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« December 2013 »

Memo to movie companies, mobile sites, and Jeff Bezos: YOU ARE DUMB.

Technology! Can live with it, would die starving and cold and, in my case, bumping into trees without it. Yet it is occasionally annoying! And so we must vent at it, in short doses, in the traditional manner to which we have become accustomed. SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

Let me tell you a little story about why people steal things off the Internet. Not me, mind you. I would never do such a thing. But I understand why it happens. Because until recently, I had never seen "Bridesmaids".

I've known for some time it was a hole in my cultural repertoire that needed filling, but it fell into that "don't wanna own it, too expensive to rent it, too new to be on Netflix, and just old enough to be all cut to shit on cable" gap. You know that hole. We all know that gap. Unless you're one of those people with an AppleTV who thinks the HD rental prices on iTunes are a perfectly normal value proposition, you freakjob.

So we made a hole for it in the Netflix disc queue, got the disc, popped it in, and were helpfully informed that we have a special rental edition of the movie, and if we want the special features, well, the movie's available from fine retailers everywhere. This is a common practice, but it doesn't make it any less shitty. "Hey, that thing you didn't want to buy? If you spend as much on it as you would on a month of discs AND streaming, you get to see the gag reel!" Go fuck yourselves.

And even that wouldn't have been completely maddening, if that notice hadn't been followed by three ads. Three unskippable ads. Three unskippable ads for teen dance movies. Why? Who the fuck knows. What marketing genius thought "Hey, here's a movie where a woman in a bridal outfit shits in the middle of a busy street! This is the perfect opportunity to sell "Honey 2". WHAT THE FUCK IS A HONEY TWO?

And that's why people steal shit off the Internet.

Fuck your mobile site. You heard me. Fuck it right in its ear. Fuck its giant margins, its weird pagination, its page-swiping magazine-like landscape bullshit format. It is not helpful. If your site redirects me to the Onswipe version of your site, know that I hate you with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, This includes you, ABC News.

I'm using an iPad. You know I'm using an iPad. You know I'm not using an iPhone. You can detect these things. You do detect these things, which is how I end up redirected to the shitty mobile experience in the first place. I don't know if you've ever used an iPad, but it's got TEN INCHES OF SCREEN. You know what works fine on ten inches of screen? The regular version of your website.

Which, admittedly, I can get to. As long as I can find where you've hidden the menu that lets me do it. And then somehow re-finding the article I was trying to look at, that sent me to the mobile version from the link I clicked, because most of the time, your well-hidden "Desktop Version" link takes me to the desktop version... of your fucking home page. None of this is helpful. None of this is necessary. If I wanted to read tiny chunks of your article laid out like a Newsweek revamp circa 1987, I would have fucking well installed Flipboard and eliminated the middle man.

Amazon wants to bring me my shit with a drone copter. Which sounds somewhat dangerous and futuristic and scary, but I almost want to live in the world that would create. It would just mean I'd never be able to order anything from Amazon ever again.

Because I kind of want to see a world where we all win a randomly generated prize for coming up with clever ways to bring down a drone copter. I kind of want to see the William Gibsonian Neal Stephensonian world where rogue pirate mob dronecopters have dogfights with Amazon dronecopters, raining burning plastic and boxes full of Burning Plastic Protection Umbrellas in smiley cardboard boxes from the skies.

On the other hand, do I really want to go back to buying things from stores? Especially if my Burning Plastic Protection Umbrella gets shot down over St. Paul? I don't think so.