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January 10, 2006

Maybe the Sky Really is Falling

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

It seems as though the ground beneath the traditional movie and TV businesses is turning to sand, doesn't it? Two recent, telling announcements:

* Google will be competing with iTunes in delivering video.

* And a witty idea: The newest film festival in town limits submissions to films that are playable on an iPod.

Fans of fiction set in the traditional movie world shouldn't miss Anne Thompson's posting about her favorite Hollywood fiction-books.



posted by Michael at January 10, 2006


Stephen Green, at, has an interesting item about the fan film "Call of Cthulhu."

An excerpt:

Oh, and one other thing: I got to watch "Call of Cthulhu" purely because of file-sharing. I doubt I ever would have seen it otherwise; it's only for sale from the creators' website. But I scored a copy, and watched it, and loved it--and then bought the DVD for myself, this morning. Which is just another reason why the folks who made it are the future, and the Big Entertainment execs who never would have allowed it to be made are the past.

Posted by: beloml on January 11, 2006 10:07 AM

To me the story of this era is that the technological geniuses keep producing amazing tools while artists seem to have gone completely dry. Stale repetition of the same old story lines, the boring determination to shock the sensibilities of the rubes, the drone of the politically correct... this seems to be all that artists have on their minds.

I watched network TV shows last night for the first time in years. The camera movement was so extreme that I almost became dizzy. From a technical standpoint, the show I watched cannot be faulted. And, yet, the story line was the same old crap... white men as the bogey of the universe.

And what is the cause celebre of the movie industry but more of the same... Brokeback Mountain. The truth about this phenomenon is precisely backward... gay is the orthodoxy of the ruling class. Evangelizing for homosexuality has been the obsession of academia, the corporate world and the arts for my entire life.

As we try to become ever more outrageous in our personal lives, as the volume of the shock artists intensifies daily... the result is boredom and predictability.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on January 11, 2006 3:20 PM

First, let me say I'm so glad I discovered this site!
I gave up going to movie theatres years ago because, as much as I enjoy movies and seeing them on the big screen, I got tired of the seat kickers, the fidgeters, the slurpers, the yakkers, the cell phone-a-holics, the crunchers and lip smackers and all the rest. I also worried that the minute I shifted in my seat or sipped my drink I was behaving just as badly.
It may not be the big screen, but I enjoy watching films at home, comfortably seated on my sofa (instead of a having to wrestle with my neighbours for control of the armrest) adequate quantities of my favourite drinks and snacks readily at-hand (and not ludicrously over-priced) and with surround sound I even have some of the movie-theatre experience.
When I was a kid, I listened to music on AM radio. We had to put up with commercials after every second song, and those disc jockeys who thought their brainless patter was more entertaining than, say, the first guitar chords of Stairway to Heaven or the last few minutes of Layla. Today, through a couple of sources, I have access to commercial-free music with no brainless DJ patter. Better yet, I have a choice of stations whose styles cater to my tastes. I am old enough to remember that awful year when every AM radio station played Sugar, Sugar at least once every half hour. Anyone who wants to trace the beginning of the end of AM radio should start their research at that moment in history.
Is it any surprise, then, that we are so willing to accept new technologies that allow us to forego all the unwanted crap and get what we want? I do worry what will happen to the young people of today who won't know the true meaning of patience and tolerance because they won't have those sorts of experiences. I suppose they'll be able to complain, when they get to my age, about the days when all we had was dial-up.
Like Michael, I wonder where all this is leading. It took me two years to find your web-site in that ever-expanding sea of flotsam and jetsam on the Internet. How difficult will it be, in the future, to find good movies, books, etc.?
Perhaps it will come full circle -- we'll rely on ads on television, radio and newspapers.

Posted by: RGP on January 12, 2006 4:32 PM

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