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(The New York Times)   The latest threat to our democracy: Netflix   (nytimes.com ) divider line
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1861 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 12 Jan 2017 at 5:03 AM (7 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-01-11 09:06:44 PM  
Not Netflix. The bubble started with the iPod.
 
2017-01-11 09:09:41 PM  
Instead of TV broadcasters getting to crap mindless propaganda upon us en masse, we get to choose our own.

I'm not seeing the problem.
 
2017-01-11 09:27:31 PM  
Banal pablum of my own choosing, or banal pablum of someone else's choosing? Hmmm, lemme think.
 
2017-01-11 09:32:35 PM  

GardenWeasel: Not Netflix. The bubble started with the iPod.


the walkman got me
 
2017-01-11 10:06:36 PM  

Lochsteppe: Banal pablum of my own choosing, or banal pablum of someone else's choosing? Hmmm, lemme think.


I know, right?  Am I even understanding this guy's point?  I don't think you can legitimately call it "unity" if it's really "enforced cultural conformity through repeated exposure to white heteronormative middle-class stereotyping".  I don't think you can paint it as a good thing for our culture or our nation if your idea of "unity" is that everyone was hypnotized into believing they should want to be straight, white, middle-class, and as inoffensive as possible.

Sure, it's technically true that divisions may be reinforced by selective media choices - you have less in common by definition if the other guy doesn't consume the same media.  But those divisions don't come from media, they're only adjusted by it.  And not as much as this article seems to think.

Let's not forget Sturgeon's Law:  80% of EVERYTHING is crap.  No exceptions.  Almost everyone ended up watching Stranger Things, whether you were a white kid who grew up in the 80s or not.  Why?  Because it was good.  We all flock to the 20% of everything that ends up breaking the Sturgeon's Law curve because we crave good things.  And THAT becomes our shared culture... instead of the drek and pablum of 1960s TV.

/white guy
//lower middle-class
///not for much longer if this crap keeps up
 
2017-01-11 10:35:07 PM  

munko: GardenWeasel: Not Netflix. The bubble started with the iPod.

the walkman got me


Walkman was a different era. Top 40 Radio and MTV drove music sales, so everyone had the same tapes. (Excepting mix tapes.) Still more of a common experience.
 
2017-01-11 11:25:55 PM  
Farhad Manjoo

Like that's a real person.
 
2017-01-12 12:25:09 AM  

munko: the walkman got me


"We're flexible. Pearl Harbor didn't work out...."

img.fark.net


I don't watch a lot of TV, I'm more of a movie guy but some people don't know how they good in an age where there's only 4 channels (or none) and they all run shiatty sitcoms like One Day is Enough.
 
2017-01-12 12:49:54 AM  
I remember reading a short story, I think it was called "The Aeolian Harp" in a late 1970s Asimov's, where the future was flooded by an unlimited number of camera-man producers out seeking content to feed to the system, in the hopes of finding a brief flame of viewership. We'll skip the lame climax of the story, but it was a complaint about the rising number of stations and satellite channels becoming available to split the world.
 
2017-01-12 01:55:31 AM  
One thing that this new era seems to be bringing is short series rather than interminable sitcoms that wear out their welcome and run for another half decade.  Law & Order could have run forever because of how it's structured.  There's no reason for 10 seasons of Big Bang Theory.  I'll take 8-15 episodes of a show structures to wrap up its story in that timeframe, and perhaps an attempt to replicate it with something competely different the next year.  Shows like Fargo, American Horror Story, and True Detective really are formulated for the binge watching internet world.  They're just good enough to get on TV.  I'm okay with that
 
2017-01-12 05:01:40 AM  

TheOtherGuy: Lochsteppe: Banal pablum of my own choosing, or banal pablum of someone else's choosing? Hmmm, lemme think.


I know, right?  Am I even understanding this guy's point?  I don't think you can legitimately call it "unity" if it's really "enforced cultural conformity through repeated exposure to white heteronormative middle-class stereotyping".  I don't think you can paint it as a good thing for our culture or our nation if your idea of "unity" is that everyone was hypnotized into believing they should want to be straight, white, middle-class, and as inoffensive as possible.


Especially when the legacy of that is a significant portion of the populace believing the reality presented by shows like "Leave it to Beaver" and "The Andy Griffith Show" were either true to what was going on or were beneficial to the majority of their fellow citizens.
 
2017-01-12 05:57:02 AM  
Did anybody ever stop to think that the reason why people are streaming their entertainment these days is they get sick and tired of being inundated with ads.

I am surprised that this hand-wringing article didn't mention this.

The upside to watching Netflix is that I got exposed to movies from different cultures. For instance, I love the show Rita, which is danish I think and Trailer Park boys would have stayed a mere Canadian icon if it weren't for Netflix.

