One of my favorite things in this life is a can of mixed nuts. I don’t get to enjoy them very often, but whenever I see a can on the shelf, it makes me happy. There is something about looking at the soft tin film with the vacuum seal just waiting for me to peal it back. And the first few tastes of the over salted macadamia and brazil nuts. Then the hearty helping of cashews keeps me reaching in for more and more nutty goodness. As the can sits half empty after a few minutes of snacking, I can hardly imagine having not opened up the can. I rationalize the amount of nuts I have consumed as I dig further into the can and start to become more choosy with my bites. I start putting back peanuts and almonds. I even decide that I am too good for the walnuts that have somehow taken on the aluminum taste of the can itself. Towards the end of the can, I can see that it has become mostly a few straggler peanuts. I have given up on any hope of eating a meal anytime soon, even if this was supposed to be an appetizer. And as I look over to see my wife aghast at my indulgence, I know that this is exactly why I don’t enjoy cans of mixed nuts all that often. I realize that there are some things better left packaged and on the shelf. There are some things that are too good for their own good.
And I wonder what my other mixed nuts are.
I am coming to understand that Netflix on demand may be such a thing. The ability to watch high quality television and movies at any time with no effort is indulgent. 13 episodes of Weeds in one day is unhealthy, and yet, so easy. We just selected the next one because it was available. As it turns out, the next one is always available now. And it will only become more so. Streaming media is going to ruin us. So long as there is undiscovered hours of good acting and engaging storylines, we will be powerless to close the lid. The cliffhangers and plot twists are salting our appetites, begging us to keep on watching in ways that were never intended by the original media creators. We throw back some of the things that are too ordinary and derivative, but the brazil nuts of television we savor. And we can do it every day, at any time.
The package is vacuum sealed.
At least when the TV is off.
But, knowing it is (always) there is too much for my weak will power to handle. At some point, I will just start grabbing content by the handful. And that’s what they want. That’s what they’ve always wanted.