So we have a Samsung DLP television that’s failing on us. Six years ago it was a pricey mid-level HD TV we probably shouldn’t have bought, and now, after two trips to the repairman and some parts replacement at home, we’re about to chuck this thing. A little googling will tell you that the DLP (digital light projection) is a troublesome technology: the final iteration of the big projection models with lots of moving parts, fans, and processors. Lamps go bad. Color wheels break. Power arrays and circuit boards quit. Before long you discover you can keep on fixing the thing or just make major headway on a newer, better model. These days plasmas and are LCDs relatively cheap and projectors are in the sweet spot for options and price.
But if you’re like me , you can’t help recalling the appliances around the house from your youth. In our case, an old Zenith television that survived a fire and sat there in the front room for at least fifteen years. The 70’s-chic kitchen combo (yellow in hue) Mom was loathe to replace, the dreaded water heater and water softener combo that seemed to require constant care and coaxing, the questionably safe toaster oven. And when we were done with these things we still didn’t junk them – we sold them at a garage sale or gave them away.
The other side of this is all those shows the Mrs. likes to watch. You know the ones, involving the accumulation/acquisition/exploitation of junk and stuff. The hoarders, compulsively filling up their homes with worthless crap; the pickers, combing through sheds and storage units compulsively, looking for prizes amidst the crap; the sellers, bringing their old crap in and hoping to make a buck off of someone else’s compulsion to collect and acquire…
It all seems like a very middle class pursuit. Something about perceived value, the principles of return on investment, and being acutely aware of how many work-hours goes into the acquisition of stuff. It’s why we check out the garage sales in the summer and make the occasional trip to the re-sale shops. It’s why I’ve had my pickup for twelve years now.
Which brings us back to this nice big non-functioning early-gen HD TV. Flawed unwieldy tech I probably shouldn’t have purchased but don’t need cluttering up the basement – we already have enough sub-functional exercise equipment down there. I guess I could lay down another couple hundred, but I’ve already decided not too. Suppose I could ask my brother-in-law if he wants it; he’s good with electronics and is always fixing stuff. I wonder what the repair guy might want for it?
I’ll probably end up heading for the landfill, which brings up an additional host of issues. That rural, middle-class upbringing makes you grit your teeth at the thought of paying someone to take your junk. On the other hand we have a serious problem with waste disposal in this country.