Tag Archives: rants

Netflix vs. Entitlement

Since one of my regular features on this blog is my Netflix Instant Pick, I felt obliged to weigh in on the Netflix pricing controversy. 

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, Netflix raised its prices yesterday. I was previously enrolled in the package that lets you stream as much as you want, and borrow one DVD at a time. The old price was around ten dollars a month, and now I’ll be paying another $6 a month for the same service.

As you can imagine, customers took to the Internet to complain. The topic #DearNetflix was trending on Twitter most of the day yesterday. Maybe it still is, but I haven’t had time to take a look and see. If you’re feeling brave, you can click here to read the complaints.

Maybe it’s just because I’m an old fogey, but I wasn’t mad the price increase. I think the reason I wasn’t angry is that the day before prices went up, I saw this article on CNN that discussed the upcoming contract renewals for Netflix’s licensing of streaming content. After reading that article, I was worried that Netflix would be unable to generate enough revenue to keep the movies that were already available for streaming, let alone add new ones. Once I read that article, I knew that price hikes were inevitable.

I know that there are other options besides Netflix streaming, such as Hulu Plus, Apple TV, and just plain old piracy. However, I don’t own a laptop or an iPad, and I hate watching TV and movies on my computer while sitting at my desk. I prefer seeing them on my HDTV while sitting on my couch with my neurotic cat. (She hates it when I am sitting at the computer, because then she can’t get attention from me.)

I don’t think that Netflix is too costly, anyway. I remember last summer when I first moved to Austin from Phoenix, I didn’t have Netflix at first. I was going through a phase where I was obsessed with getting caught up on the TV show Fringe, so I went to the local Blockbuster. I rented 3 DVD’s and it cost me FIFTEEN dollars! After that gouging, I found out that Netflix was much cheaper at ten dollars a month. I’m not upset about paying fifteen dollars a month for unlimited DVD’s and streaming. It’s a small price to pay and there are no late fees.

Of course, to today’s entitled gotta-have-it-now generation, paying for music, movies and TV is an unheard of horror. Yes, you can pirate everything if you’re determined not to pay for it. I’ve seen with the music industry how things can end up when piracy takes over, so I pay for all of my music. I don’t want the same thing happen to the movie studios.

If you want to blame anyone for being “greedy” you should blame the studios who are asking Netflix to pay them more money so that they can license their content. Netflix is not the one who asked for more money, the studios are. And if you were surprised that this happened, then you are in for a shock if you ever leave your house, because apparently you live in a bubble. 

If you compare the price of Netflix to the cost of going to the movies, renting videos elsewhere, or renting/streaming movies on iTunes or Amazon, you will soon see what a bargain it is.  Yes, it’s STILL a bargain.  Stop whining and take a minute to think about the fact that if you are complaining about this, you’re probably living in a fantasy world.  Everything has a price, and the cost of Netflix is still less than one night out at the movies, for the most part.

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The problem with turntable.fm

Have you crazy kids tried turntable.fm? It’s the latest music streaming website, but it’s interactive! The idea is that you and your friends are in a virtual club, and you can DJ music while your friend’s avatars bop their heads to the beat.

Doesn’t that sound amazing? Doesn’t that sound like so much fun?

I love to make playlists and I used to have one of “those” mp3 music blogs a few years ago. Sharing new music or just making a playlist is one of my favorite things, and I even consider it to be my superpower.  Naturally, when I heard about this new website, I immediately joined and started exploring.

I only joined a few days ago, and I’m already giving up on it.  First of all, I should say that you can only join turntable.fm if you have a Facebook friend that is already a member.  I’m sure anyone hip enough to read this blog is hip enough to get into the site.  Am I right?

Actually that is the problem with the site.  Everyone who is a member is a snooty hipster and won’t let anyone else play.  The only room that a newbie has a remote chance of DJing in is a room like “Play 3 and Step Down”, where there is an orderly queue of people waiting to DJ their 3 songs.  Most of the time you have to wait for over an hour to get a chance to play songs, though.  If you just want to stream your choice of songs, you can’t create your own room and play by yourself, because you have to have two DJ’s in order to hear anything besides a sample.

