Van Damme's leg is stuck in midair longer than usual. Buffering? The man in the spandex onesie does not pause for buffering—he laughs his villainous cackle and uppercuts our hero flat on his back into the drained pool in which they were just bare-knuckle boxing for the amusement of many evil patrons! Didn't Time Warner just raise their rates? Where is my money going? How badly is Time Warner fucking me over? (The answer—very badly.)
The Wall Street Journal breaks down exactly what the Time Warner "modem lease" fee (which has ballooned to $5.99 per month) does for costumers. Pretty much nothing, it turns out. Time Warner, scared of its own increasing irrelevancy, is using the money to engage in subtle stock manipulation that keeps its investors happy, but does little to actually improve its aging, shitty network. As the Journal explains:
You may ask, why does Time Warner Cable need this extra money when it seems to be doing so well? It needs the money to feed a growing line of dividends and stock buybacks — these are mechanisms for keeping the stock price up. And that keeps Wall Street happy.
The irony is that it needs those dividends and buybacks because investors are wary that the company doesn’t have much more growth in it. There is also the specter of cord-cutters, who are going to give up their cable subscriptions and render the company obsolete. In other words, Time Warner Cable is making you pay today for your customer sins of tomorrow.
Because Time Warner knows you will one day abandon it, it's fleecing you for every penny it can. But there are ways around this extra $72 per year that TWC needs to help sate its endless money-hunger—just buy your own pre-approved modem. Gizmodo lays out exactly how to get the biggest scam perpetrated on the American public since one-hour martinizing, or AT&T telephone rentals.
Time Warner Cable, what can they do worse?