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This is more about the "Hotel California" business model where you can't cancel a service without jumping through ridiculous hoops.



I’d never heard of the “Hotel California business model.” Googled it - for others: Hotel California is a song by the band The Eagles, which contains the lyrics:

  “Relax," said the night man,

  "We are programmed to receive

  You can check out any time you like

  But you can never leave!"


Can someone explain it to me, though?

Logically, after you check-out of a hotel you've surrendered your right to abode at that location - after that you're usually limited to common/shared areas like the lobby, bar, restaurant, maybe the pool - but excepting the lobby those places are closed at night - and they'd have security to remove people from the lobby if necessary - so as far as the Eagles' are concerned, what is it to "never leave" when you legally cannot stay?


From Wikipedia:

> The song has been described as being "all about American decadence and burnout, too much money, corruption, drugs and arrogance; too little humility and heart." It has also been interpreted as an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s. Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles", and later said: "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about."

Hotel California is, of course, not literally a hotel; it's a metaphor for an addictive and entrapping lifestyle, and your legal "right to abode at that location" is a real-world detail that doesn't really matter for the purposes of the metaphor. The singer wants to get out -- by "checking out" he has declared his intentions to leave the hotel, but the point of the song is that wanting to leave is not the same as actually leaving.

It's a bit more obvious if you consider the full verse:

> Mirrors on the ceiling / The pink champagne on ice / And she said: "We are all just prisoners here / Of our own device"

> And in the master's chambers / They gathered for the feast / They stab it with their steely knives / But they just can't kill the beast

> Last thing I remember, I was / Running for the door / I had to find the passage back / To the place I was before

> "Relax," said the night man / "We are programmed to receive / You can check out any time you like / But you can never leave!"


The song is a metaphor, though what the metaphor is has been debated — be it drugs or some other form of escapism. In any respect, the “check out” is a play on words of the euphemism for dying — your only way out is death, which is partly what makes the belief so popular that the song is a metaphor for a drug like heroin.


"check out" also has a slang meaning, not literally that you stopped paying for a hotel but get to stay anyway, and the song is not about a hotel.


It's not literal.




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