This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Cage is Being Built

But it's disturbing that nothing got accomplished last night while I was away. Everything back there looks the same as it did when I left yesterday afternoon. Ar least this guarantees that I won't be in any upheaval today. I like how when I'm the domino that has to fall first I'm forced to move in half a day, but when other people have to do the moving you can see their feet dragging behind them as they walk. Is this my life? Maybe so. I think I'm going to adopt that as my motto, and occasionally I'll just yell out, "Show 'em my motto!" like that little dude in the Sprite commercials. And then "Is this my life? Maybe so" will fly by in big white letters.

I've got a question: When did taking advantage of people in a business sense become ok and something that we all do? I bring this up because for some reason I've been thinking about the amount of trailers (7) and other non-movie-related commercials (a bunch) I had to sit through before Hitchhiker's Guide. You read things about the subject of "too many previews", but all of them seem to think that since movie goers are a "captive audience", the movie theaters and distributors almost can't be held responsible for throwing as much advertising at them as possible. It's just good business, they say. Meanwhile, they have made all our lives worse to the point that some states are considering mandating that acccurate start times be printed in the paper. You know what this reminds me of? ATM machines. At some point banks just decided they could charge you to use their ATMs. Everybody in America was like, "What is up with that?" It's as if they were planning all along to get us "addicted" to the convenience of ATM card use and then jacked up the price on us junkies. What were we supposed to do? And the fun part was when some town in California outlawed ATM fees, the banks got all offended and pulled the machines out. People had to drive to another town to get cash. It was about this point that America said, "F___ the ATMs and hand me that check card, beeatch." Actually, it was so long ago that I don't think "beeatch" was a word. It was a better time back then.

You can't just add a fee or ads to crap years after it's introduced. Stuff is supposed to come down in price due to competition, not go up in price due to collusion. And now we have this movie trailer situation going on, and nobody can stop it. Are people just going to have to start showing up late for movies? That might work for matinees and Indie films, but what about that opening weekend of Revenge of the Sith? Those people are going to have to get there early and sit through all the useless ads, as well as whatever stationary or audio ads they run before the "showtime". It's enough to keep you away from the movies altogether.

And do you like how they're putting trailers on DVD's now? Yeah, that'll get worse too.

Why do people keep getting away with this? The same reason pro athletes get away with holding out on beloved sports teams for more money -- we are led to believe we'd do the same thing, if given the chance. We all want to make a buck, right? How can we get mad at other people ruining our teams or movies or convenience when we would gladly switch places with the scum and get all googly-eyed as the cash rolls in?

I say there's a difference between an honest buck and a dishonest one, and I'm sorry we as a society no longer realize that. I'm sorry because: my movies now have 15 minutes of filler on the front of them, I can no longer use my ATM card to get cash except at certain banks, I had to search far and wide to find a bank that provides real free checking as opposed to Fake Free Checking, I got two bogus traffic tickets within a month, I have to skip forward on DVD's, I have to pay ever-increasing toll costs to drive on public roads, and Javon Walker's threatening to derail the Packers season by not living up to his contract. All because we as a society don't have to balls to put people in their place and call evil evil anymore. Nobody tells it like it is because the second they have stopped talking, a hundred thousand people have crammed a misinterpretation of "judge not lest ye be judged" down their throat. And those who have the audacity to "keep it real" and get indignant about all this crap are often just trying to capitalize on everyone's frustration in order to make a buck themselves (I'm looking at you, talk show hosts). It's like, I reflected your frustration back to you, now give me some money.

Speaking of which, Arbor Day is coming up, and I need to buy some "presents" for the "children", so...


  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    You make some good points. I used to not use ATMS that charged me fees until I realized that I was occasionally driving enough out of my way to waste the buck fifty-or-whatever on gas and valuable time. Now, I just let 'em charge my shirt off.

    As for the previews on DVDs..well, since I "legally create an archival backup copy" of each DVD I watch (that doesn't suck) I hadn't noticed until recently. But when I did notice the previews on a DVD, they were previews that couldn't be fast forwarded through which, IMO is awful and ridiculous.

    And, finally, I thought it was funny that you wrote this excellent diatribe, and as I was reading it, I was sort of hearing you read it in my head, but when it was getting to the point where it should've been loud and angry, I had to stop reading and think about it...I've never heard you loud or angry. Wierd.

    I think if you wanted to scare the crap out of me, you could yell something like "get the fuck out of here" or some other set of cussword-combined-with-directions. Nobody ever wants to make a guy who doesn't swear and yell do both. So, there you go. A secret weapon when you want to terrify your enemies.

    But don't try it in any of them ghetto apartment complexes. Bad idea.

