Perfect Blue

I used to hate Hunger Games because I considered it to be yet another example of America getting credit, fame, etc from another culture’s work; Battle Royale in this case. Eventually, I got the Hunger Games Trilogy from a Humble Bundle and read it, realizing that while the plots were the same in the abstract (kids are sent to an Island to kill each other in a dystopian future) they were different in the messages they were communicating to two different cultures. In the case of Battle Royale it was a response to a growing distrust of the younger generation that led to a novel in which the youngsters are sent to compete both to sow seeds of mistrust, but also as a punishment. In Hunger Games it’s less about being able to mistrust your best friends and more about mistrusting people from other states (or districts in the parlance of the book). That youth are used is more a function of entertainment value (kids at or near their physical peak) and the first book is almost more of a satire of reality TV with a lot more of the typical YA dystopian tropes coming in the second and third entries in the series.

When I saw Perfect Blue last night I couldn’t help making the an analogous link between Perfect Blue (released in 1997) and Black Swan (released in 2010). Among the general American public almost everyone has heard of the latter and not of the former. Again, superficially they both contain the same plot – the pressures of performance drive the protagonist to such levels of stress that they begin to hallucinate, with the directors in each movie using the movie as an unreliable narrator. As a sidebar, I think as a medium, movies are exceptional at messing with our heads when it comes to unreliable narrators. We are used to the camera as a passive, if omnipotent observer. Our unreliable narrators tend to either be voiceovers or characters telling fibs within the narrative. Additionally, there’s something about the visual that tends to make humans believe it’s more real than a book where everything is constructed in the reader’s head.

Yet, once again, the details (especially cultural) are what allow me to see these as exploring similar themes without accusing Darren Aronofsky of ripping off a Japanese movie for an American audience. Black Swan takes place within the context of the ballet and the insane physical demands placed on the ballerinas – the scene where she deal with her toenails is excruciating for me to watch. It’s also about the dichotomy of women in American (and perhaps most Western?) society of trying (and mostly failing) to sail in the thin waters between prude and slut. It’s also about power dynamics (the scene with her sexual harassment all the more gross in light of recent revelations of Weinstein, et al). Meanwhile, while Perfect Blue does touch on many of the same themes, they are within the context of the Japanese Pop Idol Singer. What’s that? Imagine the Disney pop acts and their purity clauses, but on full-grown women. And an audience that’s more obsessed that Beyonce or Taylor Swift’s fans that expects and demands purity and love and more from their targets of adoration. Idol is a good word to use here – as in an object of worship. For the Disney acts, sure they’re teens and teens want to explore their bodies and sexuality, but I think the relative lack of scandal stems from the fact that it’s an easier demand to make of a minor than an adult.

As I mentioned above, Perfect Blue came out in 1997 when I was just starting to fall into the rabbit hole that was anime at that time in America. It was easier to get than ever – I was able to get it at the local video store – but it wasn’t like today where there are gigantic walls of manga at Barnes and Noble and the local library. You had to go to a specialty store. It was just starting to get out from under the impressions of Speed Racer, Robotech, and the idea that it was mostly just cartoon porn. (Which I later learned as called hentai) If my timeline is correct, Pokemon had not yet arrived to indoctrinate a whole new generation and make parents think it was safe for kids, if a little weird. I’ve mentioned it before on my blog and other places, but what spoke to me about anime was that it was animation for older kids and adults. After the 50s and 60s we lost that in America. Sure, we had The Simpsons, but that was it. And over in Japan they were making these deep cartoons that had long-running story arcs! Shoot, even sitcoms in America didn’t have that! My gateway drug was Ranma ½. But I tried to gobble up as much as I could. Luckily for me, I didn’t get to Perfect Blue back then. Not only does it have a rape scene that would have gotten anime banned from my house (about 7 years later, my younger brother was watching some Slayers tapes I’d borrowed from my friend and my mom freaked out about cartoons with profanity — what would she have thought of cartoons with sexual assaut?), but I was nowhere near ready to watch the movie the way I do now – thinking of themes and tropes and looking for the meta-art in addition to the visual art.

