Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm not in Netflix' target demographic

Netflix has taken a lot of flak over the past couple of months.  Raise the price.  Amicable divorce from Starz. Split the DVD and streaming businesses.  Recombine the businesses.  Sign a bunch of new content deals that leave me underwhelmed.

That last one is what this post is about.

I’ve never been “whelmed” by Netflix’ streaming selection.  It was a nice supplement to the DVD deal.  When you’re bored, find an old movie you liked or missed and watch it at your convenience.  Ignore all the old TV episodes of shows you didn’t watch when they were on TV in the first place.

Netflix announced a deal with CW today.  It has acquired long-term rights to past and future CW shows such as “”Ringer,’ ‘Hart of Dixie’ and ‘The Secret Circle;’ returning hits ‘The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘Gossip Girl,’ ‘90210,’ ‘Supernatural,’ ‘Nikita’ and mid-season series, ‘One Tree Hill.’”

I’ve heard of a couple of these, though I’ve never actually seen any of these shows.

I watch very little network TV and nothing on channels like TBS, CW, WB or E!  I’ve always thought of their programming as the kind of thing you used to find on a UHF channel, next to the PBS channel.

I think Netflix is becoming the modern version of UHF, a dumping ground for re-runs of shows that weren’t that good in the first place.  If you like that kind of stuff, $8 a month isn’t a bad price to find it in one place without commercials I suppose.

But, it is seeming like an increasingly poor deal for me when it represents 80% and growing of what Netflix streaming has and I’m only interested in the 20% and shrinking part.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Death at the Hands of Government

No, this isn’t about the death penalty.

It appears a couple of Iranian guys, one with U.S. Citizenship and one connected to the Iranian government plotted to kill a Saudi Ambassador and got caught. 

We are officially incensed and Iran is officially dismissive.

We offed bin Laden with a Seal team and more recently, the other American born terrorist guy and trumpeted that we had done so.  Others are incensed.

Whether or not we and the other side should be, we are in a guerilla war.  Currently, we seem to be scoring better than they are and defending better than they are.

But, right or wrong both sides are killing or trying to kill.  I don’t see that we are inherently morally superior in this exchange.  Maybe we need to do what we are doing; but, and here’s the big but – I don’t know because our government won’t tell me what it’s got on the people it targets, even after the fact.  Have you ever seen anything that rose to the level of legal proof that bin Laden is indeed the architect of terrorism?  I think he probably was, but I don’t know that.  The guy we offed with the drone last week – what did he do?  We won’t know any time in the mid-term future.

Do we really expect Iran, if it is behind the most recent failed plot to fess up, cry and ask forgiveness?  We are engaged in table stakes, death being the losing hand, poker.  Our officials' decrying the other side’s attempts to harm us seems to be a bit disingenuous to me.

Goose and gander, it seems, who is who depending on your bias.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

It Takes a Village

While I’m totally disillusioned with the President; and, I don’t think the Democrats have clue as to what to do to solve our economic problems; and, the Republicans seem to be consumed with being against anything the President, and his wife while at Target, do, there are some things they all could do, which they won’t

Quit the games.  None of you are totally evil, though there are days, weeks and months that I wonder.  Our national and global future is not a game of table stakes poker.  Quit acting like everything is a bet on what will get you re-elected and if it actually does some good is lagniappe.

Face up to the huge infrastructure problems that we face while at the same time facing huge social liabilities. 

We can’t spend billions of dollars weekly making the world safe for whatever it is we are selling, whatever it is being totally squishy.  Israel, while it gets money from us to fend off its regional enemies, doesn’t try to buy off its enemies.  If we are going to play a global game, and we need to, be realistic – spend money and lives only if and when it is absolutely necessary to protect us from the people that want to kill us.  And while you are at it, explain why you are spending the money.

The people in Afghanistan and Pakistan don’t like us and they aren’t going to become Western democracies in our great-grandchildrens’ lifetimes.  Figure out what is the absolute minimum we need to do to make sure they don’t come after us and set them free to do as they will.  When we are leaving, we should apologize for our part in what got them to the current mess.

Iraq, will get by, it always has and it always will.  The same is true of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Given some time, perhaps there will be an Arab Spring in those countries.

North Korea – leave it to its neighbors, keeping an eye out for really crazy stuff.

China?  Let it figure out how to deal with its rigid and structured economy in the face of the rest of the world’s economic meltdown.  It and we need to figure out how to be major players in a world that won’t let either of us dominate.

What to do about Europe and Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the next countries on the economic block?  I don’t have a clue.  But I suspect the solution to their problems is similar to the solution to the problems we have here that could earn us a place in the queue for defaulting country of the year.

I’ve said this before, but people are cussed.  The “free market” doesn’t work if it is rigged.

I could go on and on with this.  I think I’ll end with the thought that Hillary Clinton had a pretty good book title:  It Takes a Village.  Small groups of people can have their problems; but, when faced with having to live with each other, they can usually figure out a way to make the experience bearable. 

We’ve spent the last century or so doing everything possible to eliminate the personal relationships inherent in a village.

Think about it.  We get mad at our friends and family on a regular basis.  And we get over it.  Not always, but most of the time.  If we can’t handle the issue, the larger but still small group steps in.  The remaining problems are few.

Perhaps the solution to the world’s ills is to figure out how to replicate the process of a community on a large scale.

Not happy with this post overall; but, I’m not in the mood to polish it.  Bottom line, we need to figure out a way to talk not shout, reign in the rogues, not bail them out.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Gotta Love Republicans

The Washington Post had a sort of expose article today on Rick Perry’s maybe, kinda racist years in the wilds of Texas.  It seems his father rented a “hunting camp” in the early eighties.  He and Perry kept it going into this century, though Perry’s folks swear he hasn’t been there since 2006, an interesting swearing as Perry also says that a rock at the entrance that had the word Niggerhead in block letters painted on it was painted over shortly after Perry mentioned it to his father in the early eighties, a matter disputed by a number of people, named and unnamed in the Post article.

Herman Cain says that Perry is obviously “insensitive” given the story, Cain of the view that there will be “no Muslims in my administration” for months and months until he took too much flack for it, had a meeting with an actual Muslim, and repented.

We all have our prejudices, I just find that Republicans, when caught, are especially humorous when squirming away from the light thrown on them.