District of Solipsism

Don't care how / I want it noooowwwwwww
February 14, 2014

I don't know if you guys out in the hinterlands of flyover country have heard, but it's been snowing quite a bit on the east coast. So much so, in fact, that they had to close down the federal government on February 13, meaning that an unusually large number of people were doing nothing from home rather than doing nothing—or, worse, doing something harmful—from their federal office buildings.

Fortunately, they thought up a way of alleviating their boredom. DC denizens are obsessed with Netflix's original series House of Cards. It's a perfectly okay show—though the bumblers in HBO's Veep far more accurately portray life on the Hill and on Pennsylvania Avenue than the brilliantly cutthroat cads on House of Cards—and the second season came out today, the 14th.

But that doesn't do our poor, bored Hill staffers any good. So they came up with a perfectly logical solution: Netflix should scrap their carefully conceived rollout and release it a day early in DC so bored federal employees could watch it! Netflix told them to, more or less, sod off. And oh how vexed our precious little snowflakes were! Reports CNN, in a piece titled "Netflix faces House of Cards backlash":

Conant was disappointed: he called Netflix's decision "dumb" when I shared it on Twitter.

Film reporter Charles Thorp saw some irony in Netflix's decision: "So Netflix deciding to not give us what we want, when we want it? Isn't that their whole business model?" he tweeted.

It's not that these customers are selfish little twits who can't simply wait a day and think they deserve special treatment because they can't get into work. They're trying to do Netflix a big favor! Here's a report from The Wire:

And yet, Sepinwall is right that an early House of Cards release would be a great PR move. As Quartz's Zach Seward tweeted: "It would be a marketing masterstroke if Netflix debuted season two of 'House of Cards' a day early for snowed-in customers."

It really is telling that this is the way so many of our latter day Veruca Salts phrased their criticism. Netflix, you see, wouldn't be doing the snowbound a favor by debuting the show a day early. No no. They were doing Netflix a favor by watching the show. Think of the buzz they'd generate with all their tweets! So much great PR! In a way, Netflix is being just as myopic as the music business: It's okay that people are stealing music because they're going to so many concerts and buying so many T-Shirts. That's where the real money is for the artists. Gordon Gekko was right all along: Greed is good.

In all seriousness and without any hyperbole whatsoever: If you're actually angry at Netflix for refusing to let you watch their product 12 hours early—if you're legitimately whipping up a backlash because they didn't give you exactly what you wanted exactly when you wanted it—you are terrible and you are killing America. Stop being terrible. Stop killing America. Show a modicum of restraint.