Some time after getting married, I discovered TV Tropes one day. It completely changed the way I experience media. I started along a path of discovery that while “all the stories had been told”, it was in the ways that each culture and time period retold a story or mashed up a story that made it special. I learned about deconstruction and reconstruction and why it’s hard to watch old movies (they were awesome then they came out, but their tropes have been overused). Learning about these tropes and how to watch (and read) critically, combined with my consumption of hundreds (if not near a thousand) books and scores of movies, allowed me to both predict narratives and be extremely please when I was wrong; or tickled when I realize a movie is deconstructing a trope. Watching Youtube channels like Every Frame a Painting and Nerdwriter1 have taught me the “language” of cinema. (The same what that I couldn’t appreciate a Dali painting until a docent walked us through what the symbolism in the paintings meant)

Beyond this point there are going to be SPOILERS – this is a 20 year old movie. If you want to see it – go see it now. Otherwise, fair warning.

security guard
security guard

All this combined to make this a rich viewing of Perfect Blue that I couldn’t have had at an earlier period in my life. Let’s start at the simplest place. Like all the best mysteries and mystery-based thrillers, they reveal the antagonist near the beginning. Then they throw up a bunch of red herrings to throw the viewer off the scent. I think this is very important because once the movie starts getting all unreliable narrator on the viewer, it becomes hard to know what is real and I think a mystery that the viewer (or reader) can’t figure out with all the facts in front of them is a cheat and deserves any ridicule that comes its way. Of course, the director and writer do a great job of setting up the red herring to make it more plausible. The movie begins with a concert at which Mima (our protagonist), and her group CHAM, is being harassed by some loudmouths. She is defended by a very creepily drawn security guard who we see looking at her as if she is a goddess. He is willing to get badly beaten by the loudmouths because of his love for her. He also appears throughout the rest of the movie, appearing to be semi-stalking her. While some of the sightings are meant to occur during her psychotic breaks, I think we’re meant to believe he was there on at least some of the occasions. So when we hear her tell a quote to one of her talent agents and then it appears on a website about her (complete with a proto-blog), we’re left unsure of whether her talent agent is the mole or if it’s the creep. Especially since we see him around that time and he might have overheard. What makes it extra creepy is that the website is called Mima’s room and it appears to have photos that are taken in her room. However, tropes have taught us to expect that someone is shooting through her window or has bugged her room – not the extremely disturbing revelation we get in the final act.

The initiating act in this movie is Mima’s desire to move from being a pop idol to being a movie star. There are a few factors driving this. First of all, it’s stated in the movie that Pop Idols are fading as a mass appeal pop culture item that can be exploited for money. I don’t know enough about pop idols to know how true that was at the time, I do know that K-Pop artists seem to operate under the same terms (with Hyun-A and Psy being notable exceptions). Second, Mima wants to be taken more seriously as a cultural icon. Third, and unstated, both pop idols and actresses have a limited shelf life thanks to the unfortunate way we treat women in Hollywood (and the Japanese equivalent). Leading men can be any age, but leading ladies need to be young or at least look young. While pop idols’ stars may be fading, within the context of CHAM she has very dedicated fans (again the whole IDOL thing) and some see it as a betrayal that she would leave the group. (For PR the group refers to it as a graduation – something I’ve seen in the larger K-Pop girl groups when one of the women ages out or tries a solo career).

Mima ends up an actress in Double Bind and this is where the director (Satoshi Kon) starts really showing the brilliance of what he does with the movie. Mima’s character is in a police drama and her character is experiencing hallucinations. The scenarios line up with what Mima is experiencing in her life as the pressures of dealing with transitioning from idol to actress ramp up. So much so that often when Satoshi Kon cuts to the actress playing the detective speaking to Mima, the sentence she speaks can directly apply to Mima’s outside life. This is reminiscent of my favorite scene in The Fifth Element as Lilu and Zorg have independent conversations that flow as one conversation as they discuss the whereabouts of some stones key to the plot. There are some other TV shows that use cuts like these that I really enjoy, but they don’t come to mind at the moment. At any rate, it contributes to the feelings of surrealism that surround the narrative in Perfect Blue. Eventually this reaches a climax in the film where the director calls takes (“Take 1” “Take 2” etc) and we see Mima seem to have a Groundhog’s Day experience, but which is revealed to be a mix of the repetitiousness of her life combined with her coming undone from the experience of dealing with the demands of being an actress and the terror at a blog that seems to speak for her and know her every move. That was one of the moments that really sold me on the brilliance of the film. That and the seemingly Fight Club moment.

