Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I Control Your TV
In its infinite wisdom, the Nielsen company has given me the power to decide what YOU watch on TV. I was hand selected from a pool of millions of TV viewers no doubt based on my discerning eye and robust intellect. They contacted me two weeks ago and the packet that I am to use for talent evaluation arrived in the mail yesterday.
Now I don’t know what went in to my nomination for this prestigious honor. I have long been known to dispense unsolicited, poorly informed advice. Perhaps word got back to them securing my election?
In any case, starting tomorrow May 8th, I’ll be recording every single show I watch on TV in a little paper journal. I’ll be doing this for a week. After which, the journal will be returned to Nielsen. Lives will be changed. Shows will be canceled. Others will be rewarded with bigger ad budgets. Advertising rates will be impacted. In short, my little scribbled notes will directly effect what you watch on TV. I have the power. I intend to use it.
Now, far be it for me to use this power for my own selfish benefit. I am nothing if not incredibly, incredibly humble. And good looking. However, if you really want to see YOUR favorite show score big in the ratings, I can make it happen. As a reminder, nothing in life is free. And I could really use a new bike…
So, what do I record in my journal? Of course, I’m not going to record what I actually watch. That would be embarrassing and contribute to the general dumbing down of American TV. Who needs more shows about mud wrestling midget love triangles? (Jerr-ee! Jerr-ee! Jerr-ee!)
Instead, I’ll need to shape these responses to match what I want TV to actually BE. I know, I know, this is directly contradictory to the rules included with the packet. But, hey, you got to give me more than $5 if you want rule compliance.* That’s how I roll.**
Being this is a running blog, I should note that I’m amazed there is no weekly TV show devoted to tracking the top runners and following them through their daily lives, rigorous training, nutrition, and competition. There are several hundred channels devoted to all sorts of garbage. Innumerable sports channels with weekly shows devoted to distinct types of fishing. You’re telling me there’s no room for a show following a group of hard training runners like Brooks Hansons or Team USA Minnesota chasing Olympic dreams?? I would love to see (and record in my little journal) a weekly show following the lives of elite runners – maybe interspersed periodically with tales of the Average Joe runner – as they prepare for world class events.
Maybe there is. In which case, I’m just amazingly ill informed. Inform me.
I am The Decider this week. (It’s cool, if you are in charge, to call yourself “the decider” right? Nothing arrogant about it? Just checking.)
My non-Nielsen tagged coworkers (I call them Nonniellies) claim I’m one of hundreds of people tapped for this task and that I shouldn’t be so self righteous about it. Or spit in the coffee. Nonsense! When Einstein invented the light bulb, did GE ask others to check his work? When Ghandi went on a hunger strike, did the British government go over his diet plan? Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Nein, sie tat es nicht.
I’m not going to tell you what I report back to Nielsen. Let’s just say that if you suddenly find yourself watching lots of The Family Guy and other sophomoric - possibly even freshmanic - entertainment as well as Detroit sports teams, well, you had your chance. You Nonniellies have to pay to play.
* They gave me 5 wallet fattening SINGLES. Not even a singular fiver! The disrespect! Like I’m going to walk around with 5 bills in my back pocket and then sit all lopsided at my desk just to accommodate them.
** If I were circular. I’m not.
Two wonderful three-mile-shake-the-rust-off runs in the last few days. I can’t wait to turn up the mileage this weekend! This having no schedule thing is really liberating. I feel as free as a bird…that runs instead of flies and has a general feeling of liberation.