Just as Netflix was wounded and on the ropes, Blockbuster prepared a press conference on Friday to make a 'major announcement' in which most people presumed would be their official entry into the movie streaming market.
Let the exodus begin!
But then came their BIG announcement...
Blockbuster's streaming catalog of movies would soon be available to Dish customers for a small extra fee a month. Wait -- what? That's it???
Sure, that may be a great deal for 17 people who are Dish customers, but how does that actually merit a press conference?
Many current and former disaffected Netflix had high hopes for an alternative to a company they had lost their faith in. All this did was just add to the disappointment in the current state of movie streaming and probably give everyone over at Netflix a pretty good chuckle. Good job Blockbuster...
I'm glad you jerks are pretty much out of business. Fuck you guys too.
Sunday, September 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
Ok, maybe hate is a little strong of a word. Nonetheless, what has happened with Netflix is the very reason why I cannot and will never understand why some people become ‘fans’ of brands and companies. Sure, some companies have impressive goods, but the only thing they love about us is our money. It’s like falling in love with a stripper.
Netflix was once a company that almost everyone felt really good about. While they weren't without flaw, there was a lot to like about them and their reasonably priced service. Then, out of nowhere, they blindsided their loyal customer base with the infamous price hike of September 2011 that caused a million people to up and exit stage left.
Netflix has now basically turned into the cable company – and let’s face it, companies like Comcast are about as cool as the IRS. You have to pay them, but you absolutely loathe doing it.
While mass outrage ensued, the only people more annoying than those running the company were the Netflix faithful who were posting comments like, “When you think about it, it’s still a great deal for all that you get. Where else are you going to get this service? Stop complaining already.” STFU fanboys...
It wasn't until their stockholders finally lost their confidence in the company that then bought on Netflix's sudden remorse about their arrogance. But even as their CEO 'apologized', it was all just a ploy to spring another bad idea upon us with a fittingly stupid name: Qwikster. We're really sorry and all that, but you're STILL going to pay more AND you're going to be further inconvenienced if you continue to hang around... blah, blah, blah... Gee thanks.
Meanwhile on Wall Street...
You know what? I DO hate you, Netflix. Everything you have done since you announced the price hike has sucked. I enjoy seeing your customers leaving en masse. I love that your stock is in freefall. I think it's great that your competition now smells blood in the water and pose a threat to your long-term future. You guys brought every bit of this upon yourselves all because you didn't respect your customers.
So fuck you, Netflix. Fuck You.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | 0 Comments
Have you ever come home from work looking to just kick back and relax, but before you do, you opt check the postal mail and see that official-looking envelope staring right back at you?
Your stomach starts to feel a little uneasy as you hesitantly begin to open the letter and dreading what might be inside. You then unfurl the folded contents within with a slightly shaky hand and realize that your worst fear has come true. Yep... YOU'VE GOT JURY DUTY.
Without a good enough lie and with no other way to get out of it, you're going to have to report to your local -- or God forbid -- your nearby federal courthouse. All you can do is hope that your name doesn't get called, but if you do get called, that they don't like something about you and that you're services will no longer be needed.
But as luck would have it, they DO like you and they want YOU to serve on their time-wasting, embarrassingly low-pay jury. FUCK!!!
You didn't ask for this, but the law says you've gotta do it. Ugh...
I once had a co-worker who decided that he was too busy at work to be bothered with jury duty that day. He then got a not-so-friendly phone call telling him that if he didn't show up within a half hour, a state police car would be summonsed, he would be placed in handcuffs and then they would drive him from the workplace to courthouse. I must say that I've never seen someone leave the building so fast.
So now you've been kindly 'asked' to serve on a jury and you find out it's going to be this high profile case that the entire country will be watching. Your life now for the next month-plus is going to be eating, drinking and shitting this case. How fun.
Since you are now totally hosed and have no choice but to do your civil duty, you decide that you'll be the best darn impartial juror you can be.
During your particular case, the prosecution presents a shabby argument, is unable to prove an actual murder took place, presented various disputable evidence and could provide no real motive whatsoever.
