"Any university that wants us there" gets the free TVs that must be tuned to the College Television Network 24/7, Schittone said. What surprised me is that this implies that someone at UNC actually asked to have them put in, but nobody in the SRC seems to know who.
If you don't visit the SRC or the Granville laundry rooms, you may not know anything about the CTN, a channel that, according to Schittone, provides "the best entertainment out there for the college audience." This means playing the hottest new videos about 79 times per week, peppered with fast-paced, MTV-style news updates.
It's obnoxious, and I wanted to tell the world how much I hate it, how my refined music critic taste was far above any of the "entertainment" it provides. The fact is, I simply can't do that. Not without Shaggy popping into my head, knowing full well that I'm lying when I tell him "it wasn't me" who wrote that column mocking his video. My subconscious knows that I watch it between sets, as long as I'm working out alone.
My excuse is that CTN is my exclusive source for hearing hot new music, an obligation for the serious music writer like myself. I can work out while watching it, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than calling my little sister three times per week. The truth is, it's addictive.
SRC employees complain that CTN plays the same songs over and over again, an irritating prospect when you can't change the channel. They sometimes get around this by turning the sound off and playing radio stations offering more variety, like G105.
Others have complained that CTN's Sarah McLachlan videos aren't conducive to exercise. This may be true, but that's because the CTN is so much more than background music. It gives me something to stare at instead of other peoples' asses.
Yet the College Television Network really does suck a large percentage of the time. Slower songs can be problematic, but for me the bullshit "modern rock" (i.e., Creed, Three Doors Down) brings on the emotional diarrhea that makes me want to simultaneously puke and smash the TV with a dumbbell.
Of course, CTN doesn't program specifically for weight rooms. In fact, the second surprise of my conversation with Schittone came when he told me that his network is broadcasted on cable as well, even though the programming doesn't seem appropriate for televisions that let you change the channel.
But maybe some people would watch, if CTN actually is the total entertainment package it bills itself to be. Beyond videos, Schittone said, the station focuses on sports, fashion, animation, technology and all other substance-free interests of the stylish yet sophisticated college student of today. I visited the Web site to investigate.
There I found an uplifting interview with Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock's DJ and CTN's Freshman Artist of the Week, concluded with his declaration of love for his baby daughter.
"She won't be attending rock-and-roll concerts anytime soon," Kracker explained. "Maybe I'll start her off with some Christian bands when she's 30."
Unfortunately for the child's Uncle/daddy, shielding her from the College Television Network won't be that easy.
The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at email@example.com.
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