A series of tubes

Dallas-based retailer Woot.com is not, as a general rule, your most reliable source for sharp social commentary, but once in a while something comes up in a product pitch that’s worth mentioning.

For instance, this:

Television takes a lot of grief, have you noticed? “Television is poisoning politics!” “Television is coarsening the culture!” “Television is making our children stupid!” (The next time you hear someone say that last one, take a good look at her and evaluate whether her kids’ stupidity might not have a genetic component.)

And then there are those people who are always telling you they don’t have one. “Oh, I don’t watch television,” they say, as if they’re living some monastic life of the mind, and spend their free time sitting quietly, reading Herodotus in the original Greek, or listening to the birds and learning their songs, when really they just mean they watch all the same crap as you, but on Hulu.

Let’s put the brakes on this disdain train and remember some of the wonderful things television has given us: The ability to watch events unfold live all over the world. A forum for nationwide debate and exchange of ideas. Pamela Anderson in a swimsuit, running in slow motion.

Incidentally, the product being pitched was a small (22-inch) Vizio LCD HDTV. I own a similar set in a slightly smaller size — for which I paid $80 more, now that I think about it — and it’s been a gem.


  1. ms7168 »

    25 April 2010 · 8:10 am

    One of my choices for a retirement gift was a 20″ LCD TV. It is not HDTV but rather EDTV which was around briefly. It has no HDMI inputs. Connected composite with good enough cables it looks fine but it’s too small! I waited patiently as models 40″ and above got below $1000 and wound up with a Samsung 40″ that has 4 HDMI inputs and the difference is like night and day literally. The TV continues to amaze me on a daily basis. Only problem is it does use a lot more electricity :) But a fair trade-off I think.

  2. McGehee »

    25 April 2010 · 9:07 am

    Jeez. I can remember when a 22-inch screen wasn’t small at all.

    Then again, since our first color TV was a 25-inch console set by RCA that also served as a faux mantelpiece because our house didn’t have a fireplace, I could still sniff at a mere 22-incher and say, “Isn’t that cute?”

    Now my frickin’ computer monitor is a 22-incher.

  3. Jeffro »

    25 April 2010 · 3:40 pm

    I had one that was about thirteen inches – but it was also color! The upgrade was a nineteen inch set.

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