Am I still in the United States? Am I still in 2015?

Notably, Blockbuster has been in the news lately as people have been reminded that they had the opportunity to buy Netflix for a song, but declined to do so. Not sure why thats been making the rounds now, as its been known since 2013.

Im biased of course, since I put Blockbuster in the same list as of Very Terrible Corporations, but its worth noting that if they had purchased Netflix, then Netflix might not have become Netflix as we know it. The same business acumen that lead them to take a pass on Netflix could have prevented Blockbuster from so fully embracing the whole “streaming” thing.

I was a member of Blockbusters mail service for about two days several years ago. It seemed like they were better than Netflix, but that turned out to only be because they hid from prospective buyers their anemic selection. They had an entry for every movie you can imagine, only to find out that most of the ones I wanted were “unavailable.”

Another interesting thing witnessed in Alaska. They have no compunction about having this car in the car rental lot:


If that isn’t an advertisement, I don’t know what is. Well done.

[Ed note, my apostrophe isnt working]

Category: Theater

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8 Responses to I Saw The Weirdest Thing in Alaska

  1. greginak says:

    Alaska: We used to be 10 years behind the rest of the country. Now we’re only five years behind.

    My favorite weird part of Fairbanks was the Worlds Worst Hunter statue. I think it was on the main drag from the airport. It’s statue of a Native hunter in a parka with a harpoon in a position where he is just about to stab down at a seal out on sea ice. Except the harpoon is backwards, the point is facing up, he is about to hit the seal with the handle. My co-worker up there, who had lived there for many years, had never noticed it, nor did she know why it was that way.

  2. Chris says:

    I assume they do a whole semester on Blockbuster in business school. They operated on a model that made everyone hate them (with the late fees in particular), but had no serious competitors, so they didn’t care.

    • trumwill says:

      I mostly avoided Blockbuster successfully by way of Hollywood Video. A lot of the bad policies were industry-wide. But man, Blockbuster would sometimes just go a little bit further than the competition. They’d argue that “three days” meant you rent the movie on Monday and have to return it on Wednesday. But I always resented how much all of that industry’s profits tended to be unanticipated expenditures, and I think that’s an ethically dubious model. .

      Best Buy is another example of Screw You Corporations that would go just a bit further than they had to, to be assholes. But there, too, it was an industry-wide thing. Circuit City wasn’t good either.

  3. James Hanley says:

    I never lived in a town that didn’t have alternatives to Blockbuster. Sounds like the same logic that led an antitrust judge to declare that Apple wasn’t in competition with Microsoft.

  4. Another interesting thing witnessed in Alaska. They have no compunction about having this car in the car rental lot

    I’ve rented Subaru Outbacks from Hertz, so I’m not surprised at a crossover being in the fleet. As for why the car is still so dirty, I’m not surprised given that I’ve seen nearly minimal prep work done for car rentals when they’re returned at the end of the rental and sent out again for the next client.

  5. Am I still in the United States? Am I still in 2015?

    I suspect the secret problem is that Internet connectivity maybe wonky for many Alaskans, and Netflix on demand isn’t an option when you’re stuck with dial-up or satellite internet.

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