What a wasteland the world is without internet. Colours, seem more vibrant. Birds, sound more songful. I watched the sunrise from my balcony this morning without an Instagram filter. It was fuckin’ gross. #yuck.
The internet has been off at my apartment for the past two weeks because of “flood damage” to the local exchange, like I live in Manila or something, so I’m having to eke out an online existence via the incredibly slender 1GB data plan of my mobile phone like a cave-person.
Perhaps it’s because I used to be a cave-person that I can appreciate the difference. When I was coming up in the era of Flintstone foot-powered cars, I was regularly exposed to floppy disks. These 3.5 inch slates of miracles were used to play games on MS-DOS; a primitive, text-based Microsoft operating system that required you to enter keyboard commands like a nerd.
Each disk held just 1.44 MB of data. You couldn’t hold a single selfie on one. And yet, by their powers combined they gave me more bliss than anything that’s ever appeared on Twitter. Wolfenstein 3D – an educational game and the first medium in my life to tell me that Nazis were jerks, man – required a total of just six –SIX! – MBs of hard drive space.
So screen-based fun has been possible in the past without an internet connection. But, in today’s listicle-based society it’s so hard! Now, while some conscientious objectors might point out that there are less fortunate people around the world who’ve never had internet, who frankly have real problems, like their igloos melted, possibly because I drive everywhere because I don’t know how to catch a bus.
But I counter that if they’ve never had Netflix they can’t appreciate what they’re missing. Since my internet went down I’ve had to – get this – watch commercial TV. Like Winston Churchill. Or Jesus.
Aside from sports and the news, watching commercial TV on purpose is something I haven’t done in years. I recall making the switch around the time “The Bachelor” first appeared, irrefutably demonstrating that “primetime” TV was no longer designed with my interests in mind.
When the first season of 30 Rock moved time slots to “Late-ish-evening-y-early-morning-ish-sometimes-Thursdays” I upgraded my broadband plan and became a filthy content pirate. In Australia, I physically couldn’t not.
Network: Do you want award winning comedy and drama?
Me: Ah, I guess?
Network: We have irreverent comedies from the minds of Tina Fey and Donald Glover, staring Alec Baldwin.
Me: Really? Nice!
Network: And gritty, uncensored crime drama told from the ground level of Baltimore.
Network: And great, sweeping epics featuring swords and dragons and boobs!
Me: OMG yesyesyesyesyesyes!
Network: We’ll broadcast episodes weeks or even months behind the US!
Network: We’ll run the episodes out of order.
Network: We’ll broadcast them at times that are unsuitable for people with jobs.
Network: Or you could subscribe to Pay TV.
Network: But we’ll split the shows you like into different packages, so you’ll have to subscribe to three separate ones for an exorbitant fee!
Network: To watch Game of Thrones you’ll have to willingly subscribe to Volcano Truckers, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Again, Surprise! Gorilla, America’s Next Top Celebrity Biggest Apprentice Loser and Ouch My Crotch!
Me: WHAT THE FU…
Network: *spits at me*
They are exactly John Mulaney’s Delta Airlines sketch. And the thing is, I wanted to give them my business, but it was like they hated me. Me! But I’m so cute! And so I plundered seasons and seasons of content. There aren’t enough floppy disks in the world to save all the content I downloaded. And then I stopped. Because Netflix.*Aside*Because I’m so old, I did not realise that “Netflix and chill” was a euphemism until I’d already said it at least three times in a business setting “Get up to anything on the weekend, Bost?” “Nah, just Netflix and chilled, Sir.”
But goodness, young people today have it good! Instead of dressing up and going outside like a Winston Churchill, they can just sit on the couch together, watch four episodes of Brooklyn 99, “bone down”, and then watch another four episodes of Brooklyn 99. And then it’s bed time. Incredible.
But I can’t watch new Brooklyn 99, or even old Parks & Rec. Or really, any. Thiiiiiiing. At all that’s any good. Of the top ten rated commercial networks shows last night, seven of them were news. #watchnewsandchill That’s the horrific state of network television. It’s like they want us to spend quality time with our families.
And now, to avoid any data overcharges I must now end this blog he