A few weeks ago, and for the first time in my life, I received in the mail an invitation to participate in a television ratings trial--in effect to have my watching habits tracked and monitored over time so that advertisers and network executives could evaluate the success of their work. I took the $2 cash contained in the packet (my rule being that it's advisible always to take cash when it is sent to you, unsolicited, by mail) but didn't sign up to contribute. Journalistic ethics? Privacy concerns? Laziness?
In any event, now I feel guilty. I watch a lot of television, day and night. And like many other dedicated viewers I've built up quite a few opinions of what I watch. So I have decided herein to give the Nielsen folks their money's worth. They want to know what I watch? No problem. Here's a typical hour (from a typical week).
Channel 2: CNN. Want ratings? Allow Parker to tase Spitzer every time she wants to get a word in. Time viewed: 2 minutes. Click.
Channel 3: "Star Trek." Fellow former Montrealer William Shatner tries again to talk some alien female into letting him and the Enterprise go. Yep, just how I remember it from the reruns I watched in 1986. 5 minutes. Click.
Channel 4: CBS. Shatner again! Forty-plus years after Trek, he's on "Sh*t My Dad Says." Me? I had a dad like that. I would rather watch him on "Sh*t Spock Said." I linger long enough to make sure Shatner's not singing. 30 seconds. Click.