrase it in a way that does not attack others.

  3. Sp00t says:

    And the internet is any better? lol

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