Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the for-the-children dept

Getting the highest score for "most insightful" this week was Rich Kulawiec, with his comment in response to the TV networks suing DISH for providing a tool to let viewers automatically skip commercials. Rich pointed out the obvious question:
And yet it never occurs to them to ask why viewers are so very eager to skip commercials.
They don't see consumers. They see revenue. Of course, that revenue may be short term because of that.

Coming in second was jupiterkansas with a nice comment on why focusing on "theft" may not be good business:
I used to go to a hobby shop where the guy working there would follow you around, pretending to straighten the shelves while watching you to make sure you didn't steal anything. I just quit shopping there.

Even if you manage to every last instance of shoplifting, it has nothing to do with making your business more successful. That doesn't mean you should do nothing, but treating customers like potential criminals is not good business.
For editor's choice, I'll start with John Doe's simple question of what penalty is there for politicians who blatantly seek unconstitutional laws or actions:
What is the penalty for violating the constitution? You can be fined $87,500 for sharing one song. You can get many years in jail for smoking weed. Yet you pass an unconstitutional law violating the very foundation of our country and you get nothing? Not a fine? No jail time? You even get to keep your office where you are free to violate peoples rights over and over. Sounds fair doesn't it?
And then we have Milton Freewater's comment suggesting that I was "too conservative" in my post comparing comments from Amanda Palmer and Steve Albini talking about why internet file sharing is a good thing. Milton felt there was a bigger point, that file sharing is not piracy:
Palmer and Albini are stating in no uncertain terms that file-sharing is not piracy.

Yes, they're saying it's what you do with it, but they're also saying it's socially and morally acceptable behavior in general, regardless of how you use it.

And they're arguing that from the artist's point of view, not the consumer's. Consumers have an even stronger argument. You shouldn't have to get somebody's permission before simply sharing their work with other people, such sharing isn't piracy, and the First Amendment should keep the US government from interfering with such activity.

Finally, they're saying very clearly that file-sharing builds fanbases, period. Not for some, but inherently, every time it happens. "Building fanbases" is to "file-sharing as "blue" is to "summer sky."

Done.
Over to the funnies. Taking the top spot is our own E. Zachary Knight exploring the stages of grief of SOPA supporters:
I really wish these people would move along through the stages of grief. They have been stuck at Denial for so long and have only hinted at anger. We need to move on.

Come one people. It is only five steps: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Hollywood actors and politicians are able to go through 12 step programs on a consistent basis, why are these five steps so difficult?
Coming in a (very) close second is an Anonymous Coward explaining how Hollywood math can save the economy:
They're right. Movie-making is the heart of the US economy. We should dump all those smoke-belching, chemical-polluting industries and invest heavily in movie-making.

If 3 movie studios can contribute $5 TRILLION dollars to the US economy, imagine what 25 more movie studios could do for us! Imagine a 1,000 movie studios! We would own the Chinese, lock, stock and chopsticks!

What are we waiting for? Let's get on th...

What's that? You say that you don't want MORE movie studios? You just want all the money for yourselves? Oh!

Well, never mind!!!
For editor's choice, we'll start with an Anonymous Coward's response to someone claiming that Windows is not a compelling operating system. This AC took issue with that claim:
Not true at all...

Windows IS a compelling OS. It's compelled me to try Slackware, Debian, RedHat, Ubuntu, Solaris, and even OSX...
And, finally, I'll leave you with the comment from A Guy who has discovered the power of "for the children."
We should censor everything I don't like on the internet... for the children.

We should also print up a big batch of money and transfer it into my bank account... for the children.

Finally, we NEED everyone who disagrees with me to stop speaking up so I have all the power... for the children.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, so we'll be out barbecuing and stuff. However, I expect we'll be back on Tuesday, on the (reasonable, I'd say) assumption that there will be things to talk about by then...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Nom du Clavier (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    They don't see consumers.

    I think that's exactly what they see, including the implied passivity of so many heads of cattle grazing.

     

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    jaacek323 (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    yiure right

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    I used to go to a hobby shop where the guy working there would follow you around, pretending to straighten the shelves while watching you to make sure you didn't steal anything. I just quit shopping there.

