Goodbye Netflix!Posted August 18th, 2011 by Thomas Norman DeWolf
Seriously, Lindi and I just canceled Netflix. Their recent spike in cost really got to me. It feels good to register my PROTEST, just like in the good old days when protesters ended Jim Crow, the war in Viet Nam, nuclear power, and inequality among the sexes!!! Yeah!
Okay, maybe protesters didn’t completely fix everything that’s wrong in the world… and maybe I’m overstating things just a wee bit by comparing the end of war and racism with cancelling my subscription to a DVD delivery service…
And, truth be told, there’s another reason I cancelled Netflix.
Sharon and I have three and a half months left to finish our manuscript and submit it to Beacon Press.
Sharon’s last post, WRITER’S BLOCK, spoke of the dread every writer faces from time to time when nothing seems to flow. You try this sentence, that word, walk away and do something else and then return to the laptop, and… nothin’. Everything kind of sucks.
What was unusual is that over the past two years since we began this journey together at least one of us has always been “on.” If one of us gets a little “out of sorts” we’ve been able to count on the other one to bring the enthusiasm. The past couple of weeks were very different. It felt like neither one of us could locate the muse, the inspiration, the mojo.
That time has now thankfully passed. I’ve actually been expecting Sharon to post a “HURRAY” essay here for the past couple of days, but I totally understand why she hasn’t done so. And I’m thrilled. She had an epiphany last week that shifted us out of neutral and into high gear once again and Sharon is writing like a woman possessed (in a good way)! I won’t explain the details. We’ll save it for the book. Suffice it to say that we have been rolling over the past week. Each of us is working on different aspects of the book and it’s going really well.
We’ll make our deadline. There has never been any doubt about that. It’s just exciting to experience the shift from the doldrums to gratifying productivity. Goodbye writer’s block! Hello, next chapters!
And yes, Lindi and I cancelled Netflix in part because I don’t want the distraction of needing to watch a certain number of movies to make our subscription “worth it.” I want to enjoy the next few months focused with Sharon on completing our manuscript. But this is a big deal for me. I love movies. I used to own my own movie theater. Lindi and I owned a video rental store for more than a decade. We’ve been known to watch five movies in a single day. But not now. It’s time for a break. It’s time to write.
Appropriate to this momentous occasion, the last film we watched from Netflix is called Departures. No, it isn’t a spoof about angry customers leaving Netflix. This Japanese masterpiece won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s a touching and beautiful look at a special slice of Japanese culture: a newly unemployed cellist who trains to become a “nakanshi” (one who prepares the dead for burial). Departures reveals the sacredness of death, the deep connection between the living and the departed. It reminded me of conversations Sharon and I have had about our ancestors, the bond we share with them, and the feeling that those who came before are with us, somehow, as we travel this healing path together. I was mesmerized from start to finish. Departures is warm, funny, touching, profound and hopeful. For those of you that still have a Netflix subscription, I highly recommend it.
We may well re-subscribe to Netflix. I mean, you can’t protest forever, right? But we’ll wait to decide until after the manuscript is finished.
Eastern Mennonite University
Harlem Book Fair
Phillis Wheatley Book Award
Post Racial Society
Summer Peacebuilding Institute
Tulsa race riot
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