Canceled our cable TV and land line yesterday.
We watched News Hour on the computer. We caught the tail end of the program. Obviously we could watch the whole thing online, but we just let the stream play. At the end of the program, moderator Jeffrey Brown interviews author, Kate DiCamillo, recently appointed “U.S. Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.”
What a pompous title! I was thinking about this interview this morning as I was doing my morning reading. When confronted with Brown’s thoughtful and penetrating questions, DiCamillo talked like a politician as she gingerly “framed” her answers. Whether asking her about the relative value of recommending one children’s book as more edifying than another or the impact of technology (video games, computers) upon children, Brown listened as DiCamillo danced around giving real answers to these questions and repeating her “talking points” of about the “power of story.”
PROPAGANDA AMERICAN STYLE
What a sorry spectacle to my way of thinking! I suspect DiCamillo had interesting answers to Brown’s questions, but instead she pounded home her “message.” Once again, conversation around ideas is supplanted by a propaganda approach to thinking. Good grief.
Eileen has met DiCamillo. We were just talking about this program and I said to Eileen that DiCamillo seemed like an interesting person trying not to be interesting. I’m not suggesting that “story” is not important in this context. What I am saying is that the obviousness of DiCamillo’s prepared responses changed the conversation, made it less interesting to me, and needlessly limited the range of ideas in the exchange.
I guess it’s discouraging because it is the dance so many politicians and leaders make when confronted with a camera and a microphone that contributes to the blandness and hypocrisy of our public rhetoric.
So we are now Steve and Eileen are without cable and land line.
Our cable/phone/internet bill had gradually skyrocketed to almost $200 a month (!). When I called to cancel, the operator immediately offered to lower the bill to $99 for the same services with a 12 month contract. Eileen and I talked it over and decided to only pay for what we wanted to use. Supposedly this will be around $75 a month with no contract (this is just high speed internet).
We figure we can watch TV programs we are interested in online. Last night Eileen ended the evening watching a British soap/detective show online via our Netflix subscription we have been watching: Jack Frost.
It’s dopey but it’s a dated 90s police procedural show that Eileen can stand (me too apparently). Actually I attempted to read while it was playing, but mostly dozed.
We are changing our patterns of living as we move toward Eileen’s retirement. She seems happier each day. Yesterday she not only did the grocery shopping for me, she made cookies for a party for her “literacy heroes” at the library today.
She also did all of the dishes so when I got up this morning, I didn’t do my usual routine of washing dishes while I waited for my coffee water to boil.
Things are changing!