All Your Contents Belong To Us
I hate to be the bearer of bad news (actually not true) but I think I’ve figured out how it works. (I don’t just bitch, either. I’ll also include solutions. I’m proactive that way.)
- Netflix is the only source for Netflix Original programming: House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black.
- Hulu is the only source for Hulu Original programming: None come to mind but I do know they’ll have commercials.
- Amazon Prime has mostly the same shit.
- iTunes offers the same content but at premium ala carte prices.
- HBO is the only source for HBO Original programming: The Newsroom and Game Of Thrones.
- CBS is a bunch of greedy dillholes: Survivor and Big Bang Theory.
- MLB is the only source for most MLB Original programming but only if you have enough money. Otherwise they won’t even stream the goddamned World Series. (I was actually surprised by this, but only for a nanosecond.)
I prognosticated to my wife a long time ago that the days of accessing “content” would soon be coming to a close. This week we moved much closer to that reality. You like some shows on Hulu and some on Netflix? You’ll have to buy both even if the remaining majority of their DNA is essentially the same. Exclusivity is the ticket to getting customers to pay more than once. And make no mistake, it is all out global thermonuclear war on your wallet. That is the only thing that matters. They don’t do this for fun.
San Diego Chargers Playoff Picks
Sure, football is stupid, only a game, and something certain so-called manly men do to squeeze precious nectar of testosterone out of their nutsacks like an orange on a juicer.
In other words, you have come to the right place for inciteful NFL postseason analysis.
It’s the playoffs.
Those of you who caught my microblog on Twitter of the San Diego Chargers vs. The Denver Broncos already know what to expect. I’m going to hit it and I’m going to hit it hard.
The San Diego Chargers could have beaten Peyton Manning and The Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium if they had followed my carefully developed strategy. Since Peyton’s offense was too powerful, my advice was to not field a defense and allow the Broncos to score at will. (This is essentially what happened.) Then, when on offense, the Chargers could break out their secret weapon and run the fake punt on first down. Every first down of the game.
–Tom B. Taker
Alas, the Chargers failed to heed my advice, so I’m forced to offer my predictions for the rest of the playoffs.
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Sports Bra Holes Yelping
Thanks to Yelp we were heading a few miles across the big city to a deli I had found to surprise my wife. It sounded like the kind of place she would really like. So naturally we arrived and they were closed, even though Yelp and the sign on the door indicated they should be open. There was no note offering an explanation why, either, yet inside my wife saw someone who was studiously ignoring the fact that we existed. Nice. Such is a typical night out with the Guru.
I thought about giving them a one-star review to express my displeasure but, like always, found a way to restrain myself. I am nothing if not centered and calm.
We put our heads together and came up with Plan B: Drive around aimlessly until one of the myriad of assembled shitholes called to us. Adventure is our new norm and that’s how we roll.
So it was that we came to a shady joint not far from our new home and decided to try it out. And, get this, without Yelping it first! I know! Oh heady adventure. What surprises lie in wait?
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The NOT heard round the world
The Not can sometimes be a silence louder than any shot.
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
–Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Who knows? Maybe that applies to shithead assholes, too.
What is The Not? It is pitiful inaction at the moment when one could make a difference. It is failure to correct a wrong. It is the refusal to put doing the right thing ahead of other factors like personal gain, power, and celebrity. It is choice of self over preventing the pain of others.
It seems Penn State had several practitioners of The Not in their midst. Apparently they were afflicted by the disease known as Collegiate Sports. This disease makes otherwise ordinary people do almost anything in the name of competition, power, profit, and prestige. Rather than the sport itself being about the beauty and capabilities of human beings, it becomes all about the money. Winning is everything.
You want to see the evil and corruption that dwells within us all? Look no further than college sports. The strong prey upon the weak and rules are made to be broken. Nothing is more important than the all-important win. And these are ostensibly organizations dedicated to higher learning. That is, quite possibly, the biggest irony of all time.
