Parable for our time

As she prepared her daughter for college, Anne Sweeney insisted that a television be among the dorm room accessories.

“Mom, you don’t understand. I don’t need it,” her 19-year-old responded, saying she could watch whatever she wanted on her computer, at no charge.

That flustered Ms. Sweeney, who happens to be the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group.

“You’re going to have a television if I have to nail it to your wall,” she told her daughter, according to comments she made at a Reuters event this week. “You have to have one.”

(from a December 4 New York Times story about TV networks in a digital age)

To all my friends in classical music institutions: This is where you don’t want to be.

And if you want to know what to do with current digital technology, consult someone young. (As, in fact, the BBC did, when it asked 22 year-old Peter Gregson to rejigger the Proms concerts website.)

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  1. valerie says

    She’s right, though. There isn’t much need for television.

    However, I did have friend in dorms that got tv reception directly to their computer through some handy technological gadget to save space.

    Mostly, I think it’s funny that a mom is trying to push more tv on her child. :)

  2. Janis says

    Even someone like me, who’s 43, doesn’t bother with TV (although I’m sort of allergic to it). If something nice is out there, I’ll just get it on DVD so I can have it concretely, whenever I want. In time, that will turn into Blu-ray and just straight downloads, I imagine.

    So there’s cracks in the dam even in my generation. My roommate and I have a big flatscreen TV upstairs, and we watch DVDs on it. “Cable service” means the modem.

  3. David Cavlovic says

    The musical equivalent would be:

    Mom: What about a CD player?

    Kid: A what?

    Mom: A CD player?

    Kid: I don’t need one. I can download onto my iPod.

    Mom: You’re going to have a CD player if I have to go buy one for you myself.

    ….to which I say: Good luck with that!

  4. Pierre Medard says

    News on TV is too biased and depressing for my taste. Everything away from the roof I live under seems to be corrupt. Writers, scientists, merchants, etc. all seem to invent news, “facts”,deals, etc, as long as there is a public waiting. To add to it all, our “dumbed down” public will accept anything given as long as a “celebrity” name is involved.