Paramount Network - a Microcosm of the US State

Paramount Network is supposed to be a streaming service. The entity in DC purports to be a government whose task is to secure the rights of the governed. In reality, neither is what it claims to be. It is common knowledge that neither represents anywhere near the pinnacle of its realm. In fact, those paying attention know both organizations exist for their own aggrandizement at the expense of the very people each purports to serve. This screed has been precipitated by my inadvertently having just (with great pain) watched Jack Reacher on Paramount, thanks to Hulu (which I also despise, but for other reasons - though greed and self-aggrandizement are coded in the DNA of each - like most every bureaucratized organization in the US today).

Every streaming service (I have quit them all except Hulu and Prime, because my wife requires some diversion), it seems, has found ways to remove any pleasure from the viewing experience, beginning with the ineffably lousy browsing function. It takes as long to find something (maybe) worth watching as you’re likely to spend in actually viewing it - especially net of commercials.

If you’re, let’s say disappointed with your governance, Paramount exemplifies many of its execrable qualities even as it lies at the opposite pole - the nadir - of its market-tested appellation, suggesting it is somehow at the pinnacle. This latter, of course, can’t hold a candle to the generations of compounded, wildly-successful propaganda of the state. Slogans like “the consent of the governed”, “of the people, by the people, and for the people” or “the rule of law” replayed in public school generation upon generation have marinated the public in Marxist fentanyl/propaganda - so effective that many can no longer even define what a male or female is. They love “our democracy™” as surely as Winston Smith loved big brother.

Let’s look at my experience of the past few hours of viewing “pleasure”. The movie Jack Reacher was punctuated by no fewer than 12 commercial breaks, each consisting of 4 - 10 individual ads each. As is the new custom, a countdown timer appears in the top right hand corner of the screen. While it is accurate on other services, on Paramount, it actually LIES. On numerous occasions, it begins counting at 4 minutes. It then counts down to 2’ 30" and the commercials continue to run for several more minutes after reaching zero! This is beyond aggravating.

As if that’s not enough, the volume on some of the commercials jumps to about three times the volume of the others - which are already much louder than the movie itself. For whatever reason, the incessantly-repeated Viagra commercial was by far the loudest. If only it cured traumatic deafness! If only it made flaccid viewers stand up and unmount Paramount! The point is, one cannot simply ignore the commercials; you must grab the remote to stifle the decibels at unpredictable intervals.

Then, the coup de grace. As is often the case on streaming services, with many movies the story continues during or even after the end credits. Do the services respect their viewers and allow them to view the entire movie to the end of the credits? Nope. They cut off the credits willy-nilly and, frequently, they cut off the actual end of the movie - which may well contain a surprise ending! It is apparent that Paramount, especially, exists merely to extract as much lucre from its subscribers as possible, even while garnering every possible cent from purveyors of the drivel, called commercials. They barely even bother to play their content in a manner which most anyone could possibly call “enjoyable” or “entertaining”. It is actually infuriating. Were it just me - if I did not need to consider my wife - I would quit them all. Their disdain for subscribes disgusts and enrages me. They obviously believe they (like the state they emulate) have a captive audience.

Which brings me to the “services” “offered” by the US government. I will not here recount the awfulness of it; you are all painfully aware of how stringently analogous the US government is to the Paramount experience just described. All I can say in Paramount’s favor is that they, at least, do not ultimately rely on bayonets for collections. Sadly, more and more of the goods and services available here in the US are similar. It seems to me to be the terminal phase of our new-and-improved, lemon-freshened, green cholorphyll-infused, fascism: neither the corporations nor the state to which they are wedded can sustain products, services or appearances much longer. Corporate failure, though, can only bring us economic collapse. The state’s mischief, on the other hand, brings higher stakes. Its misperception that it can successfully bully Russia (and China and the rest of the world) as it does its own citizens - is clearly leading it toward precipitating of WWIII. If only our state were as diligent in protecting US borders as it is in protecting those of Ukraine. You could say it’s the paramount of state arrogance.


That was the movie with Tom Cruise, right? I thought it was a decent enough movie on its own merits, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t trick my mind into thinking that midget Tom Cruise was Jack Reacher. Have you watched the miniseries “Reacher” on Prime? At least they found an actor that does the Jack Reacher character justice. If you like Lee Child novels, you might find watching Reacher to be a mildly entertaining diversion—both seasons are pretty good, but I thought the end of season 2 was rather weak.


About commercials, I’ve long thought that back in the days when we only had 3 choices, the commercials were just as important as the rest of the content. They kinda bound everybody together, everybody knew the taglines, they became the punchlines of jokes. It is, after all, all about selling soap. But I agree: the public be scammed…


Agreed that streaming services tend to be a major disappointment. Having subscribed to various services over the years, I currently have “Gone East” and subscribe to iQIY and Viki – for now.

What we learn from streaming services is that the vast majority of productions are a total waste of time, even if the streaming service allows one to watch it all the way through without interruptions. The 80/20 rule has broken down – for European productions, the split may now be around 2/98 in terms of worthwhile/trash; even for Chinese productions, it is probably little better than 5/95.

However, there are mounds of good books written before the beginning of Century 21 that are worth our time. Unfortunately, that does not help with your wife’s situation.


Not yet, but I will probably give it a try; between my volcanic emotional eruptions, I did like (I can’t say “enjoy” due to exasperation with paramount) the movie. Prime is another example of the ‘pay more, get less’ slide we are in at the hands of big corporations and the state. Initially a good value without commercials - they have been introduced and will inevitably grow. There is a higher price option to stop them, for now. The fact streaming corps and the US gov are joined at the hip really leaves me with the sense we share the plight of Winston Smith in 1984. Our situation is that of a submarine descending toward crush depth. For now, we merely experience ears popping, creaks, groans - then la déluge! No end credits…


Hahahaha…hilarious!!! Yeah, we’re all on Ocean Gate’s Titan!! (I wonder what the equivalent of Stockton Rush or the composite carbon-fiber hull is in this analogy.) But I’m very happy, CW, to see that you’ve fully embraced "The Power of Positive Thinking"™. Here’s a catchy tune that I’m sure will help brighten your day! :slightly_smiling_face:


The thing that amazed me is the interface design was so poor. I always thought to myself these are products of a “tech” company.

Maybe because it is mostly garbage content the interface is crappy by design. Like sorting for great deals on a car site, the number of hits drops from 500 to 4. If a streaming company allowed you to sort this way, their “amazing” content would be revealed. Better to give the illusion of a lot of content with crappy interface than to have excellent interface that exposes little content.