For some, February 17th, 2009, means Doomsday. At least it could if you don't get your piece of the $1.3 billion the federal government set aside to assist Americans in the analog to digital TV switchover.
But things are looking grim for avid TV devotees. According to a report on msnbc.com, there's no more money left in the program, and "for millions of people it's too late to get a government coupon to help pay for the converter boxes in time for the deadline."
While Americans suffer through the worst recession since the Great Depression, the feds are struggling to deliver on their promise of 'two converter boxes for every home.' "Thousands of people are now on a waiting list, as Congress scrambles to find a way to allocate more money to the program."
It looks as though Americans will have to find new ways to pass their extra time created by the advent of digital TV. A rediscovery of books may be a good place to start. Or--going out on a limb with this one--vis-a-vis interaction with fellow human beings.
According to the Economist, in 2005 American households watched an "average of 8 hours and 11 minutes [of TV] every day." In other words, in this time of economic recession when money is tight, the average American household is spending enough time in front of the boob-tube to account for another full-time job!
Well, what are we going to do about it? I'll tell you what, if you or your children watch any TV, even if it's just an hour a day, why don't you pay me a dollar for every hour watched? I don't have a TV so I don't have an extra 8 hours and 11 minutes hanging around every day, but I would like to pay for my schooling.
If you think this is a good idea--me helping you to break the TV habit, you helping me to get a TV-free education--let me know in the comments and I'll set up a PayPal account so we can make the transaction. Deal?