zugzwang!* schlimmbesserung!*

This isn't an actual photo of my old television, but
almost: the rounded corners, the double- decker dials, the on/off/volume knob are all spot-on. It had a small sticker in back that said "manufactured: March, 1987" and it might possibly have been one of the last appliances made with the gesture of faux walnut cabinetry. Over the years I spray painted the cabinet, first gold metallic, more recently white. People would say, "Wow, a B/W tv?!" but it was actually a full fifteen inches of glorious cathode ray color. That recent glossy white coat actually gave it an almost Verner Pantonesque flair, like set decoration for a *Wallpaper shoot. I never really had any problem with it, or with reception (it had a rabbit ears antenna) and the image was just fine until the very end. I finally replaced it, with a new flat screen, shortly after its 19th birthday.

In researching for my next tv purchase I had been told that new(er) television sets were more "sensitive." Sleek, sliver-like, highly attuned, they picked up ambient interference, electromagnetic fluctuations and the like that the old(er) sets, stolid and workmanlike, did not.
No longer could I just plug the thing into the wall and go-- I would need cable. I was enabling a neurasthenic intelligentsia to take over from the lumpen proletariat.

{eight ensuing months}

As I began this post, a gossamer sprinkling of snow glittered in the street lights outside, but my flat screen remains dark. The cable box flashes an insistent 7:15, but it is after 9. My friends in cable repair are coming to visit again!
But I need to wait 3 days.

*zugzwang-- (from chess) A position where one is forced to make an undesirable move.
*schlimmbesserung - literally means, "an improvement which makes things worse."


soboyle said...

It sounds like an excellent reason to spend several weekends perusing the local junk and used shops searching out a well used tube that will serve your purpose, and who knows what other treasures are out there waiting your discovery. Cancel the cable, not only will you save yourself $40 per month, but you are likely to be endlessly frustrated with the (lack of) offerings on cable TV.

angela said...

I'd save myself $51 to be exact! Pfft! As of yet still waiting for repair, after 2 calls and 15 minutes on hold. I was nearly apoplectic. Worse thing is I missed my current favorite show and possible topic of a future posting (Rome) !


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