My colleague and friend David Fiorito’s toy company (DreamLand Toyworks) is having an official launch party for a line of excellent collectible toys called Hoodiez, designed by Carl Jones, the artist behind Boondocks.
Check out the site, but if you’re in town, definitely go by the gallery, because even after the party Jones’ work will be on display until sometime in May.
It’s easy to overlook them. The Skinner-box button-pushers, watching the wheels roll and roll. Surrounded by a ‘paradise’ that still leaves them wanting — and thinking they’ll find it like this.
Vegas was a mixed bag. I guess I’d always seen so many glamorous photos and film shots, even the ones that tried to be ‘gritty’ still managed to put a sort of mythic gleam over everything.
But it’s not mythic. It’s plastic. It’s the progeny of a one-night stand between the Magic Kingdom and TGI Friday’s. Inescapable throngs of flip-flopped, booze-soaked denizens, eyes bugged wide by the promise of … what? I’m not even sure. Entertainment, certainly, but another flavor invades the way saccharine crowds and leaves a film over any other flavor. Luxury, perhaps. Richness of the kind that first comes to mind when someone says “rich”: Trumpism mixed with Hollywood ersatz.
I don’t mean to be so down on it. Really. I’m a big fan of decadent, crazy, outrageous kitsch. But this somehow was so overwhelming, it wasn’t even kitsch. (Definitely not camp.) Now I understand why U2 filmed the video for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” here so many years ago — and that was before it was injected with virtual-reality steroids.
The conference was terrific (except for having trouble escaping the waves of noise and humanity to have a decent conversation). I’m amazed the team made it come together as well as they did given the circumstances.
Fortunately, most of the time was much happier than I’m letting on here. Check out my iasummit2007 Flickr stream.
For the record: I know plenty of people enjoy Vegas a great deal, and they have fun gambling and seeing shows and everything, and I think that’s actually really great. Some of my family enjoy doing it from time to time, and they seem to always come back smiling. I think it just hit me in a strange way on this trip — but I’m always like that; if there’s a silver lining I’ll find a cloud. I just can’t help noticing the souls that seem to be a little lost, a little vacant behind the marquee-reflecting eyes. But hey, that’s just me.
If you close your eyes and listen to Rainn Wilson, especially in Six Feet Under re-runs, you can swear he’s about to say, “Dave … I can’t let you do that.”
Creeps. Me. Out.
… the Violent Femmes song “Blister in the Sun” is being used to advertise a sandwich from Wendy’s.
Big hands. I know you’re the one.
Two remarkable things get said in the recent Boing-Boing post Disney exec: Piracy is just a business model
First, Disney’s co-exec chair admits they’ve had an enlightened paradigm shift on piracy:
We understand now that piracy is a business model,” said Sweeney, twice voted Hollywood’s most powerful woman by the Hollywood Reporter. “It exists to serve a need in the market for consumers who want TV content on demand. Pirates compete the same way we do – through quality, price and availability. We we don’t like the model but we realise it’s competitive enough to make it a major competitor going forward
Pretty amazing that. The fact that they realize this isn’t so much criminal activity as it is the collective effort of its customers emerging as a competitive entity that routes around the impediments of traditional media delivery.
But evidently she also said Disney’s strategy is primarily about content because “content drives everything else.” And Cory Doctorow (who posted this at BB) makes a stellar point:
Content isn’t king. If I sent you to a desert island and gave you the choice of taking your friends or your movies, you’d choose your friends — if you chose the movies, we’d call you a sociopath. Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.
I love that… he nails it.
For example, American Idol’s content isn’t what makes it a sensation — it’s the fact that it inspires conversations among people. It’s set up as a participatory exercise — regular people competing, and regular people voting. The same with sports, serial drama television and even video games. Content can be engineered to be more or less conducive to conversation — and I guess in that way it ‘drives everything else’ — but that has as much to do with the nuances of delivery (the ‘architecture’ of the content, if you will) as it does with the content itself.
And in that sense, you could see piracy as not only a business model, but another form of discourse. Piracy is a sort of conversation — people share things because they’re seeking social capital, influence, validation, or even just shared communal experience.