By Raymond J. Steiner
ART TIMES Online October 2010

SOOOOO…I’M SITTING on the couch looking off into space, just having turned off the news and trying to settle my mind into a peaceful state once again. News has a way of getting my dander up and my juices flowing and I don’t know why I keep turning it on in the evening — especially right after dinner when I ought to be relaxing and digesting. Anyway — there I am gazing off into nothingness when I happen to look down at my remote (like any self-respective couch potato I of course have long ago stopped getting up to change channels and entirely rely on my remote) and noticed that there were a surprising number of buttons on it. It was a new one and I guess that once I learned how to turn the TV on and off, change channels and the volume, and had located the mute button, I just never noticed the rest. For some inexplicable reason I counted them — and discovered that there were sixty-three buttons. Sixty-three! Holy crap! Sixty-three? I counted them again — a bit more carefully — even trying to decipher what the abbreviations might mean — but I was correct. There were sixty-three — and other than the on/off, channel/ volume up and down — and that all-important mute button which I sooo rely on during advertisements — I had no idea what they might all be used for. What might that television do besides show me pictures and talk to me? Would it shine my shoes? Do windows? Allay the fears that the news seems to nightly bring on? Then, of course, I got it — I am a dinosaur! That’s why it took me so long to even notice all those buttons. Sixty-three! It still boggles the mind.