You and the other 11 other jurors now have no choice but to go by the book and determine that this accused person -- while unlikeable, irresponsible and not especially believable -- is 'Not Guilty' because no guilt could actually be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The decision doesn't mean that you believe that this person is innocent, but that no one can be reasonably certain that they actually committed a serious crime.
Little do you know that upon the announcement of your collective decision that the outside world now thinks you are the stupidest people on Earth and just made the worst decision in the history of bad decisions -- or at least the worst decision since 1995.
The average person is outraged because they don't have to apply the law to how they feel nor do they have to digest all of the details of the case that you did. Their emotions dictate their conclusions about the case and those conclusions don't actually have to be founded in fact or be put up against a 'beyond a reasonable doubt' standard. Plus, it doesn't help that the media had convinced everyone of this person's guilt all along.
Luckily, the judge of your trial worries about your well-being and decides that he's going to withhold all of your names so that you won't be exposed to death threats or worse. The problem is that some news organizations don't really care about your well-being and want to get all of your names in print for every unstable kook to harass you, threaten you or even harm you. Is that really fair to a jury who were legally bound to to perform their civil duty? Of course it's not.
The point here is that folks on this Casey Anthony jury -- regardless of how people felt about their decision -- were forced by law to be on that jury. They didn't elect to be part of this media circus and were never interested in being part of the story. They were simply doing their duty -- the very same duty that most of us have been or will be asked to do at some point in our lives.
Now if some of the jurors want to be bold enough and put themselves out there for public consumption, that's on them. But I'm sure that some folks on that jury just want to go back to living a normal life again and if they do, shouldn't they be allowed that right?
Until today, I had no idea that it is normal procedure to release the names of a jury right after a trial concludes. I understand that it's done so that our legal system is open and honest, but the idea that some news organizations are trying to get these names out into the media ASAP seems irresponsible to say the least.
After all, should one of those jurors actually be harmed by some kook who invested way too much emotion into this case, who would actually benefit from that? The same people who want to put these jurors' names out there, of course. The media would have another big story and they wouldn't feel the least bit guilty about glorifying it as they do with every tragedy.
In my opinion, there should be an extended window of time for all jurors' names to be publicly released to ensure the safety of those who serve. Until the next media obsession comes along to erase this case from 99% of our short-term memories, these poor people may be in danger.
And if something did happen to one of these jurors or their families, who would ever want to be a juror on the next high-profile, highly-charged case? Would jurors begin to quietly begin wonder about their own well-being if they made an unpopular decision? If the seed of concern actually took root in some jurors' minds, outcomes of future cases could be affected.
While multiple states are now swiftly drafting a "Caylee Anthony Law" as we speak all because of the sour grapes about the decision in this case, you won't likely see anyone drafting a law to protect the identities and the well-being of these jurors due to their highly unpopular 'Not Guilty' decision. Who is going to be eager to protect those innocent people and look out for their best interest? If the media is able to get their way, no one at all.
Thursday, July 07, 2011 | 0 Comments
Things we learned today:
1. The justice system actually works
2. Most people presume guilt over innocence
3. People really, really need lives
Whether you agree with the decision in the Casey Anthony trial or not, ultimately the correct decision was made by the jury. Wait, what?!?!
That doesn't mean that Casey Anthony didn't kill her daughter, but the evidence proving that she commmited murder simply wasn't there. As of today, all we know is that no one really knows. Of course, a lot of people think they know and that's why we have all of this silly outrage today.
In some ways, it was actually fun to watch the internet lose its collective mind today over all this. The media had snookered so many people into believing that this trial/circus was just a necessary procedure before Casey Anthony was sent to the gas chamber. Whoops! All this did was cause a virtual lynch mob of crazy people who invested WAY too much of their time and emotion into this trial.
One of the main reasons that people were so caught off guard by the verdict is because it's human nature to presume guilt over innocence. Let's be honest, the second we saw Casey Anthony's mugshot and heard what she was accused of, we all thought to ourselves, "That is the woman killed who her daughter." Then some of us thought, "Yeah, I'd do her." But none of us ever really thought, "That is the woman who is accused of killing her daughter and she might actually be innocent."