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San Diego super-Chunkers
From now on the Abyss is going to be a sports blog, because, yeah, I love sports. A lot. At least I used to. Okay, never mind. I’ll talk about sports just this once…
These are the facts as I remember them. I’m doing this by memory so don’t bench me if I fumble a bit.
The San Diego Chargers made it to the Super Bowl once where they were promptly crushed by Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers.
The San Diego Padres made it to the World Series. Twice. And in those two trips they won a grand total of one game. One. That’s a World Series win-loss record of 1 out of 8. The only win came in 1984 against the Detroit Tigers in Game Two, when Kurt Bevacqua got the go-ahead RBI with a 5th inning home run. This was enough to give pitcher Andy Hawkins the win.
These days, when I think about the San Diego Chargers, I mostly think about Drew Brees and how he was traded to the New Orleans Saints who now have a Super Bowl win under their belts. Unlike San Diego.
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What if an indigenous peoples’ tribe behaved like our modern world?
“Hey there. How do you do? My name is John.”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Tom.”
“Hi ho, Tommy Boy.”
“Actually, if you don’t mind, I prefer Tom.”
“Whatever you say, Tommy Boy.”
Need we hear much more to identify the asshole here? Fuck political correctness, what the hell do you call a person who won’t bend in the slightest to respect the feelings of another person?
“It’s a free country, pal! This political correctness is killing us. I can call you whatever I want. Ever hear of a little thing called Freedom of Speech? What are you going to do about it?”
“Sure. Ever hear of a little thing called You’re Puss-Filled Leaking Douchebag?”
So yeah. If I can, and it’s no skin off my nose, I’ll make a little extra effort to respect the wishes and feelings of others. That, in and of itself, makes me an utter alien on this planet. By now we all know how much I like to be different.
Thus begins a new meme here in the Abyss. I hope you will like it. I’m calling it: “What if an indigenous peoples’ tribe was like our modern world?”
I know. That’s a l-o-n-g name. And also, why the over-the-top political correctness here?
We all know it’s rude to refer to Native Americans as “Indians.” Hell, thanks to Freshly Pressed, I recently learned that someone from the actual country of India didn’t like the term, either.
I also dismissed the term “Native American” because that had specificity to the United States. I wanted it a little more generic than that. So we’re going to go with “Indigenous Peoples.”
I’m just trying to be respectful and word the question in the right way.
So let’s now try to answer that question: What if an indigenous peoples’ tribe was like our modern world?
We came across the tribe and saw something extraordinary. It was rather ordinary except for one man. This man was singled out for opulent riches. He was surrounded by women who fawned over him, fanning him as he relaxed, and occasionally feeding him pieces of fruit. He was adorned with more gold than anyone else in the village. But he wasn’t the Chief. He wasn’t an Elder. As far as we could tell, he wasn’t a leader or special in any obvious way.
We asked one of the people, “What is special about that rich man, there?”
“That’s our forecaster. He is, by far, the best guesser of the future prices of pork bellies. He’s amazingly accurate.”
We happened to overhear a conversation between a sick man and the village healer. The healer spoke.
“I see you have no health insurance. However, I will save your life. In return, you must promise to to bring to me everything you kill, gather or make for the next year.”
After several weeks of observation, we noticed one young man. He did not hunt. He did not gather. He did not make things. He apparently did absolutely nothing of value to the tribe.
And yet this man was highly respected by the men. And women wanted to have sex with him.
He did not work and people brought him all the food he could eat. They made clothes and things for him. They maintained his home. Everyone sacrificed so the man could prosper.
Then a day came where all the people of the village assembled. Some of the men went to the field while others watched. The popular young man was among them.
They began to play a game while the reminder of the tribe watched.
It turns out that the young man was the very best at hitting a little ball with a stick.
Can you think of any others?
A sporting chance for women
Yesterday was a big day for women and sport. The World Cup Final is one of the few sporting events I actually watched. And I personally think the women on that team should be proud of themselves. They played awesome. Winning isn’t the only thing and the format dictates that someone has to win and someone has to lose.
