Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cable and Caballos

Says Teresa Genaro (whose writing on the history of horse racing at Brooklyn Backstretch is fantastic):

I have a little media fantasy. Several, actually, but this is the big one, the one in which I get to assemble, as if I were putting together a new laptop, my ideal of a cable system.

I’d get to look at that vast array of choices, and I’d get to pick exactly what I want delivered straight to my televisions: Food Network and Cooking Channel, yes; MSG and Versus, yes; Tennis Channel, yes; PBS and BBC America, yes; NY1, yes. CNN, no; Disney Channel, no; CNBC, no; Oxygen and Lifetime, no and no.

And this path to cable bliss would lead right to my Time Warner bill, which would magically, beautifully go down, because I’d have to pay for only the channels that I actually watch.

This is not actually the main point of her post, which is a thoughtful treatment of the NY Times pay wall issue-- specifically, the tension between the value of information (and the labor and energy needed to make it available), and the principle that no one should be excluded from that information due to economic circumstances.

BUT-- what she said a thousand times over. I do not want to pay for an entire cable plan out of which I will only watch a handful of channels a handful of times. And actually, given that primary season is beginning to ramp up, S. and I were just debating whether we wanted to pay for cable next year. In our current place, it's covered by our rent, so it wasn't an issue. It won't be next year, and so what we're thinking of doing is adding it later, when primaries and debates begin in earnest.

Thing is, there are a handful of things I will want to watch after me move-- specifically the Belmont Stakes on June 11. Streaming something like that just isn't the same-- especially when the stream stalls in the middle of the stretch drive! (I'm imagining the 1998 Belmont Stakes, where Real Quiet looked like he would win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, only to be nipped at the wire by Victory Gallop, stopping to load in the last furlong!)

My dream package, I believe, would be very small: PBS, MSNBC (mainly for my undying love of Rachel Maddow), Food Network, Discovery, National Geographic, ESPN (to watch horse racing and other equestrian sports), in addition to the big 3 news networks. Maybe one or two others. That is, at most, 12 channels. I believe that would be a doable cable bill.

And in other horse racing news: no, I have no damn clue who I like in the Derby. So I will simply note a few things:
* First, that regardless of who I actually think WILL win, I will, for feminist reasons, be rooting for Louisiana Derby winner Pants on Fire (jockey Rosie Napravnik would be the first female rider to win the Kentucky Derby) and Risen Star winner Mucho Macho Man (ditto trainer Kathy Ritvo. Also, apparently the super-gay Village People are backing him, in homage to their song "Macho Macho Man".)
* Since as a rule I like horses who come from off the pace, probably the closest horse to topping my list is Arkansas Derby winner ArchArchArch.
* Finally, I'd like to note that the Gulfstream Park Oaks, for fillies, which was run the same day, over the same track, at the same distance, as the Florida Derby (colts), was run more than a full second faster than the latter race. I am therefore sorely disappointed that the winner, R Heat Lightning, is running in the Kentucky Oaks rather than the Derby. If SHE were in the field, she'd certainly be near the top of my list.

No comments:

Post a Comment