Some Like It Digital
Good eyes, ladies and gentlemen, good eyes. I see you’re all admiring the latest gift to the world from Electronic Deities Incorporated---we're simply calling it The Gigantic Goddamn Television Set. Yes, citizens, eleven FEET of viewing craziness, and really, what more do I have to say? Why should I even go on? Every word I utter is like a foul gas just clouding your judgement! I defy you all to look at this thing for five seconds and then not say to me, in all honesty, "YES! I would rather own this TV than ever SPEAK to another human being again!"
Look, we’re not children here. I want to tell you something from the heart. I love ALL television---and so do you! You wouldn’t be sitting there like oversized blocks of cheese if you hadn’t already accepted this undeniable truth. You know, I read a book last year---something about animals taking over a farm from their masters and then they became corrupt---I don’t know, but I read that book....and I just started laughing. I started laughing thinking how pathetic this book was compared to television. Where were the actors? Where were the commercials for valuable consumer goods, such as televisions? It took me eight months to read that alleged entertainment, and then a week later, bam, there it was in the TV Guide, they’d made a movie of it. I had been played for a FOOL, ladies and gentlemen, and so are we all whenever we get suckered into believing that this product is not all there is to know about culture. I would rather watch the crappiest ten minutes of Happy Days than read one word by so-called "geniuses" like Dean Koontz or Jackie Collins. (Even the weird later ones where the Fonz moved in with Dracula.) So I’m gonna say it now, before the world, and may God strike me down if I offend thee, but thank you, television! Thank you for saving me from the strain of maintaining interpersonal relationships! Thank you for being the only one who understands my violent mood swings! Now I’m not saying we should engage in mass genocide against people who read and then all of us watch television twenty-four hours a day. No, I'm really not saying that, for that would be cruel. What I am saying is that these literate freaks are threatening a way of life we have fought for for millions of years! So now I say "Save us, television! Save us!" And you know what television would say back if it could? "No problem, man! I am eleven feet wide and I’ve got vertical hold and brightness control, and the printed word can kiss my big rubbery butt!"
I remember my first TV. Oh, it wasn’t an eleven foot sperm whale like this one, it was just a small one, I was just out of college, didn’t have a lot of money, it was only a sixty-eight inch screen or so. And I sat down in front of it that first night and I remember the first thing that came on: it was a wrestling preview show. I realized at that moment that divinity school had been a waste of my time, seven weeks down the drain. All the education I required was contained in my new little friend there. Through television, I have been to the two corners of the globe, I have watched the Buffalo Bills lose like ninety Super Bowls, and through a glitch in my cable transmission, I have managed to glimpse entire naked women on the scrambled channel every night at exactly 2:17 a.m.!
I had a dream the other night. It was a dark and terrible dream. In the dream, there was no more television. (Also Aquaman was in there for some reason, but his contribution was minimal.) And because there was no television, there were no celebrities. Because there were no celebrities, there was nothing to talk about. And because there was nothing to talk about, the world cried out for television! We wander around this earth so happily assuming that TV will be here forever---well, wake up, people! The government already took away our right to buy Russian women for cheap farm labor! They already took away our right to enter our own children into futuristic demolition races! So you WILL buy this television from me and you WILL take advantage of EDI's new pyramid credit scheme, in which you make no payments until you physically die and lie rotting in the earth! Now if you’ll just place your Visa cards in the tote bag that’s making its way around the room, we can start breaking down this universal remote. Get comfy, this is gonna take a while.