With news of Bieber Bus folding operations it began me thinking about what I consider the best days being behind me. I remember as a kid it was a simple matter to take the trolley or bus to either the Allentown Bus Terminal on 6th just off Hamilton or one of two train stations at the foot of Hamilton Street. This is where you could catch a train or bus to just about anywhere. Instead of improving over the years everything has gotten worse. No wonder the highways are gridlocked.
I also think back to a time when every TV show could be found in one place. Either with a relatively inexpensive antenna or cable. Yeah à la carte pricing for cable would be have been nice but instead what has evolved is us nearly forced to pay over a $100 more if we wanted to watch one or two shows each of the streaming services carry (with more on the way). Netflix started with one tier as did the others. Now they and others have three levels of service which of course we need to pay additionally for internet to even receive them.
Speaking of TV shows. I can't stand 'canned laughter' Some of these crappy shows have people laughing at every damn pathetic thing. Sometimes I think it's me until I watch some of the older shows like the one Saturday night. It was the detective show "Monk". Not a laugh track in sight yet some of the stuff was funny as hell. Didn't need laugh tracks for 'Mash', 'Gomer Pyle', 'Andy Griffith' to name only three. There was something else the wife and I noticed about our viewing habits. If a show doesn't contain a element of humor most likely we never watch them. Take for example 'NCIS', 'The Orville', 'Bull' to name a few of the current ones. Each has some humor written into the script. So did many of the past shows we use to watch. 'Major Crimes', 'The Mentalist', 'Lucifer', 'Franklin & Bash', 'Bones' 'White Collar' and all so many more.
Which brings me to the TV news. Can't stand the lot of them. Every damn one of them won't just report the news then move on. No they got to sit down with a bunch of idiots for ten minutes to explain all about the two minute report they just did. How about "who, what, where, when" then just shut the hell up. My last respite was on the half hour 6:30 evening news. Now they managed to muck that up too. Who the hell cares about three minutes of weather in another part of the country. They have their own local weather people for that. Then there's the never ending drug advertisements urging people to strong-arm their doctors into writing prescriptions for. The worse barrage comes after the 15 minute mark culminating with a crescendo around the 48 minute mark. On all three major networks I repeatedly counted three (or more ads) followed by a 1 minute news story followed up by another 6 more ads. That's a ratio of at least 9 to 1 ads for one story before the two minute wrap up. Oh and don't get me started on their 'coming up after this' They do it two to three times before the story itself which is often times shorter then the pitches themselves.
Then there's those tons and tons of car ads in your face every time you flip on the TV. I especially like the part where huge numbers like $5,000 flash across the top. No that isn't the down payment. That's the savings on what obviously is a vastly overpriced hunk of metal.
Besides being stuck in my ways about transportation and TV I'm also ticked with just about everything on the internet getting monetized. No I'm not going to subscribe. No I don't want your videos to autoplay when I'm trying to read something. They can also stick those popups where the sun doesn't shine. No way am I going to click on any of them not knowing what the script behind them does.
I got tons more I could talk about but I'll leave you with a few more thoughts. Home delivery.. like it's something new. It ain't. I remember a time over 40 years ago when milk was delivered to your door. You didn't have to go the farm market. It came to you. Guys use to sell fruits and vegetables from their trucks in various neighborhoods. So did the bread-man, ice cream man and household gadgets truck. Hell even doctors use to visit your house.
Amusement parks once cost nothing to walk around. In Allentown we had a few free swimming pools. Friendly cops were on every corner between 10th & 7th Streets on Hamilton along with stores offering everything imaginable with free parking at 'Park & Shop' lots. A large number of manufacturing jobs within walking distance in every neighborhood. Kids could get jobs pumping gas, washing windshields, checking tire pressure and oil levels handing out 'Green Stamps' never requiring a driver to get out of their car.
All this means I'm not sure I measure progress the same way some others do.