If you can’t DJ, you can’t earn points and change your avatar to a Deadmau5 or other fun stuff.  Also it’s just fun to DJ and see everyone enjoying the song, or to get a chat message that you made a cool choice.  A DJ also can earn “fans” which is validation of uber-hipster coolness.

Maybe it’s because I am not an aggressive person, but I can’t get in to a DJ booth to save my life.  I am a very impatient person and I hate waiting around for someone to leave.  I don’t have hours and hours to spend in the turntable rooms waiting for the unlikely moment that someone will step down and actually let me play some songs.

In a moment of desperation, I made my own room tonight, and only one of my friends took pity on me and came in to listen.

Either everyone who reads this blog needs to join turntable, and become my “fan” (DJ name: mekkalekkah), or I should just forget turntable.fm and move on with my life.

I leave it to you, dear reader, to decide my fate.  THIS IS SO IMPORTANT YOU GUYS.

No, no, I’m just kidding – but I would like to know if anyone reading this post has used the site, and what their experiences have been.

Postscript:

While I was writing this post, a bunch of people came into the room I created and now I feel all better.  I’m still posting this though!  So there.

The Voice Semi-Finals Official Rant + Bonus Pogo

I haven’t had time to write anything because I’ve been watching The Voice for the last two nights.  Damn, that show is addictive.  The results show was incredibly predictable, and I hate to post spoilers, but honestly you should not be surprised in the least.  And of course we all know that Javier is going to win.  I am proud of my boy Nakia for making it to the semi finals!  I’m also very relieved that Xenia didn’t get through.

I have to say right now that if you honestly believe that Xenia is a talented performer and singer, then you are lying to yourself.  She’s just a deer-in-the-headlights little girl who got in way over her head and the only reason you might like her is because you pity her or you wish you could take her under your wing and protect her.  It’s times like this that I wish The Voice had a Simon Cowell type who would just come right out and tell her that she is not ready; she should come back in five years.

I have one more thing to say about The Voice. One of the biggest problems is that the coaches are way too scared to be honest and critical of the contestants. Blake Shelton is the worst culprit, and Xenia was his victim. However, every judge except Adam split their points between the contestants 50/50, thus leaving the decisions up to the fans. As a longtime Idol viewer, I know what a mistake this is. The viewers will invariably put the wrong person forward. The coaches need to strategize and put extra points to the more deserving contestant. Yes, this might hurt some feelings but if the coaches really want to play to win then this is what they need to do. Ever since the beginning of the show, during the blind auditions, Adam has been the only judge who really got cutthroat. I admire him for that. The only solution I can think of is that next season they should not reveal the way that the coaches divided up the points. The coaches are just too worried about being mean to be honest.

Wow, I had a rant in me after all.

The real reason I was going to post tonight is to share some videos with you by an artist called Pogo.  He creates amazing mixes of samples from movies.  My special favorites are the ones he does for Disney movies, because I love Disney so much.  You can download his songs at his official download page and support his art.

I love listening to them on a loop, it is very peaceful and relaxing, although at times I am moved to tears.  Please enjoy, and if you do like the songs, please buy them at the link I posted above so that he will keep creating for us.

Reverse poseur

Everyone has run across the type of person who pretends to have seen a movie or read a book or heard an album that they have not spent two seconds with.  Let’s be honest here – sometimes we are that person.  In the 80s we (meaning Anglophile girls who love Brits with mullets) would call that person a poseur.

However, I hold a certain pride in the opposite position.  I like to openly admit that I haven’t seen important pop culture touchstones.  I love telling people that I haven’t seen these movies or TV shows on purpose.  They are usually shocked, stunned and amazed at my restraint.  To be honest, I really have no desire to see any of these things.  I’m very contrarian and I like being that way.

I do have a friend who hasn’t seen any of the Star Wars movies, but she has seen Spaceballs.  When I heard that, I was pretty weirded out until I realized she was only doing my favorite thing in the world – shocking people with her pop culture ignorance.  If she’s anything like me, she’s secretly proud of the reaction she gets from people when she tells them she hasn’t seen the Star Wars movies.  And just think, this means that George Lucas never raped her childhood!  (I envy her.)

