Surfing the Satellite

The clever folks over at The Smart Set have just posted my essay on watching TV in Jordan, “Surfing the Satellite“:

What if more Americans got this madness on their sets, rather than the endless rolling plains of midwestern accents (dotted by the occasional Telemundo) on spin-off networks of spin-off networks? There isn’t much that molds us more than channel-surfing. The average home has more television sets than people, and each person watches close to four and a half hours a day. That’s more than 13 years out of a 71-year lifetime.

While you’re there, make sure to check out the excellent essays by Smart Set regular Morgan Meis.





3 responses to “Surfing the Satellite”

  1. As a Jordanian, I feel compelled to note that the plethora of channels you mention in your article are not available to everyone — the European and Asian channels in particular can only be obtained if users’ sets receive signals from Hotbird satellite. Most people who do have Hotbird reception use it to watch Italian porn.

    Being in New York now myself, I second your remark that CNN International is a lot more sophisticated, a lot less biased than CNN US-edition. As to Al-Jazeerah being blocked in the US, well, that says something about American commitment to freedom of speech and enabling people to draw up their own conclusions of events based on balanced access to media.

    I hope you enjoyed your visit to Jordan and look forward to more observations!

  2. Thank you so much for the information. I was wondering about the access to those channels, and suspected that what you’re saying may be true. I should have done more research.

    I did, deeply and truly, enjoy my visit to Jordan. I traveled all around and found nothing but kind, genuine people and a lot of beauty. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Mary

    I’m glad this got published! I myself get to enjoy the plethora of channels, though I really should watch more. I just don’t have that much time. It seems like you’re on a publishing spree!