“I don’t know,” she recited, as if litany, “where you get all that.” “Don’t you ever follow the stories in the ads?” he asked, as if it was the most obvious question in the world. “No,” she responded, and her tone, as well, suggested she thought this the most obvious of truths.
If I make the unfortunate joke about how, between two streaming services and cable television, the one constant result is regretting ever having thought there might be something worth watching, then, sure, it probably stands to reason I will eventually notice that the actual television provider, i.e., Comcast Xfinity, would drive the nail by being utterly unable to serve television.Last night, my DVR fouled; today, it turns out the on-demand recording is also fouled. Couple that with news programming—any time of day—unwatchable for audio loss and actual static snow, and the same for what few sporting events I bother with, well, hey, I can always get a cooking show, and if not, maybe I can watch rich people buy property in the Caribbean.Maybe.They can’t even serve the bloody music in the 900s. Actually delivering product is apparently bad for the business model.Which, in turn, is another unfortunate morbid comedy verité.
If it occurs to mention that a Netflix account is only as good as the internet access, e.g., Xfinity, and this is only worth mentioning because regardless of what else is wrong with Netflix, this part of their business model means the venture is, ultimately, doomed to fuckall.
Look, we know it’s never any software company’s fault, ever, but let me make one thing clear: Between watching television, to the one, and watching software, to the other, look, you’re up against Comcast; it ought to be a low bar. But between Samsung, who makes the television, and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, who allegedly serve video, it’s forty-five minutes later and you still don’t work. What the hell is wrong with you people? Watching software brings a consistent result of regretting the thought there might be something worth watching.
I live in an American household that manages to make potato chips unpalatable. Let that point sink in.
Why do people so desperately need mysteries?
Still, that is not the right question; one can easily see the potential for offense, but there is also a threshold at which it does not matter because someone, somewhere, will be offended by the merest whiff that their humanity is somehow imperfect. But if the comparative question arises that the gas bill is considerably less this year than it was last, and what we really want to know is why, how is it that the most obvious factors—weather and temperature, devices used, and unit cost, just for starters—must necessarily remain mysterious?
There comes a point at which one is frustrated at the lack of actual information about a chart and carefully-devised statistics that hide one particular bit of data: How much does the gas cost per measured salable unit? If we are paying X per Y volume, apparently both X and Y must remain mysterious as we discuss why the gas bill is lower this year than the same period last.
Wait, wait, wait: Must? Who says, “must”?
Either the gas company or the consumer; it is unclear which. Because in the moment when one exclaims, “Why is the one thing we don’t get, here, the cost per unit?” of course the answer is going to be, “I don’t know, it’s probably in all the other pages.” That is, the pages not simply thrown in the recycle bin without reading, but also determinedly torn up for security purposes.
The question remains: What is the proper question? That much, to be certain, remains mysterious.
• Some setups are long enough to defeat the purpose, like, why one might even be thinking about some remote corner of the world in any given moment. Nonetheless . . .
• . . . I do find remarkable—and thus do remark upon—the fact that I might be able to recite the phrase, “Whatsapp Risizi River View Bar”, because, apparently, such a thing really does exist, and it really is in Cyangugu, Rwanda.