I want really badly to write the definitive piece of e-criticism about this phenomenon that is shockingly nowhere to be found online, despite its creators’ undoubtedly desperate wishes for it to have taken the Internet by storm, oh, back in August 2001 perhaps. But, to paraphrase Twain I think, I don’t have the time or the energy to write something short. So I’m going to have to just ramble in this discursive way, and apologize now, and say that I’ve been spending the last two days up here in Rochester, Minnesota, at the Mayo Clinic, for reasons that are worth telling but, again, I don’t have the time to get into in detail. The short version: something scary was afoot, and now everything is fixed, but we can’t leave yet until we know more things for certain. At any rate, it is tiring to sit in hospital rooms all day, just as it is probably tiring to sit in meetings all day when you are a worker traveling for business. This is a segue.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
Most Marriott hotels I’ve been to (most hotels in general) have their own TV menu systems that appear when the television turns on, which system enables you to see information about your room or your stay, or order porn, or get channel listings, or what have you. Marriott has some free programming. Workout videos is all I can remember. Workout videos and something it calls “A Matter of Substance”. This is like some kind of subnetwork that plays four programs, on demand, whenever you want.
Here’s what the programs are called:
Rest, Rise, Rebel, Rally
I am addicted to Rebel, if by addicted I can be allowed to mean “of a sort that needs in Marriott hotels to watch something on TV with a glee that wavers confusingly between ironic and sincere.” The idea, I think, behind Rebel, and behind the other programs, is that one is meant to play it when one wants the TV to either affect or somehow coincide with one’s personal mood at any given time of the day. Like, when I want to get ready to go out to the club and get my freak on with the honeys, but I didn’t pack my walkman and there’s nothing on the radio and I don’t understand/trust MTV, I can tune in to Rebel (for free!) and get myself so ready.
I guess Rally is for when you bring those honeys back to the room? I wouldn’t know because I don’t watch it. Ditto Rest and Rise. Who would want to rest to Rest? Who is the actual person that watches “A Matter of Substance” for its intended purpose? I cannot given every bit of my mental capacity imagine such a person, seeing such offerings on his or her hotel’s TV set and thinking Oh, good, cool. Maybe I will rally. I can barely imagine anyone taking the time to figure out such offerings even exist.
What I want to do is come to all of your houses one-by-one and screen for you, like via super-8 projected on a bedsheet maybe, Rebel, because it’s so incredibly awesome. Or, at least, Rebel Segment A is awesome. Segment B is nothing but a bunch of hi-N-R-G shots of folks dancing in nightclubs. It looks and is lit a bit like 1991’s “Good Vibrations” video. Segment C is like Burning Man or the Santa Cruz beachfront amusement park at dusk over and over, with maybe too much timelapse photography. Segments D and E (which one cannot select as on an 8 track [one must sit through previous Segments to watch] and thus are easy to miss because of boredom) are forgettable.
But Segment A! Here, instead of watching this next episode of Married with Children I’m going to try to do a live-text-capture of what one gets to watch when one tunes in to Rebel.
Oh, thank god. I found it online. The production company is called, of all things, Amos Television (oh, it’s an acronym for A Matter of Substance…gotcha), and bills itself as “The only television channel that revolves around your life.” Which is confusing, because I don’t see anything on its programming involving the close observation and recording of fluid intake and oxygen-absorption levels in the blood, around which these days this life seems suddenly to revolve.
I hesitate to even send you to this Web site because it has what has to be the world’s longest splash-page flash intro. (Yes, it can be skipped.) But if you do skip it, and if you care at all about me as a friend, or maybe just someone whose Web site you visit and whose opinion on things you find of any interest, you will honor me please by finding some time if not right now then soon to click on that link above, skip the damn intro, click then on “AMOS Online” near the top, click on the link to launch the AMOS TV Player, click for the “day part” named REBEL (it seems “Rally” is for those sluggish afternoons when just about nobody ever finds themselves in a hotel room), and then click on the clip on the righthand side titled “Smokers [sic] Revenge” by someone/-thing named “Massive/Power/Strike.”
And then enjoy. And then let’s talk about it when I get home maybe.
All this in the first thirty seconds.
UPDATE: What follows an hour of back-to-back Married with Childrens in the Rochester/Twin Cities area is what looks to be an hour of back-to-back Roseannes. Bravo, Signal Hill CW.