I think we have to realize that America is not the melting pot we like to think it is. We are a culture of tribes that share a soil. People are getting more tribal because the Internet has made it possible to find your tribe

Some of them are pretty scary I think but there is an advantage to being tribal now.

Blandly homogenous people don't start revolutions. It takes a dedicated few dissenters to start one.

Therefore when you see a terrifying would be tin pot dictator spouting crazy shiat at a press conference, there is an automatic call to arms from the loyal opposition.

This is the one thing that makes the US NOT like Nazi Germany.

99% of the people were willing to go along with what Hitler was doing because they were programmed to expect a monarchy. Think about it, up until WW1, Germany had a Kaiser. And the Germans went along with Hitler because they all had living memory of the Kaiser.

The US is NOT homogenous and it may just be our saving grace.
 
2017-01-12 06:18:54 AM  
Just because people don't share the time slot doesn't mean that folks aren't sharing the experience. As anyone who has Hulu or Netflix can attest to, the shows are being watched, and the movies as well, but on a time frame that is more convenient, and at our own choosing.

The days of a shared "moment" ARE gone. Even for shows like The Voice and the rest of the reality TV tripe, they get into the pipe as well for folks to watch them when it's more convenient for them. Yes, for someone who grew up on EVERYONE watching the same shows, at the same time, it seems weird. And maybe with a sense of loss at that shared experience--like say the last episode of M*A*S*H--but that's gone. We have options today. Like waiting to see a blockbuster at home, instead of in a theater, fighting crowds and paying for overpriced JuJuBees and popcorn, and certainly BETTER nachos made at home.

But the shows are being watched. Just at our own pace. Be that Bones, be that Game of Thrones, be that The Daily Show. What it DOES mean, is that ratings based on timeslots need to be adjusted. Because, while I enjoy Arrow and The Flash, I can't be at home when they're on. But thanks to CW's app, I can watch it the next day, and be fairly certain that CW knows that I'm tuning in. Same with TDS, on Hulu. It is making it harder for execs to gauge ratings, and THAT is what has folks all up in a tizzy. It's not the public, it's execs who might have to look at different sources to gauge how many folks are watching their programming, and simple projected metrics like The Neilson Ratings can actually be replaced with damn near 98% accurate ratings if you actually go to your cable companies, Hulu, and your own app/online accounts for rebroadcast.

But that takes a bit more work. That also might demystify "hits" as you have accurate numbers.

You could also even see what is getting watched, and then rewatched. What has that cultish fanbase? What is beyond the "water cooler" series, which ISN'T really a thing anymore, because people HAVE better options. You want to watch Vikings? Watch the whole season in one go, or be there week to week? There's pros and cons to both methods. Are folks generally talking over Doctor Who after it airs? Yup. But some folks are talking about it later than others, because they CAN catch up on it at their convenience. Same for Star Wars: Rebels. Or any number of shows. Or even Netflix exclusives. Which are the SAME as cable exclusives like on HBO or Showtime. And even those "exclusives" on cable networks, come to Netflix later on, and can be enjoyed.

Don't be hating because we have options, and we aren't going to make it easy for advertisers to gauge how many folks are tuning in. THAT is more the crux of the point, than some sort of "cultural connectiveness." And don't create an article that is essentially channeling TV execs whining that things are hard to measure, because ONE source, that is entirely a private business concern that HASN'T really kept up with the times, finds it difficult to measure things, with their dated metrics...
 
2017-01-12 06:25:10 AM  
The shared experience is dead. That is a very decisive thing.. Cultural identity needs shared
experiences to stay cohesive.Rituals,beliefs,commonality are the glue that holds cultures together.
When those things fragment too far, the rifts form, and then comes the battle over who says what
things are the new, ritual,beliefs,etc. that make the glue again. Things in the U.S. are a mess right now.
Everything is so catered and pandered to the singular person that the common experience is
gone. There are only a few rare times when the country gathers around an event on television
and shares the common experience of that. No matter where you went, coast to coast, there
were common shared experiences that bonded people. Time and place where you did the
same thing they did. From watching the, "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas, listening to
Casey Kasem on Sunday morning, lining up to get a ticket to concert for the hottest band
(adults and kids sharing some crossover of musical listening is gone). That glue is drying up..
 
2017-01-12 06:50:57 AM  

Mr. Shabooboo: The shared experience is dead. That is a very decisive thing..


