For some completely inexplicable reason, I found myself thinking last night about satellite dishes. Not the ones of today, where you have to have around 20 of them plastered across your roof in order to get a constant signal (although that idea definitely falls within the concept of this article), no, the ones like the one pictured here. The enormous satellite dishes that littered the landscape of many homes and hotels in the 1980’s and were, at least in my homeland of South Carolina, considered a sign of wealth.
Fast forward to today. . . these things are still around. In fact, downtown Eau Claire (my current hometown) has an incredibly big one hanging out right down on ground level. But my fascination lies more with the home variety. In our attempts to find a house with some land attached to it, my wife and I have found many properties with this massive devices still hanging around. It’s obvious that they just aren’t in use anymore, I mean, from the deteriorated state of them and everything. But, it’s also obvious that the stupid things are just too damned expensive to get rid of. . . as opposed to the little ones of today that you need a multitude of, which tend to stay on people’s roofs for forever just because they are annoying to remove.
I love these things. They are ugly. They were ugly back when they were ‘popular’, but at least back then there was a certain status connected with them. But just think about what these things really entail. They are an example of America at its greatest. People were so in need of receiving cable channels in their rather out of the way homes that they would be willing to put a big gross structure on their rather immaculate properties to do so. I had cable as a kid, and I loved it, but I can’t think of a single thing on cable television that would have been worth that much to me. Maybe life was just that much more boring before the internet and computers. . .
All the same, although I couldn’t see myself erecting one of these things in my yard just to get hundreds of television channels that I’d never watch, I want one in my yard. I have absolutely no clue what I would do with it, but I find myself excited whenever I see a house listing with one of these puppies in the picture. It’s the part of America I love. We’re so focused on how things appear in the now, there’s no real consideration of what it really entails. And so, because (I’m guessing) it was a fantastic way to show wealth back in the day, people were more than willing to put this altar to entertainment up on their lawn, even though it involved putting it there in a very permanent way.
Of course, I’m also the same guy who was very happy when he could strike “standing in the mouth of the World’s Largest Musky” off my bucket list. . . so perhaps I just love insanely big things a little too much.
All the same, if my new house doesn’t have one of these, I’m building one myself. Still not sure what purpose it will serve.