Topic: "Wither Channels" (5)
Frodo is used to a Sunday newspaper that takes all day to read, and lets him feel like he has a window to subject matter not necessarily a part of everyday conversation. He enjoys learning about his computer, the birds in his backyard, new books, faraway destinations, the opinions of people who've actually been somewhere or done something, and why a 50-to-one shot wins the Derby. It is Frodo's lament that the economics dictate a dimunition in the quality as well as the quantity of that offering these days, but nowhere does the lemming-like style of media management get more sickening than when the wind blows a little harder from the west.
All three major networks will interrupt the Sunday Evening News for the local weather simultaneously. For the past month or so, it seems to occur every Sunday evening, and Frodo flips the channel only to be confronted by the exact same "doppler radar" presented either by the same guy who has done so since Thomas Edison lit him up, or by the newest resident of Atlanta who happens to have at least a 44-inch bust. It goes without saying that CNN, MSNBC, and Faux are on auto-pilot and running re-runs of insipid interviews of dull people by interviewers trained at a school found only on matchbook covers. Why, pray tell, asks Frodo, don't the three local national affiliates simply pool their resources and alternate "breaking news" about weather systems blowing in from Alabama that are making pretzels out of manufactured housing?
This evening, the storms started a little early. One network was showing a basketball play-off game. Another network was airing a play-off hockey match. The other guys were showing a bunch of other guys playing golf. Strange it was, thought Frodo, that none of the national media affiliates thought it important to do much more than run those ridiculously unintelligible "runners" across the bottom of the screens in order to warn all residents of Gunther County, Alabama, that hail may fall somewhere until about 10:15. Such was the process until we reached the magic hour of national news.
What, exactly, is doppler radar? Frodo notes a similarity with the X-ray machines they used to have in shoe stores that identified the mystery of ill-fitting Florsheims and concomitantly radiated a shrinking potential upon Frodo's genitalia.
Frodo is looking to the West. There are thunderclouds approaching, and that probaably means that Frodo's satellite TV system is about to report that it is searching for a signal.
The signal will probably be from doppler radar.
Andy Rooney, eat your heart out.