Perfect Blue Rape scene
Perfect Blue Rape scene

Getting back to the tropes and how they reveal the latent sexism/misogny that remains in storytelling (particularly movies and comics), when it comes time for Mima to prove she is a real actress and not just an idol pretending at acting, she consents to a rape scene. They make a reference to Jodie someone in the movie and I turned to my wife and asked, “Did Jodie foster have a rape scene?” Yes, I was told, over a pinball machine. And, it just disgusted me at the culture we have. So many actresses have commented that, to be taken seriously, they did a nude scene or a sex scene. Disney actresses or musicians will often do one to make sure people know they are now serious. But, how does that make sense? Why don’t we need to see a guy’s penis to know he’s a serious actor? Why doesn’t he have to be sexually assaulted or raped? It just sickens me.

The filmed rape scene does provide us with our second clue at who the true antagonist is. Mima’s agent – the same one that she confided in (and found that quote on the website) runs out of the room crying when the scene is being filmed. Again, society, tropes, etc allow us to dismiss this clue. It could be traumatic simply because she’s a woman and rape is an ever-present threat. It could be backstory we’re not privy to. It could be a realization that Mima is pretending to be OK with a situation she’s not truly ok with. (Similar to the photoshoot scene) As an aside, I do like that the director has the actor playing the rapist apologize to Mima. He’s not taking some perverse pleasure from a fictional rape. He knows it’s uncomfortable for the actress to act out something that is probably a real fear of hers.

Getting to the end, what was brilliant about the reveal is the way the director has the audience peel back the layers. First, she awakens in what appears to be her bedroom that her agent has taken her home to. Then it zooms out and the audience sees the CHAM poster. We saw Mima take this poster off the wall, but at this time in the movie we’re doubting everything as we’ve seen Mima have some psychotic breaks and the scenes with the detective were framed such that perhaps Mima is hallucinating being an actress. Then it moves to the fish and there’s a bit of a clue there after the previous fish scene. Again, we’re not sure if this is real. But when she looks out her window and realizes it isn’t her room. IT SUDDENLY CLICKED FOR ME and if my wife hadn’t been asleep I would have probably yelled out “OH SHIT!” From then on the rest of the climax had me on edge as it played out. Actually, as I wrote this and I realized the dissociative disorder and pretending to be someone else to cover up a rape that applies to Mima’s character in Double Bind and is meant to make the audience question what’s real, could be a description of the agent. Which means that in addition to the fact that she was crying because, having at this point started to become Mima, she saw it as herself getting raped, perhaps she was raped. (This movie has LEVELS)

Finally, I just wanted to make a bit of a comment on what hasn’t aged as well in the past 20 years. I had to keep reminding myself that when this movie first came out, the Internet was still very new to the public. Many of us were JUST STARTING to get out of AOL, Prodigy, and Compuserv’s walled gardens. So Mima’s cluelessness about the Internet isn’t as much about her being a ditz as it is that things were unfamiliar. And the website that purports to be her that is the thing that drives her over the edge as she deals with the stress of becoming an actress (and dealing with the rape scene and photoshoot) just wouldn’t be a thing nowadays. Mima would have a twitter account with a blue checkmark and an official youtube page and so on. A big chunk of the plot would have to be constructed differently nowadays. The movie could still be made, but it would be different in some key ways.

When I originally conceived of this essay, I was going to put this up top, but it just didn’t end up working with the flow – how did I come to Perfect Blue 20 years later? I’m not even into anime anymore. (I’m not actively against it, it’s just that with the easier access to anime it’s not just the awesome stuff that makes it to America anymore) I saw it because it was on a list somewhere – maybe AV Club, maybe Tor.com – of seminal anime that EVERYONE has to see. It had Akira and Ghost in the Shell (both of which I’ve seen and both of which seemed overblown to me — again probably outstandingly groundbreaking when released, but have been surpassed in tropes – or being remixed/retold in the case of GitS by The Matrix). I think that Perfect Blue deserves to be up there in the pantheon of movies. It’s a shame a lot of people won’t see it simply because it’s a cartoon or because it’s foreign, because it’s amazingly done. If you made it this far and the fact that there were spoilers hasn’t ruined it for you – go find the movie. If you can’t find it on blueray or DVD, keep looking in the seedy spots – It’s out there and it’s worth watching.

Postscript: Dan informed me that Aronofsky is apparently inspired by Satoshi Kon so perhaps it’s not the great analogy to Battle Royale and Hunger Games I thought it was. That said, I would still say that it does fit with my discussion on how a remixing or retelling can be its own work of art as it transmutes tropes across cultures.

