The times we live in


No, this is not about Brexit, Trump or any of the other shit that is going on in the world and that could make you lose faith in humanity or basic intelligence. Or both. No, this is just another story from my spoiled live in my bubble of happiness.

So, the other day (actually, Sunday 10 days ago) we came across some short scenes from Finding Nemo on YouTube and we thought it would be nice to show Oskar a few more on the TV. We have the DVD, so how much easier can it be?

It’s worthwhile mentioning that we have not watched anything on DVD for months, if not years. We have a very solid collection of great movies and TV shows on disc, but when we watch something these days we normally turn to our Apple TV and rent or purchase a movie. Or we use Netflix, either on the Apple TV, too, or more likely on the iPad. And either is pretty great. There are rarely issues with download speeds and unless it’s a very old movie there are subtitles or closed captions which make it easy to watch it at low volume to avoid waking up the kids.

In my mind, the biggest benefit this brings is that you do not need to go through your DVD collection, get the disc and load it into your player, which is ridiculously slow (we actually use a cheap, several years old Bluray player – you know, kids, DVD players used to be much faster). In comparison, movies start nearly instantaneously on Apple TV: there’s a little authorization dance which lasts a few seconds, but it takes less time than loading the DVD and *bam!* the movie plays.

When we wanted to watch just a few minutes of Finding Nemo, however, I realized what a crappy experience DVDs are. First, you get lectured not to pirate movies by very lame videos. Okay. What makes this unforgivable is that you cannot skip this shit. Then they show you teasers and trailers for other movies. On most DVDs you can simply skip these, but not on our Finding Nemo version. Maybe it was a super cheap disc – I cannot remember – but having to sit through not one, not two but five or six ads for movies which are 10-20 years old is jarring, annoying and infuriating. After that there is still a non-skippable THX video (you know, the one with that little, seemingly half-wit who plugs what looks like a coffee cup into the THX logo and then he turns it and everything goes “moo”).

When we had finally made it to the menu, the last insult was how those idiotic animated menus take forever to take you to the part you want. I clicked on “Scene selection” and some fish was jumping around and the camera was shifting and then it took seemingly forever until the selection came up. And then it was a shitty one with just numbers and no text or image that would indicate what place in the movie the scene number referred to.

Combine all of this garbage with the poorly designed remote of our Bluray player and you’re close to throw the whole pile of retarded shit out of the window. I often complain when movies are only for purchase and not for rent on iTunes. I also wonder why it is not possible to rent a movie for 5 bucks, watch it and then habe the option to purchase it after where the rent counts against the purchase price. Sounds like a pretty smart idea to me. The point is: the movie industry might deserve to be cut to size like the music industry, but all of this is nothing compared to the trouble you go through with a DVD.

Oh, by the way, we did eventually watch a few scenes of Finding Nemo and I think Oskar liked it.

What I learned from this is, however, that I was pretty ignorant about the amazing progress that has been made in delivering content to your TV over the last 10 years or so. I am also highly motivated now to buy an optical drive for 25 bucks that I can attach to my laptop, rip all the DVDs we have, get rid of all this DVD malware, keep the video file, add closed captions, put everything on my Plex drive and throw out all the DVDs we still have. This would take a while, of course.

But wouldn’t that be beautiful?

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