Monday, July 23, 2012

Bob watches a DVD

Muddy Waters--"I Can't Be Satisfied" (mp3)

In a shocking reversal, avowed futurist Bob _______ has watched a DVD, several of them, in fact.  It's quite a list--Bad Teacher, Somewhere, Mercury Rising, some movie where Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd end up in a commune.  Apparently, there are a bunch more stacked on top of a television that is at least 15 years old.

"I'm as surprised as anyone," he said, when reached by telephone while on vacation in Florida.  "Embarrassed, really.  I had a couple of them that had come from Netflix back in early April, when I was still in transition, and I remember thinking at the time, 'What am I supposed to do with these?' before crawling into bed to watch Veep on my phone.  I brought the DVDs along with me, intending to stick them in the mail and send them back because I knew it would never happen back home."

_____ had been living in the clouds, courtesy of his iPhone, iPad, Netflix app, HBO Go app, PBS app, Xfinity app, and his remaining lifelong dreams.  He had pronounced in late May that he was finished with DVDs.

"I didn't want to come back down to Earth," he said.

"It's a definite step backwards.  If Neil Armstrong had done something like this, I doubt we would have the expansive moon program that we enjoy today.  But then, Neil Armstrong probably had better reception than what I'm getting down here in Florida.  Their statewide 3G crawls about as fast as a three-legged alligator, and since my mother-in-law only comes down here occasionally, we don't have WiFi.  I've got to pray that "JimmyandDiane" turn their WiFi on.  I have no idea who Jimmy and Diane are.  But God bless them for not knowing how to secure their Wifi in 2012."

"The only other choice for Internet-viewing is the library, and I'm not watching Game Of Thrones in a Florida Public Library.  Wink, wink," he chuckled.

The retro move may be only temporary, but _____ seems to be making the best of it.

"Actually, it's quite charming.  I've been having flashbacks to about 2003 or whatever year it was that we actually thought it was a good idea to buy DVDs and own them and put them on shelves like books.  They really snookered us with that one, didn't they?   Got us in the habit of buying them and and started putting out so many that there wasn't any way to watch them all and the new ones kept (and keep) coming."

"But now the library has them and the system is easier to use than I'd remembered.  You just push the button to open the door, put the DVD in the tray, reload the tray, wait for it to engage, sit through a bunch of previews for movies that have already come out, and then get to your main screen, which, if you get distracted and start doing something else, will play forever, repeating the same scenes from the movie and same snatch of music over and over and over.   It becomes kind of a mantra.  Then you start the movie until it hits one of its smudges or scratches, so you take it out and do your best to wipe it off and hope for the best.   And they've got all of these great bonus feautures that I've never watched on any DVD I've ever owned, so I can't say too much about them except that they probably really enhance and illuminate the entire viewing experience."

_____ is philosophical about the experience.  "Life is simpler now.  That's obvious.  Take a trip like this to Florida.  You just pack up your laptop, your iPod, your iPad, your iPhone, and your Kindle and head out of town.  But some of those old complications and inconveniences are still around and it will take a while for us to eradicate them so that everyone can be as technologically streamlined as I am."

_____ has regressed in another way, too; he's been checking books out of the library.  "Hefty things, really.  Quite bulky and unsuitable for transport.  If one spends time in the library, one tends to amass quite a pile of them that look interesting, but then one realizes one doesn't want to actually have to hold them up to read them.  I choose the ones that look like I want to read them and then go buy them on my Kindle."

 Much as he is enjoying his time in Florida, Bob _____ looks forward to returning to more technologically-advanced climes.  "Most days back home, I'm a 5G guy in what is, at best, a 3-4G world.  But it will catch up.  It will."

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