Jacob Heric

I prefer not to
Goodbye Netflix, Children, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, etc.
November 13, 2007

We bought our biennial subscription to cable (hello Time Warner, fuck you I hate you) at the Cumberland County Fair. Who doesn't buy their cable at the fair? This year it was $39.95 for a year of digital cable. Not as good as the $29.99 I got for basic cable two years ago, but better nonetheless than the $57.95 that they normally charge for garbage television. It's a racket, we know it, paying anything for commercial television. But it's better than ritualistic suicide or violent hard drinking, both things that come to mind on dark, raw February nights. So, we indulge ourselves as winter comes.

"Bankrupt and lonely, an old man (Carlo Battisti) considers committing suicide."

The sad part about signing up is saying goodbye to Netflix, which I've "traded" in for cable. Netflix is like an old friend that indulges my every impulse, almost always to the point of demonstrating why I should not have such impulses in the first place.

"After finding out he's terminally ill with cancer, a government official (Takashi Shimura) quits his job and prepares to face his last year alive, devoid of family or friends. Determined not to die alone, he heads to a bar to get drunk for the first time."

Allured by the two sentence existential synopses, as thin and absurd as they are true, I was driven deeper into the unwatchable by the recommendation engine. The queue swelled and then grew stagnant as I held on to titles for weeks, dreading having to actually watch these things that I dared not send back for fear of missing out on something essential and life-changing.

"...the search for love and meaning in cyberspace by an agoraphobe named Thomas Thomas (Benoit Verhaert), who hasn't left his home in years. His mother (Micheline Hardy) and everyone else talks to him via videophone, and his girlfriend, Clara, is computer-generated. But into his world arrives a prostitute..."

Some went back scarcely watched ("Intergalactic hero Lemmy Caution is assigned to kill the inventor of a fascist computer."), but not too many. And almost all of them were better than the forgettable crap that we'll distract ourselves with for he next few months.

"...an ex-convict (Denis Lavant) takes a job as a sailing instructor at his brother-in-law's summer camp, only to become entrenched in a lurid affair with a teen camper..."

Goodbye for now old love, I'll see you again in a year when I kick the tired old whore back to the street.