Here is a list of the movies and TV shows that I have never seen, and never will see, and enjoy telling people I have never seen:

1. Titanic – I have a tendency to cry at movies.  Sometimes it’s better for me to wait and watch a movie at home where I can cry until snot runs out of my nose and no one will see me and/or point and laugh.  I’m sure if I saw this movie, I would cry that hard, and I really have no idea why I would want to put myself through that.  Look, we all know the story, and the whole “I’m king of the world!” bit, and the necklace.  Isn’t that all I need to know?  Why do I need to watch an entire ship full of people drown in icy water?

2. Jurassic Park – Little kids love dinosaurs.  If I had been a little kid when the movie came out, I would have been excited.  (I guess.)  I don’t think I was a dinosaur-phile, actually.  The only reason I might want to see it is because Jeff Goldblum is in it, and I think he’s a long tall glass of sexy nerd-water.

3. Dancing With The Stars – I learned from American Idol that talent shows are rigged and I’m sure this one is no exception.  I have watched a few clips of it, but I have never sat and watched an entire episode.  The winner is always the former athlete and/or former professional dancer.  There’s no reason to obsess over it and theorize over it and make conspiracy theories over it, and that’s what the fun of these talent competitions is for me.

4. Law & Order (in every permutation) – This is the type of show that my mother would watch.  Therefore, I have avoided it for half of my life.  Apparently this show has been on for twenty years?  I really have never heard about it until a few years ago.  I know I’m missing out on a lot of sexy dudes and weird serial killers and 90’s fashions, but I figure, why start watching it now?  I’m way too far behind.

5. CSI (in every permutation) – Gore really makes me uncomfortable.  I watch House and have to close my eyes during most of it.  I also enjoy going to a hotel without having to bring a black light along to look for cum stains.  I’d rather not know what might be going on.  I have enough problems in my life.

Honorable mention – I have to put The Simpsons on this list, although I have seen a handful of episodes.  When that show premiered, I worked at night and I never had a chance to watch it.  By the time I had a regular schedule, it had been on for so many years I felt like I was way behind.  Now it’s been on for so long, there seems no point in starting to watch it now.  I have Googled most of the pop culture references such as I, for one, welcome our robot overlords so I can figure out what’s going on if people talk about it.  I wish that someone would just make a Best of Simpsons DVD so I could consume it in an unhealthy binge weekend.

Although I have never spent any time watching these worthy shows and movies, I did read the entire Twilight series just so that I could intelligently make fun of it and argue about how shitty it is.  (I think I’ve already made the intelligently/Twilight oxymoron joke so I’ll give it a rest.)

I think I need to get my priorities straight.

The politics of periods

Warning:  Most men will think this is the scariest/grossest post ever so just don’t even bother trying to read it.

No, this post isn’t about punctuation, it’s about…menstruation!  Let’s all try to be like Dave Foley, and have a good attitude towards menstruation, shall we?

Oh if only there was a Dave Foley for every woman.  We wouldn’t have to feel so self-conscious about shedding a few blood cells, am I right?  Hey guys – newsflash – a period does not consist of a clear blue liquid splashing onto a sanitized white cloth.  It’s a messy, disgusting, bloody, smelly and horrible rite of passage that women go through every month for decades.

My mom was lucky.  She had a hysterectomy at 35, and never had to worry about it again.  I remember when I was little, I found a box of OB Tampons in her bathroom and didn’t really know what they were at the time.  Later on I figured it out.

Now, there are three kinds of girls in this world…girls who refuse to use tampons and only use pads, girls who require applicators with their tampons, and girls who either use applicator-free tampons or the Diva Cup.  (Oh, and you girls who use the shots or those pills that let you skip periods?  UNFAIR!)

I was afraid to try tampons for a long time because I was a good little Catholic girl and didn’t want to put anything where the blessed babies were supposed to come from.  Then I realized that I didn’t want babies anyway, and I got tired of wearing pads and feeling like I was wearing a diaper.  Plus, when you stand up and everything sort of gushes out onto the pad in a warm puddle, it’s the most unclean feeling in the world.  