Within a specific, limited time frame or in general? Because I can see your point, at least to a certain extent, if you mean that people aren't all watching the same show at the exact same time. But even with the incredible volume of media available now and the ability people have to consume that media at their leisure, people are still "sharing" that experience. One person watches a show as it happens and another watches it a day later, but a few days after that, both are talking about their reactions to it. Even more than that, look at things like the "real time" Fark threads for everything from "major event" shows like Game of Thrones or Westwood to fare like Arrow and Agents of Shield and you will find that the shared experience is not only not dead, it's alive in a way that was never before possible.
 
2017-01-12 07:57:45 AM  

Mr. Shabooboo: The shared experience is dead. That is a very decisive thing.. Cultural identity needs shared
experiences to stay cohesive.Rituals,beliefs,commonality are the glue that holds cultures together.
When those things fragment too far, the rifts form, and then comes the battle over who says what
things are the new, ritual,beliefs,etc. that make the glue again. Things in the U.S. are a mess right now.
Everything is so catered and pandered to the singular person that the common experience is
gone. There are only a few rare times when the country gathers around an event on television
and shares the common experience of that. No matter where you went, coast to coast, there
were common shared experiences that bonded people. Time and place where you did the
same thing they did. From watching the, "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas, listening to
Casey Kasem on Sunday morning, lining up to get a ticket to concert for the hottest band
(adults and kids sharing some crossover of musical listening is gone). That glue is drying up..


I disagree. There are still plenty of shared experiences and there always will be. We all remember what it felt like when we realized that Trump would be our next President. We all shared that experience, and we are going to share plenty more because of Trump, I am certain.

Big movies are still a shared experience, good or bad. After their opening weekends, we are all raving about Deadpool, Civil War, and Rogue One. We also spent plenty of time complaining about Batman v. Superman. So yes, we are still sharing moments.

I remember the joy of the #Force4Ham memes in late 2015. That was another shared experience, as are all trending topics on social media. In fact, the rise of internet communities creates a new type of shared experience. How many of us on Fark enjoyed the Branch Dildonian standoff threads? Those were a shared experience, as were the debate threads and even the aforementioned election thread.

So no, shared experiences aren't dying, Like everything else, they are evolving. No, we no longer gather around a television, but we do gather 'round the laptop. Bear in mind, when Radio and Television became popular, critics such as yourself decried that it was ruining shared experiences and changing American culture for the worse.

Besides, you act like America has always bonded over television or radio or concert tickets. Those weren't a thing for most of our country's history. They were trends that you apparently got too attached to. Times change and we evolve, but the shared experience will remain.
 
2017-01-12 07:58:27 AM  

bhcompy: One thing that this new era seems to be bringing is short series rather than interminable sitcoms that wear out their welcome and run for another half decade.  Law & Order could have run forever because of how it's structured.  There's no reason for 10 seasons of Big Bang Theory.  I'll take 8-15 episodes of a show structures to wrap up its story in that timeframe, and perhaps an attempt to replicate it with something competely different the next year.  Shows like Fargo, American Horror Story, and True Detective really are formulated for the binge watching internet world.  They're just good enough to get on TV.  I'm okay with that


Me too, well said.
  I am one those TV babies from the era.

When the world crashes in into my living room
Television man made me what I am
People like to put the television down
But we are just good friends
(I'm a) television man  ...talking heads.
 
2017-01-12 08:07:36 AM  
And don't get me started about books.
 
2017-01-12 08:26:15 AM  

timujin: Mr. Shabooboo: The shared experience is dead. That is a very decisive thing..

Within a specific, limited time frame or in general? Because I can see your point, at least to a certain extent, if you mean that people aren't all watching the same show at the exact same time. But even with the incredible volume of media available now and the ability people have to consume that media at their leisure, people are still "sharing" that experience. One person watches a show as it happens and another watches it a day later, but a few days after that, both are talking about their reactions to it. Even more than that, look at things like the "real time" Fark threads for everything from "major event" shows like Game of Thrones or Westwood to fare like Arrow and Agents of Shield and you will find that the shared experience is not only not dead, it's alive in a way that was never before possible.


The issue is general. Increasing you can as the article says customize your cultural experience. It isnt time shifting. I do not watch GoT or Big Bang Theory...ever. I don't know who has a top 40 song, likely wouldnt recognize them if they knocked on my door. There are still millions who watch events but, other than sports, there are few things that reach across large swaths of people and if your impression is "everyone I know watches GoT" then, again, 9 million out of 300m watched that show. People talk about cultural bubbles and this is an example of that (me included) and the ability to personalize culture to yourself is an example of that. The good is obvious - I dont have to listen to morning DJ's on the radio - but there is a downside in terms of connection to a larger society and a loss of common/shared experiences.
 
2017-01-12 08:42:03 AM  

dalbuc: timujin: Mr. Shabooboo: The shared experience is dead. That is a very decisive thing..