  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger jill said…

    so, i think your entire post is crap (well not entirely crap, because crap is not fun to read, but you are, and what i mean is that i just want to disagree, but saying your entire post is full of crap sure got your attention, right?), and here's why:

    i _don't_ think i'd do it if i were them, just to make a quick buck, but if i did, yay for me. why? because you're buying it. if you were willing to buy this oreo cookie in my hand for $5, should i not sell it to you? you're the dumb one, not me. america is dumb. in that, we agree. but your tirade is aimed at the wrong people. they charge us that much for gas because we don't say f your gas prices--i'm using public transportation. they charge that much because it doesn't make us stop buying suv's. they charge us because we hand them our wallets and say, hey, need more than that?

    take brian, for instance, and i quote: "Now, I just let 'em charge my shirt off."

    i see dumb people.

    big business is the shiznit. do i think they're evil? yeah. but do we continue to pay them to be? i think you know the answer.

    tomorrow morning i'm going to tell my kids that i'll pay them $5 for every cuss word they say. then i'm going to tell them that it's wrong to cuss. just an experiment. i want to see what happens.

  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Danny said…

    Since I am relatively good for nothing (in the sense of me as an american), so I shall bring to light some of the interesting points of living o'er here:
    *I pay roughly $1 for every ATM usage at my home bank; this goes up after 6 to roughly $2
    *If you want to go out for a meal you don't have to tip, but you do have to be ready to pay a minimum of $10 for a cheap meal and about $20 for an average meal and $30+ is not uncommon (special occasions, but not not in a special restaurant or surf and turf here; perhaps just a nice Curry and Nan set with some tandori chicken...sounds good though)
    *$5+per beer. If you want a drink containing the hard stuff you are looking at a minimum of $6-7, and both beer and liquor can go up to $10+ for nothing special
    *You cannot find a cup of coffee (yes just regular coffee...starbucks, seatle's best, McDonalds, Joe-san's Cafe, whatever) for less than $3

    I think that I have illustrated the point here; japan is expensive. However the difference is that it doesn't have to be that way. If I wanted to cook myself the same curry and nan meal at home I could do it for a tiny fraction of the price; if I wanted to drink a beet for less I could get a sixer and invite some friends over...but the Japanese are horrible at just accepting things for the price that they are. Horrible! I have talked to proprietors of fine establishments and ask why it is that beer and food is so expensive; they all tell me it's just because the Japanese are willing to pay the price, so that's what they are charged.

    My hope for america, don't be like these folks; please. Complain about the price of the crap that you don't need! Complain about how your time is valuable when you were really only in a hurry to get home and watch TV! Complain about the inconvienence of having to walk two blocks in order to satisfy your own whim! Complain! Complain! Complain!
    Do not go gently into that good night kind sirs!

    ps: for all you smokers cigs are only about $2.50 a pack; no taxes over here. Suc...hack hack...kers!

    pps: sorry for the long comment; it's been awhile and I have been trying to cut back on annoying you

    ppss: sorry for always talking about the land of little people; I just don't have anything else to talk about. Take care and thank you for the loyal postings.

  • At 9:48 PM, Blogger Brian said…

    Just a quick note, Jill, the reason I let myself take it in the ass on ATMs more specifically--and I should've been more clear on this--is that my bank is in Rockford, and so are the ATMs supported by them. So it's usually a forty minute drive. Within rockford, I use Amcore ATMs...but in Dekalb the closest one is a half hour away in Aurora.

  • At 6:31 AM, Blogger Mike Pape said…


    I agree that America is stupid. You're never going to be wrong when asserting that. But I still say there's no excuse for ripping people off. I guess what I'm really attacking most is collusion. If Miramax for example decided they would get rid of trailers (except one-or-two highly-anticipated ones that people want to see) and they owned some theaters, they could advertise "real showtimes" and make a lot of money. But they don't do that because it's easier just to beat down the "dumb" consumer with ads. That's where your dumb Americans come in. The question for us smart Americans is do we keep giving these people our money and buying their services? There are enough dumb Americans to keep them in business, so they don't need us. Therefore, we are the only ones who miss out when we boycott stuff, and it only really hurts us. This is a terrible burden for us to bear.

    It's like the F___ milk campaign I went on when milk was 3 bucks a gallon. Enough other people still bought it, Big Milk was still rolling in dough, and all it got me was some dry cereal. I need milk on my cereal, Jill.

    Not to mention the fact that offering a service that people expect and then charging them for it after they've become used to it is wrong. But like I said, nobody's willing to call evil evil anymore. So, boo big business. Boo dumb America, too.


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