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Faux Outrage

Literally the most important blog in the universe since 2010.

While it is true that I have spent a not-insignificant amount of time constructing new potentially useful (though probably useless) words to add to our vocabulary (see: gendrification, fauxjectivity, punintentional),  I also fantasize about the day when I am officially and ceremoniously bestowed The Great Eraser, which I may righteously and unapologetically use to completely eliminate words from our culture’s collective memory.

(I’m looking at you, “webinar“!)

(Also, “The Grate Eraser” would be a great name for a faux grass lawn product.  “Hide those ugly sewer fixtures from view with new, totally made in the U-S-A, Grate Eraser!  Act now and we’ll throw in not one but two Staff-B-Gone flagpole-hiding systems!”)

(Woah, sorry.)


Today’s word is NetFlixtion.

NetFlixtion (net-flik-shuhn)

a condition of great distress, pain, or emotional suffering endured as a direct result of an individual’s continued re-noticing of the existence of an unwatched, unopened NetFlix DVD; An affliction that stems  from the semi-frequent use of NetFlix.

For example: “I was so proud of myself when I put that copy of Citizen Kane in my queue, but ever since the DVD showed up three weeks ago, it’s been nothing but a NetFlixtion.  Every time I spot it out of the corner of my eye, I realize how little I care about the movie.  If only I wasn’t too proud to return the damn thing unwatched.”

You might be wondering why do we need another word that basically means “stressed.”

(We don’t.)


To the extent that we do need a new word, the state of NetFlixtion is far more complex than your standard anxious moment.   It combines several influential stress forms into one streamlined package!

Economic Stress:

At the start of the year, NetFlix stock price was around $55/share.  Today it closed at over $178.  Clearly, they know how to make money (or investors have no idea what they are doing).  By ignoring that red envelope on your counter-top, you are letting them win. The only way to make sure that you are not the reason for their stockstravaganza (ed. note: fear not, “stockstravaganza” will never be a FWOTD*) is to watch as many DVD’s in as short an amount of time as possible.

In other words, in order for you to not be screwed by NetFlix, you must watch a movie every single moment of your life.  For every second that passes wherein you are not utilizing their services, NetFlix wins and you lose.  Tick tock.

Time-Management Stress:

How long does it take to watch a two hour movie anyway?  (Answer: strangely, it takes approximately 2.2 hours.)  If you don’t have time to watch a movie — especially one that you’ve selected and presumably desire (at least at one point) — what in the world is your problem?  Are you really so important that you don’t have time to do something that will bring you joy?

Think of all of those hours you’ve wasted watching stupid videos online or pretending to look for a new job (where they will let you spin in your chair with impunity!).  Think of all of those hours!

You can stop thinking of them now.

Social Stress:

Half of the reason you watch any given movie is because you’re genuinely interested in the content.  The other half stems directly from the clear and present desire to belong. Your friend told you to watch the movie.  You heard from a coworker that you “have to see that one about he half-man-half-donkey.”  The thimble collectors documentary is going to give you an ‘in’ with that hipster on the bus in the morning.  There is some other motivation besides the frames of the movie themselves that drove you to your decision.

There is perhaps no motivation greater than your ability to prevent those around you from being able to say, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen Inglorious Basterds!  How do you live with yourself!?  How can you sleep at night!?  Do you have a comforter!?  Isn’t it so cold that you need a comforter!?  Do you pay for your heat or is it built into your rent!?  That’s cool mine’s not included!?  Tarantino’s a genius.”

So when you see the red envelope daintily dangling from the armrest of your couch, you are feeling much more than “stress.”

You are suffering from a NetFlixtion!

* unless I run out of ideas

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