Friends, back in the days when life was simple and financial necessity had me hogtied into blogging twice daily, I would frequently engage in something called, “The Flotsam,” which was my faux-cute, non-SEO’d way of offering quick links to the cool stuff I’d run across that day. In some circles, they called that “link farming,” which is apparently a no-no these days, if you care about marketing or advertising or page ranks or any of the shit I think poisons the Internet from the inside out.
I’ve been sitting here in my local for the last couple of hours itching to blog, but damn if I can’t summon the inspiration. I’ve been distracting myself assembling the playlist and transitions for the next episode of RadioPFG [hopefully forthcoming before next week] but the open WordPress window keeps gnashing its hungry maw at me begging for content. And if you can’t give it sirloin, may as well give it ground chuck. But hey, even chuck’s delicious if you put some ketchup on it.
1. LIFE WITH NETFLIX
Spent a magical afternoon and evening with two of my best friends last weekend in Toronto’s Distillery District. There’s been a fair bit of personal drama in all of our lives the last year, it was really fantastic to see both of them, listen to some boom-bap hip-hop at a bar on Queen West and drink too much but not enough to be messed in the morning. I went to bed at 3.30 and woke up two hours later to try and make it to work by 8.00 a.m. You can imagine how that went.
What’s kind of awesome as you get older is the way your interests change. When we were kids the topics of conversation were primarily centered on the acquisition of pussy and our delusions of musical greatness. Nowadays, like the true manboys we are, we talk about technology and phones and how we can use that technology to collaborate across long distances [spoiler: it’s easy] and how to use it best. It was in these discussions that Greg offered to share his Netflix account with me, something I’d thought about for a while as an alternative to cable, but subscription services spook me. So now that I’ve had a chance to play with it [finally seeing the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and last year’s Thor movie in the process] what do I think of it?
I’m….not sold. Yet.
Look, there’s a lot on Netflix. All there for the viewing, no ads, for $8.00/month. How much of it you want to watch will vary by user, but I’d estimate at around maybe 60% of the service’s offerings. Which is still a pass, but not a great pass. Conversely, an AppleTV will get you everything Netflix has to offer, plus stream anything you acquire through nefarious means on your TV via WiFi and offer season passes for new shows as they are for less than the price of a DVD set [no extras, but how often does anyone watch those?] Still a useful alternative to cable, and the price can’t be beat, but as I consider alternatives to the box, I’m reminded by how much joy aimless channel-surfing has provided me over the years. On-Demand is obviously the way of the future, but I’m a little saddened by the idea of no longer randomly catching Anchorman on a Saturday afternoon halfway through, like bumping into a favourite friend. I know that’s ridiculous to say, but I’ll miss it when I no longer have the opportunity. Netflix is great for now, but once I burn through the things I want to see, the idea of having nothing left to watch but B-Movies and summer TV like Drop Dead Diva or something will have me for pining for the days of leaving G4 on for hours in the background as I worked on other things.
The annual videogame spectacular is wrapping up as I type this and I find myself underwhelmed. The gaming press wants to make the WiiU the story of the Expo, but Nintendo used the last of its cred with me years ago [I consider admitting you only have a Wii in your home the gaming of equivalent of still using a Blackberry. Awwww!], and the games continue sinking into that same hole movies have been in: sequels and reboots, reboots and sequels: Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed III, Lego Batman 2, and on and on. The only thing that even stirred my interest was the Skyrim DLC [which I was already stoked for] and The Last Of Us, the PS3-exclusive survival game, which probably will not be nearly as cool in practice as it was in the demo Sony showed off. At any rate, now that Max Payne 3’s out I imagine Rockstar will show off some new GTA V details in the next couple of weeks, thus negating any insincere excitement I might have tried to muster for anything else I saw from E3 [though that Miyazaki RPG is as much an incentive to buy a PS3 as anything].
3. Call Me Maybe
I tried to deny it for as long as I possibly could. The giddy endorsement of that deplorable girl on MuchMusic was strike one, the production credit to that irritant from Marianas Trench was strike two, and Jepsen’s awkward stage presence was strike three. But, like Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream before it, that goddamn song just kept earworming its way into my brain. It’s been fascinating to watch the song succeed south of the border, since it’s so rare the US has to catch up to something that breaks in Canada, typically Canadian artists score their major victories after they head south. Watching Jepsen perform the song before her appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, backed by Fallon and house band The Roots playing instruments found in an elementary school music class should be everything I hate, it is everything I hate, but damn if Fallon’s genuine joy towards, well, everything, is undeniable. And watching Black Thought groove out and sing backups makes me love him even more.
I’m a cold hearted bastard, friends, but not even I can hold a grudge against that. Damn it, all.