Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Want To Watch Some Sci-Fi? How About Backdoor Whores Instead (Or, An Open Letter To Suddenlink)

Dearest Suddenlink,

I have praised you, numerous times, over your competitors. I have even bragged about you to my less-fortunate peers who only have the dreaded Comcast as their ISP, bashing them about the head with your wonderful customer service and prompt resolution of problems, feeling lucky as all get out that YOU are the ones providing my internet and cable service. I was even thinking of switching my landline to you guys--BUNDLE AND SAVE, and I was gonna make it happen.

But alas, Suddenlink, that praise is coming to an end. And I think I'll keep my landline where it is.

You see, you've recently "upgraded" (and I use that term in the loosest, most sarcastic way possible) your Video On Demand system. This "improvement" (again, used in the loosest, most sarcastic way possible) has caused me a number of grievances.

Not only does it take me at least two minutes to scroll to the channel I want to view (ridiculous), once I make it there and finish watching an episode, I am kicked back out to the main menu. NOT to the list of episodes, or even the channel--no, all the way out to where it's gonna take me two goddamn minutes to scroll back.


You see, in trying to avoid losing two minutes of my life scrolling through to the channel, and then the show, and then the episode of my choice, I tried to search. I specifically tried to search for the show Defiance, which has seemed to have fired all of last season's writers and replaced them with marginally better ones. Ones marginally better enough that I'd like to watch it. But I digress.

In searching for Defiance, the closest offering provided by you, dearest Suddenlink, in your search results was Deep Anal Wreckage 2. Notwithstanding my amazement that there was, in fact, a FIRST Deep Anal Wreckage that apparently did so well, they made a sequel, several troubling issues come to mind:

1. I wanted to watch Defiance, motherfuckers, and I wanted to do it without losing all the feeling in my thumb holding down the button on the remote to get to the damn show.

2. If I had kids, I'd be screaming pissed. I don't have anything against porn, but I imagine quite a few parents are going to tear into you when little Johnny and Sugarlump Susie spy Backdoor Whores instead of Barbie's Princess Palace and decide to give that a go.

3. Your search, quite frankly, is shite. It's not even quality shite. Like, there are literally no redeeming features about it. Porn movies are the things that pop up most often in the search results, and while I appreciate that they bring you quite a load of money, I don't appreciate being unable to watch my goddamned show without serious inconvenience.

I tried to email you about it, dearest Suddenlink, but you had no way for me to provide my feedback. I thought of calling, but I know that really would have gotten me nowhere. I even tried tweeting you, but either you thought I was joking, or decided to ignore me for the sake of keeping your incompetence hush-hush.

You failed to consider one thing--I will not be ignored.

Hence this open letter to you, dearest Suddenlink, wherein the entirety of my Twitter followers, Facebook followers, and the rest of the interwebz get to see how you are devolving into the dreaded Comcast by ignoring your customers, inconveniencing your customers, and withholding the mediocre-yet-improving Defiance while offering me dicks in assholes instead.

Please address this immediately, before I am forced to turn this into a series of scathing open letters on my blog about your refusal to address my complaint.

Elise Valente (Or, The Girl Who Just Wants Her Goddamned Science Fiction Show)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why Twitter Is An Asshat (Or, No Kudos For Finally Getting Shit Right)

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the horrible social media bullying that Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, endured after her father's death. The bullying was cruel and inhumane, perpetuated by some truly sick and disgusting people.

Twitter has since "vowed" to improve its policies regarding bullying on its site since the harassment of Zelda Williams. Looks good on paper, right? Some of you may be thinking, "Oh, the company saw a problem and stepped up to fix it! Good for them."

Hold up there, cowboys. It's not like that at all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"Say What?" Personnel Things Are For Staff Only

(Seen in several places, but most recently in a book I read. The book was otherwise fabulous, but it was literally polluted with this mistake).

"It was his personnel stash from home."

"She put her personnel feelings on the back burner."

Reeeaally. What you're telling me is that man, bless his soul, loved his staff members SO MUCH, he not only had a stash of them, but he took them with him to wherever he was going. I wonder if the staff members in question had any say in the matter, or if they were all simply stuffed into a duffel bag and carted away. (Though, in my honest opinion, that would have been rather cruel. The staff members in the duffel bag would have been cramped and hot, and the trip would have been an unpleasant experience for them.)

And the second character has feelings toward her staff members, feelings that get in the way of other things. Her feelings about her staff get in the way so much, she has to put that shit on the back burner in order to function. That's some hella good personnel she's got right there.

So, if you ever feel unimportant, take a good look around at yourself and your coworkers. Know that YOU, the personnel, are important enough that your boss will cart you with him/her everywhere, and their rather strong feelings about you can get in the way of their lives. You, personnel, have that power. Wield it wisely.

*Personal, and you're welcome.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Writing Strong Female Characters (Or, Sass Does Not Equal Whoopass)

"My character is a strong, independent female who doesn't take any crap from anyone!" the claim goes. But then, once you get to reading the actual story, you discover that the female character in the story isn't "strong" at all--she's stupid with a sassy mouth.

That's right--stupid with a sassy mouth, and that's it.

These female characters still have Sculpted-Abs-Angry-Wasp-Man (SAAWM for short) hovering and controlling their every move. That is, until Sassy-Yet-Stupid (SYS for short) decides she knows better and plunges headlong into danger, time and time again, requiring SAAWM to swoop in and save her poor, helpless self.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Think I Can't Be Eloquent? Think Again.

This post is regarding a debate regarding Facebook's new Messenger app. Someone wrote an article full of paranoia and idiocy, making outrageous claims about the app permissions. Here is part of the tail end of the debate, when someone accused me of being "self-righteous," bashing people (I honestly wasn't), and on a high horse. This is what I had to say to that, and about the idiocy rampant in our culture in general. Enjoy.

First off, if I was "bashing," you'd know it. I wasn't.

Second, I have no patience for people who buy into every sensationalist load of garbage someone posts out there without doing any research themselves on the subject, THEN repost said garbage, thus--intentionally or not--spreading said garbage further into the public, which in turns causes various levels of hysteria and outrage that I get to see directed at the company I work for, and others, who are guilty of nothing, and for no reason other than the public bought a bunch of BS written by an attention-seeking idiot and spread enthusiastically by others.

It's articles like that, and people who share them (who are trying to do a good thing, I understand, but aren't), who are contributing to the dumbing down of society. I don't want society dumbed down. I want people to fact-check for themselves before buying sensationalist BS.

Do I seem aggressive about it? Good, because I am. I want society to THINK, which they are all doing less and less of lately. No, tech companies aren't saints, but they aren't devils either. And much of what is attributed to them by people who, when asked if their computer runs on Windows and they reply "Internet Explorer," is nothing more than fantastical thinking combined with a colossal ignorance of the subject they're so willing to vilify.

In short, if it's OMGZ THEY'RE DOING EEEEEEVVVVVIIILLLL, you might want to pause, take a breath, and use google for its intended purpose before freaking out.