Remember my annoying buddy? Probing a strange mindset.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Briggs, May 2, 2003.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    A few weeks ago I posted about a friend who offhandedly commented that I "need a bigger screen" after he had been treated to an evening at Bijou Briggs. I mentioned fuming about his remark throughout the following weekend.

    At any rate, that blew over. He has since been back to my place and enjoyed still further home-theater fun.

    But that's not what I came here to talk about. Instead, I want to analyze his thought processes, to probe the mind of someone who appears completely oblivious to home-video and -audio technology. To wit:

    I'm planning on purchasing a new display for the main system and rotating my WEGA to the bedroom theater. The Toshiba that's working there now would go into elder-statesman status, always on call as a general-purpose backup.

    So, I will need some help moving all these 180-pound displays around the house. How to compensate my buddy for helping me with the beast-of-burden duties? Well, last December I received a brand-new Panasonic CT-27D12D direct-view set as an office holiday-party gift. It remains in its still-sealed carton to this day, occupying the space underneath my kitchen table. I have no plans for setting up and using the thing.

    Why not, I thought, give this perfectly good set to my friend?

    I proposed the idea to him the other night, and he was impressed. But the next day, he calls me up and tells me he won't "really need" the set because he is happy with his twenty-year-old TV. "I don't need a new TV," he concluded.

    "But, Dave, this is a brand-new unit with both component-video and S-video inputs on back and three color-temperature settings and a lot of flexibility," I responded. Wasted breath. He doesn't know what any of that stuff is.

    "I like the picture I have," Dave maintained.

    "Televisions have improved, though, Dave. Even a current, analog-only set like the Panasonic will look much better than your Sylvania."

    Then Dave, remembering something I had mentioned to him earlier in the week, said, "Jack, you told me that after 2006 I'll need to get a digital settop box in order to see any television at all. Well, why should I take that television when I'll have to get another box to see things on it? I'd just rather get a digital TV when I have to."

    "Dave, you're not getting it." My tone was getting edgy.

    "But I don't need another TV," he continued.

    "You're going to need to buy a settop box anyway for that two-decade-old TV you love so much," I persisted. "And you're certainly not going to be able to connect a DVD player to that antique."

    "Well, I'm just not ready to get into DVD," he offered.

    "Why the hell not?"

    "I just don't want to spend the money. I'm happy with video." ("Video" = VHS.)

    This guy is a photographer. He knows all about accurate colors. He works with Photoshop. Yet, when it comes to electronics and home-theater, Dave may as well be a candidate for that PBS Manor House "reality" series.

    Why I like this guy baffles me. Maybe it was all the nights working those rock & roll shows, me with my notepad and penlight and him and his plethora of cameras and associated equipment. Maybe it's all the girlfriend-related issues we endured concurrently. Shared experiences. Good times and bad. All that rot.

    Yet, Dave is a walking object-lesson for all those of you who express frustration with the indifferent sales staffs at modern A/V chainstores and with video-rental outlets that stock pan-and-scan transfers instead of widescreen ones. The guy simply is indifferent to all this stuff, even to the point of turning down a brand-new Panasonic CT-27D12D still in its box. He's one of those people who cannot see the superiority of DVD. It's wasted on him.

    But Dave's still helping me with moving all my displays around.
     
  2. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    Strange indeed.

    Didn't he get the fact that you were going to give him a brand new TV and he is not going to spend more money in 2006 b/c this TV will be free? IT'S FREE NEW 27" TV! Your buddy sounds like one of my friends, but my friend would of wanted the Wega and would of "settled" for the new Panny.

    I was going to give another friend of mine my 10 year old Kenwood home system and he was all over it. You know, he heard the word free and that was enough.
     
  3. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    No kidding.. why wouldn't he take the TV and use it as a bribe in the future to lure someone to help him move his newly bought HDTV? [​IMG]
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Well, at least he doesn't sound overly materialistic. [​IMG]

    I'd accept the gift in a heartbeat (sounds like a nice upgrade from my 9 year old Magnavox).
     
  6. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Hey Jack! I'll happily take that off your hands... [​IMG]

    Seriously... some people just have different priorities I guess. But not accepting a brand-new 27" TV? That's... just weird! [​IMG]
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    the return of dave!

    welp, no matter what, he sounds like a decent guy!

    friends are strange creatures. you enjoy their company and friendship, but boy...they can sure get your goat sometimes!
     
  8. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  9. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    LoL I think he does it just to piss you off. [​IMG]
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Dave just isn't in the right place at this time to be spending money on DVDs (it could be an "all or nothing" proposition for him to get into DVDs and he's treading lightly). Or he's in tuned with the "crack-like" properties of DVDs.
     
  11. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Next month...after you have donated the Panasonic to some other good cause....because it is under your table and on your mind. He will call you back and state: Jack my friend....regarding that set we were discussing? Well interestingly enough my Sylvania just [​IMG]

    Life has its little funny ways.
     
  12. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Jack, I read your first story about Dave with great interest - I 'sided' with you, completely sympathetic with your frustration. What you wrote depicted a guy who possessed total lack of gratitude and discretion.

    However, after reading this account, my impression of Dave has changed 180 degrees - I like what I hear about him. Let me boil this down...he's willing to help you do some mundane tasks, and in return he wants nothing?

