I have a new game. Last week I took delivery of a tv-b-gone keyring remote, and I have taken it upon myself to rid my local shopping centre of audio-visual pollution. For three years I’ve been walking to work through a certain shopping centre that shall remain nameless, and day in, day out they have the same adverts, the same ‘info-tainment’ about fashion shows and film premiers. No more. The tv-b-gone is a tiny remote control with just one button – off – and it works on any television. It really is making me very happy.
The remote was invented by Mitch Altman a few years ago, after he spent an evening of stilted conversation in a restaurant with a TV on in the background. I read about it in a Wired article ages ago, but the first run of remotes sold out very quickly indeed, and I’ve been waiting to get my hands on one for some time. You can now get one from iwoot. Adbusters have been on about them too, as part of their TV turnoff week campaigns.
I highly recommend getting hold of one, and reclaiming some public space. Mine has worked so far in the mall, in Sainsbury’s and WHSmith, and I’ve saved both Dixons and Curry’s several pounds in electricity bills.