We thought it was bad when we learned that cell phones will work in the subway, but now another of our commuting nightmares has been realized. There are currently functioning televisions on the subway. Great, one more thing to ignore.
Since yesterday, TVs are playing highlights from Major League Baseball games as part of an advertising campaign for TBS's coverage of the playoffs. And you never thought the day would come when you'd miss those nasty podiatrist and community college ads.
Of course this is just another way for the perennially cash-strapped MTA to make some money. But they're going to end up spending all that cash on mops and janitors to clean up all the puke on the subway cars. Seriously. Try watching the tube while being jostled from station to station and not puking.
While many of us are adept at ignoring or mitigating the presence of advertising in our lives, these TV screens are going to do nothing but piss New Yorkers off. Riding the subway is about reading a book, people watching, and patiently biding your time until your stop. The cars themselves were heretofore untouched by technology (other than necessary air-conditioning), someplace our brains and our eyes can get a little bit of a break from the bombarding world around us. If you wanted electronic interruption, you had to bring it with you. (Even now, if you want to listen to something, there's always the music pouring out of fellow straphangers' earphones, and if you want to watch something there's always an iPad just over someone's shoulder.) The TV screens are an invasion, though. Another flickering menace to terrorize us like those in the back of cabs.
That's OK, though. You know they'll be broken in 3 months and the MTA won't ever get around to fixing them.