    Sincerely...I think the problem is with you - from what you've written and how you've written it, my impression is that you're forcing your beliefs onto your friend. Or even worse, exercising a paternal nature or even superiority complex.

    Again, he's going to help you do some heavy moving and refuses your offer of compensation. I completely understand that you feel grateful and would like to 'reward' your friend. But at what point does this appear like charity or an act of mercy (especially given this contentious history between you and your friend over HT)? And perhaps at a certain point in your tete a tete with Dave, he noticed that this was no longer a pure barter but instead an act of condescension?

    Approach this from a different perspective - some people actually help a friend with no strings attached. I know it's hard to fathom, but some folks still practice this kind of purity to the point of naivete. [​IMG]

    From what I hear, Dave expresses himself freely, straight dope. He likes what he likes, he has no time for what he doesn't. He wants to help you, he doesn't care about the the tv. That kind of priority hierarchy strikes me as very rare and refreshing (albeit rankling at times, because it appears brusque in our common society).

    Try this...once he's helped you move your stuff, find out what he'd like to do ('grab a bite to eat' then 'I'll (Jack) pick up the tab). Instead of what you'd like for him to accept.
     
  13. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    I like Dave. He seems like a good guy.

    ~T
     
  14. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

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    I've experienced similar receptions toward my own taste impositions, Jack. It's always hard for me to believe that not everyone has the same wants as I. [​IMG]

    I have two friends who are both exceptional jazz musicians. One has been playing out and recording for many years with some success, the other mainly composes, arranges, and records "jingles" for companies, and he augments his income with photography. Both are making good money and their in-home studios look like the pages from a pro-sound equipment catalog. What they also have in common is that in their living rooms, they both happen to have 20 year old middle-of-the-line Bose speakers with blown woofers powered by old $200 2ch receivers.

    These are both guys who own vast LP and CD collections numbering in the thousands, they spend a lot of time critically listening, but they couldn't care less that their means of reproduction are terrible. When upgrading speakers in the past I've offered to sell them my old (and very good) ones dirt cheap, but there's no interest. Usually I'll get some reply like "well that's OK, I'm going to get the Bose's reconed one of these days."

    For these guys it's clearly all about listening to the music, rather than using music to listen to the equipment, but it's still a bit strange to me. They know what good sound is as they master their own material on Genelec and Event monitors, but nevertheless the bulk of their pleasure listening is on worn out junk systems.

    I don't know, maybe they're afraid to take that first step into a hobby that has tremendous sucking power on the wallet, or maybe they really just don't give a darn about this stuff. I'm a musician too, though no longer professional, and over the years I've noticed reading through the musican mags that this disinterest in home audio seems common among the ranks. I remember one article about a famous guitar player who listens to music on a cheesy mini-system in his living room. I can't remember who it was, but it was someone on the professional level of say, a Tom Scholz or a Neil Young.

    What is it with these people? [​IMG]
     
  15. Joe McCabe

    Joe McCabe Second Unit

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    I have a similar type of friend. When I first got a DVD player in 97', he insisted that it didn't look any better than VHS.

    Now, I have a 65' Toshiba Widescreen (TW65H80), and showed him HDTV, he insists that there is no picture difference between my HD picture, and his analog cable picture, running on his 7 year old 50 inch set (complete with scanlines).

    He's not just trying to be a tool, he REALLY believes what he's saying. He's had plenty of opportunity to upgrade his set to something better, but says that there just isn't any need to.

    I have entertained strangling him on several occasions, but then I think of what type of HT setup that the prison probably has, and I calm down.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I think Walt's friends are similar to Dave. And, don't get me wrong, Dave is really a great guy. During the 1992 Los Angeles riots, when my neighborhood was under a cloud of smoke, Dave stopped at my place on his way home from work to insist that I come with him to his and his then-girlfriend's place near Culver City to get out of harm's way. I stayed put, though. How often does one get to witness The Apocalypse? (To see a live, national TV feed of L.A.'s famous Sammy's Cameras store going up in flames, and then to look out my living-room window and see that same building obscured by billowing smoke. ...)

    We've been through a lot together. And we both share a passionate distaste for what is happening to rock & roll these days.

    But when it comes to consumer electronics—agh!
     
  17. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    Jack, let me know if you need any help moving your stuff around.
     
  18. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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    What are you doing lifing a 180lb TV with a bad back?[​IMG]
     
  19. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer
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    He is willing to help you because he considers you a good friend. He doesn't need to be rewarded with some kind of material item in order to show up and give a pal a helping hand when it is needed. Nowadays, some people would consider that to be the odd-balled behaviour......not his total lack of interest in audio/video equipment.
     
  20. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    Well, the radio controlled flying analogy isn't quite accurante, becase it's not something your friend would be doing anyways.

    I have a motto of "if you're going to do something, do it right." However, if something falls outside your spehere of interest, you simply need something that gets the job done. For example, I'm looking at my pencil sharpener right now. It's not the world's fanciest, but it gets the job done well enough. According to my motto, I guess it should be the nicest out there, but pencil sharpening isn't one of my hobbies.


    If your pal Dave isn't ready for a home theater hobby, he doesn't need to be forced into it. You of course can go as far as telling him what you think would be best for him, but no further.

    However, why he would turn down that television is beyond me. Maybe he feels it would too big of a thing to accept in exchange for the work. He may also enjoy "pushing your buttons" in a fun sort of way. You shouldn't let it bother you.
     

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