Surfing the Worst Cable Networks Ever: Observation & Insight


Twitter's Proto-Tweet machine. From September of 2002. Now housed in the Museum of Silicon Valley Relics.

Twitter’s Proto-Tweet machine created in the Twitter Research Labs in September of 2002. Now housed in the Museum of Silicon Valley Relics.

Twitter Central

Nothing but tweets. This network features all 140 characters available in the Twittersphere. Twitter Central salutes the character Tweety Bird who’s been tweeting long before it was even invented. Other twitter characters range from sympathetic antiheroes like Don Vito Corleone to repugnant antagonists like Voldemort. All these characters are just like the ones in your real life. Some characters tweet you well, others tweet you like hell. And when I say real life I’m referring to the life you appear to be living. The one that makes you angry after you’re 3 miles away from the MacDonald’s drive thru only to discover your cheeseburger, fries and a Coke, is really a Filet-O-Fish, onion rings and a Mr. Pibb.      I’m not lovin’ it!


I Forgot All My Passwords Network

Viewers look on in horror as they hear real life accounts of people who lost everything because they simply couldn’t remember their passwords. Also features a tribe of very tall natives who are case sensitive.


Rabbit Ears Network

Doesn’t come in at all unless you chew a piece of aluminum foil while holding a floor lamp. In which case it still doesn’t come in. This network is very popular with performance artists.


The Digital Channel

The Digital Channel features all digits except the middle one.



Before Beatlemania there was Sheavesmania. A simpler time when whole grain cereal goodness was hipper than Lady Gaga.

Before Beatlemania there was Sheavesmania. A simpler time when whole grain cereal goodness drove teenagers crazy. Rejoice adolescents! The sheaves are ready to be brought in.

Bringing in the Sheaves Network

Finally it’s here. Sheaves the way you only fantasized about. This network asks the question, with everyone all atwitter on Facebook, who will harvest the wheat? Those luxuriant fields of rippling wheat demand a McCormick’s Reaper to assist in bringing their large seed cereal goodness to all who worship its gluten. But what if McCormick’s Reaper is unavailable (don’t worry; I know where I’m going with this)? You’ll need farm implements to reap what you’ve sown. And this is where the advice of Vito Corleone and the symbolism of Communism intersect as Vito pithily advises; “Leave the hammer, take the sickle.” And now armed with your sickle and with other stout comrades wielding scythes, you can whack the wheat, tie it off in bundles and leave it in the field. But really, would it kill you to bring in the god damned sheaves instead of just leaving them out there. Don’t short shrift sheaves (try saying that fast 3 times, or even once slowly).

Those who are gluten or lactose intolerant are asked to go form their own network.


The Gluten or Lactose Intolerant Network

Bigoted network for intolerant people with food allergies. So big deal you went out and got your own network.


Viral Network

Mostly for adrenaline junkies who confuse the temporary bodily high of physical sensation with the slow wave of hard-earned life affirming wisdom. In the description of the network the author gets a little preachy. 


The Public Works Network

Highlights public works issues in various communities. For example this newsworthy exchange at the DPW garage in Altoona PA. 

Mayor Blanding:                    As your duly elected mayor I’m going to make a few changes around here.

DPW Commissioner:   Yes sir and what will those changes be?

Mr. Mayor:                               Well, from this day forward all manhole covers will be referred to as condoms. And in the more feminine areas of Altoona they’ll be called diaphragms. Now get cracking.


The Science Fiction Channel

Presents a very alternate universe from the one that has your stupid cheeseburger in it. Viewers are asked to tell the difference between an albino polar bear habitat and a regular one. That’s all white with me. There’s even a place where you get to play with the gravity switch. But this being the subconscious world it’s not a switch. It’s on a dimmer and you can just lighten things up a little, so when Adele gets on the scale in the morning she looks down and smiles for a change. Viewers and the host go on mental picnic outings. Viewers bring their own ideas and the host provides a dreamy framework and macaroni salad. Trouble occurs when Aunt Sadie and Aunt Dolores show up unexpectantly. That’s the problem with picnics – aunts always spoil them.


The Game Show Network

If you’re like me you could listen for hours to an endless loop of those rhythmic guitar wah-wahs punctuating the interludes of Match Game ’75 (listen to the wah-wahs). I have those wah-wahs on my white noise sleep machine and use their soothing staccato rhythms to lull me to sleep. Does it get any better than that? Boy Gene Rayburn was sure into something good.

