What's in the fridge? Whatever happened to TV? A gigantic crime infestation, that's wot, the Brits on top as the best and nasty nancies, gor. The other day I tried to find something to watch besides CSI. After 9 years of shows and spinoffs, I had to forcibly restrict access with sticky yellow and black CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS tape and shut the damn thing off with a latex glove.

Maybe we need another another CSI: Burbank. Where CSI Tech Forensics hack into Studio Heads to investigate who murdered Prime Time. It has to be somebody. Somebody bludgeoned Entertainment, threw the body into a vault and started cloning CSI Miami, New York, Vegas, what next?

Our relentless pursuit of some kind of life has reached brain-numbing potentials. Are crime and reality TV, disaster movies, what we're all watching? Don't we do anything else? Maybe it all started with the Terminator. After all didn't he take over Hollywood before California? Thanks Arnold but why can't you hold down 2 jobs like the rest of us? Try Fiscal Crisis California. Try USA. Take them out! Make another movie if nothing else works.

In the early days of Tech all you had to do was watch your consumption of movies and TV as pure entertainment. And telephone as a tool, not a chatter line, leaving some space for friends and hobbies. The Internet has changed all that. Anyone connected now can have it all streamed through a PC or iPhone, virtual friends and demons included, like an updated Roman Polanski: No mirrors but we've got screens. Fasten your seatbelt or restraining device and scream, still optional, for your daily Virtual Life Transmission.

It should ring some alarm bells like 1984. It doesn't yet because we are our own Virtual Managers and that conveniently drains whatever spare time we might have to think a way out of a Virtual Life into a real one. But who has any time left? Not only do we spend it working on learning this and that dumbass software, but to make it work or work better and do things for us we don't need, we wind up debugging it and Windows too. Is this fair or sensible? Everyday we're working for Microsoft or some other conglomerate for free yet and there's no painless MS Anxiety Manager App to download and get us through, unless you pay for Hindi .ddl Support or join a Support Group like Microsoft AA, online of course. Help! Auto Update keeps tyin to install KB967715 a thousand times!!!

There goes the time for hobbies and friends unless you're a gamer too and you've got your own Sims family and friends where you want them. Then OK, who needs a real life, when you have absolute control.

If you're still happy with all that, there's one thing you've probably overlooked. You could be totally alone and alienated. A Web basket case. Welcome to the underlying reality nobody talks about. But you've got options. There's crime TV or gaming to vent unverbalized frustration, that or reality TV if you need to borrow somebody else's reality for awhile. Or if you're a guy, fantasy porno from a thousand willing webcam girls to upgrade your libido. Easier, cheaper and more secure than a 2 Dollar Whore.

Maybe that's where Sarah Palin has an edge. Why else is she everywhere? The simple soccer mom gal who hires someone else to update her Facebook and Twitter friends, avoiding the nerdy dirty for the happy days of '50's push button dreams. A dishwasher I can handle. If you ever catch her lugging a laptop around, you'll know it's the end.

Is this the direction we're taking? Sarah Palin and the end of time? Done deal so far. Not easily uninstallable. With Retro out, what would you reinstall? We've already lost a lot of hardware that we're emulating with fancy software or smaller hardware. Not the same thing going out with friends to the movies and your own home theater setup. Small screen, big screen, your place--your kids--your distractions, lights out--darkness--mystery--magic. Gone.

The big hardware, the theaters are vanishing. With no time to go out, so are real restaurants, real places to hang out, real places to go to meet people and friends. A loner's game at home. With no society, no social skills, more paranoia going out to shop, as we're still shopping but with more antisocial elements like ourselves, the other shoppers.

It's happening at break (your) neck speed. $3.40 for a Starbucks? WiFi extra? At the office it's all computer time and what computers want if you've still got a job. Some big business boxes and towers don't allow talk. Keystrokes only. And they count them. Send an email or text the guy in the next cubicle for perfect company productivity. Dead people work better.

What can we do? Buy life insurance, sounds good at least. Become a hacker, a terrorist, a billionaire like Madoff. Fake it so you've got a private identity somewhere. Don't put it on Facebook unless it's funny or absolutely dumb or you might fall through the giant cracks of comedy into the abyss of a humorless legal system compromised by open-ended conspiracy theories from the KB20010911 Auto Update: Resolves and restores default insecurity codes, and allows temporary implementation of suspect codec bushwacking through a modified firewall algorithm before deletion, overwriting, and final stripping of all bushwacking files in Recycle Bin Bypass serving a modified Cheneydump.

Anyone seen a Hot Fix for this one?

Of course the real hackers and terrorists and stars of popular crime are busy subverting everything because we won't do it ourselves in a fair and nice way. They think we've abandoned civilization and them, except in TV shows and movies where we love'em or hate'em. For criminals with philosophy or religion, it's hard to argue against their baseline assumptions if you're rational and humanistic: Society is sick and dickheads did it.

When real criminals absolutely believe themselves they go in for revenge. And we go after them like Thought Police and nothing changes except we feel better because we're doing something about crime or terrorists like talking about it, or feeling worse like we're becoming the suspects for some real pain, or at least watching some actors doing something that's more real than being chained to a PC, unless we stick out our necks and go into law enforcement or the army.

With enough commitment, but it's too late already, we could have avoided the Fiscal Crisis at least. If the War on Terror wasn't preempted by sanity and Obama, we'd all be fully employed and secure. Plastic please! Homeland Security Check. Civilian and/or Democrat? Terrorist? Maxxed out? Swipe here.

Anyway we got here by ourselves and we're going to a future breakdown we've seen in dozens of disaster movies, Obama or not. The real failure of civilization goes beyond politics and the economy. It's a loss of soul and culture.

Is that it? Can't we just walk out of this show and find something better? No, not yet. A direction has been set by MS and Google Technocrats and us following them. It's a totalitarian history repeating itself. A civilization arises, overextends itself and dwindles into power-groping and decadence or falls into vinyl gear absurdity only to crash and burn. Remember Star Wars?

2012: The only way out. Galactic Alignment? Mayan Cycle? Mountain of Fire? Global Warming? Nothing on TV, already the reality. But try Level 26.

--Alan Gillis