Monday, June 11, 2012

Amber Alert...whoever she is...

You're watching a movie on TCM, or an episode of a vintage TV show on TVLand or the HUB or some other such cable/satellite network, when, suddenly---without warning---a loud intermittent gritty-sounding buzzing sound cuts in knocking out the audio signal along with a blue screen which blocks out the upper half of the screen with a message typing itself out before your eyes: "Amber Alert...9-year-old ******* Smith...white, female, 3' 8", blue eyes, brown shoulder-length hair...last seen ** *** 19th block of *** and *****...she was reportedly wearing jeans, red sneakers and a blue pull-over with hood...if you see ******* please call 9-1-1..."

Granted, this is newsworthy fare---but it's NOT "anytime/anywhere" fare.
Furthermore to interfere with a national/international cable/satellite transmission with an announcement of some local concern is more-than-invasive
...for one thing, why are they asking the bulk of the local and regional population to "be concerned about" the offspring of total strangers whom they've probably never even met before in their lives?
...and what business is it of one's local cable/satellite television provider if someone's kid either loses their way home or gets caught up in some kind of foul play?  Shouldn't this be a "police matter"?  And with such a vague and ambiguous description given of this kid, couldn't such a general description fit any one of a-dozen-or-so kids in the same general age group?

Some stories just need to wait until the next edition of the local/regional news on one's local TV station.

It's amazing how invasive television broadcasts have become in the last five years or so
...personally I think this has a lot to do with the availability of DVD recorders as well as of DVR recorders that come with a lot of satellite television subscriptions.
Now that it's possible to make home video recordings with digital-quality pictures the commercial media is (silently) none-too-happy about it they've resorted to assorted little spiteful maneuvers in an attempt to sabotage the efforts of home recordists who attempt to obtain high-quality copies of some of their favorite movies and/or TV shows fact there's a major cable/satellite TV network---which specializes in the showing of nostalgic shows from the '50s through the early-90s---that has taken to deliberately starting their shows either five or ten minutes early on one day, then the next day they'll be starting the shows five or ten minutes late...obviously to humiliate the efforts of those who try to pre-program their VCRs orDVD-recorders.
There are also a handful of other cable/satellite networks that have done the same thing periodically.

And, while we're on this subject, we should also mention those annoying "pop-up" panels on the bottom of the screen during the program-in-progress advertising what's-up-next
...when one's cable/satellite TV service already provides an on-screen program guide at the press of a button on the remote control.

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