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Comment: A Charlie Brown Christmas is an exercise in television sorrow

The cost to watch TV has risen to well over a hundred dollars per month, if you want the specialty channels, which you do.
The rights to A Charlie Brown Christmas have been bought by Apple, which makes M.D. Hansen nostalgic for the simplicity of the days when the special was first created. PEANUTS WORLDWIDE VIA AP

A commentary by a Victoria resident.

So, how can anybody be sorry about anything to do with ­television?

From its infancy (in our lives) in the 1950s, where we had one (count ’em, one) channel that we received with rabbit ears, through the 1960s with the cutting edge tele-journalism of This Hour Has Seven Days, and the idiocy of I Dream of Jeannie and My Mother the Car, we have arrived in the first quarter of the 21st century with literally a thousand channels to choose from, showing everything that is fit to be watched, and much that isn’t.

Need I remind you that the first TV was essentially free, since you pulled it out of the ether by yourself, and in the ’70s it cost maybe six bucks a month for a couple of dozen cable channels.

Well, now the cost to watch TV has risen to well over a hundred dollars per month, if you want the specialty channels, which you do, since everything is now controlled by the mega-entertainment corporations who suck money from every household in the land.

The quality is good. It’s so good that you want to watch it all.

But if you did that, you’d be glued to your set and do nothing else. It is impossible for a thinking adult to take in all that content.

So, this boy has decided to forgo the pleasures of Crave and Netflix, and stick to basic stuff.

All of which brings me to my point.

Since 1965, I have enjoyed watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, with its heartwarming theme and exquisite music, on ABC (or CBC in Canada) every Christmas. I always looked at the TV listings to find out when it was being aired. It is a wonderful short experience.

But, no more.

A Charlie Brown Christmas has been sold to Apple TV, and now you can’t watch it unless you configure your TV to Apple and pay them an additional $5 a month. While it is free for three days, you still have to sign up, configure your TV (how do you do that?), and scroll to find it.

Maybe it is just me. Maybe I just can’t get with the times. It is getting to the point that you cannot live in our society unless you are significantly computer literate, have a computer and a cellphone, and pay the big bucks to operate the systems.

More and more, I try to embrace the Japanese way of thinking; make life simpler and simpler as you go on. This is increasingly more difficult in our world.

The influence of commercialism is becoming more and more blatant and overbearing, pressing down on our sensibilities and our health.

You know, Charlie Brown was right. People have lost the true meaning of Christmas, and of life.

Time to get back to basics. [music] O Tannenbaum.

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