Some exempla (because we’re just that highfalutin around here) that didn’t fit into the previous post, in case you need or want them:
“[A] vibrant and expanding content universe.” According to The AV Club, that’s a statement from an official press release by AMC Studios, the big media conglomerate behind the tv show The Walking Dead, which is somehow still on the air, and does everyone see what I mean? The reviewers rightly mock this abominable corporate-speak, but that’s the kind of thing I’m talking about — by mocking the suits, the reviewers (and by extension we, the viewers) think they have agency. Hahaha, look at those MBA-tards! And yet, you still watch the show.
The proper response to a phrase like “a vibrant and expanding content universe” is to throw your tv out the nearest window. The only sane thing to do, upon learning that this summer’s biggest blockbuster is going to be Iron Man vs. Thor, Part 7: And This Time, Darth Vader is a Girl!!! is join a monastery. I’ve given this a lot of thought — way, way too much thought for a guy who doesn’t watch tv and hasn’t seen a movie in years — and I’ve concluded that the real reason they keep “gender-swapping” franchise characters is, quite simply, that they can’t think of anything else to do. Yeah yeah, it’s an insult to the Normies, and that’s great and all, but again, this is the equivalent of giving the grade school kid a gold star and telling xzheym xhey’re a good organism — it gives an illusion of agency to learned helplessness.
Moviemaking, like sailing a giant container ship through the Suez, is one of those things that can be put on autopilot for 99% of the journey. The most striking thing about any “true Hollywood story” is that it’s a teeny tiny world, where all the same people do all the same things over and over again, like clockwork. For instance, I recently read a guy’s tale of life as a roadie. Not “a roadie for [band X],” because he wasn’t — he spent a lot of time on [band X’s] tour, yeah, and by the middle of the book he’s talking about what good friends he is with [famous frontman], but then the tour ends, and he goes to work for *NSYNC.
No, really — [band X] was the kind of hard-rockin’ outfit that opens for Metallica and regularly loses key personnel to heroin overdoses, and this cat loved being part of that show, but without a second’s hesitation he signs on with a fucking boy band, because that’s just what roadies do. That’s the show; that’s the life; and running a stage for five flouncing prettyboys and their battalion of backup dancers is no different than running a stage for the Collapsed Veins Quartet. And hey, speaking of Metallica, have y’all seen Some Kind of Monster yet? If you have, you’ll recall the scene where they audition for a new bass player. He doesn’t end up getting the gig, but the band happily jams out with a guy whose main touring credit is listed as “Alanis Morissette.” He’s a long-haired, tatted-up dirtball, just like Metallica, because they’re all like that. It’s just the life.
That’s the “99% on autopilot” stuff. I truly would not be surprised to learn that most movie scripts are literally written by computer, and that “screenwriting” credits these days work like “songwriting” credits used to (and perhaps still do) work in the music industry: “Change a word, get a third,” because that’s how producers funnel money to their lackeys and butt boys. Did anyone actually even greenlight Wonder Woman vs. Spiderman 4: James Bond’s Revenge, or did it just kinda happen, because the machine keeps on rolling? Again, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it was the latter, and the “gender swapping” is just a way for the “producers” to feel like they’re actually doing something.
So too with The Walking Dead and its “vibrant and expanding content universe.” The machine squirted out a script, and the execs just plugged in “properties” to make it work. Those spinoffs could’ve easily been filled with “characters” from The Golden Girls as easily as The Walking Dead. It’s just the system.
Last one: Here’s the top fiction bestsellers from 2020, according to the New York Times (according to Wikipedia). Being the highbrow that I am, I haven’t read a “fiction bestseller” this entire century, and even I recognize 90% of those names… and the ones I don’t, like Delia Owens, are obvious products of the Oprah’s Book Club hype machine, soon to disappear down the memory hole with Elizabeth Wurtzel and Charles Frazier and the rest of the MFA wunderkinden whose second-person, present-tense quirkfests now go for a buck fifty used on Amazon. John Grisham! James Patterson! (I thought he was dead). Nora Roberts! J.D. Robb! Danielle Steele, for Christ’s sake, and I honestly thought she was a hologram. Would you truly be surprised to learn that these were all written by computer, too?Loading Likes...