Luckily, the standard in our court system is just the opposite of how we are prone to think. And with that being the standard in our legal system and not who is simply a crummy person in general, it should then be no surprise that the jury deemed Casey Anthony 'Not Guilty' today.
Do people honestly think that they know better than the 12 jurors who had to sit through weeks and weeks of this entire proceeding? These folks were forced to endure every last detail of this trial, but somehow THEY are the ones who got it wrong while the long list of lifeless couch potatoes, random internet posters and B-list celebs who all rushed to their Twitter accounts to voice their outrage are actually the real legal experts concerning this case? LOL, c'mon...
So now we now have a nation full of bleeding hearts (with blood-thirsty rage) over this trial, but what gets me is that every single day when you pick up your local paper or watch your local news, countless murders, deaths, rapes, assaults, etc. are reported and the vast majority of us don't even flinch at those stories. Where are all the tears and anger for all of the average, every day deaths, murders, etc. that the media doesn't glorify in this obscene manner? Do they really matter any less? And if they don't, why do we care so much less about those?
Personally, the ONLY thing I care about is if someone in our country is accused of murder and no one saw them do it, the prosecution sure as shit better be able to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt because that is what our justice system demands. If it was you or I who was falsely accused of a crime, we would all hope that a jury would not let their own human nature decide our fate, but base it on the actual evidence brought against us, no?
Today, the only things we know for sure is that the justice system still occasionally works and that Nancy Grace is still an idiot.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 | 0 Comments
Fact: Each political party has its share of scumbags. Yesterday, Democrats officially added one more to the collective pile in Rep. Anthony Weiner.
The outrage that Republicans feel about Weiner is understandable as I've certainly wished for the constituents of Republican offenders to either vote them out or to put enough pressure on them so that they'd want leave.
However, it's laughable when Republicans start calling for Anthony Weiner to resign from his position after these same people said NOTHING when their own party's creeps had opted to hang in there after their indiscretions.
Let's be clear: Anthony Weiner is a fucking idiot. I really admire him as a politician, but I'm sure hoping that his wife wises up and opts to divorce his ass. He just doesn't deserve such a fine, fine woman.
That being said, based on what we actually know thus far, he shouldn't step down as he hasn't done anything illegal. If we find out otherwise, I'm all for giving him the boot.
Ultimately, his constituents will have the power to decide his fate and if they don't value these qualities in their congressional representative, they'll have an opportunity to say so at the polls.
When it comes to letches like Republican Senators Ensign and Vitter, those guys actually broke laws. Even that aside, they both pushed their own high moral standards onto the American people in the form of legislation that would 'protect marriage' -- something they clearly didn't value themselves.
These same two clowns had actually demanded that President Clinton resign for doing the very same thing they eventually got caught doing. Of course, neither of them resigned when exposed. And guess which other Republican proclaimed the very same thing way back when he was a US congressman...
Even when one Republican senator was arrested for soliciting gay sex in an airport restroom, Republicans didn't demand his resignation -- although he kinda-sorta initially gave it. But once he found that his party wasn't going to push him out for being a closet homosexual who sought hot man-love in public bathrooms because they valued his reliable Republican vote more than anything else, he managed to serve out his full term without any objection.
The point is, if you didn't call for resignations when your own party's creeps had their indiscretions AND broke laws, then STFU when it comes to demanding that Anthony Weiner resign from his position and stop being a hypocrite who only demands such action when it's the other guys who do it.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 | 0 Comments
The age of 80s hair metal was pure bliss back in the day, wasn't it? I'm not saying that it was a time to necessarily be proud of in terms of music or style, but it was undeniably fun. And then one day it was unceremoniously ushered out of our lives by the likes of those whiny, no-fun grunge bands. Bastards.
Anyhow, back in these good 'ol days, it was pretty much mandatory that dudes had a lots and lots of hair, over-the-top videos and sexy girls parading around in the tightest & skimpiest outfits on-and-off camera. To this day, I still don't know if anything compares to the hotness of those whorish 80s chicks.
