Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sometimes, the most patriotic thing a citizen can do is stand up against injustice in their own nation. The very existence of America itself is owed to people who were willing to face the threat of death because the King’s taxes were too damn high.

Though it now seems lost on some, there is nothing more American than questioning the powers that be. Some of you may even be old enough to remember a time when speaking out against a president wouldn’t have you instantly branded a “racist”. That’s right, there was a time when lampooning the president was actually one of America’s favorite pastimes.

One of the most important books in American history, On Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, discussed how the very act of not standing up against immoral laws makes a citizen an agent of injustice. The book was frequently cited by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. as a source of inspiration in their struggles.

The spirit of civil disobedience was alive and burning bright in Rosa Parks when, exhausted from a hard day’s work, she sat firmly planted, refusing to to heed the law and give up her seat and move to the back of the bus.

That spirit of civil disobedience lives today in the millions of Americans who choose not to buy into a government dictating that all the people of the land must purchase health insurance.

And while 99% of the evils of the world are perpetrated by the world’s governments (see 20th Century history if you doubt me on that) every now and then, we need to rise up and practice some civil disobedience against a corporation, too.

The Time Has Come for All Good Dodger Fans to Rise Up Against Time Warner CableThe fact that Dodger games are not being broadcast in 70% of the homes here in Southern California is absolutely unacceptable. When there’s no other alternative available, the time has come to use your Internet connection and steal that broadcast and you should feel absolutely no guilt about in doing so. These are, after all, the Dodgers that you and I helped build with hundreds and thousands of dollars out of our pockets for every year of our Dodger-loving lives.

The time has come for all good Dodger fans to rise up against Time Warner Cable and their inability to strike a deal with the broadcast providers for the other 70% of So. Cal.

Of course, Time Warner is going on the offensive, trying to spin the So. Cal. Dodger blackout as somehow being the fault of all the other providers (AT&T U-Verse, Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS) by launching the #INeedMyDodgers hashtag and website. Thankfully, most people are way too smart to buy into the one provider saying it’s everyone else’s fault though, and it was reassuring to hear the Time Warner people getting heckled as they handed out their free “I Need My Dodgers” hand towels last time we went to the game.

So here we are, we’re now more than a quarter of the way into the season, yesterday, in a Sunday game that would have normally drawn huge ratings, most Dodger fans are only heartbroken over having missed Josh Beckett pitching an historic no hitter and . . . no one’s budging. The providers are completely locked in a Mexican standoff.

This is what a Mexican standoff looks like.

source: Devious Theater

So I say, go ahead, grab that streaming broadcast and know that you can grab it with impunity. There should be no sense of urgency on our parts to help TWC out of the mess they made with their $8.35 billion, 25-year investment. The less you care about getting the broadcast through legitimate means, the more pressure you put on TWC to make a deal.

So what’s the sticking point? TWC wants the other providers to make the Dodgers available to ALL subscribers, which would mean Dodger fans and non-Dodger fans alike would see their bills rise by about $5 a month. The other providers say no way. Hey, I want to see my Dodgers as much as anyone, but why should all the people who aren’t Dodger fans be forced to foot the bill?

Allow people to pay for what they want to watch! That’s right, have it your way, what could be more American than that? Most Dodger fans will be more than willing to pony up $10 a month and the non-Dodger fans won’t have to pay a dime. That’s the way it should be. Best of all, if TWC is forced to offer up the Dodgers a la carte, it will mark a landmark shift towards the day when we only have to pay for the channels we want to pay for.

(Hey MSNBC, it’s Air America calling . . . time to set a lunch date at the ash heap of history.)

P.S. I’ve heard you should try googling “streaming baseball” or “first row” which a lot of the streaming sites have in their names. A friend of mine also says strikeout.co is a good source, but whatever you do ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY DO NOT INSTALL ANY OF THE SOFTWARE THESE SITES TRY TO GET YOU TO INSTALL. Yes, it is a shady part of the Internet, but the less you stress about getting the broadcast by legitimate means, the more pressure you put on TWC to offer it a la carte.

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The Best Kind of Selfie Is a Screenshot off SportsCenter

The best kind of selfie is the screenshot you take of yourself off SportsCenter and if you want to get on SportsCenter, you gotta get the good seats. Alright, truth be told, they weren’t the highest priced seats in the house, but if you recognize me there, in the center of the screen just three rows back, those definitely had to be the best $20 tickets at Dodger Stadium. In this shot, Puig’s ground rule double landed just to the right of us, between innings a guy two rows behind us caught a toss from left fielder Carl Crawford, and we were close enough to the bullpen that when the old timer’s game followed the regular game, my wife was able to get her jersey autographed by Eric Gagne.

Being a ball fan on a budget is just one more reason you have to love modern technology. If you want to get tickets on game day, if the game’s not sold out, you can always roll up on the ticket windows at the ballpark and fork over face value for whatever seats remain, or you can take your chances and do some haggling with the scalpers wandering around, but if you really want the best value, online is the only way to go. Waiting until game day, waiting all the way up to the final hours, that’s when you’ll find the people holding the tickets are most willing to cut their losses and drop the prices to a rock bottom value.

Big props go to Brian and the folks at Ticket Monster for making yesterday possible. When there was just an hour to go before the first pitch and a snag with the vendor who was supplying them the tickets, Brian was right on the case and quickly saved the day, getting us comparable seats in the same section. Thank you Ticket Monster, I’ll be ordering from you again for sure.

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Currently Listening To:

Team of Rivals
Doris Kearns Goodwin