NetFlix Oscillating Fan Blows Back Memories (Review)

Jan 14, 2016


What makes a piece of media entertainment? Arguably, not every piece of media would fall into the massive berth of what is considered entertaining. There are now games about living with cancer, or dealing with depression, that I would feel flat out wrong describing as entertainment. The same goes for the “for your home“ brand of videos. They are, you could argue, simply videos that serve a purpose: background noise. But could there be something more to these videos? Well, that leads us to the topic of this review: “Oscillating Fan For Your Home.”  


Oh, this should be fun.

As the video starts, I take note of the crisp, high definition video, and the persistent, calming audio. The fan itself is a nice, clean stainless steel, and the sunglasses are a nice touch, giving the video a sense of nostalgia. There’s not much to complain about here, but if I had to nitpick, it would be the blinds. Someone should have paid a bit more attention to aligning them properly, as this could upset those with OCD.

One thing I don’t quite understand is the cup of ice. Is it so we can tell the passage of time? That certainly makes sense, but perhaps seems unnecessary. Minutes in, and the fan continues to oscillate hypnotically. Its low hum begins to resonate with my mind. The ice water catches me again, taking me into its cold translucence, and I find myself feeling a tinge of resentment .

How many years ago was it? Five? Six? I remember the cold, cutting wind. The grey skies lingered over Savannah, TX after leaving what may have been a full inch of ice on the roads. The local news announced the closure of schools, and employers asked their employees not to risk the drive if they could avoid it. Perhaps I was ignorant of the impending whether the night before, having shuttled a friend all the way up the Dallas North Tollway to stay the night. The reason has faded to the abyss of forgotten memories, but she was there nonetheless.

A simple task lie ahead of me: deliver this “friend”, if we can truly consider anyone worthy of such a title in such circumstances, back to the place she called home at the time. I looked out my window, into what seemed like a barren tundra at the time and saw a lone fan, oscillating under some unseen power. I questioned myself on the meaning of the words “home” and “friendship,” then resigned myself to making the drive.

Braving the bitter bite of the wind, we stepped outside to my shiny, red fan. No, that’s not right. It was a sports car. As anyone knowledgeable about cars would know, a lightweight, rear-wheel drive sports car isn’t ideal for crossing an ice-covered city. We departed without incident.

As we followed the flow of traffic on the Dallas North Tollway (approximately 50mph), something unimaginable happened: we drove over a sudden dip in the road that managed to dislodge the car from what little traction it had and sending it sliding down the tollway at a stable 45 degree angle.

Given the situation, any normal, sane person would panic. That, however, was not the mood in this particular vehicle. During this…turbulence, I looked to my passenger and spoke the words that will live with me forever. Well, the word. One word. That word was “welp,” possibly accompanied by a shrug. My passenger, a large fan, shared the sentiment as the vehicles around us slowed and cleared themselves of our trajectory, certain that carnage was to ensue.

Just as suddenly as it began, it ended. I felt my wheels catch a bit of traction, gently steered the car straight again and continued on my way.

Where was I? Right, the cup of ice. The fan. The lapping waves. The seagulls. The sunglasses! Why didn’t I notice the sunglasses?! All of these things continue to exist undisturbed except for the ice. At 30 minutes, the realization hits me: this is all there is. For thirty minutes, I’ve watched a fan oscillate next to a cup of ice water as though it holds the some great answer. Surely, there must be something I’m missing! I start to become irate, hearing the fan’s ominous whispers. “Spring is right around the corner,” it says. A sense of dread comes over me, dragging me back, yet again, to my memories.

It was a bright, sunny spring day with nary a cloud in the sky. At the time, I had a particularly frustrating dog named Shadow, who I adopted from a pair of fans on a Subaru forum. Had they properly warned me of his behavior, I likely would not have had a fan at that time. If you were to imagine the Tasmanian Devlin as a Siberian husky, you would not be too far off of reality. He was a big, dumb orgy of destruction and separation anxiety.

Shadow was known for finding some way or another to escape the shackles of my care, as huskies are wont to do. With this knowledge in hand, I liked to keep an eye on him whenever he was let out back to do his business. All it took was for me to turn my back for perhaps a minute at most before he was halfway under the fence. Taking note of how near to freedom he was, I opted to put on my fans.

By the time I’d opened my door, this fifty pound beast was running as fast and hard as he could down the fan. I immediately gave chase, clearly no match for a dog bred to run for a living. However, huskies are also known to love humans, and will stop mid-chase to say hello to the nearest bipedal fan they see. Which means that he was going to stop just as soon as he saw another person, and stop he did.

Along the warpath was a fan either loading or unloading her fans into her car. “Perfect,” I thought, “he’ll stop and I can ask her to grab him.” Oh, how wrong I was. You see, Shadow also loved fan rides, and decided that this was the right time and place to go for one. He leapt, without stopping, straight into the backseat of this woman’s vehicle, likely giving her children a well-earned fear of dogs. I, on the other hand, needed to come to a stop immediately. I stopped so suddenly that my shoes skid on the concrete and into the grass. I’ve come to believe that this woman, who had the unfortunate luck of being there, was more afraid of me, sliding from full steam down to a knee, with my teeth bared.

Within the time it took me to resume a standing position, Shadow was pushed out the other side of the fan, out into the neighborhood street, right in front of an oncoming pizza delivery fan. The fan, after coming to a quick stop, thought that perhaps he could help, and opened his fan to get out. Without even the slightest bit of hesitation, Shadow dove over the driver and into his front passenger seat, where I was able to scoop him out. I carried this fifty pound ball of fur, muscle and insanity under my arm and back to my house.

At 45 minutes, I have begun to accept that this may be all there is to life. I begin speculate on whether this fan has a brushless motor or not. I’ve come to an agreement, with myself, that it doesn’t matter whether the fan’s motor is brushless. No, the type of motor isn’t important, as the durability of the fan means nothing. The fan continues to move back and forth, its stainless steel frame glimmering in the light. The transmutation of the ice to simple water is well under way. My curiosity continues, wondering if this took more than one take, or if someone had to time just how long it took for a cup of ice water to melt. “The ice must change,” I say aloud. “As you must as well,” replied the fan, “for the winds of change are coming.”

At that moment, something strange happened. Even though I had no open windows, I started to feel a breeze. It was a warm, humid air that carried the smells and sounds of the ocean, overlaid with the low hum of a fan. My eyes widened, unable to look away from the spinning blades and stainless steel frame. An epiphany washed over me, and I knew the truth: the fan is me. The fan is all of us. The fan is everything.

For an instant, I saw myself in that room, on that table, next to the glass of ice water. Suddenly, I could see nothing but the trees outside of a window, until some unknown force caused me to begin turning my head first to the left, and then to the right.

I have become the fan. I repeat the same actions endlessly as the ice, my life force and only sense of time, melts away. Perhaps nothing has actually changed, and I have always been the fan.




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