Anyhow, 80s hair metal fun quickly turned into embarrassment and mockery during the 90s. Not only did you then have to deny ever being a fan of these bands, but you surely didn't want to be caught dead blaring "Talk Dirty To Me" or "Cherry Pie" on the car stereo within an earshot of anyone you knew or anyone who might know you. The stakes for possible reputation-ruining humiliation were just too high and it just wasn't worth the risk.
Today, the rules have changed. The 80s are now revered and bands like Poison and some of the lesser known acts are still out there on the touring circuit while many of the grunge bands who put the stake through the heart of hair metal are long since gone.
Personally, I can't say that there are a lot of albums from this era that have stood the test of time, but there are a few I still enjoy giving a whirl every now and again -- albums that I would even rock out to with the car windows rolled down!
I can't say that I ever really dug the Bulletboys beyond their debut album, but it's still a pretty rockin' album with quite a few good songs.
While "Smooth Up In Ya" still manages to get the juices flowing, "Shoot The Preacher Down", "Hell On My Heels" and "Owed To Joe" are some quality tunes as well and their edgy cover of "For The Love of Money" kept them from being a one-hit wonder.
Probably not a band that had a lot of national success, but they took off here locally and got themselves a major label deal with Columbia Records. The singer has a total 80s voice, but the album rocks pretty hard overall and the musicianship is top-notch for this kind of music.
To this day, this is one hair metal album that I not only still listen to, but feel there isn't one bad song on it. I was sure that "Skin To Skin" was going to break these guys, but it never really happened. Too bad.
Most of the Norwegian metal bands I know of are all that scary, dark, death metal stuff, but before most of those bands came to be, the Sleeze Beez gave the world Screwed, Blued & Tattooed.
"Stranger Than Paradise" was the song that got these guys their mainstream notoriety, but "Rock in the Western World", "Heroes Die Young" and "When The Brains Go To The Balls" made for a great supporting cast. "This Time", IMO, is one of the best power ballads of this era, but it just seemed to get lost in the shuffle among all the other ballads that other hair metal bands were flooding the market with.
Unfortunately, by their second album and even with the help of Gene Simmons, the magic of Screwed, Blued was gone completely.
I remember hearing "Here I Am" just one time on the local metal radio show before this album ever came out and I was already sold on these guys. The next weekend, they played "Youth Gone Wild" and I was off to Wee Three Records to get me a cassette of this new, unknown band. Skid Row were the first band that I ever 'discovered' before the masses caught on.
Anyhow, Skid Row is really a phenomenal album for this genre of music. "I Remember You" -- while admittedly good -- is a bit too sappy for my taste, but the rest of the record kicks a great deal of ass. "Big Guns", "Sweet Little Sister", "Makin' A Mess" and "Piece of Me" all help make this the fine album that it is.
My initial interest in Slaughter came from the fact that the main guys -- Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum -- were fresh out of the Vinnie Vincent Invasion (solo project by the ex-KISS guitarist). But after hearing songs like "Eye To Eye", "Up All Night" and "She Wants More" on the local metal radio show, I scooped this one up the first week it was out.
Stick It To Ya certainly has an element of cheese to it, but it still has a bit of an AC/DC-ish hard rock sound as well. "Mad About You" and "Burnin' Bridges" are good guitar-driven songs while "Spend My Life" and "Gave Me Your Heart" rock just enough to make you forget about the lovey-dovey lyrics. As a whole, I still dig this album today.
Unlike the other bands on this list, Slaughter is the only hair band where I liked a few of their proceeding albums as well. Still, nothing they did beyond Stick It To Ya came close to rivaling this quality effort.
Do you have any guilty pleasures from this era of the 80s that you still give a whirl every now and again in between listening to the music that you normally play? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Friday, May 20, 2011 | 0 Comments
Just three years ago, KISS began celebrating the 35th anniversary of their most acclaimed album: Alive!. The band toured the world playing the majority of the album in order and KISS fans poured out of the woodwork to catch this very successful tour.
There's no doubt that Alive! is a great album. It has been said that it may be one of the best live albums ever recorded. However, some within the ranks of the KISS Army (including myself) feel that Alive! is not the best live record in the band's catalog.
