Friday, August 21, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Sixteen

16. Just start DVDs without all the preliminaries, please.

Not every way of improving the world has to be earthshaking; it's possible to make the world better without curing Ebola. And stopping all the junk that comes before I can get a movie to play is one way of fine tuning the world without much effort or to-do.

On the one hand, living in modern society is remarkably easy, and I get that. When I have a life that lets me get annoyed by a 1- to 3-minute delay in beginning to watch my movie, I get that my life is really good and that I should be grateful that I'm not getting shot at or starving to death or living in Tennessee or any of the other really horrible things that can happen to people.

But living in a great world doesn't mean that I have to accept it as it is, and not make it better, and eliminating little annoying things about modern life would go a long way towards making everyone's day a little better. Which means eliminating DVD previews and load screens and FBI warnings and that little warning that the opinions expressed in the commentary aren't necessarily the opinions of 20th Century Fox Films.

Sometimes, it feels like 30 minutes before I get to watch the movie. I have to put the DVD in, and sit through 2, or 3, or 4 previews, and I can't get to the main menu during them. Then I have to sit through the warnings and disclaimers, and then, there's some little animated sequence that leads me to the menu.

I don't care to sit through the extended animation of Jerry Seinfeld crashing a space taxi that you came up with as a clever intro to the movie, even if it is only fifteen seconds long. Telling me that the FBI will prosecute bootleggers doesn't make it more illegal to bootleg movies; it just delays me seeing the movie and irritates me, in a miniscule but real way, and makes me think less of you and your movie; it puts me in a bad mood before I begin seeing your movie. And disclaimers about the commentaries? I don't want commentaries on in the first place!

So how about this? Put all that stuff on there -- but only make me watch it if I select it. That way, all the movie nerds can see that stuff, while people like me, who appreciate their lives but who just want to watch the darn movie, can skip it. Just make it so that when I put in the DVD, a few seconds later, the movie is ready to go.

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

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