Nowadays, people are trying to be more environmentally conscious.  I recycle as much as I can, and encourage others to do so.  I’m also one of those people who boycott companies for political reasons.  For instance, I didn’t drink Coke from 1987 until Nelson Mandela was freed because Coke sold its products in South Africa, and sponsored apartheid!  (Imagine Bono saying that previous sentence…)

I still boycott companies.  I haven’t shopped at Target or eaten at Chik-Fil-A for months, ever since I found out that both of these companies donated funds to anti-gay-rights organizations.

As sanctimonious as I am, I do draw the line somewhere.  You won’t see me posting about how people should stop body snarking at jezebel.com.  In fact, I try to avoid jezebel.com.  The people at jezebel.com are exactly the type of people who try to get everyone to use the Diva Cup.

Anytime someone on the internet complains about their period, or about having to use pads or tampons, inevitably someone will chime in and start preaching about the everloving Diva Cup, and how magical and wonderful it is.  I know someone who uses the Diva Cup, and I want to preface the following rant by saying that I love you and accept you as a person who uses the Diva Cup, and I hope you won’t be offended by this post.

Look, here’s the problem with the Diva Cup.  I know that applicators contribute to landfills and can’t be recycled, and that the plastic ones aren’t biodegradable.  But you know what?  If I use a tampon, I don’t have to root around in my bleeding vagina to properly insert a Diva Cup, and tilt it at the proper angle.  If I throw away an applicator, this also means I don’t have to surreptitiously remove my Diva Cup, rinse it in the bathroom sink while I bleed into some toilet paper stuffed in my pants, and quickly run back to the stall to root around in my bloody vagina and reinsert it.  Instead of bending over and realizing that I didn’t insert the stupid thing properly and ruining my clothes, I can strut around in comfort knowing that my bleached cotton tampon will take care of bidness as it has for years.

I was looking at the Diva Cup website, and it said that if someone is having problems with the cup falling out, it might be because their muscles are too weak.  The website recommends kegels to solve the problem.  So basically, instead of saying that their product is poorly designed, they are telling women they have a flabby vagina!  Isn’t that body snarking, Jezebels?

Those of you who like the Diva Cup, go ahead and use it.  Just stop trying to shove it down my throat.  (Oh dear, that doesn’t really sound right does it?)  If I want to use it, I will use it.  If I want to make my own laundry soap, I will.  If I want to wear hemp sandals, I will.  However, the likelihood of me actually doing any of those things is nil.

I will compensate for the wastefulness of applicators by being vigilant about recycling, avoiding bottled water (using my reusable bottle at work), and other such noble acts.  It all evens out in the end, right?

It’s too bad that women don’t automatically get days off during their period.  How awesome would that be?  I would love to get a week off, paid, every month, even if it meant I had to isolate myself and bleed in the woods for a week.  (I could still bring my computer, right?)

Your guide to Easter Candy

Easter is late this year, on April 24th.  That means there is even more time to enjoy the delicious Easter candy that only comes around once a year!

Because a blog is basically a chance for me to force you to read my opinion about everything, I am going to tell you what I think of some popular Easter treats.  This is strictly my opinion.  I have a lifetime of experience having a sweet tooth, so I think my opinions are pretty valid.

Jelly Beans

Jelly Beans are an abomination.  They are the worst candy ever created, and I hate them.  The only good ones are the orange ones, and even they aren’t that great.  They have a mealy texture, they have weird flavors (the black ones are terrible), and worst of all, NO CHOCOLATE.  If it doesn’t have chocolate, then it’s crap!  If I saw this in my Easter basket I would throw them away.  Therefore, I give Jelly Beans a 0 out of 10 rating.

Peeps

Peeps are fun to try out once a year.  They are cute, adorable, and they look great.  However, once you take a bite, you realize that cute isn’t going to cut it in the taste department.  Peeps are too sweet, and yet they are bland at the same time.  It has come to my attention that there are now Peeps that have chocolate on the bottom, so I might like those a lot more.  I can eat one or two of them before I have had enough, so I’ll give them a 3 out of 10 rating.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs

I love Reese’s Cups, they are perfect.  Especially if you get one right out of the freezer, and eat all the chocolate off of them first.  The problem I have with the eggs is that the peanut butter/chocolate ratio is way off.  There is way too much peanut butter.  I am not a huge peanut butter fan, so a little goes a long way.  (Have you figured out that I was a picky eater as a child yet?)  I am going to rate these as a 6 out of 10, but the regular peanut butter cups are an 8 out of 10.