Two-for-One Racism

I was watching Gold Diggers of ’49 the other day with my daughter as we made our way through old cartoon shorts. That’s how I grew up – on Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the other WB shorts along with the Disney shorts. Sometimes, late at night, they’d show the black and white cartoons like this one, but I mostly found the black and white cartoons boring. They came from a time when animation was very experimental and new so people were impressed that these drawings could move around. There often isn’t much in the way of plot and the jokes are usually broad gags carried over from vaudeville.

Of course, something that carried over into the color cartoons way long than it should have was racist humor. The crazy thing is that I remember seeing blackface gags when I was a kid in the 80s. So it took a LONG time for people to realize it was not exactly a great thing. There’s also a crazy amount of asian racism in cartoons. The asian version of the blackface gag (you get sprayed with ink or something and now you’re black) is usually the cymbal gag – a cymbal falls on your head and now you have asian eyes and maybe even more stereotypes.

But it’s so rare to see a two-for-one racist joke like I saw in Gold Diggers of ’49.

What’s so weird is that our ancestors (culturally if your ancestors didn’t grow up here) actually found this amusing. My wife asked why the blackface gag is even funny and I couldn’t articulate a reason because it’s not. It’s just weird, even if you’re not considering the racist aspect of it. When I was a kid, I never understood. I just thought it was a thing – Wiley Coyote can walk off a cliff without consequences as long as he doesn’t look at the ground and any character that is hit with ink says “Mammy”. It was bizarre to me and, even as an adult that understands the history of blackface, it’s no less bizarre.

Throwing Emby into the mix

In my ideal home setup, I’d have computers in every room. I’m not horribly far off, but it’s mostly via old laptops and computers that I’ve retired from regular use or had donated from family members. As more of our movie purchases become BluRay (and with 4k video around the corner), some of those old computers just aren’t up to snuff when it comes to 720P and higher. I have a Roku 3 in the basement for running on the treadmill and that’s capable of handling higher quality video, but it’s not compatible with the way I’ve ripped my media. After a bit of investigation, it looked like Emby might be the right choice for me. So I installed it on the CentOS VM that runs my homeserver. The first thing I had to do to get it to work well was to change the Mono garbage collection.

in /etc/emby-server.conf  I had to add this line:

MONO_THREADS_PER_CPU=500 MONO_GC_PARAMS=nursery-size=64m

Now a look at Emby:

Emby Home Screen
Emby Home Screen

The only real annoyance is that there’s so much overlap with Kodi. I mean, there doesn’t have to be: Emby can be the video source for Kodi. But, still, with how much overlap there is, it seems silly I have to have two programs instead of one. That said, Emby essentially ends up being more of a home Netflix than Kodi. It has a web page that allows the users to watch movies from the website. It also has apps for mobile and Roku.

When I set up my movies for Kodi, I split up the movie folders in a way that makes it easy for me to find movies if I have to browse the folders manually. This also potentially makes it easier for me to do some rudimentary splitting of the movies for my kids. That’s why you see all those folders across the top. When I go into the Disney movies section we can see the latest movies I’ve added there:

Emby - Disney Movies
Emby – Disney Movies

The good thing here is that if I add in some new live action movies, it’s still easy to find the latest Disney movies for the kids. The bad thing is the way the database views movies. Here are the recommendations I get:

Emby - Recommendations
Emby – Recommendations

Yes, they’re cartoons, but they’re not Disney cartoons. The same thing with Genres:

Emby - Genres
Emby – Genres

Because unless something is horribly mislabled, I don’t have any adult movies in Disney. Although, something has to be mislabled, because I don’t have any – except maybe some Kevin Smith movies?

Here are all the Disney movies:

Emby - Disney Movies
Emby – Disney Movies

Here’s the page for one of the movies:

Emby - Aladdin's page
Emby – Aladdin’s page
Emby - Aladdin's page (lower)
Emby – Aladdin’s page (lower)

Here’s what it looks like when watching (I’ve clicked on the info button):

Emby - watching Aladdin
Emby – watching Aladdin

And, as it’s playing you can change the language track (at least if you’ve saved them in your MKV):

Emby - watching Aladdin and changing language
Emby – watching Aladdin and changing language

Here are the latest TV shows (with a green circle and white number showing how many unwatched episodes there are):

Emby - Latest TV Shows
Emby – Latest TV Shows

Here’s the Animaniacs page:

Emby - Animaniacs
Emby – Animaniacs
Emby - Animaniacs 2
Emby – Animaniacs 2
Emby - Animaniacs 3
Emby – Animaniacs 3

The mobile app is more or less exactly like the website which is great for usability.

