Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Depth Perception

Is it just me? Am I the only one who finds it impossible to root for either side in the great Fox v. Cablevision imbroglio that screwed New York-area New York Giants fans who subscribe to Cablevision out of watching the G-Men play the Lions on Sunday afternoon or out of watching the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants play Sunday night in Game Two of the National League Championship Series? When one billionaire accuses another of not playing fair and not sharing space within the confines of the sandbox, there is more than just a little part of me that wants to jam a pacifier in each of their mouths, pick one up the the scruff of the neck and order him off to go find another sandbox to buy.

As a lifelong New York Rangers fan I have my own list of grievances with James Dolan and the geniuses who run Cablevision. Nowhere on it is their willingness or lack thereof to permit American Idol, Glee or House, M.D. on their cable system - especially since I have only actually ever seen a complete episode of the final member of that particular trinity and could not foresee a scenario under which (absent the present of large horses or automatic weapons) I could be forced to endure either of the first two. My beef with Mr. Dolan is that he is significantly less talented in his role as an owner of a professional hockey team than he is in his role as the frontman for a country blues band. As a musician, he is an atrocious hockey owner. I hope he and his band make it big and to celebrate his success he sells the Rangers. I am prepared to buy a significant number of his compact discs to help that occur. Talk about your miracle on ice.

Watching this clash of corporate titans unfold these past several days - with the accompanying print media and television ad campaigns focused on revealing that one believes the other to be Lucifer's handmaiden or some such thing - reminds me of the old joke about the two guys on the dock at night. Each goes out onto the dock under the cover of darkness in order to pee. One says, "Boy that water sure is cold" to which the other replies, "Yep......and deep too."

Maybe just maybe the powers that be at Fox and at Cablevision have lost sight of a simple truth, which is that the person who pays money to Cablevision in order to watch Fox programming does not give a rat's a## which one is telling the truth or whether the truth lies somewhere in between. All the paying customer wants is what he or she has paid for - nothing more and most assuredly nothing less. Hmm, I wonder which one of these corporate buffoons will be cutting refund checks to Cablevision's customers after the dispute has been resolved. If you are a Cablevision customer and your monthly fee includes programming on Fox-owned networks (although whether anyone actually watches UPN 9 in New York is a question best left for another day), then arguably you should have some of your monthly fee refunded to you since Cablevision's decision to deny you access to programming you contracted with them to provide to you is now preventing you for realizing the full benefit of the bargain.

If you are a Cablevision subscriber, then I have but two words for you: Direct TV. Make the switch and do not look back. If you an executive at Fox or Cablevision who has been engaged in a daily hissy fit over this stupidity, then I have two words for you: Eric LeGrand. While you have been busy taunting each other in the darkness on the dock, real life has continued all around you, including some of it that has not been very good news at all.

Put on your big boy pants and resolve your dispute with one another. When arrogance and ignorance run headlong into one another at full speed, the outside world does not care who started it. Perspective would be a wonderful lesson for both sides to learn - or perhaps learn again - here. Maybe they have been standing on that dock in the darkness for so long bullsh*tting one another that they have lost it. Here is to hoping that they get it back.....

.....depth perception, that is.


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