The game show Tic-Tac-Dough, hosted by the irrepressible Wink Martindale was another connect the dots paradigm that brought both money and smiles to the contestants producers of the show. On Tic-Tac-Dough viewers are encouraged to connect the dots, or, if they’d like, to separate the periods. Viewers are warned that periods should be separated by at least 28 days otherwise they might be with child. Good Luck and let’s clear the board and play the game. Thank you Johnny Gilbert and Don Pardo.


network4The Liberace Extravaganza Network

First gay marriage. Now their own network. Gay culture marches forward as vacuously as straight culture does with this kitschy network. After a bewigged Sir Elton sings A Candle in the Wind, his tribute to Princess Di, viewers realize the reason there’s a candelabra on the piano is because the candles breasts were sagging.

Panelists on the food show “I Really Hope that’s Yogurt” are asked to tell the difference between a gay pork loin and a straight one.

Other shows include:

  • The Really Big Bang Theory
  • 9 Rock
  • How I met your Fathers
  • 2 ½ Men and a Small Amount of Astroglide
  • N.U.D.E. Blue


Channel 10.0

Talk about your digital network!

Viewers exult we live in a decimal world of Base 10 numbers. Accolades to Thomas Jefferson for ensuring our currency was denominated in 10s. Otherwise we might be paying 3 quid 7 bob for haggis and tatties – whatever the hell that all is. We understand base 10 numbers. Otherwise in Base 6, the number 11 would equal 7 and the dice game craps would be impossible to play. In base six if I wanted my son to pick up a dozen eggs I’d have to tell him to get 20. On the upside 100 would literally be the new 60. Very confusing, but at least I’d be able to collect social security at a much younger age.



Well, just don't look at them. Bring them in.

Well, just don’t look at them. Bring them in.

Farm Channel

Viewers are encouraged to come out of their shells and stop hiding their light under a bushel. A bushel, I might add, that would be better employed bringing in those god damned sheaves. Are you ever gonna bring them in? If you’d just bring them in I wouldn’t have to comment on them anymore. So please bring in those sheaves lying so inelegantly on the North 40. Aunty Em, Old MacDonald, the farmer in the Dell…anybody there? Help! I need somebody, Help! Not just anybody Help!





Leave the perfume. Take the girl.

Leave the perfume. Take the girl.




Chanel No.5

This network stinks to high heaven. Get it? Look again. Oh Chanel No.5. Most popular show – The Nerve of Catherine Deneuve.







That's what I get for stickin' my nose where it don't belong.

That’s what I get for stickin’ my nose where it don’t belong.

GVN – The Gratuitous Violence Network

Recently merged with the Three Stooges Network. Poses the question: Is there anything more disturbing than mayhem? Well there actually is something more disturbing than mayhem. It’s a legal designation termed “Aggravated Mayhem.” No one wants to live in a world where either of those possibilities exists. Allow met me explain the difference. OK, you’ve got your basic mayhem like slitting someone’s nose (Think Jack Nicholson in the movie Chinatown). Then you’ve got your aggravated mayhem like depriving someone of a limb (Think tree surgeon except you’re the tree). Depriving someone of a limb? How does that even become an option? Awful stuff none of which would ever have to happen if you’d just bring in those damned sheaves. Well? Are they in yet? I didn’t think so.  


The Gordian Knot Network (aka The Middle East)

The following sentence will serve to underline the reasons why the Middle East will never be tranquil:

The thing of it is is, is Israel serious when they say, “The Jihad had had haddock.”?

People, Americans in particular, want to experience supreme satisfaction while generally ignoring the consequences of their actions. Some call this American Exceptionalism. Others call it Kanye West Syndrome. You don’t have to call it anything but rest assured, if you can fog a mirror, it will come calling for you. Wish fulfillment informs our world and impels us to stand in line for Conway Twitty tickets or fill a water balloon with mayonnaise or even post stories like this on Facebook. When unchecked it may render your entire life a fool’s errand.


The English Channel

The English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France. At its narrowest point at the Straits of Dover it’s only 17 miles wide.


Chores and Errands Network

This niche network examines why people take immense satisfaction from having a load going in the washer, the dryer and the dishwasher while texting on the toilet and recording Breaking Bad. With so much meaningful activity demanding their superintendence, God understands why we’re ignoring him. We’d normally pay strict attention to God and his spiritual corona, but he’s gifted us with all these wonderfully time consuming and vital chores to complete, so now we have no time to worship. Normally we’d look up at the sky and contemplate his immensity. Now we just look down at pictures of Adele and do the same.

Topics include:

  •    There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day – What to do when your day has only 22 hours in it?
  •    Quadruple Multi-tasking during that golden hour of fall back daylight savings time
  •    To do or not to do, that is the question: If Shakespeare was a Personal Assistant. 
  •    Leap Day: An Extra Day to get Stuff Done. Oh Boy!


