The Remote Control

Where Do We Go From Here?

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I got the remote!
Photo:laverrue
The Remote Control
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The Remote Control

 

I'm pretty sure I never had a TV remote until I got cable, which was some time in the 1980s. 
That's not that unusual. According to one of today's guests, the percentage of television-owning households with remote controls did not break 50 until right around then.
 
The remote was a specialty item, and it was frequently satirized as the ultimate symbol of a person whose attention and indeed consciousness had been completely conquered by the TV set. 
 
For the majority of Americans, during the first 30 years of the Age of TV, a remote control was a luxury device -- a maybe even a symbol of a place they weren't ready to go.
 
Now we all have them. And we get bitter about needing three of them to do more or less one thing. And we hate their complexity and the number of buttons that don't seem connected to anything. This is probably their twilight, anyway, as you'll see after the news. 
 

  

Comments

Georg says:

Is there a correlation between remotes and the rise of obesity?
Should I take my remote for a walk from time to time?

Jim says:

Colin.
The first TV set that my parents bought back in the fifties was
about the size of refrigerator with a circular screen that was about the
size of coffee cup saucer.
I remember rabbit ears, wire coat hangers with strands of tinfoil
hanging off of them, and many other sorts of devices for better
reception that didn't work.
In the early 60's, my grandparents had the first color TV in the
neighborhood, and we kids would go to their house every Sunday evening
to view one of the first shows broadcast in color, Walt Disney's
Wonderful World Of Color. That set brought forth the most amazing green
and pink hues in human faces that you could possibly imagine.
Today, I have a huge, flat screen LCD TV with three remotes, that I,
being the man in house, command, and literally hold onto all while
watching the tube (which is no longer a tube.) I keep a firm grip on
these remotes until I inadvertently poke a wrong button and send my TV
world into chaos. When that happens, I then, and ONLY then, hand the
demon devices over to my wife, who brings back the magical land of
electronic amusement to my life once again.