I fenced in college. I enjoyed it a great deal, and still like to think that I would know my way around a foil if one were placed into my hand. When I got home from work this evening, I wanted to watch some Olympic fencing, and revel in the amazing, stabby athleticism of people who are probably embarrassingly superior to me. I went to the NBC website, thinking that that would be my go-to place for Olympic videos. I found a little tab that said “Select Sport” went to “Fencing” and then this abomination popped up:
NBC, I’m trying to watch this on my computer. You know about computers, right? The dominant information-sharing machine of our time? Those? I want to use mine to consume your product. Not a TV. I don’t have a cable provider. I have an ISP. Asking someone to say who their TV provider is before watching something on the Internet is kind of like requiring someone to show proof of horse and buggy ownership before getting into a car. It is utter idiocy. I’d be fine watching ads with my fencing. I would even pay five or ten bucks so I could watch Olympic videos from the NBC site. However, this? This is backward luddite nonsense.
Not that this is a new thing, mind you. I guess I won’t be watching any magnificent dancy/stabby people after all.