Friday, May 11, 2018

Philip Marlowe, but not Kathryn Leigh Scott, is on Amazon Prime

Every once in a while there are small signs that Amazon is growing at a speed it can't quite maintain. These are relatively small cracks in the corporate infrasture, but enough to give me pause. Because if I can spot these mistakes from the comfortable confines on my couch, what else am I not seeing? This is a company that took the baton from Walmart in regards to its role as America's coporate Alpha Parasite in local communities, decimating whatever is left of small businesses and replacing them with wage-slave jobs and psychotic working conditions. "In the West, we don't tend to ask workers to stick to a precise productivity rate," said author Jean-Baptiste Malet, who documented his experiences with the company in his book Inside Amazon: Inflitrating the 'Best of Both Worlds. "Yet every day Amazon asks them to go faster than the day before. They are also set against each other. For example, if someone talks during work hours, the rest are expected to shun them." This is a vision of Hell so cartoonish that it would make THE SIMPSONS blanch, but for an Amazon warehouse it's just a Tuesday.

So, whenever I see cracks in the fuselage it makes me wonder if the next "Too Big To Fail" monolith is about to fail, either requiring a massive bailout from taxpayers and/or creating black holes in small-town infrastucres around the world. During the last week I've seen Amazon Prime use imagery from the 2002 remake of ROLLERBALL as the key art for the 1975 original, photos from 1974's THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 with the 2002 remake, and the exciting/disappointing photo at the top of this post for the 1983-1986 HBO series PHILIP MARLOWE, PRIVATE EYE. Yes, that's Kathryn Leigh Scott standing with Powers Boothe in Amazon Prime's thumbnail art for the show. Scott appears in the first season of the series ... which is actually not available from Amazon Prime at the moment. All that's streaming is Season 2. Amazon's Alexa device is constantly scanning the audio in my living room, blankly awaiting the proper key words (some of which can only be heard in ranges inaudible to the human ear) so that it can satisfy my every consumer desire  ... but the company can't differentiate between Walter Matthau and Denzel Washington.

What do we do about this? The only solution I can offer is to plug into all 1,225 episodes of DARK SHADOWS on Amazon Prime and await the inevitable war with Skynet. Consider the show's time/dimensional hopping as training for the days when we'll be fighting terminators in 1984.

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