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More Netflix Woes

Maybe it was a mistake to broadcast how much money I was saving on DVD rental with the Netflix History Analyzer. Lately I have been noticing slower turnaround times and longer waits for movies in my queue, and then I read this in their Terms of Service:

In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. As a result, those subscribers who receive the most movies may experience that (i) the shipment of their next available DVD occurs at least one business day following return of their previously viewed movie, (ii) delivery takes longer, as the shipments may not be processed from their local distribution center and (iii) they receive movies lower in their queue more often than our other subscribers. Other factors that may affect delivery times, include, but are not limited to, (i) the distance between the distribution center from which your DVD was shipped and your delivery address, (ii) the timing of your placement or adjustment of movies in your queue and (iii) circumstances impacting delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.

And then I found this:

Netflix “Throttling” Defined

Consumers will come across the term “throttling” when researching Netflix on the Internet.  In 2003, Netflix stated that it loses money on customers paying less than $2.00 per rental.  To counter this loss Netflix created an inventory allocation and delivery system that curbs users from paying less than $2.00 per rental.  Thus, frequent users will experience long shipping delays, especially for new releases.  The Netflix Turnaround Calculator is an example of throttling.

So I’ve been pegged a heavy user and they’re slowing me down. Damnit. I guess this is what the recent lawsuit was about. I had never had problems with service before so I didn’t really know what the fuss was about. I can understand that they have to make a profit, but why be so secretive? Why not take the “unlimited” off the label and say $17.99 for 8 movies a month? Or just make us pay a little more for *true* unlimited rentals. That would be totally understandable. But now I’m upset because I feel like I don’t want to do business with such a shady company. And I *love* Netflix.

Shocking Silverman

Thanks to Duff for pointing out that at least one other person
is not impressed with Sara Silverman’s schtick. I especially agree with
the observation that there’s nothing behind her simple shock value:

As a comedian doing edgy material she lacks Chris Rock’s
stamina and energy and is further hindered by the fact that there’s not
very much going on behind her jokes beyond the element of surprise.  I
left wanting something a little more.  For all the talk of her material
being “transgressive” (a bullshit artist term) or of it challenging the
audience’s hypocrisy, there’s not a trace of either motive to be found
in her act.  Much of her stage persona is merely an acknowledgement
that the standard comedic approach to controversial subjects is no
longer very fresh or relevant because these subjects have been
endlessly trivialized by sanctimonious PC nags.  And therein lies the
appeal – generations following the sanctimonious Boomer cohort have
gotten sick of the exquisite sensitivities of the permanently aggrieved
and find some kind of relief in material that tramples on them.

One thing that does bug me about Silverman is the tendency of pompous
magazine writers to describe her act as if it is the most outrageously
daring thing ever conceived.  “Silverman crosses boundaries that it
would not occur to most people even to have,” bleats The New Yorker in a typically meaningless formulation (re-read it:  it is in fact meaningless).  If by most people The New Yorker
means the average peasant, then some variation of that bleat could be
true, but in that case it would also be true of thousands of other
comedians today.  This of course isn’t Silverman’s fault, but it’s an
assessment that could grow to overshadow her act.  Boundary Crossing
Girl is a comedic dead end.

The Corporation

I watched The Corporation and it made me cry and I went to the library and checked out The Ecology of Commerce. I am so frigging impressionable.

As a movie it’s not great–a bit bloated and unfocused. But as a
persuasive conveyor of information and pusher of buttons it is highly

Silverman Hater

There’s a Sarah Silverman debate that I forgot I was having over at Greencine,
and I think by now the people I was arguing with have forgotten it too,
so I’m pasting the comments here to continue. Isn’t there anyone else
out there who hates her?


it’s so lonely being a silverman-hater.

Posted by: cynthia at November 14, 2005 11:36 AM

I doubt you’re completely alone, Cynthia. Of course, I’ve seen
reserved praise, concerned critique and so on, but I haven’t seen
severe dislike out there yet. But you can’t be completely alone.

Myself, I missed Jesus is Magic at SXSW, blast it, but I’ll freely admit that the clips I’ve seen have made me laugh. Sorry.

Posted by: David Hudson at November 14, 2005 01:33 PM

There was a great article on Silverman in the New Yorker a few weeks
ago. Her act seems to upset people. Why is it that the same
words,issuing as they might from the mouth of Jimmy Kimmel, don’t seem
nearly as jarring as when we hear them spoken by Sarah Silverman? It’s
something to ponder.

Posted by: Stacy at November 15, 2005 02:36 PM

I think if you go by the New Yorker profile, I could see people
especially not “getting” her, or her act – though it was interesting…
But I think she is all about what Stacy points to here, the “How can a
cute girl say such filthy, awful things?” But the filthy part wouldn’t
matter if she wasn’t clever, and funny. Matter of personal taste and
mood, I suppose.

But c’mon, how can you say this is not funny (from the Nerve interview):

How do your parents feel about your act?
They totally love it. Sometimes my mom will have her opinions. Like
there’s this riff at the end of the movie, during the credits when they
show that B-roll montage, where I’m looking at a picture of myself in
this ’60s costume and I say something like, “God, I look like Marlo
Thomas if she’d just walked in on her father lying under a glass coffee
table while someone’s taking a shit on it.” Because, you know, there’s
that rumor about Danny Thomas. And my mom begged me to take that out.
She was like, “He was such a great man and he shouldn’t be remembered
that way! He opened a children’s hospital!” And she’s right, he was a
great man and I totally don’t want to contribute to him being reduced
to just that one rumor, but what are you going to do? Also, I don’t
know if this is just coincidence, but at Canter’s Deli in L.A., the
Danny Thomas sandwich is number two on the menu.

Posted by: Craig P at November 18, 2005 02:39 PM

easy. it’s not funny. and it’s interesting that she is compared to
her boyfriend jimmy kimmel here, because i always wondered if he writes
her jokes. they are a man’s jokes, written to entertain men. i don’t
actually believe that he writes them, but it’s what i hate about her.
she’s a guy’s girl, and she’s speaking to/trying to turn on guys. plus
the fact that she makes fun of her vanity doesn’t change the fact that
she is phenomenally vain.

Posted by: cynthia at December 2, 2005 08:50 PM