South Park, Ren and Stimpy; they are all gross – I am showing my age!

I read Milly’s post on South Park and wanted to comment.  After reading Dr. Halavais’ comment I wanted to add my two cents worth as well.

I subscribe to Cablevision.  They supply my television programming and my internet connection.  I pay a lot of money each month for both “luxuries”.  I don’t get all the extras since I only subscribe for the Family Package. Included in that is Comedy Central, the station that South Park is regularly broadcast on.  Dr. Halavais implies that since I am a paying customer, I accept the terms that Cablevision sets.

I agree somewhat with that idea.  But since the next lower tier for Cablevision subscribers would be Basic, which includes only the major network channels, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and at this time, WB and UPN plus NEWS 12 and some home shopping network, I have no choice but to accept Comedy Central if I want to get Nickolodeon or Lifetime etc. This is considered part of the Family Package!  Now as Milly mentioned most of the content on South Park is not deemed suitable for children.  No matter how late at night they put these shows on.

In my family alone, it is difficult to get the kids to bed at a decent hour. One can blame parenting, but my children are involved in organized sports and activities throughout the day.  This schedule bumps their bedtime to a later time than would be the norm.  My 14 year old son “unwinds” by watching some sport on TV, and channel surfs.  I’ve heard him cackle at “The Simpsons”, another show I cannot tolerate, yet I let slide for his age.  He knows I think the premise is stupid and that it is not a show I find that holds any value. But I won’t get into any of that right now.

My main point is that subscribers and providers have an agreement and therefore providers can get away with a bit more than the public access channels can.  I think something needs to be done to correct this inequity.  One option would be to truly pick your own channels. I believe this has been open for discussion, but I am unsure as to what the outcome is.  So far to this date, Cablevision has not let the public pick their own package in this manner. It is like “all or nothing”. Yes, I can limit my television options, and save a bunch of money in the process, but that would only set my children apart from all the others and would be detrimental to their social development. So, as of this posting, I am stuck abiding by what Cablevision considers to be decent broadcasting. And because I am paying for it, as are others, nothing will be done to “control” the content, because by doing so, I am in essence agreeing to its standards. (Yes, I know I can get a lockbox.)

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4 Responses to “South Park, Ren and Stimpy; they are all gross – I am showing my age!”

  1. Alex Halavais Says:

    Ah, nice job noting the “a la carte” debate. Though if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t count on that getting too far.

    There is always parental controls, through your TV or through your cable company. You should be able to lock out shows on Com Central that are of a particular rating. Of course, as a practical matter, this may be easier said than done.

  2. missmonk Says:

    As a parent, I understand where you’re coming from, though I happen to think both South Park and The Simpsons are intelligent, thought-provoking shows at times with quite a bit of relevant social commentary.
    Neither here nor there, though……

    I used to work for a cable corporation, and will say the “choose your own channels” debate has been discussed so much over the years, it’s almost become like urban legend. This option, in my opinion, will never be.

    These corporations/broadcasting companies pay too much money to risk having their stations not in every market. And when they start to lose money, the cable companies lose money. And when that happens- your bill goes up.
    The only way to turn a real profit as a cable company is to sell in bulk.
    And most consumers would rather be inconvenienced with extra channels than to pay more than what they are already paying(rising costs of cable getting more and more ridiculous these days).

    That said, I DO share your opinion on getting a regular bedtime for the kids. I mean, mine’s 4 and I still have difficulties with it.
    Good reads so far, thanks for the workday perusement.

  3. way2much Says:

    I have a cable box that came with a remote. Remote does not work (checked batteries, not the problem). Lost the instructions to the cable box; therefore, have no idea how to block out the channels I do not wish my children/husband(!) to see.

    I will have to make a trip to the cable company and get a new box (cable one – dirty-minded people!) along with a new remote and instructions for parental/spousal control! It is about time I upgrade to iO anyway! So no better time than the present.

    I appreciate missmonk’s reply. I agree that the cable providers will not go the a la carte route. They will only pass on the extra cost to the consumer and I am not looking forward to that. So it is just best to find out how to “lock out” the programs. (I’ll play dumb when my husband asks, “honey, (well he never calls me honey!) why aren’t I able to access (said) channel?” I will just shrug my shoulders! He’ll know I am lying since I am usually very good with technology! [I have a story for a whole other blog about his confusion with hooking up the VCR, and then the cable wires, etc. It is a hoot!]

    Anyway, safe not to bet Dr. Halavais. Missmonk brought up good points that I forgot about. I am not willing to pay extra for fewer channels. 🙂

  4. way2much Says:

    missmonk – have no fear about your child’s bedtime routine. When mine was 4 he was going to bed extremely late, which was fine, because I did not work and I was what you would call a night owl. Still had my college day’s internal clock!

    My family nagged me saying that he needed a regime, he had one; it just didn’t conform to “normal standards”. Once he started school, he was fine. Still went to bed later than the norm – 9:30 PM. This was due to the fact that my husband worked later hours and would want to spend time with our child before we sent him to bed – this would wind him up, etc, etc. BUT, he got up on time in the mornings, paid attention in school, got excellent grades and played his sports and participated in other activities.

    Flash forward to the 8th grade. He’s still able to wake up in the morning but his bedtime is more like 10:30-11:00 PM. This due to after-school sports and organizations he is involved in, doing homework and projects and winding down. He sometimes “crashes” earlier, but for the most part, he is “tucking me” in at night instead. (no- not really, but there’s a point I am trying to make!). He still gets good grades – I think he is capable of better, but with all that he is involved with and being a well-rounded individual, a 3.4 is not bad.

    So to summarize, bedtimes are what is good for the family, not the society – as long as the child can function the following day and the others thereafter. The problem – as stated with original post – is the television programming that is on at the later hours that are not suitable for the children.


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