What the frack is wrong with you people?

Not “you people” as in my regular readers. I’m sure you’re all tall, strong, above average in IQ, and every one of your bodily functions smells like a vanilla Glade plug-in.

No, I’m talking about the rest of the Internet who doesn’t read my blog and seems to be overrun with a massive sense of entitlement.

Item 1: The existence of the GR Bullies site. “GR Bullies” is apparently a website devoted to combating “bullying” on the GoodReads website (for values of “bullying” that seem to include posting negative reviews) by…acting like misogynistic bullies themselves. Good plan, guys; I’m sure Big Fred Nietzsche would approve. Or maybe not. I commend to your attention the take of John Scalzi, an actual professional writer who gets bad reviews from time to time, on this subject. (I also recommend reading the other three writers Scalzi links.)

Item 2: The existence of ChickLitGirls, a site that takes money for reviews, only posts positive reviews, and, when it is politely suggested that their pay-for-review policy may not be 100% clear, issues bumptious lawsuit threats.

(“bumptious”. Such a great word. I need to work that into my vocabulary, along with “gargantuan“.)

Item 3: “How dare you think Dark Knight Rises isn’t the greatest thing since the invention of fire?”

Item 4: “…those like my son who have disabilities have the right to live life with access to everything people who aren’t handicapped do.” So, therefore, Netflix is obligated to closed-caption streaming video. And, no, providing closed-captioned DVDs isn’t good enough. I am so sick and tired of hearing people like Ellen Seidman talk about “rights” without making a distinction between liberty rights and claim rights.

There are some things that should require accommodation; for example, access to governmental services. And it may be good business for Netflix to make this kind of accommodation. Right now, Netflix feels that it isn’t. (As other people have pointed out, Netflix gets the material it uses for streaming from studios, that material probably does not have closed captions, and the studios would be rightfully upset if Netflix started altering their property.) If you want to prove to Netflix that they’re wrong, don’t use the service, or start your own competing service with closed captions. If Netflix looses enough business, they’ll change their mind. But you don’t have a right to closed captioned streaming video, or, for that matter, to “access to everything people who aren’t handicapped do”. Down this path lies madness: should we build a wheelchair ramp to the top of Half Dome?

[Edited to add: Hattip on item 4 to Walter Olson at Overlawyered.]

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