Queue Cautiously

As we all are perhaps lamenting the slow demise of newspaper culture, I'd like to offer a possible reason for it's decline: the recent increase of increasing ridiculous stories which somehow count as "news."  I'll offer up, as evidence, a recent article in The New York Times from March 27th that should serve as a cautionary tale to all you Netflix users who are in relationships and who have a shared queue.  You never knew your lives, and the happiness of your relationship, were in such peril. (You can also read some rather amusing commentary about this article from Jezebel readers.)

I admit that I couldn't help but laugh at how utterly ridiculous most of the interviewees of the article seemed.  Hanging on to your Netflix copy of "The English Patient" or surreptitiously maneuvering items on a shared queue seems like it would only create more small ridiculous arguments than necessary.  It's striking that you wouldn't just sit and watch your movie yourself, even if your nearest and dearest didn't want to watch it with you, or that you couldn't just work out a trade off system of whose selection gets queued next.   But I could just be thinking entirely too reasonably about this, I realize.

Whether this particular story says more about what counts as "news" or says more about the new lows we're willing to argue about in relationships is a bit of a coin toss.  With so many other things going on--the economy recovering slightly then tanking, the government moonlighting as auto industry salesmen, and bailouts for those who are "too big to fail" (an phrase I wish could translate into writing my dissertation)--news in general has been pretty, well, glum lately.  Most glum stories have a similar plot line but with different characters and slight changes of scenery, and maybe we're tired of reading these tales of national catastrophe and financial doom and gloom.  It's an odd choice, though, to turn that sense of doom and gloom inward, to some of our most personal of spaces.

But perhaps it's a lesson to those of us with nearests and dearests who have Netflix queues that we haven't attempted to infiltrate--you never know the extent of the damage you could cause by making what you think is an innocent suggestion.  I know I've kept my mouth shut no matter how much I'd really like to get a text message that says a red envelope with "Happy-Go-Lucky" has arrived (ahem), and apparently for good reason.  I knew I was holding out for the better good--I just had no idea how right I was.

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