Saturday, December 19, 2009

...hopefully, ABC will have a nice retirement package for ya...
ABC-TV anchorman Charles Gibson stepped down from his lofty position a couple of days ago. I had no idea he was going to do that. Just when you get used to someone...anyway, he reported in a newscast earlier last week on something that I've always suspected: The sound level of TV commercials is louder than the TV programs they're scattered throughout. I'd always thought so, and now it's a fact. Mr. Gibson reported that relatively soon, that won't be the case anymore. Commercial sound volume will soon have to be broadcast at the same sound level as the program the commercials are interrupting. That's great! Take it from one who knows: I survived countless Wisk Detergent Commercials; you know, the ones that used that annoying little phrase sung to the tune of "Nee-ner Nee-ner-NEE-NER". The phrase? It's timeless... "Ring Around The COLLAR!!!"
On an average evening, I'll be sitting in the TV room with the volume way down because my parrot is sleeping in his covered cage. I'll have the TV program volume turned way down so the bird can dream of silver-plated perches or endless fields of Sunflower seeds or whatever birds dream about, and more often than not, I've gotta turn the telly down some more during the commercial breaks. Then the program continues, and I have to turn it up once again, since the commercials I had to turn down were so much louder than the program to begin with. I've noticed on some of the cable channels, I get blitzed with huge commercial breaks, two every half-hour (or more) , and during those breaks, you can resole your shoes, bake some muffins, make yourself a fruit smoothie and still be able to get back to the TV before the program resumes. During some of the more unbearable commercial breaks, I just hit the mute button. I accept that Dogs Bark. I don't like it when People do. Woof.
Posting this news-themed diatribe made me think of an old tired joke that my Dad once told me. Something about a condemned prisoner who was told that his hanging was postponed...the prisoner said, "No Noose is Good Noose." You may now groan if you wish...
So Charlie Gibson stepped down from ABC. He's the most recent iconic talking head to turn away from network news. Oh, how the mighty have disappeared: Jennings, Koppel, Cronkite, Brokaw, and so many others. Brian Williams exudes a certain seriousness, and once he leaves the anchor chair, will anyone be out there who's qualified to replace him? I'm sure there will be...I can just see it now; David Schuster anchoring NBC Nightly News someday. Ackthptf!!! What a frickin' nightmare that would be...


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