Channel Surfing: MNet
I am the only one in the house who watches television, and usually this happens when I am involved in another activity. Exercising on my stationary bicycle is one of these activities. Sitting next to Oreo on the couch is the other activity.
This is more multi-tasking then it sounds. I am not only watching the television screen, but also petting her as I tell her how beautiful she is. She responds by kneading the side of my thighs with her sharp claws. The overall effect is she purrs contentedly and my thigh resembles an outbreak of measles or some dermatological condition resembling tiny scabs.
And what is on the screen while all this is happening? Anything that can occupy my middle-aged male brain for longer than ten seconds. Sometimes there are several things I find within an exercise session beyond old reruns of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit or The Big Bang Theory.
One of the points of interest is young Asian ladies, and by young I’m referring to college age women. Specifically MNet, the music channel geared to young people in South Korea, broadcasts mostly music videos which hearken back to the early days of MTV. (Remember when they use to show music videos on MTV?)
The most interesting thing which strikes me about the music groups in South Korea is that they are predominantly female and number no fewer than 6-9 members in the group. It’s almost as if there is some unwritten law in South Korea that the groups have to be this size and gender composition and no less.
One group, Twice, has nine members. Nine! That’s enough for a baseball squad in the United States. I would like to see them in an exhibition game with the Phillies. (Insert too easy, snarky comment about the Phillies getting beaten by a bunch of girls here.)
On further research, I do see a number of male groups numbering about 6-9 as well as a number of solo artists featured on MNnet. The tunes are catchy, but the lyrics are beyond me since they are not, as far as I can tell, singing in English. After a few videos I move on and continue surfing down the dial.
Now there’s an old-fashioned term for the channel selector: dial. Who remembers when the channels were actually positioned and printed around a circular knob at the top of the television set? For those too young to remember the “dial”, you would have to do a multi-step process if you wanted to watch something else than was on the television at that moment:
1. Get up from the couch or chair you are sitting and step towards the television set.
2. Grasp the channel dial between your thumb and forefinger.
3. Turn the dial clockwise to the desired number if it was lower than the number you were on at that time.
4. Or, turn the dial counter-clockwise if the number you desired was higher than the number you were on at that time.
5. Repeat steps two and three or four to adjust the knobs controlling the volume, horizontal control, or brightness of the image.
6. Return to your sitting position to watch your selected station.
7. Important: Skip step one if your television is already situated within reach of your seat (i.e. a kitchen table).
8. Repeat entire process when you decide to watch another station.
Whew! Life didn’t seem that complicated in the analog age, but there’s nothing like detailed instructions to make you realize how much work we did back then. Fortunately we live with digital electronic systems now and it doesn’t take much effort to watch tastefully clad Korean women strut their stuff to a rock and roll beat.
(Thank you for reading. And we’ll surf on to more television adventures later….)