when it comes to the Meghan Markle/Oprah interview, one of the most revealing things for a lot of people is seeing the reactions in the UK and Europe to American prescription drug ads during the commercial breaks
I can assure you that as an American dealing with the bullshit, for-profit US healthcare system every single day, no we are not ok.
in fact, I would say this is actually the main reason why the United States has the highest infection rate, the highest death rate, and why the economy here has been absolutely shattered in the wake of the pandemic.
our political leaders can legally solicit and accept massive donations from the pharmaceutical industry, and have consistently blocked even the most paltry efforts to reform this system. when I say consistently - I mean the leadership of both parties, for decades.
at this exact moment, dozens of these titanic pharmaceutical companies are using billions in taxpayer money to independently develop and distribute vaccines for COVID-19. rather than negotiate directly with the federal government on price, it is the general policy here that individual states compete with each other and the rest of the world internationally on the open market to secure basic medical equipment like masks, gloves, and ventilators as well as the vaccines themselves.
when it finally comes time for countries like Bangladesh, Chile, and Ghana to receive their vaccines - countries that overwhelmingly service the industrial and agricultural demands of the US - these companies will charge whatever they want to. millions will continue die or be thrown needlessly into poverty, for no reason than they simply can’t afford it.
it’s insane. there’s no other word to describe it.
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YouTube’s been doing this thing lately where their ad algorithm tries to time automatically inserted ad breaks to fall on black frames in the video, on the theory that a pure black frame is likely to form part of a transition between scenes, and the ad is thus less likely to cut a line of dialogue in half or whatever.
Unfortunately, the algorithm cannot distinguish between black frames that form part of scene transitions and black frames inserted for other dramatic purposes, with the result that I’ve watched videos whose ad breaks are perfectly timed to match, among other things:
Entering a dark room
The trigger of a gun being pulled
The beat between the setup and the punchline of a visual pun
A PoV shot in which the viewpoint character blinks
The protagonist getting punched in the face
If their goal was to make the timing of automatically inserted ad breaks feel less random, well, they succeeded!
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