Emby Android - Libraries
Emby Android – Libraries

Here’s my favorites: (I’d clicked on a random episode and hit the heart)

Emby Android - Favorite Shows
Emby Android – Favorite Shows

I like the upcoming shows part because it lets you when shows in your library are playing on TV:

Emby Android - Upcoming Shows
Emby Android – Upcoming Shows
Emby Android - Resume
Emby Android – Resume

Here’s the menu (again, exactly the same as the website):

Emby Android - Main Menu
Emby Android – Main Menu

Android interface for watching a movie:

Emby Android - movie watching interface
Emby Android – movie watching interface

So, with my CentOS VM with 1GB RAM and watching over Wifi on the phone, it worked out very well with a couple times where it paused for a second to load a little more. I’m not sure if that’s because of Wifi or because you’re supposed to have 2 GB minimum to transcode the video.

So far the only issue I’ve had is that when the metadata is wrong it’s not quite as easy to fix as in Kodi. It took me literally an hour to figure out how to get Emby to see Archer as the 2009 show, not the 1975 show. I would tell it, “no, it’s Archer 2009” and it would keep screwing up. Eventually I had to save it with all the database IDs removed and then get it to scrape the metadata once again.

So, for the time being it appears to be a great solution for Roku (and my phone – but WHY would I do that?). I haven’t tried any of the features that allow me to watch it out of the house since I have a very low upload speed right now on my current ISP plan.

After I wrote this, but before it posted to the blog, two things happened. One, a video that was 720P that my laptop couldn’t handle was able to be watched via the web interface as it just transcoded to a lower bitrate that the laptop could handle. (Another way it’s more Netflix-like than Kodi) Second, they released an email saying their new client may eventually be cross-platform. If so, it may end up ousting Kodi from my computers. Kodi is an awesome idea when you have one TV or multiple computers that can handle the different resolutions. But in a situation like mine with a hodgepodge of equipment, Emby may end up taking the top spot.

3 Things I don’t like about Gone Girl

I haven’t seen Gone Girl, but my wife condensed the 2 hour movie into a 30 minute play-by-play summary. There are three things I don’t like about the plot. (In case it’s not obvious….spoilers ahoy)

  1. In a world in which women already have a hard time getting their rape allegations believed, the plot point in which she fakes a rape to ruin her ex is quite damaging. Not quite Rolling Stone “we made up a story  because it was too perfect to fact-check” sort of damaging, but still provides a frame of reference for everyone who doesn’t want to believe a rape victim.
  2. It remains to be seen how well this works for anyone in practice, but I can imagine defense attorneys mounting the “my wife is Gone Girling me” defense in mariticide. At the very least, it may be just enough to create a shadow of a doubt in juries given how popular this movie is and how much it’s penetrated the popular culture.
  3. This is the least offensive point as it can be used against anything: movies, video games, books, etc : It’s probably given some of those less balanced members of society ideas they may not have had. Just as playing Team Fortress 2 or any other shooter hasn’t made me shoot up the world, most normal people wouldn’t act on this movie (starting with the fact that things need to go perfectly correct for this to play out well in real life), some people out there might now be planning some interesting scenarios.

Is All About that Bass a net positive message?

This isn’t the first time I mention this song on here. But I’ve been thinking about the lyrics a lot recently as it continues to play on the radio at the gym. A conversation on twitter yesterday with @AprilTara spurred me to put my thoughts on the blog. At first blush, the lyrics seem to be a positive antidote to the rampant Photoshopping and fat-shaming we’ve been railing about in vain for at least two decades:

I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real, come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty just raise ’em up
Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

and

You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll
So, if that’s what’s you’re into then go ahead and move along

So we have, what The Industry considers a plus-sized person on TV. She’s famous and in a music video. This continues a trend that started as a mere trickle with female artists like Missy Elliott. It seems to be picking up some steam although there may be a combination of hesitation and a lack of pipeline (people not getting into music in the first place because they don’t see people like them represented). But, yeah, both those lyrics posted above are exactly the type of message I’d like my daughter to hear. I know women who dealt with body issues and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

But then there are the more troubling lyrics:

Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase

and

Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, boys like a little more booty to hold at night

Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that the lyrics are hetero-normative. After all, it’s still the default assumption in America. What troubles me about the lyrics is that they are still basing the woman’s self-worth in the hands of others. It goes from other women to men. That’s not really all that healthy. Your self-worth always needs to come from within or else you’re putting others in charge of whether you feel good or not. I think that’s a state of mind that makes someone more vulnerable to verbal and emotional abuse because if the other doesn’t think you look good, what do you do?

