The return is upon us now.
(Feel free to ignore the lack of desk space and the rat’s nest of cables on the right side of the image. I’m a slob.)
I’m really looking forward to seeing the difference between this and the flawed but often compelling and funny original release.
Look out for the review some time next week.
Funny, yet tragic, story: when I went to check my P.O. box this morning, instead of this videotape, I found two items: a key instructing me to collect my mail from a larger box (that’s where the tape was), and a sealed bag from a pharmacy containing a prescription. Now, I’m no stranger to prescription medications, but the last place I’d send them to is a P.O. box. In fact, the name was “Andrew L. Bates,” a fellow who is decidedly not me, and the address was somewhere on Irving Park Road. I took the bag to the front desk and pointed out the address to the clerk.
She said, “Oh, you mean that’s not you?” I couldn’t tell whether or not she was being sarcastic. I erred with the side of “not everyone is as big a dick as I am” and answered her sincerely: “No.”
Seriously, though… Let’s say I did mail-order a prescription (which I’ve never done and never will do), and let’s say I needed the medicine (i.e., I didn’t buy g3n3r1c V14gr4 from an Eastern European peddler who offered me a free wife to go with it), and let’s say the name and address were very clearly marked and not even remotely addressed to a P.O. box.
What if I hadn’t been expecting anything in my P.O. box? I only check it about once a month unless I’m expecting something. This dude could potentially die because of a postal error. Although I could make the argument that a shift toward a privatized postal service would dramatically improve things, I prefer to think that the massive budget cuts, layoffs, and “more with less” mentality is the real problem here. A private mail infrastructure, equivalent to UPS or FedEx but for small-scale items, wouldn’t help anything. Subsidies are what keep the USPS’s prices at rock-bottom, so costs would go up (and the increase would be passed along to the consumer); either that, or the government could continue doling out subsidies the way they do to keep most of our other industries afloat, which means not a goddamn thing would change. A for-profit mail service would continue the “more with less” trend to keep their overhead low. Anyone who’s followed the comically misguided details of the Yellow-USF merger knows what happens when a company like this gets too large to compete. (Contrary to traditional economic theory, Yellow now has so much overhead, it can’t use the traditional “big kid on the block” method of undercutting competitors. They tried that during their first year of operation and could not keep up with the overhead. The smaller, regional freight carriers, with less overhead, have unofficially banded together and kicked the shit out of them with lower prices and better service. The larger competitors — UPS and FedEx freight divisions — have the small-package service to balance out the increased overhead of long-haul freight. Plus, they have stronger brand recognition.)
And that’s how you turn a trip to the post office into an excuse to get on your hippie soapbox!
Posted by D. B. Bates on July 2, 2011 10:53 AM