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There are a lot of good things about HBO’s new series In Treatment. I won’t be sharing my thoughts on any of them, however, because HBO has pissed me off.

Having watched the very first episode of In Treatment while visiting family (I cannot afford cable at home, a result of “the artist’s life”), and having enjoyed it enough to want to watch more of the show, I did some research when I got home and was surprised to find that HBO was offering the show online, for free, via an iTunes podcast. This seemed too good to be true, but I tried downloading the episodes from the podcast, and it worked, so I shrugged and decided to just not worry about it. This was a pleasant feeling, and I privately congratulated HBO on the marketing move. I was still convinced that something fishy was going on, but my naive prediction was that I would be allowed to watch the first season of the show online, in this manner, before then being cut off.

This prospect did not bother me. I understand that even when your total production budget has been dramatically reduced – due to the fact that you shoot 90% of your show in one room, and that the majority of your cinematography consists of filming two actors sitting across from one another, at only a few different camera angles and under the same lighting arrangement – that these things cost money.

So on my merry way to therapy I went, for approximately three weeks. Due to the different sort of format they use for the show (each week features five different original episodes, but I am not going to go into any more detail, because I’m pissed off) I was able to watch fifteen half hour episodes, online, for free. That’s seven and a half hours of free premium entertainment. More than just a taste, this represents several separate meals. They might have been good meals, too. Actually, I can’t remember. I’m pissed off. Read the rest of this entry »

Ibiteyoureyes was riding home on the good old New York City subway system a few days ago when he witnessed a not uncommon – but often uncomfortable – occurrence: a woman with a stroller needed to get up a long flight of subway stairs, and she needed help doing it.

(There was a baby in the stroller.)

Luckily for ibiteyoureyes, who was in very close physical proximity to the problem at hand, and who is terrified by the prospect of potentially dropping a stranger’s baby (only mildly scared of this scenario when dealing with a friend or family member’s baby) the strollered mother asked a teenage boy in a hoodie and droopy-pants to help her. This was a brilliant pick – and served as a good sign that the baby would eventually be carried safely to the top of the stairs. Why, do you ask? Oh! Well…

1. An upturned hood reduces peripheral vision, serving in very much the same way as blinders do for a horse. This allows the stranger helping you to carry your baby to focus on the task at hand. In the case of this particular teenager, he was probably even more focused while carrying the baby – he had his iTunes drowning out all the noise of the subway as well.

2. While droopy-pants may at first seem like a potential danger (if those pants droop too much, the stranger will trip and the baby will fall) the overwhelming majority of droopy-pantsed teenagers in hoodies have been waddling along in their droopy-pants for a long, long time. Teenage boys are master waddlers, and this is what’s important to getting that baby safely atop the streets of New York (after that, mother and child will have to face capitalism and tourism and gentrification and etc. on their own). A waddle is a wide, deliberate way of walking. You don’t see a lot of waddlers losing their balance and steering babies into stairway walls. They may be slow, and they may look like a duck, but you aren’t likely to see a waddler fall – especially when you add so many years of droopy-pants experience to the equation.

3. No one is less interested in a baby than a teenage boy (with the exception of budding pedophiles). Much like the observations dealt with in section one of this analysis – this has to do with an ideal lack of distractions. Unless the baby is farting, made out of boobs, or possesses the comedic prowess of Baby Sinclair, your average strollered mother can safely assume that if she chooses a teenage boy to help carry her baby up the subway stairs – he will not lose focus when faced with a potential cutesy-wutsey face, or cutsey-wutesey giggle, or bubbling vomit (maybe bubbling vomit). There is a flip-side to this argument: one could make a case for the benefits that would come from the stranger being interested by the baby. While it is possible, there’s a big difference between fleeting interest and actually caring about a strange baby. For this counter-argument to hold either water (or better yet – Gatorade A.M) you’d have to be dealing with a very charming and charismatic baby.

People you should absolutely not entrust with your baby: Read the rest of this entry »