Within a specific, limited time frame or in general? Because I can see your point, at least to a certain extent, if you mean that people aren't all watching the same show at the exact same time. But even with the incredible volume of media available now and the ability people have to consume that media at their leisure, people are still "sharing" that experience. One person watches a show as it happens and another watches it a day later, but a few days after that, both are talking about their reactions to it. Even more than that, look at things like the "real time" Fark threads for everything from "major event" shows like Game of Thrones or Westwood to fare like Arrow and Agents of Shield and you will find that the shared experience is not only not dead, it's alive in a way that was never before possible.

The issue is general. Increasing you can as the article says customize your cultural experience. It isnt time shifting. I do not watch GoT or Big Bang Theory...ever. I don't know who has a top 40 song, likely wouldnt recognize them if they knocked on my door. There are still millions who watch events but, other than sports, there are few things that reach across large swaths of people and if your impression is "everyone I know watches GoT" then, again, 9 million out of 300m watched that show. People talk about cultural bubbles and this is an example of that (me included) and the ability to personalize culture to yourself is an example of that. The good is obvious - I dont have to listen to morning DJ's on the radio - but there is a downside in terms of connection to a larger society and a loss of common/shared experiences.


So the fact that I have a shared experience with 9 million people doesn't matter because I don't share that experience with another 309 million? Sorry, I just don't get how that makes the "shared experience dead". Sure, it's not the same as it was when there were both fewer options and fewer people in this country, but the fact is that millions of people not only view the same productions (whether simultaneously or not), they engage with each other in ways that weren't possible decades ago to discuss their experiences. You may not watch GoT, but there are likely other things that you do enjoy that are also enjoyed by millions of other people, experiences that you do indeed share.
 
2017-01-12 08:58:30 AM  

timujin: So the fact that I have a shared experience with 9 million people doesn't matter because I don't share that experience with another 309 million? Sorry, I just don't get how that makes the "shared experience dead". Sure, it's not the same as it was when there were both fewer options and fewer people in this country, but the fact is that millions of people not only view the same productions (whether simultaneously or not), they engage with each other in ways that weren't possible decades ago to discuss their experiences. You may not watch GoT, but there are likely other things that you do enjoy that are also enjoyed by millions of other people, experiences that you do indeed share.


Agreed. Let's not forget that if you go back 30 years, you didn't share an experience with millions of people. You only shared it people in your immediate circle. If you watched an episode of The Cosby Show, you shared it with your immediate family, your friends, and your coworkers. (Or classmates depending on your age.) So really, that's about a dozen to two dozen people with whom you shared that experience.

Yes, you may have aware that millions of other people shared it, but that rarely had any impact on how you experienced it. For all you knew, only you and your immediate circle shared that experience. It was only later, when looking back, that we realized that more people shared the experience. And I'd reckon that it's only the rose-tinted lenses of nostalgia that makes us weepy for those times. Now that we know that something like the final episode of M*A*S*H will never happen again, we act like it's some great loss. I find myself falling into that trap as I get older.

I kind of prefer how it is now. I like being able to go online and discuss my favorite shows and argue about movies. After seeing a big movie, I look forward to the Fark threads. My enjoyment doesn't diminish because I'm not watching at the same time as everyone else. In fact, I'm now grateful that I don't have to plan my schedule around these big episodes in case I miss them.
 
6 days ago  

fusillade762: Farhad Manjoo

Like that's a real person.


He's the reason I no longer read Slate. I know he doesn't write for them anymore, but any forum that would publish this dreck doesn't get any business from me.
 
6 days ago  

HedlessChickn: Instead of TV broadcasters getting to crap mindless propaganda upon us en masse, we get to choose our own.

I'm not seeing the problem.


You're not an elderly Hollywood TV producer who is no longer relevant enough to get young actresses to heckle their schmeckle on the casting couch.

There was a time back in the day when you didn't need talent to control the media, just a job at one of the big networks. I'd miss it, too.
 
6 days ago  
Content is king.   Studios have wisened up and are only giving Netflix non-premium content, or formerly premium content that the studio has already gotten every last dollar on, themselves.

So.... Netflix might''ve been a one and done by now, but they themselves, have wisened up, and are producing their own content.   These days.... Its the Netflix originals, which are what most people are watching, when they login to Netflix.

I wonder if one day, if Netflix lost all their acquistion content, could they survive on their Originals, alone?  I think maybe yes.   The video-on-demand aspect of it, plus the shows being really good... people will probably continue to pay 15 bucks a month....   Thats comparable to HBO, within a cable service tier.... But, with cable..... you are paying 100+bucks a month for everything.   With Netflix... you can probably get by and not have cable at all.... so your whole bill for content is only 15 a month.   Maybe, couple that with Hulu.... 30 bucks a month... you still have all you can bear to watch.
 
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