Geek in the Galley: Fat, lazy bastard edition
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
On November 16, the good people at TiVo announced what has to be one of the signs of the foodie apocalypse: that through a partnership deal with Domino's, customers would now be able to order pizzas through their TV.
Why? Because getting up off the couch and finding the phone was just too much goddamn work. Because leaning over to switch on the laptop seemed too much like exercise to your average Domino's consumer. Because thousands of years of technological advancement and scientific research, of network engineering and the rise of the microchip, will always come down to two things: new ways to look at porn or new ways to allow people to be the lazy, fat, disgusting slobs they all truly want to be.
Here's how it works: Do you have a TV? Does your TV have TiVo? Do you want a pizza? Bingo -- you got it. Click a couple of buttons and it's on the way, faster than you can say gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Let's set aside the fact that I loathe Domino's Pizza with every fiber of my being. (It all goes back to one afternoon a few years ago when I was bitterly poor and somehow found myself suckered by a Domino's commercial into lusting after some kind of cinnamon-and-frosting dessert pizza. I was broke enough that I had to wait until payday to order one, spent days looking forward to it, seeing commercials on TV for them about every ten minutes, dreaming about how good the thing was going to taste. And then when I finally got one? A goddamn piece of crap -- pizza crust sprinkled with cinnamon sugar that came with a cup of disgusting, sickly-sweet cake frosting to be smeared on top. I have never forgiven Domino's for letting me down like that, and I never will.) And let's ignore the evidence that, for many Americans, the only exercise they get is when they peel themselves up out of the La-Z-Boy and waddle out to the kitchen for another bucket of Diet Coke during commercial breaks on America's Next Top Model.
No, what really kills me is this --the marketing hook for the new quote/unquote service:
"This is the first time in history that the 'on-demand' generation will be able to fully experience couch commerce [italics mine] by ordering pizza directly through their television set."
"Couch commerce"? Are you fucking kidding me? Jesus. I am a lazy goddamn slug most of the time, but that kind of language even makes my heart hurt. And seriously, if I were of the age group currently being demographically gang-fucked as the "on-demand generation," I would be leaving my house right now to buy a black bandanna, a rifle and a map to the homes of the Domino's/TiVo stockholders.
Generation X was annoying as a demographic tag, but kinda catchy (the X makes it sexy...). But to be told flat-out that you are nothing more than a vapid consumer and that your only worth is in your impatient, instantaneous need for things like pizza ordered through your TV? That's just plain insulting and, in a weird way, borderline Big Brother-ish.
As a matter of fact, where better to leave this than with a quote from Orwell himself -- whose genius was not that he wrote fiction, but that his fiction, ever so slowly, has become the truth? Maybe members of the on-demand generation will check out 1984 for themselves when it comes on cable..."We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation...we make the brain perfect before we blow it out." -- Jason Sheehan