Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Good News on HD

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I believe that our friend Willy Shakespeare hit the nail on the head with this one. It doesn't matter what you call something, its nature remains the same.

I can't help but start with a nifty quote. It always seems to make my random diatribes have a slightly higher value. Also, I love me some Shakespeare.

So the inspiration for this blog originated on Interstate 75 on the way home from work this evening. As usual, I am tuned in to 700 WLW so I can keep up on local and national news. I typically enjoy the rantings of the talk show dudes. Plus, it keeps me awake thinking about how stupid the callers are, and the fact that they live in my neighborhood.

I cross the bridge and as I get off my exit a commercial for the local TV news comes on.
First of all, why in the hell does the news need a commercial? Its the news, its not like a hip show scrambling for its share of the ratings. Its the news. The same show that has been on the same channel at the same time (mostly) for the last 50 years. They show the same topics every night, local news, national news, weather, entertainment and occasionally a recall on some Toyota vehicle because the airbags randomly deploy on private drives in Kentucky. The newscasters are different throughout the years, but strangely their voices all sound the same. I'm always waiting for Clyde Gray to bust out into some Jive talking, but it never happens.

At the end of the commercial, they announce that the news is now brought to you in "HD". Cool. "High Definition" news. That is soooo awesome..... Wait a minute. Why is the news in HD? I'll stress this again, its THE NEWS. Its not a football game, or a fireworks broadcast, or even a sci-fi movie. ITS THE FREAKIN NEWS. Nobody cares if Carol Williams delivers the election results in 1080p High Def acuity. At the most, all you really get out of it, is now you can see why these news people have to wear so much damn make-up that it has to be applied with a spackling knife. The weather map does not change because its clearer on your TV screen. The war in Iraq does not end because you are viewing news reels in widescreen format.

Instead of technological advancement, all this HD term does for us is give a new moniker to the same old crap. Its perfectly valid to make certain things HD. Movies, sports, It does NOT make sense to have "Mr. Rogers" in High Def. Imagine how much cooler Mr. McFeelme would be if he was broadcast with more scanlines.

I remember back from my grocery days when Professional Strength Liquid Plumber came out. It sat right next to the regular Liquid Plumber on the shelf. For a while, they were the same price. I always saw humor in the fact that both products sold equally. Even though the "professional strength" spoke of results much higher than the original, people still bought the old stuff.

I also wondered if we were supposed to believe that "professional strength" meant that somewhere in the world, a guy called a plumber to his house, and the plumber poured his own "secret recipe" crap down the sink and it cleared it out.

It just goes to show that names, words, titles....they don't mean anything. Things are what they are and no matter what you call it, a rose is just a rose.

Until June, then you'll need a converter box or your rose will just be static.

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