The Long and the Short of It

First, two updates…

1.  I thought the weird activity was over, but this evening a bag of trash (closed, thankfully) got tossed across my kitchen.

Yes, it’s trash night.  No, I don’t need reminding.

Nagging?  I was so happy I had gotten rid of nagging people when I became happily single for good a few years back.  Ugh.

I will have to smudge the apartment next week.  Scaring is bad, nagging is much worse.

2.  Healthwise, I have hit a rough patch and really do not feel well.  Probably partly due to lack of sleep from the noises.  Gotta rest up and get better because tomorrow night is Trick or Treat Night!

For whatever reason, Blair County never has trick or treating on Oct. 31, even when (as in this case) it falls on a Friday.  No one seems to know why this is.  Just more central PA weirdness, I guess.

If I feel better, I might post something tomorrow or on Samhain.  But for now, here is something I wrote a couple of weeks back.  It’s a bit short, and the subject is kinda “long”, hence the title…

Last month I “cut the cord” and chose not to renew my DirecTv subscription. I saved $50/month, and I am able to watch some shows I like on HuluPlus. I figured between that, Netflix, and the new CBS All Access, I would pretty much be able to watch what I normally used to on satellite – for a fraction of the cost.

This has worked out pretty well for me, so far. I’m still learning how to find shows I like on which websites. So tonight I went looking for one of my favorite shows, to see when Season 4 starts.

“Longmire”.

It’s an awesome show starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackhoff, plus some terrific native actors we see far too little of such as Zahn McClarnon and David Midthunder.  Oh, and while you’re at IMDb, check out Angelique Midthunder, David’s wife and a casting director in her own right.

Basically, it’s a mystery set in a western town. And of course, Season 3 ended with a cliffhanger…

…and A&E cancelled it

“Well, it probably got poor ratings,” you might be thinking.  Nope.

“Longmire”, according to Deadline Hollywood, was A&E’s “most watched original scripted series of all time”, averaging an audience of 5.6 million viewers (“Warner Bros TV Preps ‘Longmire’ Pitch to Digital & Cable Outlets”, Deadline Hollywood, 9/10/2014).

Why, then, did they cancel it? Simply put, it’s the average “Longmire” viewer’s age!

The Wall Street Journal reports that A&E cancelled “Longmire” because the average age of the program’s viewer is 60 (“Why TV Hit ‘Longmire’ Got Cancelled: Fans Too Old”, Wall Street Journal website, 9/11/2014).

And because A&E doesn’t have any ownership of the show: A&E is owned by Disney and Hearst, and “Longmire” is owned by Time-Warner (Ibid).

So, basically, A&E wants to own their own content, and wants that content to appeal to a young demographic – because that’s what their advertisers want.

“We sell the shows to advertisers based on the demographics of 18-49 and 25-54, and the audience just wasn’t there,” said A&E Senior Vice President Dan Silberman of the decision to cancel “Longmire.” (Ibid)

Side Note: Dan Silberman was hired at A&E after he left Bravo, the channel that brought us such refined, well-written programs as the “Real Housewives” franchise, “Married to Medicine”, “Being Bobby Brown, and “Storage Wars”. I can’t find his age listed anywhere, but from the looks of him I would guess he’s in his 40s.

Mr. Silberman goes on to explain that, since A&E has no financial stake in the show, they won’t get any money from the sale of reruns to companies like Netflix.

Boo hoo. Poor A&E.

Greed and age discrimination. That’s what cancelled a well-written, wonderfully-directed, brilliantly-acted show. Time-Warner even lowered A&E’s fee for the show, and cut the number of episodes for Season 3, so that poor, struggling, “Duck-Dynasty-is-our-flagship-program” A&E could continue to air “Longmire”.

But A&E contends that even those concessions were not enough for it to make the kind of money they expect from a series. They continue to blame the lack of revenue mostly on the people who watch the show – people over 54.

People in my age bracket – I hate the term “baby boomers”, but that’s how most people think of us – have, on average, a decent amount of disposable income. And there are a lot of us!

In fact, along with people older than we are, we will comprise 45% of the US population by 2015 (“50+ Fact & Fiction”, Immersion Active website, 2014).  We already account for 55% of packaged goods sales, and we “outspend the average American consumer in nearly every category” (Ibid).

It doesn’t make sense to me, the explanation A&E gives for cancelling “Longmire”. Honestly, I think it’s a function of our youth-oriented culture, which places no value on people when they get past a certain age.

This decision to cancel “Longmire” probably won’t affect me much. I think Time-Warner will successfully pitch it somewhere else. And unless they sell it to a channel I can’t access in any way, shape, or form, there’s always YouTube. People there have a knack for airing episodes of shows you won’t find elsewhere on the internet.

But it just pisses me off that A&E openly declared our generation “personae non grata”.

By the way, if you want to do something to support this wonderful show, go to the People’s Choice Award site and write “Longmire” in (as it was not nominated in any category).  Even if you just write “Longmire” in for favorite drama, and favorite crime drama, it will send a message. Because it might drive home the point that this is a popular show.

Here is a good site to keep up on “Longmire” news: The Longmire Posse.

And you can catch the first 2 seasons on Netflix.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. The outstanding direction itself is worth a look.

Weird news time…

It’s hard for me to find anything weirder than the happenings in my apartment lately.  But…this is weird more for the totally over-the-top reaction to it…

From the BBC: “Portsmouth Mystery Clown ‘Disturbing’ People in Streets”

Some teenager has a clown mask and a balloon, and…gasp…just stands there.  This is scary why?  And why doesn’t someone just reach over and tickle him?  (Full disclosure: I have never been afraid of clowns and I don’t understand people who are.  I think clowns are sweet and funny.)

And in a related story, from France….

“Fear of ‘Armed Clowns’ Grips Northern France”

An unnamed police officer says, “It’s difficult to fight against something that maybe doesn’t exist.”  Indeed it is, sir, indeed it is.

Movie recommendation for this week: The Ring,1998.  No, not the stupid one, the original Japanese one called “Ringu”.   I don’t have it on HuluPlus so maybe you have to go out and rent it or something…though, like Nosferatu, if you know where to get it, please let me know.

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