Wednesday, September 21, 2016
My remote still doesn't work! This is from June 24, 2012.
Eugene Polley died last month in Chicago at the age of ninety-six. I'd never heard of him but he changed the entertainment habits of the United States and ultimately, the world. In 1955, Mr. Polley, who worked for Zenith Electronics, invented the remote control and revolutionized television watching forever. It didn't change anything in the Hawley house as we never had a remote until after my college days. It was the never ending parade of up-and-down to change channels, wearing a path in the carpet of many American households. My first high school baseball team in Georgia gave me a color TV at our athletic banquet and the channel knob broke so there was no switching at all. (It might have been poetic justice as rumor had it the young men of that squad never finished paying for the set.) As time went by and remotes became standard and we added in VCR/DVD machines, I learned sort of how to function with them, although my students get a kick at my lack of expertise in turning on the English subtitles for the benefit of our international kids. I'm a work in progress.
All that leads me to this: my television remote control is giving me fits. It sometimes takes over a minute to turn to set on. It's not the batteries- I've changed them. Once the set comes to life, there is no problem with volume or switching channels so I'm mystified. I wave the remote at the TV like a conductor with the New York Philharmonic, hoping to hit just the right angle or sight line. It's almost like when we were little and thought if you scrunch your face just so, it could change the outcome of whatever you were attempting. It's like Abracadabra except with a ten dollar piece of electronic gear powered by a AA Duracell Alkaline Battery. Sometimes I get so frustrated I just forget the television and do something else; that's not necessarily a bad thing.
How often our lives, or at least my life, become hit-and-miss when we deal with issues and problems. I might be able to find out what's wrong if I could find the instructions to the remote but that would take effort and probably, I threw them away so I just keep waving and pointing like someone swatting flies. Do you ever just hope something will get better by itself without making changes or adjustments? Do you get frustrated when ignoring the situation doesn't magically solve it or is that just me? You know, prayer is powerful but we want to do it ourselves until we're out of options. I just got up and confirmed what I already knew- my television has no ON/OFF button so it's the remote or nothing. Someday when I get tired of my histrionics and acting like I'm playing some Wii game, I'll turn to the right source for answers and find some relief for what is possibly a very simple solution. Or maybe I'll just keep waving the remote in the air- it's what I do best.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Television is the most perfect democracy. You sit there with your remote control and vote."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:03 PM