There’s a second troubling aspect and that’s that her self-worth is not just in the hands of others, but rooted in sexuality. This one is harder for me to articulate well because, frankly, I think that most of the time the only reason any of us care about what we look like (outside of work) is to look attractive to others (whether or not we’re looking for a mate, sexual encounter, etc). I guess it’s also a natural consequence of the self-worth being held by others. Why does anyone care what you look like except if they want sex?

Of course there’s also the hetero nature of the song. I think by itself it doesn’t matter – you write what you know. Even if Ms Trainor didn’t write the songs, they should still be consistent with the image she wants to portray. I think it is really only worth being brought up in the context of the other two points. If this is an aspirational song about caring about what you look like being defined by others – “Don’t worry about the Photoshop girls because the boys like big butts.” Then what if you like girls? Do girls like big butts? If they DON’T, then DO you worry about looking like a Photoshop girl?

Why waste time and electrons writing about a stupid pop song? Well, I think a pop song is like a sports star. On their own it’s idiotic to consider them role models to kids. They’re just people who are good at doing things with balls of different sizes (no double entendre). But if a sports star goes out of his way to be a role model – having a kid’s foundation or something – THEN he or she has a responsibility to try and act in a way to be a good role model to children. I think the same goes for this song – the message is an important one that affects lots of girls and women. We’ve been trying to get traction on this issue for years. So if you’re going to wade into this issue, you need to be ready for criticism when you are perceived as falling short.

So, two steps forward and one step back. But also a catchy pop song; an earworm.

Why isn’t it @donald_faison ?

Yesterday I saw the new Star Wars trailer. I told my wife I was disappointed that if they were going to have a black Storm Trooper, they didn’t pick Donald Faison. His Storm Trooper on the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials is my favorite part of the specials. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to have this sentiment.

Other thoughts:

  • I’ve seen images from the trailer along with the quote from Spaceballs (which did have black storm troopers) “We ain’t found shit”
  • So are Storm Troopers no longer Fett clones? Or is he just dressed as a trooper like Han and Luke did in Ep 4?

Watching Netflix on Fedora 20

These instructions are from this site, but I don’t trust sites to stick around.

  1. Make sure Netflix is setup to prefer HTML5. This is in Your Account-> Playback settings.
  2. I have the latest nss (has to be equal to or better than 3.17.1)
  3. Need Google Chrome (you can PROBABLY do this on Firefox with a similar plugin)
  4. Get the User-Agent Switcher.
  5. Fill it in with:
    • Name: Netflix Linux
    • String: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36
    • Group: (is filled in automatically)
    • Append?: Select ‘Replace’
    • Flag: IE
  6. Click on Permanent Spoof list and put netflix.com in the domain (and select the rule you just made from the drop-box). Then click the add button.
  7. Go to Netflix and watch instant videos.
  8. And it works! So linux is perfectly capable, but apparently it’s not supported. I guess I can understand not wanting to support the infinite versions of Linux, but why not Ubuntu or Fedora? Maybe it’s coming? That’d be great.
Netflix on Linux (Fedora 20)
Netflix Instant on Linux (Fedora 20)

I’ll later check if if it works on Ubuntu, too, with with this method.

Bye Moviefone!

Seinfeld - Kramer Moviefone
Seinfeld – Kramer Moviefone

I heard today that AOL is getting rid of Moviefone. Makes sense, I haven’t used it to find movie times in at least a decade. Shoot, I rarely even go to the Moviefone website. I just use Google’s ability to show showtimes, go to the actual theater’s website, or Fandango. Lots of people remember Moviefone from the pretty funny Seinfeld episode in which Kramer answers the phone number (when the phone numbers get switched?). My favorite line: “Why don’t you just tell me the name of the movie you want to see?”

Moviefone means something a little extra special to me. When I was in high school I used to call Moviefone so the line would be engaged when my girlfriend wanted to call me late at night. Oh, how different the days were before cheap cell phones. I’d dial Moviefone randomly listen to the audio trailers to make sure Moviefone wouldn’t hang up on me while I waited for the girl to call. Then there’d be the call waiting sound and I’d switch over. Heh, the things kids these days won’t have to worry about…