Russell Stover candies

If someone gives me Russell Stover candies at Easter, then I know that they either don’t know me well or don’t love me.  Russell Stover candy is horrible, and even if I got it for free, I would not eat it.  I swear to God that it’s made of old shredded cardboard, insulation and boot scrapings.  Never marry anyone who gives you this candy.  My rating is 1 out of 10 because I will eat the coconut filled candies.

Cadbury Mini Eggs

Cadbury is the best chocolate in the world.  Yeah, I know, there are people who swear by those European chocolates, but to me, this is the best.  Cadbury Mini Eggs are so great.  They are better than m&m’s because they are bigger.  The candy shell is crispy and sweet, and the chocolate is rich and velvety.  It’s not too rich, though, which means I can eat most of the bag in one sitting.  (Oops!)  I will rate this a 9 out of 10 (minus one because they are too addictive haha!).

Foil-covered chocolate eggs

I know that I’ve sounded like a chocolate snob, so here it goes – I love cheap, crappy foil-covered chocolate eggs.  The cheaper the better.  I would rather have the really nasty ones than the Dove eggs.  I think this is because when I was a child I ate a ton of these and so it takes me back to my white trash, suburban, insulated childhood.  (Why anyone would be so nostalgic for a time they were so miserable is beyond me.)  I also love that cheap chocolate gelt at Christmas (I know it’s a  Hannukah candy but I was raised Catholic by a Jewish mother).  I will rate these a 7 out of 10 but no one would agree with me.

Chocolate Easter Bunnies

I used to love the cheap chocolate bunnies, too.  Then I tried a chocolate bunny from See’s candies.  It was SOLID.  I had always had the hollow kind (my parents were poor).  Having a solid chocolate bunny transported me to a whole new level of Easter chocolate enjoyment.  Once you go solid, you can never go back.  Solid bunnies get a 10 out of 10, hollow bunnies get a 4 out of 10.

Cadbury Creme Eggs

Cadbury Caramel Eggs?  No, too typical.  You can get chocolate and caramel anytime.  Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs?  HELL NO.  Too sweet, and it doesn’t even taste like an orange, it has that artificial flavor.  Cadbury Creme Eggs?  YES, YES, YES!!   I realize that it’s just chocolate and fondant, but it’s just SO HEAVENLY.  I love to freeze these so the fondant isn’t goopy.  Then I eat the chocolate all around the fondant, saving the “yolk” for last.  Most people I know who hate Cadbury Eggs think they are too runny and goopy, so try freezing them and let me know what you think.  I will rate these 10 out of 10 forever and ever, Amen.

Agree?  Disagree?   Let me know what you think…

Kristen Stewart confirmed to desecrate the part of Snow White

Okay, you guys already know that I despise Twilight.  Not only the books, but the movies, of which I have seen one.  I almost walked out of it when Kristen Stewart spent five minutes Googling vampires.   In retrospect, I should have walked out then and there because the entire movie was a waste of my time, and I was only watching for the lulz, of which there were few.

Kristen Stewart is unable to portray any emotions other than angsty teenager.  Even in real life, she constantly wears a dour, sullen expression on her face.  She has the emotional depth of a Q-Tip. And this talentless, incapable actress is given the part of Snow White? I mean, I totally understand why…she is enormously popular with that desirable youth demographic. I suppose she’d make a fantastic Snow White, if Snow White was an emotionless, soulless robot.

I’m sorry, but I will not be watching these movies. If it had any other actress besides her, I’d be very excited to see them. I also know that my opinion matters not a bit to either advertisers or the world at large. Still, it’s my opinion and I am going to spout it here.

Snow White has been my favorite fairy tale since I was a child, and of course, she’s my favorite Disney Princess. I really am a huge Disney fan, and she was the only dark-haired princess for years and years. I suppose purists could argue that Disney also destroyed the true legend of Snow White by sanitizing the story, but it’s all nostalgia for me so I love it anyway.

Basically, what this post boils down to is: I AM DISPLEASED.