Sunday, April 25, 2010

High Definition is brainwashing!

A few years ago, we gave in and got a new TV. The big-ass console TV (forever now to be referred to as BACTV) served us well, but had started to die a slow and painful death. Randomly, BACTV would cut to black and white. It would get a weird green-ish arc across the top of the screen. To get it back, we'd have to tap the sides. Really hard. Plus we had picture-in-picture, which was handy when we first got it, but then cable companies started to only offer movie channels with a cable box and lo and behold, PiP is gone!

So, we got a wide-screen HD TV. Its nice. It also has these settings we don't understand. For a few years- and I've told this story before- HD sat on top of BACTV. We were almost a Jeff Foxworthy joke in that we had a new TV sitting on top of an old TV- but the old one was still a working TV (unplugged). Then, finally, DG made that aforementioned and photoed cabinet.

One of the settings we kept screwing up (and Shawn can attest to this) was the screen. We had it set to "automatic" so it would switch itself when we changed channels. But it didn't really. So, we put it on wide-screen and left it there. After a while, we never noticed how stretched out and flat-looking everything appeared, even people's faces. When Shawn came for his visit in March, he showed me that it did, indeed, look bad. I tried to convince DG that it was bad, but he kept switching the picture view back to wide-screen.

In March, the cable company offered us a deal we couldn't refuse. Basically, we'd get ALL the movie channels, plus the Internet upgrade, plus HD channels and we'd get our phone switched to them- cutting our overall output for it all by about forty bucks (which is what our landline cost us). Along with the HD movie channels- which I really like- we got some regular TV channels and some cable channels- to which you're saying, "Well, duh, Patty, we get it, you got HD now."

The HD cable box, as some of you know, comes with the HDMI cable thingy (that's an industry term, I swear). So, our TV now automatically switches from wide-screen to not-wide-screen for the older shows. And the picture looks great- even if seemingly cuts off the sides for the older shows. We (as in, me, Shawn, each of the kids) have explained to DG how and why HD does what it does and how much nicer HD is in just a general way. DG swears he can't see the difference. And he says we're wasting "three inches of screen!" on the sides. I asked him why we weren't wasting three inches of screen on the top and bottom when a movie on DVD is "letterboxed" (which is old-timey speak for wide-screen). He had no answer (because you can't fight the brain-washing, I suppose).

We have showed him, literally, the same show- in fact, with NASCAR. "See? See how vibrant the colors are and how shiny the cars are? Look, you can see the wrinkles in Mark Martin's forehead!"

DG replied: "They're all stretched and skinny!"

Me: "That's how they're supposed look. That's normal."

DG: "No. They're stretched."

Me: "No, it means the other way is wrong. They're not supposed to be wide and flat."

He doesn't believe us. No matter how much we show him the difference. And thus brings today's Conversation with the Disabled Guy.

DG: *yelling in mock anger* "They got you brainwashed!"

Me: "Who?"

DG: "The stuff that looks real!"

Me: "You mean, real life? We're brainwashed by how things are supposed to look?"

DG: "Yeah! And they got you thinking TV is supposed to look real! The TV people, the real life people! They got your brain all washed up! You don't know, but they do!"

Me: "But that's how things are supposed to look... bright, vibrant, not flattened out and stretched to the sides."

DG: "You're all just brainwashed! Things don't look real! They look fake!"

As I was typing this, he changed his story- apparently, "the government" has us brainwashed into believing HD TV is better than regular TV.

"High Definition is a LIE!" he declares, raising his hand in the air. "You don't see things in real life! You just think you do!"

I told him: "I'm using my eyes. I don't think I'm seeing things, I AM seeing things."

DG lowered his voice and hissed: "You're in the Matrix! You see what the Matrix wants you to see!"

Me: "Now that's a movie that would look good in HD!"

On top of this- the HD being a lie enforced by the government and brain-washing all of us into believing stuff looks better- the DVR we have is "evil and from the devil!"

How is that?

Because he's recording the race that was canceled from yesterday and Jase is recording the new episodes of "The Simpsons". At the moment, we have I think, three things recording at the same time.

"How is that possible!?"

Kat said, "Its magic, Dad. Magic!" followed by a gesture with her hands implying she knows magic.

We had chicken for dinner tonight (bawk-bawk!). DG asked if he threw the chicken bones on the floor, which one of us could read them... because we're all brain-washed, evil-machine owning magicians.

But he's watching the new episode of "The Simpsons" in HD. So... we won.

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