    Someone after my own heart.

    Walk into of any of the 800 universally overpriced "Shoppers Drug Mart" chain stores in Canada. Ever notice how they always say "hi" to you when you enter?

    Do you know why they do that? It's because they're trained to do that as a subtle message to you that you're being watched.

    Retail rule of thumb: treat everyone as a thief - it's good for business, unless you do it to someone with a brain.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Re:

    Quote:
    Do you know why they do that? It's because they're trained to do that as a subtle message to you that you're being watched.

    And here was I thinking it was to copy the Japanese.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    And here was I thinking it was to copy the Japanese.

    I have no idea what the Japanese motive might be, but in the situation cited, the message is "we're watching you", period.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    The television broadcasters learned long ago that the best solution for people skipping commercials was to add more commercials. They even layer them on the screen during their brief program breaks.

    Now the television broadcaster brain trust wants to sue and label commercial skippers "thieves"!

    Way to go television brains! It sure makes me want to spend more time in front of the idiot box. With the power disconnected, of course.

     

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  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Tomorrow is Memorial Day, so we'll be out barbecuing and stuff.

    Ah, yes - War Pig Day! Celebrating the pointless deaths of fallen heroes committed to murdering the innocent and dying themselves by Gutless Criminal Zeros: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-war-pigs-fall-global-empire

     

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    A Guy (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 4:44pm

    Re:

    We're not celebrating corrupt policy makers in Washington. We're celebrating those who have sacrificed trying to give us a better world. Whether a particular result was worth it or not, the soldiers on the ground deserve our respect.

    So, you know, go fuck yourself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re:

    with dynamite

     

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    Dementia (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 5:02pm

    Re:

    Yes, because all of the fallen were duped into giving there lives to increase the wealth of the rich. Even those who died during a war in which we were attacked without provocation......

    You celebrate what you believe in. Me, I'll choose to remember those fellow veterans who gave their lives doing something they felt they had to do.....serving their country.

     

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    Dementia (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re:

    and of course I had to go and use the wrong there, please note, it should be their....

     

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    Chargone (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    Re:

    mm. they've lost sight of what a Customer is.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 27th, 2012 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Do you know why they do that? It's because they're trained to do that as a subtle message to you that you're being watched.

    Unlike you, I donít ascribe ulterior motives to friendly greetings.

     

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    Gary, May 27th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

    Why do I skip commericials?

    Because there are too many of them and they interrupt too often. For example, go watch an episode of Wild Wild West from the late '60s. Notice that an episode is about 50 minutes, with teaser, four acts and an epilog. Same for the original Star Trek and the original Mission: Impossible. Now there are more acts; I think Babylon 5 (mid 90s) had six acts per episode. I remember when Star Trek: Voyager was cut from 44 minutes to 42 minutes.

    Over the years, episode times get reduced to cram in more commercials. Not even interesting commercials. The products and services are mostly garbage.

    Now it's typically 42 minutes of program. But that's not enough; now they put ads on the screen telling what's coming next.

    Anyway, the customer is the advertiser; not you, the viewer. You the viewer are the product. So in spite of my having buttons on the remote that tell me what channel I'm watching, and what's on next, you can be sure that product placement will become more obvious.

    Because, dammit, you will look sexy if you buy this new car NOW!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 9:04pm

    "Rich pointed out the obvious question:
    And yet it never occurs to them to ask why viewers are so very eager to skip commercials."

    Yet, did he ask the question about how the stuff is going to get paid for? Reality check please!

     

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    Digitari, May 27th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    Re:

    I want my TV monitor to be just like my PC monitor, I use Ad block on my PC, I want ad block for my TV...

    OH I forgot, because it can be on the internet it HAS to have different rules...

    I know some of you feel differently, and I am willing to defend that right to say so, with my Life....


    Semper Fi

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 9:46pm

    Re:

    You may not want to go to Japan because in every store you ever enter they will say irashaimase(welcome).

    Quote:
    What does Irashaimase mean? (Japanese)?
    I went to a Japanese "200 Yen store" today, and every time someone came in to the store they would say this.
    Is it some sort of greeting?

    Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110522212139AAkT6IO
    ps: I get amazed to find any question posted on the internet, maybe is because I grew up without people answering every single question I had, but sure it is impressive to me to this day, to do a search and find people asking the same question online and getting an answer.

    This video, Japan Sounds - Irashaimase, prepares you for the next to, so you know what to look for, aham! listen for :)

    Whe the guy enters the convinience store you can hear 2 or 3 employees greeting him.
    Youtube: Japanese Convenience Store

    The moment he steps into the McDonalds you can hear the greeting.
    Amazing Japanese Cell Phone Coupon at McDonalds!

    Type "irashaimase" on Youtube and you see a lot more.

    Although sometimes a feel the urge to jump to conclusions, for me it is not helpful most of the time what I thought something was to be interpreted as was wrong so I have let go of that habit a long time ago. After saying that I am asking you why do you believe that is the case?

    Have you asked the employees why they do what they do?
    The answers and the manner how it is answered can give you some surprising insights into why people do what they do.

     

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    Killercool (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 11:16pm

    Re:

    Have you ever stopped to consider that viewers will, if the quality is high enough, actually seek out commercials? Think about it. A commercial so well made, people make an effort beyond just NOT changing the channel.

    Why aren't more commercials like that?
    More importantly, why is it my fault that (just like bad shows) I wish to avoid bad commercials?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 12:11am

    Re:

    The same way it always got paid for, by lying and cheating the people who pay for the ads.

    Did you know that when you buy a spot on TV show you don't get to chose anything, just the slot, you don't get a refund if the show is crap and has lower ratings, what you get is a promise that it will be great.

    Heck it costs $100K for a 2 minute spot or it used to, it goes even higher if the show is a success, if nothing else piracy enhances the numbers of viewers how is that a bad thing at all?

    Because the stupid people can't figure out how to place ads on it?

    Even George Lucas figure it out already, he has a Clone Wars website(only accessible in the US) and he is tinny compared to other networks.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 12:15am

    Re: Why do I skip commericials?

    Some enterprising soul already fixed the problem.

    No commercials, no intros, no repetition, no cliffhangers, no switching back and forth between myths. Mythbusters the way itís meant to be seen.

    Streamlined Mythbusters
    http://nrkbeta.no/2012/05/21/mythbusters-the-pirates-cut/

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 1:32am

    Hollywood Pirates.

    Quote:
    In the í70s, without CGI, there were things Lucas couldnít do. The effects were limited. But that doesnít matter. Other parts of the movie are limited, too. And thereís no getting around that John Williamsí score was lifted almost note for note from Erich Korngoldís score for Kingís Row. But this doesnít matter either.

    Source: Wired: The 35th Birthday of Star Wars? It Died 15 Years Ago by Cade Metz on May 25, 2012.

    Why Geroge Lucas was never sued to oblivion or called a thief is a mystery to me.

     

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    DCL, May 28th, 2012 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re:

    Just look at soap operas for an example (though they are not my style). They started as stories sponsored by soap companies to get housewives to buy their product.

    Sure they are a dying niche now but they had a good run for 50+ years.

    And go back farther to radio and the shows then were sponsored by companies and had their name stated over and over but people flocked to the shows anyway since that was the major point, good entertainment.

     

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    Dionaea (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 2:35am

    You're kidding right? I LOVE commercials :D They give me the time to use the bathroom, fetch snacks/drinks and do whatever else I need to do without missing anything of whatever I'm watching ^_^

     

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    The eejit (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I wouldn't want to do that, I might get explosive diarrhoea.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 5:05am

    Re:

    Maybe they could make ads that people would like to watch?

    There used to be a tv show in which they showed funny (or just interesting) tv ads.

    The bulk of the show was ads. And people enjoyed it. It was funny.

    Of course that's just one idea. They could also sell loooots of t-shrts...

     

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  26.  
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    Richard (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 5:20am

    Re:

    "Rich pointed out the obvious question:
    And yet it never occurs to them to ask why viewers are so very eager to skip commercials."

    Yet, did he ask the question about how the stuff is going to get paid for? Reality check please!