Palate Cleanser. Not a Channel at all. Just an experience I want to mention:

As a 10 year old sleeping over my buddy Gary’s house, he and I would place a stethoscope to the wall of his parents’ bedroom and listen while they said the funniest things we didn’t understand then, but do now. As in:

“Honey,” Gary’s mother would coo, “I really want to spoon with you tonight.”

Gary and I would look at each other and I’d say, “Spoon? What are they doing in there – the dishes?”

We’d listen in again.

His father would say, “Spooning is nice babycakes, but I’ve got other silverware on my mind. Let’s fork instead. I really want to fork with you.”

Back then we didn’t quite get it. However the next morning, for whatever reason, I used the butter knife to eat my cereal.


The Redundancy Channel, The Redundancy Channel

I love this channel and so do I. Ditto for me. Hey same here. Watch as Boutros Boutros Ghali moves to Walla Walla WA and his wife Zsa Zsa gives birth to twins named Boutros Boutros Boutros Boutros Ghali Ghali. All set to the music of “Clang, Clang, Clang went the Trolley.”


The Irony Network

Very popular with Gen X. A drive thru car wash and a brothel is combined into one seamless business model whereby the vehicle emerges sparkling clean but somehow the driver feels really dirty. Getting women to drive with their tops down is made much easier when they’re given convertibles.


The American Excess Network

Tours homes so large that Hoover made riding vacuums to suck up the debris from the acres of carpet in theses overwrought McMansions.


The Jury Summons Network

Two neighborhood families the Matfields and Hacoys, sprint to the mailbox each day to see who amongst them may have received a jury summons. Hijinks ensue when they try to formulate unique excuses to get out of it like:

1.   I can’t. It’s my catheter day.

2.   I’m being fitted for a cremation urn.

3.   I’m having pubic hair removed from my teeth.

4.   Must attend daughter’s circumcision (Chaz Bono only).


The Elitist Realm

Located on a bandwidth known only to those AP souls who know the frequency at which a hydrogen atom oscillates. Shows include effete intellectual exercises in comparing and contrasting fictional geography such as the Bay of Profundity in Maine with the Gulf of Profligacy in Ancient Rome. One is really deep and the other is really debauched. Viewers scoff and guffaw at the Philistines on FOX News while they take over the country.

Another show attempts to differentiate regular haughty laughter from French haughty laughter. One show is entitled Why so Snooty? It’s about a fabulously wealthy woman named Brooke Asterisk (also spelled Brooke *), whose philanthropic efforts go awry when she accidentally gives away all her money to build a new wing at the hospital and ironically ends up living under one of its stairwells. It is explained how none of this ever would’ve happened had Brooke * simply taken the time to bring in her sheaves – listening America?   



Odysseus had his sirens which called to him thereby sabotaging his mission. And we have ours.

Odysseus had his Sirens which threatened to sabotage his mission. And we have ours.

The Krispy Kreme Network

Gluttony manifests itself in the form of Krispy Kreme Donuts whose glazed halos of puffy joy have more curb appeal than Katy Perry’s glazed halos of puffy joy. Krispy Kreme doesn’t even make doughnuts any more. They make donuts. If gold has a magical property of malleability whereby 1 ounce can be pounded into a thread a mile long, a box of Krispy Kreme donuts possess a similar if opposite magical property called smushability, whereby a dozen donuts can be compressed into nano-ball that would fit inside a single-celled amoeba. These pornodonuts are made from a secret NASA aero-gel dough that if it wasn’t glazed would float. The average Krispy Kreme donut has enough calories to power Kanye West’s ego for a week. Also if you laid a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts end to end, you’d better make sure it was consensual otherwise it would make a real mess. Modern Jewish scholarship now theorizes that it was not a miracle oil which burned for 8 days and nights in the Temple; rather it was a one unleavened Proto-Krispy Kreme donut that miraculously burned for 8 days and nights. Mazel Tov!


On Our Backs Network

Word play abounds when lesbian marine biologists study a Sperm Whale for a whole semester. Phrases like “Right here’s your Moby Dick,” “I really hope that was edible” and “That is my hand” are bandied about like so many Sappho poems. Starring Rosie O’Donnell, Meredith Baxter-Birney and Michael Cera.


In Summation

Not a network at all. I’d just like to state my conclusion. Suffice to say there are scores of other networks I could dredge up from the depths of my deep water mind. All of them equally as implausible as most of the real cable networks already in existence. I’ve taken the time to conjure up these networks in the hopes a producer might want to cultivate one of my ideas, bring it to fruition and then harvest it with me. At which point we will come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves.

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