Watching television in the 21st century is sure different than it was back in the 20th century. And I’m not talking about the plethora of viewing options that are available—that is, not what we watch but how we watch.
Television used to be in the driver’s seat. If you needed to use the bathroom, you waited until the commercial. If your favorite show was telecast on Wednesday night, you stayed home on Wednesday night. But now we can pause and pee, or we can take the cake out of the oven (theoretically), or even take a phone call for those who still take phone calls and never miss a thing.
My personal favorite is the one I think of as rewind, which it technically isn’t rewinding because no tape is involved. But then we all still “roll down” the windows of our car with a button, so it’s rewind to me.
For years, watching television with Karl would invariably include my missing something that was said, followed by my asking “What did he say?”, and Karl shrugging. Karl is very good on many scores, but short term memory of dialogue and punchlines was never his strong suit. Now, I can just rewind and hear it again. So much easier.
Of course this feature is really helpful when watching the news these days. Unless you’re watching Rachel Maddow, who always explains a thing three times before she moves on, it’s useful to back up when your brain says to your ear, “Did you really hear what you just told me you heard?”
That happened this week when I saw reporting that the House Judiciary committee had sent letters to 81 different individuals, entities, and companies demanding documents regarding the many allegations swirling around Trump. My brain said, “My dear Ear, did you get that right?” Ear replied, “Back it up if you don’t believe me.” Brain ordered the hands to the remote, and they processed the order, and Brain was satisfied.
Then when the list was flashed on screen and removed before I could get to number 10, I multi-functioned—backing it up and pausing. I was able to peruse all the names and, for a brief moment, was happy that advanced television technology had made it possible.
It seems clear that keeping up with the Trump scandals, the multiple investigations, and numerous Congressional committees and their members plus the real and possible indictments, plea agreements, and immunity deals is going to tax our brain memory. So I’m lighting a candle to the technology gods who gave us rewind and pause as well as fast forward, Google, the internet, and all the other functions that allow, or at least help, us in our attempts to stay current with all that is going on.
After all, inquiring minds want to know. Enquiring minds as well, if you insist.