    How much does it benefit the company that buys the right to insert the commercial if people are only watching it because they are forced to?

    To complete the money chain you refer to people have to actually go out and buy the things that are advertised. Otherwise the advertisers will stop buying space.

    Mechanisms that merely force viewers to watch commercials against their will are of no utility (possibly even negative utility) for the advertiser.

     

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    drew (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re:

    Perfectly put Mr Guy

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 6:16am

    Re:

    Taxes? Paying for premium channel subscription? You seem to be under the impression that only ads can save these guys.

     

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    Anonymous Kyoto Shopper, May 28th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    There is nothing scarier than a rude Japanese sales clerk berating you in English after you've politely inquired about something in perfectly good, grammatically correct Japanese. In a high-snob Daimaru department, no less.

    The second most frightening thing is when everyone in the store lines up before the store opens - men in dark suits, women in uniforms - and they all bow and say "Irasshiamase!" in unison as you walk in 30 seconds later.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re:

    Onii-sama is watching you

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re:

    Or t-shirts even.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Why do I skip commericials?

    "some enterprising soul"

    Ha ha very punny.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    Re:

    "Yet, did he ask the question about how the stuff is going to get paid for? Reality check please!"

    Yet, did you notice that nowhere in his comment he DID NOT state let's do away with commercials entirely? Reading comprehension check please!

    Television shows are getting paid for by advertising. The fact of the matter is the vast majority of people skip commercials in one way, shape or form. Either by fast forwarding through them or by changing the channel or by leaving the room. Those commercials, one way or another, have already been paid for. Whether they're actually being watched or not. And by default, those shows are being paid for by those same commercials (regardless of whether they're being watched).

    My television is off the majority of the day. Yet somehow, despite me not seeing any commercials during that time (and the same goes for my family) the shows we do enjoy watching and turn the television on for are still being produced. Insane isn't it? Your logic is terrible. Please rethink your statement and then try again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    That is not why they do that. It is a concept of customer service. A polite greeting at the door makes customers feel welcome, and welcome customers spend more time more money than uncomfortable customers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 10:04am

    Re:

    That is not why they do that. It is a concept of customer service. A polite greeting at the door makes customers feel welcome, and welcome customers spend more time more money than uncomfortable customers.

     

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  36.  
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    Rain Day, May 28th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Do you know why they do that? It's because they're trained to do that as a subtle message to you that you're being watched.

    @ Lawrence D'Oliveiro,

    You may not ascribe ulterior motives to a simple greeting by store personnel, yet those motives are still part of the reason for "friendly greetings". It has been many years (actually nearly two decades) since I worked in a retail job, but even back then we were trained to look each new customer in the eye (we were told to always aim for direct eye contact, if possible) and greet them.

    It was, of course, a friendly thing to do. However, we were told that those who are there to case the place, or to shoplift, preferred to not be looked at. Thieves like to blend in and not be remembered, they don't want attention. Supposedly (according to our security guy) thieves who feel they're being watched will leave.

    Anyway, as a customer it's nice to be greeted, but those greetings aren't done just for friendliness.

     

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  37.  
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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Re:

    All-or-nothing thinking. You lose. Please play again!

     

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  38.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    Yet, did he ask the question about how the stuff is going to get paid for? Reality check please!
    Given that, for all the reasons listed, few people actually watch adverts (commercials) anyway.... what you (/they) are really complaining about with the DISH suit then is they've pointed out the Emperor's New Clothes don't really exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Do you know why they do that? It's because they're trained to do that as a subtle message to you that you're being watched.

    I bet I frustrate the heck out of store personnel with my sunglasses and hat.

     

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    Jack Furlong (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Why We Hate Commercials

    One simple fact; most people dislike reruns. Commercials by definition are rerun more than ANY OTHER CONTENT on TV. How many times have you seen (and liked) a commercial when you first saw it? Yeah me too; there are some I thought were cute or clever or "wow I've never seen THAT before" the first time...but after the 50th time?... not so much.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Given much of what passes for entertainment these days (i.e., reality shows), commercials are just about the only things worth watching...;)

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re:

    "Yet, did you notice that nowhere in his comment he DID NOT state let's do away with commercials entirely? Reading comprehension check please!"

