• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Menaced By Xfinity

Xfinity recently doubled my internet rate. Simultaneously, Xfinity gave me "free" internet service streaming on my TV. The service consists of mostly very old, stupid TV shows, somewhat old, violent and/or ridiculous movies, and also the irresistible bait of a large version of YouTube streaming on my TV. This transaction was nonnegotiable, I could take the free internet streaming service on my TV or leave it, but my Xfinity rate is now double. So after seven years of not watching TV, I was hooked again.

I must say that I very much like watching the many clever, independent YouTube channels on my large-screen TV. I subscribe to over fifty channels. I watch independent newscasters, geosciences, prehistory, alternative commentators, world events, and whatever I am curious about. Just for the happiness, I regularly watch a couple of pet channels: one who cultivates wild chipmunks on her back porch in the woods overlooking a lovely lake, a young couple who dote on a herd of five, well-loved guinea pigs in their living room, and a kind and gentle woman who makes breathtakingly close up videos of wild birds, even close enough to seeing how their little toes grasp the branches as they move along, that sort of thing.

The problem is that when I am not watching my own selections from Xfinity's streaming service on TV, Xfinity displays a fixed slideshow of bright screensavers, 42" x 24", in my living room, very eye-catching. There is no way to turn them off. You can, of course, turn off the TV, but Xfinity does not hold your place and you have to fuddle through the 1990's style menu, hoping that you can find what you were watching. Irksome.

A large screen TV is larger than the paintings and photographs that most people had on the walls of their homes in the twentieth century. Typically, back then only the painting over the sofa was larger, and people chose the sofa painting to express their own unique style. Now Xfinity has usurped our choice, pushed itself into prominence in our homes, now Xfinity sets the tone.

Some Xfinity images are pleasant enough landscapes, but others are horrific, like this Xfinity image of a weird woman wielding two axes, with a gang of heavily armed men behind her. I do not want this menacing image in my home. Xfinity's violent images frighten me whenever they catch my eye. I have tried draping a scarf over the TV when I am not using it but that is bothersome to remember to do and the bright images still show though. How do people tolerate these violent images in their homes? Is Xfinity trying to subliminally incite violence with these menacing images?

To Xfinity internet streaming service on TV,

I do not want the image of a weird woman menacing me with axes in my living room,

with a gang of heavily armed men behind her, it frightens me.

Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17), Chapter 1, Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use 41. "Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords (sic) or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

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