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Friday, September 11, 2015

Taxing Our Movie Patience

I love movies. I borrow them from the library or from friends. If I really like a movie, I look through the bin at the Dollar Store, or on the shelves at Goodwill. I have several shelves of slightly scratched or cheap DVDs.
Sometimes I even pay more than a buck to buy a movie or television series, but only if it’s truly great art, or has lots of explosions in it. But after I pay, there’s a second sales tax that comes with it – not a money sales tax, a sales tax of my time.

Back in the days of VHS, I put in my tape, hit play followed by fast forward to get through the leader, advertisements, previews, and that stupid FBI warning that everyone has seen thousands of times and nobody reads.
I can still fast forward, or even skip the previews on a DVD, but a lot of the crap at the front they MAKE me sit through.
I put in the disk and up comes the community standards warning on the first preview. I hit every button I can think of to get past that endless screen. I can press the skip, fast forward or even the menu button, and the stupid DVD doesn’t care. If I want to avoid seeing that tired old message (which I haven't read yet,) or the more tiring FBI message (which I also haven't read,) or the most tiring or all Interpol message
(which I refuse to read because I'm AMERICAN, buddy, and I don't spell it with a K!) I have to leave the room.
How is that right? If I own a DVD, why can’t I skip through that stupid crap? Sometimes even the anti-smoking ads are skip-proof. There’s absolutely no reason for this. It’s not as if some movie bootlegger (or chain-smoker) can stand up in court and claim ignorance of the law (or danger of cancer,) because the skip function worked on their DVD.

Lions gate is the worst. They won’t even let you skip the elaborate hour-long (at least it seems that way,) Lionsgate logo sequence that begins in the inner-workings of a door lock and ends with music so loud that you’ll either be too deaf to hear the movie, or you don’t catch the fist lines of the feature because you turned the sound down low – which means you’ll have to rewind or restart which, of course, leads you back into that stupid lock leading to the ear-crushing crescendo.
Maybe Lions Gate has financial interest in hearing aids.

Disney – a once beautiful visionary producer of family entertainment, now turned evil corporate octopus – gives you a confusing option to skip the 25 minutes of promotional garbage, but only if you can figure out what button to push when they tell you to. I’ve yet to choose the right one because I guess I’m not smart enough to follow their legally acceptable instructions to avoid their marketing blitz.
I bet the average parent of five-year-olds isn’t smart enough either.

And I guess that's the problem. We, the consumer public are collectively too stupid to demand that governments and corporate villains stop taxing our leisure time with their boring, obnoxious, and sometimes phonetically harmful propaganda.
Demand you rights! Tell these time-stealers to enable our FF, skip and menu buttons. Go to it now, fellow consumers!

And while you're doing that, I'll be chuckling manically as I fast-forward my old, but user-friendly VHS tapes.

Take that, time wasters!


Here's the least worst of the YouTube vids on the subject.