Abby Wambach? OMG! I think I just fell in love. She’s so dreamy. Drenched in sweat, that short haircut, and scoring a go-ahead goal. All I can say is, “Wow.”
Is it wrong to be attracted to a sports star? If it is then I don’t wanna be right.
Speaking of FIFA, I don’t really know how the World Cup works. Do the athletes get paid or are they amateur status? Either way, how much do they make from endorsements and such? What would they have received if they had won? I couldn’t help but notice they were all covered in Nike logos.
In other news…
Inequity makes me angry. And the stories coming out of the upcoming Olympics are really starting to piss me off. Two in particular.
First there was the thing about “Nazi imagery” being used to promote the 2014 winter games in Russia. How in the name of hell is something like that allowed to happen? It guess it isn’t that surprising when they hire people who love and admire Hitler to handle marketing, eh? (Story.)
Then there was the bit about women’s badminton in the 2012 London Olympics. Those in charge wanted to create a more “attractive presentation.” That sounds more like Iron Chef than a frickin’ sporting event. So it was that a rule requiring women competing in badminton to wear uniforms consisting of “skirts or dresses.” Officials at the Badminton World Federation said the move would make the women appear more feminine and appealing to fans and corporate sponsors. Ah yes, the corporate sponsors. We can’t forget about them, can we?
Personally I think the time for half-assed measures has passed. Why not just make them play topless? I can pretty much guarantee that ratings and ticket sales will go through the roof. And it will be a modern-era gold rush for the corporate sponsors. Think of it? The ad space possibilities are intoxicating! You can have the Nike logo on one boob and still have one whole boob left over for something else.
I think the IOC (International Olympic Committee) should honestly go after what they want here. The IOC (which is a corporation, by the way) should send representatives to Olympic hopefuls by the time they are five-years-old to explain the facts of life. “We support your dreams. The Olympics would be nothing without people like you, the world class athletes that the world wants to see. We’ll use you like pieces on a chessboard to suit our needs. If you’re the best of the best and it meets our needs, we can make you a star. By the way, get used to being naked. God help you if you don’t meet our needs, though, even if you are the best in the world. We’ll crush you and your dreams like so much used meat.”
We find that it’s best to get those naive illusions out of the way at an early age.
And, last but not least…
My Netflix was out yesterday. So I ended up watching content on a different channel on my Roku device. We ended up on something called the SnagFilms channel, which is completely free. There were lots of interesting documentaries and such. By chance, the film we ended up watching was Training Rules.
Imagine that your had a lifetime dream that you had chased since the age of four. You become one of the best of the best, the top 20 in the nation, earn a scholarship and take your rightful place on the national stage. Then, it all suddenly ends when a person who is supposed to be looking out for you threatens to destroy everything you’ve ever dreamed about because of some arbitrary fact about yourself that she doesn’t like.
Welcome to the plot of the documentary Training Rules. The movie chronicles the effect that Penn State University women’s basketball coach Rene Portland had on the lives of women on her team.
A religious person, Portland was fiercely anti-lesbian. And if she thought you were gay, she wouldn’t just kick you off the team. She would use her awesome power and influence as the head coach of a successful program at PSU to keep you out of the sport forever. She’d make sure that your scholarship was cancelled. And she’d threaten to even prevent the transfer of credits.
Penn State, of course, did nothing about Portland even after adding homosexuality to the school’s non-discrimination policy. Which, in court, they argued, had no meaning since it wasn’t legally a contract. I love it when organizations take the high road.
I have little doubt that Portland viewed herself as a pious God warrior, but what she really did was destroy dreams and destroy lives. She was a destroyer of people.
The purpose of institutions like Penn State is to help people. To educate and support them. Not use them as disposable pawns in a high stakes game of money, glamor, prestige and corporate warfare.
Training Rules is the kind of movie that pisses you off. They say that all evil needs is for good men to do nothing. Penn State excelled at that. I highly recommend this one-hour documentary.
Maybe some day all people will have a fair shot at equity. But it sure isn’t now and it sure isn’t this planet.