I present to you, KISS' finest live album:
Alive II opens up with so much energy that it practically melts your ears! KISS proves they mean business from the opening riffs of "Detroit Rock City" and puts together a blistering audio assault that extends all the way though to the bombastic conclusion of "Shout it Out Loud".
If you were lucky enough to own the vinyl LP, you were treated to one of the coolest stage photos ever seen. As a kid, I can remember marveling at this epic shot and imaging what a KISS show was really like.
One of the main differences between Alive! and Alive II is that this album features many of KISS' biggest singles: "Detroit Rock City, "Love Gun", "Calling Dr. Love", "Beth", "Hard Luck Woman", "Christine Sixteen" and "Shout it Out Loud." Aside from "Rock and Roll all Nite", many of the songs on Alive! are fairly unknown the average Joe.
Hits aside, some of best songs on the album can be found are scattered in between including Paul Stanley's "I Stole Your Love", "Makin' Love" and "I Want You." Each one is a fiercer, superior version of their original studio counterpart.
No song in the KISS catalog benefits more from the live treatment than "God of Thunder." The version on Destroyer is a plodding track marred by echo and the strange voices of little kids. This version features a faster pace, a devastating riff and animalistic vocals by the world's most famous Demon.
One of the coolest things about Alive II is that it features a song by every band member. Fans were finally able to hear Ace Frehley take to the microphone and croon his debut KISS song, "Shock Me", which concludes with a brief, but scorching guitar solo. And while Alive II's version of "Beth" isn't nearly as polished as the studio version, hearing the crowd clapping in unison and screaming at the top of their lungs really helps give it a charm of its own.
When it comes down to it, the reason I believe that Alive II is superior to Alive! is simply because the live versions of these songs are almost all better (and many significantly better) than the studio tracks. While the performances of the songs on Alive! are admittedly great as well, the studio versions of those songs are as good or better.
So cheers to Alive II on its 35th Anniversary -- at least according to KISS' accelerated calendar -- and let's hope that there will be an Alive II 35 Tour in the near future!
1. Detroit Rock City
2. King of the Night Time World
3. Ladies Room
4. Makin' Love
5. Love Gun
6. Calling Dr. Love
7. Christine Sixteen
8. Shock Me
9. Hard Luck Woman
10. Tomorrow and Tonight
11. I Stole Your Love
13. God of Thunder
14. I Want You
15. Shout it Out Loud
Tuesday, May 03, 2011 | 0 Comments
You shouldn’t just be able to put a song
on YouTube and go out on tour.”
-- Miley Cyrus, Forgotten Former Teen Queen
That’s hilarious coming from someone who only got her foot in the door in entertainment world because of her famous father. And it’s equally amusing to hear Miley snobbishly throwing around the term ‘artist’ as if she actually earned her standing as one and those YouTube sensations have not.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | 0 Comments
Monday, March 28, 2011 | 0 Comments
Today, free speech won another round in the Supreme Court of the United States. In this instance, it's rather hard to feel too joyous when the winner of the case is the despicable hate-monger Fred Phelps and his clan of crazies from the Westboro Baptist Church.
Sometimes in life, the victory is simply more important than the victor.
On the surface, it would seem like a no-brainer that Fred Phelps’ homophobic, anti-military protests outside of funerals should have been stopped by the High Court today. Americans understandably and overwhelmingly object to the actions of these deplorable troublemakers -- myself included.
That being said, free speech does not and should not discriminate between who it protects and who it doesn’t. Unfortunately, that even includes the Westboro Baptist Church.
Even if a majority of people disagree with the cretins who perform these ‘protests’, the minority voice in this country must be protected too. That freedom is what makes us America. That’s what makes us great.
People in our country have the right to wave a flag or burn it. They have the right to support the government or admonish it. They have the right to march for more rights or against the rights of others. The bottom line is that people deserve to have a voice even when it isn't deserving of my/yours/our respect.
We cannot pick and choose between who deserves free speech. What sounds disagreeable to you probably sounds agreeable to someone else – even if it’s only to a handful of ears. Sometimes pointy Vulcan ears.
Yes, our country would be a better place without Fred Phelps and his band of kooks, but for once (and probably only once), he was on the right side of an issue even if he is wrong about everything else.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 | 0 Comments