Get Off My Lawn

(If this weren’t published by the Wall Street Journal, I’d suspect this of being a bit of sly humor)

“I was just kind of surprised that this is technology that exists,” says Mr. Sisco, 28 years old. “It’s been awesome. It doesn’t log out and it doesn’t skip.”

Let’s hear a round of applause for TV antennas, often called “rabbit ears,” a technology invented roughly seven decades ago, long before there was even a cord to be cut, which had been consigned to the technology trash can along with cassette tapes and VCRs.

The antenna is mounting a quiet comeback, propelled by a generation that never knew life before cable television, and who primarily watch Netflix , Hulu and HBO via the internet. Antenna sales in the U.S. are projected to rise 7% in 2017 to nearly 8 million units, according to the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group.

Mr. Sisco, an M.B.A. student in Provo, Utah, made his discovery after inviting friends over to watch the Super Bowl in 2014. The online stream he found to watch the game didn’t have regular commercials—disappointing half of his guests who were only interested in the ads.

“An antenna was not even on my radar,” he says. He went online and discovered he could buy one for $20 and watch major networks like ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS free.

What strikes me is the complete ignorance of older tech. I could talk about the Pye of England shortwave receiver that I had as a kid, which used tubes (although the blokes that built it would’ve called them “valves”), but no. And speaking of the ALMIGHTY INTERNETS, I could also tell you about my time on the “net” in the early-middle 70’s, when it was called the ARPANET, but that’s also not the point. Plus there’s the evergreen observation about how I walked elebenteen miles to school. In the snow. Uphill. Both ways.

Amusing, but nah.

What I will talk about isn’t the subject of the article, who I’m sure is a nice fellow, but all of his contemporaries. You’ve heard of them, I’m sure; the ones who are certain that everything about you and me is y-ist and/or x-phobe. Here’s the thing that makes them different than us. It wasn’t the irritating smug self-assurance of the twenty-something: you and I were exactly that annoying at that age. It’s that we developed and then gave them the modern communication infrastructure that ensures that they won’t shut up nor will they just Go Away. See, you and me were full of ourselves on an individual basis, or at worst to a small group. These mopes can reach anyone with an internet connection, and they try their best to do so.

But they’re still basically parrots without an original thought in their pointy little heads and without enough life experience to realize that the mush their teachers filled their heads with might not be entirely a reflection of reality. We just cannot walk far away enough from them for their self-righteous drivel to blend into the background noise.

What to do? I’m thinking ridicule. A few of them will get a glimpse that the Real World isn’t as cut-and-dried as they’ve been led to believe. Those are the good ones; they’ll eventually wise up. The rest will get PO’d that you’re not taking them seriously and stomp off, which is what we want. What makes that even better is that the poor wounded Dears will think that they’re punishing you by taking away your access to their Enlightened perspective. AMF!

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