“HDTV Disillusioned” by Contributor Virginia Jones

Forgive me if I’m not gaga over HDTV. I should be. Demographically speaking. To this day Sportscenter’s theme song sends happy chills down my spine. Has been athletes, like me, are doomed to obsess about grown-ups who still play all day. I require every ounce of self-control I possess to keep from wasting hours mesmerized in front of some Southwest-Mid-Atlantic non-conference preseason basketball game between two teams I’ve never heard of from towns that wouldn’t exist without them. I am, in other words, and in spite of my sex, one of HDTV’s target audiences.

But super duper clear television screens fail to illicit the sensation of abject wonder expected of me, the abject wonder evident in my husband’s face on a stroll through Sears, or Best Buy. And I’ve decided to stop feeling like the only kid in the sixth grade who failed see the picture in the Magic Eye poster. No I don’t own a Blackberry, but I am not, thank you very much, a techno prude. I offer another, very simple, explanation.

At eleven years-old I began whiffing at softballs I once hit over the elementary school fence. Blame puberty. The eye doctor did. At twelve I was given glasses. Oh the shocking clarity! My world, which had become a muddled impressionistic painting, became with glasses, a work of crisp realism: the very laces of the softball, each blade of grass, the fraying strands of a basketball net, every distant detail came into exquisite focus–nothing short of a revelation!

As a glasses wearer, too blind to see much past my own nose, I simply cannot revel in the high definition acne scars peppering the point guard’s cheeks on a flat screen. A crisp autumn day in Maine/ a not so crisp autumn day in Maine. Big deal.

Every morning of every day, after muffing blindly for my glasses on the nightstand, digital time blinks into focus, my hand in front of my face, my own face in the bathroom mirror, not to mention blades of grass and leaves on trees outside my window, snap to startling clarity.

So forgive if I’m not overly enthralled with HDTV. I am cursed, instead, with my own daily miracle of high definition, which make these stunning new advances in TV screens, seem well, rather flat.

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