Cable TV has come a long way. With 120 stations, we still have nothing to watch -- but we have a much better selection of it.

I mean how many times can you:

* Say goodbye to the Judds?

* Watch those Publisher Clearinghouse promos of people-other-than-you winning millions?

* Learn how to cook Cajun breakfast foods?

* Watch Demi Moore cry in "Ghost"?

And what's the point?

Is the point to segregate the viewers down to the last conceivable ethnic or topical category? Or is it to stimulate and educate and entertain?

There's the entertainment network; the black entertainment network; the easy-listening pop/rock music station; the MTV station; the arts station; the various sports programming stations; the comedy network, and so on and so on.

Every disenfranchised group has its own station -- the Spanish station; the black station; the disability network. One can only suspect that soon we'll be able to choose the Republican or Democratic network.

There's a station for virtually every religious persuasion -- although I'm still seeking the agnostic network. (I suspect it's there somewhere but my faith is too weak to find it.)

There's even a station or two on which you can watch paint dry . . . literally. (One has to do with homebuilding, the other with painting on canvas.)

Even the reruns have reruns. There are about a zillion varieties of "Designing Women" and "Golden Girls" occupying two or three different stations. Delta Burke is gone, now she's back, now she's gone. Bea Arthur's hair length goes up and down more than a runaway elevator.

Don't get me wrong, there is a challenge in searching hundreds of stations for the one ripe banana in the bunch. The frustration comes in not finding any.

Cable television was supposed to provide something for everyone.

Instead it has offered everything for no one.

Linda L.S. Schulte is a channel surfer in Laurel.

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