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Goodbye, cable TV

Dear cable TV. Life is like a taxi-driver when you fall asleep in the backseat; it can take you to some very strange places. And today it has brought me to the strangest place of all, a place I couldn’t have imagined being in ten years ago; I’m considering getting rid of you. For good.

If you could go back in time and tell 16 year-old me that I would cancel my cable connection, 16 year-old me would kill you and use your time machine to travel back to present day to kill current me. Not so long ago, that’s how insane the prospect of life without a cable connection would have seemed to me. Now, however, it is time to move on. And it’s not me, it’s you. And fast Internet. But mostly you.

Goodbye cable, because I’ve found reliable Internet and, with a little USB stick, can wirelessly pipe exactly the stuff I want onto my television, not the nonsense you incompetently deem fit to serve me. Representation pic/Thinkstock
Goodbye cable, because I’ve found reliable Internet and, with a little USB stick, can wirelessly pipe exactly the stuff I want onto my television, not the nonsense you incompetently deem fit to serve me. Representation pic/Thinkstock

So goodbye cable TV. Goodbye to your nonsense 900 channels. 867 of them are in languages I don’t speak, and the other 33 are in an IQ I can’t hear. I get a channel called Baby TV. And no that’s not what I secretly call Arnab’s show. It is an actual channel called Baby TV. And it’s an endless loop of colours, nursery rhymes and audio-visual distractions intended for the sole purpose of calming babies. And also ensuring they have glasses before they can walk. If you think that’s ridiculous, I’m just getting started.

So let’s talk about Dog TV. As the name suggests, it is a channel for TVs who own dogs. HA HA I’m kidding, that would be ridiculous. No, Dog TV is saner. It is 24/7 programming aimed squarely at dogs, to keep them distracted and calm while owners are away. Its unsettlingly hypnotic content consists of footage of a field on a sunny day, a ball bouncing around for two hours, and six stray episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. My favourite Dog TV segment however is footage of a little girl standing in a field smiling at the camera and cooing “Here boy! Who’s a good boy? Here boy!” I love this because I have always wondered what it would be like to live inside a Japanese horror movie.

I have so many questions, cable. Like how niche is too niche? Or why aren’t Dog TV and Baby TV just the same channel? And most importantly, why oh why are they HD? Let’s get one thing straight; I pander to my dog. Me. I pander to my baby. Me. You? You pander to ME. You had ONE job, cable, one job. And you couldn’t do it.

So goodbye cable, because I’ve found reliable Internet. Goodbye cable because, with a little USB stick, I can wirelessly pipe exactly the stuff I want onto my television, not the nonsense you incompetently deem fit to serve me. iTunes, Netflix and Hulu already have the content I want. Legally, for a fee not much steeper than yours. And I know they’re US based services that are blocked in India but (INSERT BOLLYWOOD HACKER MONTAGE COMPRISED OF PIMPLY CHILD HITTING ESC AND CTRL ALT DEL REPEATEDLY) really, they’re just three keystrokes away.

It’s 2014, cable! I no longer need to come home at 9 o’clock to watch what you want to show me. I don’t even need to call and remind you to record it for me. I can just hop on to the unicorn that is the Internet, and summon the programme before me, like the emperors of old. You and I are done, cable. No don’t try and tempt me back with your high-def Premier League coverage and… Wait. You have high-definition sports channels. Hmmmm. Let’s try this again.

Dear cable, I have been a fool.

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi

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