Those Pluses And Maxes

This should have been posted months ago, but there were other considerations. Anyway, here it is now.

. I don’t like to comment about current events here. We get all that in the media. But once in awhile the events outside my door get personal and I have to say something. This is one of those times. Yes, I need to rant a bit, but this is also my opportunity to let you guys know something you might not yet be totally aware of. If you know all about it and simply don’t care, that’s okay. At least I know I put it out here for you.

And while I’m at it, I have a request for you. I want you all to know that I would love to hear from any of you from time to time, any thoughts and feelings you might have on my posts. I don’t just sit here and write madly from week to week, oblivious to what is going on with you out there. I have a few good friends who let me know when they enjoy a piece, but come on now… the more the merrier, okay? Help me out here a little bit, I’d love to be steered in the direction you prefer. Write to           thanks!


There are two new words out there that we should be aware of… two new words that promise us new, better, more. That “new, better, more” is going to come with a price, and it could, ultimately, be a hefty one. It comes with all kinds of bangles and bullshit, “Try it free for a month,” is only one of many.

What are these two new, toxic words? Max, and Plus. Yup. They usually are referring to our tv networks, channels and subscriptions They’re trying to tell us that their particular service is going to give us “new, more and better” shows if we sign up for their new service. And yes, we’ll have to pay for them. Pay quite a bit, as a matter of fact. Get them all and they add up fast.

B and I are already paying a fairly steep monthly rate for a satellite service, as we live on an island and didn’t have the cable option back then. Now we’re paying a streaming service (Fubo) $82 a month simply to watch the Seattle Mariners’ baseball games and some of the Seahawks football games as well. I’ll shut that down at the end of the season, but still it’s a coming sign of the times. I also have ESPN+ and don’t even know (or care) how much I’m paying for the monthly stream, as my son Dillon is the director or a cameraman on some of their broadcasts, and I’m, by god, going to watch it, watch him work, and be proud.

For what it’s worth, the Fubo streaming service is rotten. It locks up at least twice every game, and simply blanks out every so often. Lovely. We know it’s not our smart tv or router as we also get Prime and ESPN+, and they stream seamlessly. But see? I’m totally against these new services, and I’ve already been coerced into two of them. I refuse Disney+, and Paramount+, and Apple+, Peacock and who knows what else… but maybe it’s only a matter of time.

You see, we’ve been watching tv and our favorite shows for how long now? Most of our lives. It can be a good form of entertainment, even a habit that we don’t want to break. And paying for extra, or better service pisses me off me even further, as I feel that’s the quality service we should be getting in the first place. And having been scammed and duped so many times already, all my red flags have gone up now. And, I’m afraid, rightly so.

I know someone who operates totally with streaming services now. He has seven and he says it’s really adding up. Well of course! He also said that we, the tv audience, are being herded like sheep into paying more for the shows we want to see. I believe him, seems like it’s already starting to get ugly. Sports and movies are the main bait so far, but specials and popular documentaries will surge before long. We’re being broken down to accept the idea that we’re going to have to pay more for these ‘special’ services. I hate it, and am going to resist it as long as I can. I already know that half the country will simply shrug their shoulders and say, “Hey, that’s just how it is now,” and pay those rotten bastards for special streaming services that should already come with our primary service.

I know, I know, no one is forcing us to access these extra services. But they’re making the pluses and the maxes look pretty damn enticing, and they are using sports and many of our favorite shows (that we might be somewhat addicted to) to tempt us, nearly force us, into their devious abyss of lies and greed, like sheep to the slaughter. And once we start… well, you know what happens then. Worse, there’s an entrapment feature I especially dislike. Our Seattle Mariners, as I said earlier, can now only be watched on Fubo streaming. No Seattle network carries them, it’s Fubo or nothing. As Jed clampett might exclaim, “Now Granny, that jest ain’t rat!”

Anyway, there it is. There is where the new media is headed with their plus and their max, right into our pockets. I came, I saw, I bitched and moaned, but I can’t conquer, except to simply not play their game. Which I already am, to a degree, with streaming those damn Mariners and Seahawks on Fubo. Grrr.

Steve Hulse

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