What I Learned from Basic Cable

Originally posted on “Is It Sports” by Ryan. It’s tough running a sports site in February, where there is pretty much nothing going on, so this post holds true to the original name, Is It Sports? No. To answer Ryan’s question about Charles Nelson Reilly, when he wrote this, the answer was “is” but sadly today the answer is “was” because he passed away in 2007.

When I was in middle school and high school, I hated this time of the year, February through mid-March. It started with Valentine’s Day. You were reminded, emphatically, that you were single, as I always was, this time of year. So then, for the next month, the mad rush for a significant other was on. Girls wanted someone for the next year’s V-day, guys just wanted someone with a heartbeat. Love was in the air. Except for me, of course. So I kept getting shut out, while my friends went where the girls were. To make it worse, this was a time of year bereft of sports. The mid-season doldrums in the NHL, I hated the NBA (still do), football was over, and only every four years would there be the Winter Olympics. Spring Training was just getting started, but this was the mid-90’s, and the Twins blew.

But now I’m in college and everything has changed. The Twins don’t suck anymore! But all the other stuff is true, so I’ve got a lot of time on my hands this time of the year, and I don’t even have ESPN to keep me company. I can only watch Street Ball and Tilt so many times. So I’ve taken the liberty of letting you know, A) that we still pay attention to this site, and B) some things I’ve learned by watching basic cable.

What I Learned from Basic Cable– The right thinks that the left is trying to undermine the president in an effort to bring down the country.
– The left thinks that the right is trying to destroy the country through uber-religion and war mongering.
– Both sides are wrong since they are too paranoid to enact either plan even if they wanted to
– The Weather Channel has taught me that I am, in fact, good looking enough to secure a job in the broadcast media.
– MTV has taught me that the wealthy are stupid. (Diary)
– Really stupid. (My Super Sweet 16)
– I mean painfully stupid. (Newlyweds)
– A Ride is not officially Pimped unless it has a TV in a completely inaccessible location.
– If I am making a basketball team out of rappers, Lil John is not on my team.
– If you think there is nothing in your room that a girl will dislike, they will dislike it for being too perfect.
– Destiny’s Child is virtually the only musical group that makes music videos.
– VH1 has taught me everything I need to know about what Hal Sparks thinks about Teddy Ruxpin.
– The Food Network has taught me what I’m missing by not eating mushrooms. Absolutely nothing.
– Japanese chefs are utterly, utterly insane.
– The Discovery Channel has taught me that some pretty stupid people build motorcycles.
What I Learned from Basic Cable– Fu-Man-Chu moustaches haven’t gone out of style in some circles.
– Animal Planet has taught me that the most dangerous things in the jungle are Steve Irwin and Jeff Corwin.
– USA has taught me, rather retaught me, to love Chuck Norris.
– FX has taught me what you can get away with on basic cable.
– Fox Sports Net has taught me that Tom Arnold doesn’t have anything pertinent to say. Ever.
– The History Channel has taught me… lots of stuff.
– The Game Show Network has taught me how raunchy Charles Nelson Reilly is (was? Help me out).
– Games that pretend to require skill are the best.
– The Cartoon Network has taught me that it’s still OK to laugh at cartoons, and will be for decades.
– I could make a killing if I put a network on the air with 1960’s-early 90’s cartoons.

So there you have it. Take these lessons to heart, and don’t say I didn’t warn you when Mr. Moneybags accidentally backs over you while you are watching Walker Texas Ranger on USA on a TV in the undercarriage of his Escalade. -Ryan

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