THB #130: Off-Line
Our household internet service - fiber optic - suddenly stopped at 7:07p on Tuesday.
It’s remarkable how much our modern home leans on the internet. Can’t tell Alexa what to do. Lights that are automated and are turned off nightly by voice need to have their inconveniently-places switches made accessible while the service is down. The automated broom/mop machine hasn’t left it’s dock in days. Our doorbell does not Ring. My wife and child have used their cell phones to connect their laptops, but my desktop doesn’t move easily to another space in the house.
And then, there are all the TVs. I thought it would be clever to mirror our YouTubeTV on phones or iPads to the full-sized TVs, but to connect, the device wi-fi needs to be on and if it’s on, the phone wants to connect to outside services with wi-fi and not cellular data.
We are in a hot moment of new content coming to streamers It’s all on lockdown for me without internet service (If I am to watch the Moon Knight finale on an iPod, I might as well just take a hallucinogen.)
I know… fancy problems. But a disruption of daily habits is still a disruption.
Writing this newsletter on my iPad is a minor inconvenience, but the ability to do research instantly is a big part of how I write this thing. I complain enough about others not doing the digital legwork. When I have a notion that I think is worth passing on to you, I want to test it as much as I can. And not just for the newsletter, but for my daily tweeting.
Last week, something about The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent reminded me of Laraine Newman’s child psychologist who was literally a child and I wanted to make the comparison. After the internet didn’t help much, I worked through 3 years of the series before I found what I sought in the Kate Jackson episode. A couple hours... and I didn’t even use it. But I had the tools fully available.
I’ve tried to treat this window as a kind of busman’s holiday. But it’s not so fun. I’ve learned more about over-the-air TV. I’ve seen Jon “Bowser” Bauman’s Hollywood Squares on which they couldn’t afford the big set and Marcia Wallace, a great first slot on Match Game funny person in the center square. Mayberry RFD. Richard Dawson kissing every single woman on the lips on Family Feud (so gross). The charm is wearing off fast I still haven’t be lucky enough to catch a rerun of Maude.
I want to rage about writers making absurd, imagined claims that Netflix is now doing everything they do based on based on the stock plummeting. But I feel like the quiver isn’t full and I don’t want to explain how Matt Belloni made up an entire column based on what he guessed Theo Sarandos (that’s what those of us who play poker with him call him) would have done had they not had a problem quarter without a lot of detail. Likewise, the insanity about the summer box office being some kind of big comeback when, in fact, the summer is capped by a limited number of wide release movies plus shortened windows (For the record, 2 studios have kicked me up the ladder and then failed to answer whether their biggest summer movies will go to streaming on the preciously announced 30 or 45 day plan regardless of the box office.)
And the truth and spin on Paramount Global’s quarterly is just aching to be analyzed
Have I mentioned how both the Met Gala and the Top Gun 2 premiere have chaffed me given the reality of the world this week? It’s more unfair to Paramount, which is just going old school, but conspicuous consumption isn’t playing well with me right now
Maybe I’d like it better if I had working internet service.
AT&T arrives Friday afternoon