Instead of Netflix's trademark red envelopes, customers of the company received a big red middle finger via e-mail this week.
My wife and I currently have the plan where we get two DVDs at any time and access to Watch Instantly content, which is essentially the worst B movies from the last 30 years. There are at least 30 movies like Timecop, Under Siege 2 and The Toxic Avenger for every one Pulp Fiction, and after you get past the handful of quality films, it's like an all-you-can-watch Pauly Shore and Steven Seagal movie buffet, which sounds like something you torture people with rather than ask them to pay for. I can already hear customer customer service reps saying, "Oh, you didn't pay this month. Well, all you can watch is Steven Seagal: Lawman and Bio-Dome until you do. Thanks!"
To express my displeasure, I'm considering stuffing steaming cat turds inside a couple of Thank You cards, placing those cards in the iconic red envelopes containing our most recent round of movies and sending them back. Yes I'm that mad, yes I'm that childish, and yes we have cats. So if there's a funk about your house that arrived the same day you got discs 4 and 5 from the third season of True Blood, your dog doesn't have a problem with his diet; it's definitely the discs.
All that being said, we are downgrading to Watch Instantly because we're the type of people who get a Netflix DVD in the mail and instantly lock it away in a secret compartment we didn't even know we had for a year until we flip the house upside down looking for it. We've had Netflix for about three years and we've probably exchanged 15 DVDs, five of which were season 3 of True Blood over the last week and a half. We can live with the Watch Instantly content because our daughter likes watching VeggieTales, and if we cancel Netflix entirely, the first coherent words out of her mouth may be, "Mommy. Daddy. VeggieTales, now -- motherf#@kers." Aside from that, my wife likes the workout videos, and I'm trying to watch Bachelor Party in the Bungalow of the Damned 100 times so I can submit that to Guinness and see if they'll credit me with some kind of world record. Everyone needs a dream, and I figure if there's room for the world's fastest knitter (118 stitches in 1 minute) and the world's fastest person to husk a coconut with his teeth (28 seconds), there's room for me and my ability to tolerate an exceptionally bad movie an insufferable number of times.
After setting a Guinness record for the world's largest technology company to make the most social media applications ignored by the general population, it looks like Google finally got it right with Google+, which is essentially Facebook without all of the stuff you don't like (eg, being notified every four seconds that someone wants to sell you moldy zucchini bread in CafeWorld) and more of the stuff you actually want (eg, the ability to act like your friends with someone but then put them in a circle where you can safely ignore them -- just like in real life). But I haven't figured out if this is how it will always be, or if it's just this way until Zynga finds a way to plant it's crappy seeds in the Google ecosystem. I can't help but feel like it's only a matter of time before some prick I don't actually like, who I know can't cook, is asking me to buy fake space cakes from some other jerk off I don't even know so he can afford to feed his cattle in FarmVille so they don't die so he can trade those cattle for guns in Mafia Wars so he can amass a pretend fortune that he will gamble away playing Zynga Poker. Right now, Google+ looks like Alcoholics Anonymous for Facebook game addicts. I can already envision a guy in a Google+ hangout room clinging to a token saying, "Hi. My name is Will, and I haven't spammed anyone for 1 year asking them to buy my crappy pretend cookies."
At least I don't have to deal with the porn spam bots that are running the show at Twitter. A few days ago I started getting excited because I was attracting a lot of followers. Stupid me. I thought somebody actually cared about the drivel I've been cluttering the Interwebs with. So I started looking through the profiles of my minions and, low and behold, almost every single one of them worked for the equivalent of Paul's Porn Palace. I probably would've kept them around if I weren't afraid that my mother would read some of their profiles that all read something to the effect of, "Hey! My name's Nadia! Visit my site and watch me ____ this ________ in my ____ on a _________ WHILE running through hoops of fire with a midget on my back WHILE playing a _______ with a ____! Act quick and I'll also _______ a donkey while doing all of that! See you soon in Utah!" It's like reading a dirty version of the script for Old Spice's original "The Man Your Man Can Smell Like" commercial. Some of the things these people say is stuff that the horniest little Japanese anime geek couldn't dream up if you gave him Absinthe and acid, then locked him in a padded room for 12 hours with a dull pencil and a notepad and pumped in nothing but Lady Gaga through some speakers. Actually, scratch that. That's probably how The Toxic Avenger came about.
[Editorial Note: This column is part of a series on current events for the United Tech Guys. Stop by and check them out.]