    You sort of fail here. If everyone skips the commercials (automatically), then having the commercials in there is meaningless. It sort of becomes wasted effort.

    "My television is off the majority of the day. Yet somehow, despite me not seeing any commercials during that time (and the same goes for my family) the shows we do enjoy watching and turn the television on for are still being produced. Insane isn't it? Your logic is terrible."

    Wow. Do you honestly think anyone expects you to somehow magically watch commercials when your TV is off? I am confused here!

    I would say it's your logic that is seriously lacking.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    I'll tell you up front. I HATE COMMERCIALS. I don't watch tv anymore. Got rid of the tv set and never bought another. I don't ever want another tv set because of commercials.

    Last time I checked, shows were down to something like 40 minutes per hour to allow the commercial to be played. One third of air time is for ads.

    The shows are crap and they are not worth sitting through. When I was around a tv, I found it more entertaining to watch the people watching the tv than to watch the show. When you get to that stage, it's time to start thinking about the broadcasters paying you to watch.

    I never realized just how jarring they are to your serenity in life till you escape them.

     

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    Peter, May 28th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

    WE'RE DOOMED!

    If i read this right, and if my feelings are correct, which might not, we are all doomed. Normally these guys get it right, but then again, they might just giving their opinion. Still, if what i read is how i see it, WE ARE ALL DOOMED! Read this...

    http://torrentfreak.com/acta-unredacted-docs-show-european-commission-negotiation-failure s-120528/

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2012 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your confusion might be due to a lack of reading comprehension.

    My point was quite clear. I DO NOT watch commercials, why? My television is off. Yet somehow, despite missing a rather significant amount of commercials on a daily basis, the shows I do watch on occasion still get made. GASP!

    And again, no fail on my part. Most people skip commercials, it's a fact. The commercials are meaningless, but the point I made was, they're still there. I don't understand how you have difficult understanding what I wrote. Perhaps you're just not sharp enough to grasp things.

    So since you obviously can't read simple sentences, let me try and put it a bit clearer... the commercials, which are largely being ignored/bypassed, are still there and still being paid to air, which funds the shows. Regardless. That was my point.

    But that's still not even related to the part you quoted. Which went to show that the original poster DID NOT at all, in any way, say let's do away with commercials entirely, which is what you said and took from his comment. The fail, to begin with, was entirely on your part. I would suggest that you go take a reading comprehension class somewhere. It might do you some good. Or better said, it WOULD MOST DEFINITELY do you some good, not might. Then again it would probably be wasted time on your part, I get the feeling it still wouldn't help you.

     

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  46.  
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    MonkeyFracasJr (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    Exactly.

    They've forgotten the important element in consumers is the customer.

     

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    MonkeyFracasJr (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 6:51am

    Re: The Cusomer is the Advertiser; not you

    Good point and true. Knowing this explains a lot of things.

     

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  48.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    No, they don't see consumers. They see enemies.

     

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  49.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 29th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Do you know why they do that? It's because they're trained to do that as a subtle message to you that you're being watched.

    It was, of course, a friendly thing to do.


    I've never perceived that as being "friendly," but rather as an indication that I'm about to have to talk to a salesperson.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    (A), May 29th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re:

    "Those who have sacrificed trying to give us a better world" are acting at the behest of those "corrupt policy makers in Washington", doofus.
    "...the soldiers on the ground deserve our respect". Not from me they don't. If you want to respect a gang of paid killers, go right ahead. If you want to think "trying to give us a better world" involves invading other nations and taking them over, killing their populace, and raping their women and girls, well, that's your belief. But don't expect me to go along with it. Perhaps you can explain how actions such as that help give us a "better world", what your concept of a "better world" is, and what you are doing to help give us this "better world".
    In the meantime, you can, you know, go fellate your beloved Uncle Sam.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2012 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Waiting an extra day to sling your mud so the report button won't get pushed and you can pretend that you actually represent people here?

    I usually don't like to lower myself to this level, but go die in a fire you piece of rotten scum.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Seriously, no one buys your crap. I hope you get a terminal disease. :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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