Saturday, August 08, 2009
Awake in the Heartland
I was sitting in the barber's chair reading TIME Magazine yesterday when I read this column from one of my film reviewer heroes, Richard Corliss, and for the first time felt compelled to write a Letter to the Editor.
I am a longtime fan of your work but take issue with your portrayal of Netflix in your recent article.
It is too easy to draw a parallel between the rise of Netflix and the fall of the local video store such as the one you mentioned in Manhattan. However that theory is contingent on the fact that you ever had that option to begin with.
I live in a town with the unlikely name of Farmland, Indiana, in which the closest video store is a Redbox at a McDonald's in a town ten minutes away and the closest Blockbuster is in the nearest city thirty minutes the other direction. There is also where you can find the closest movie theater (that you can't drive your car right up to the screen). I am fortunate to live on a road where the cable service runs past, connecting two towns, but many of my neighbors rely on spotty dish reception or digital rabbit ears.
Netflix is a godsend to me, a person who graduated with a film major in college (reading Film Comment voraciously at the college library), works peripherally in movies and film festivals, and yet lives in several square miles of cornfield. I am also a voracious reader and probably get a second strike for loving Amazon and my new Kindle. The proximity of a hip bookstore to my home does not bear discussion.
Those of us who live in the vast Flyover Country between our two coasts have learned to live without the instant gratification our metropolitan brethren yearn for but do still smart at those who take our cultural lifelines to task.