Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blogs and Ends: Memorial Weekend

Cataline admits he lacks the gift of precognition, (as Lady Cataline would have happily told you). 

Soylo is tracking for an opening weekend of 130 million and a worldwide boxoffice take of 300 million.  Given that this flick probably cost 200 million after reshoots it's going to be the first Star Wars movie to be a money loser.

About those reshoots.  The stuff that Kathleen Kennedy's sensitive son of  a real writer Jon Kasdan was so offended by.  The stuff that Cray-Cray Kay-Kay fired Lord and Miller for creating? Yeah, that is what's in the new funny trailers.  That stuff isn't in the movie however.

Can you say, reeks of desperation?  I knew you could!

There is a lot of Disney corporate politics that are currently in play.  Comcast has outbid Disney for Fox.  That doesn't mean the deal is dead but it's not good news for Bob Iger.  Although if that merger dies it's great news for Disney.  Bob Iger has been a cancer on Disney's corporate culture.  He is a ruthless boardroom politician who has destroyed anyone who was a potential replacement for him.  To include John Lasseter who got a leave of absence with a view towards termination for inappropriate hugging?  Fucking seriously? This from the corporate management that turned Lando Calrissian who was only interested in macking on Princess Leia into "a guy that might fuck a toaster #R2ME2."


Speaking of destroying Disney's family friendly rep,  here is the trailer for the new R Rated Muppets movie.  Yes it is from (still owned by Disney) Henson Studios and no, I do not recommend clicking on the link if you have fond memories of the Muppets that you want to keep.

Yeah, it sucks.


What was the point of Netflix' deal with the Obamas?

I confess to some extreme curiosity on this point.

First Susan Rice is put on the board and then the Obama's are treated to some impressive White People Welfare in the form of a production deal.

I usually follow the old adage of never attribute to evil what can be explained by incompetence. But that requires incompetence in the first place which Netflix hasn't shown an abundance of in the past.  The company's only real stumble was when they jacked the price of their basic service up by fifty percent.

Although how they handled that public relations blunder was sort of revealing.  They tried dissemination and deceit at every turn. Honestly telling their customers that the studios had locked arms and strong armed Netflix at the negotiating table was the subject they did not want to discuss at all.

Yes, Netflix produced some SJW garbage but it also delivered The Ranch, The Punisher and Lost in Space.  If it was totally converged it would never have green lit any of those projects.

There have been others who felt that Netflix was on the shady side of it's higher end business dealings.  I wasn't one of them...until now.  Susan Rice is bluntly a useless BOD member.  The Obamas were hilariously bad at the optics of public relations, hell even Barry admitted it.  So why give them that big of a blank check when you know that they will deliver...if anything at all...will be ratings garbage?

This deal will not generate any new subscription and already has produced a mass of cancellations.  Barry was never universally popular. Fifty percent job approval was the best he could ever manage and the other side HATED him.

This deal was a lose/lose for Netflix unless there is something going on in the background I don't know about.  Was putting Suzie and Barry on the payroll the price tag for something?

I'm thinking yes. 

Netflix is not the only game in town anymore.  Hulu, Amazon, Funimation, Youtube Red, Vue, Crackle, Sling and whatever new one popped up this week.  Disney is pulling out and if the Fox merger does go through then they lose that library too. Netflix is on the verge of becoming the new Blockbuser Video except they can see it coming and they had to make a deal with somebody...The question is who?


To end on a positive note.  I am very much interested in seeing Andy Serkis' version of Mowgli. 

Alone in all of Hollywood, Andy appears to have actually read the book by Rudyard Kipling.

Okay, I'm done here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Star Wars: Soylo Countdown D-2

"Our continued and debilitating obsessions with our childhood passions was caveman masculine until the Dames ruined it."

--Pablo Hidalgo,  Asshole who works still works at Lucasfilms.

Sorry to have brought Gender Identity politics into...
NOPE. Not sorry AT ALL 'cause I think the GALAXY
George gave birth to in '77 is big enough for 
EVERYONE: straight, gay, black, white, brown, Twi'lek,
Sulustan, Wookie, DROID and anything inbetween."

--Jon Kasdan, Asshole who wrote the script for Soylo a Soy Wars Story.

There is one thing that I do have to give George Lucas credit for (and I am not being sarcastic at all here):  customer service.

Trust me on this point. When you become an Amazon Indy author, you begin to get a bone deep understanding of just how critically vital  customer service is.

And Lucas delivered on that.  Over the thirty-something years that he owned the property he kept fan service on the front burner.  He encouraged an environment where the fans felt they had a sense of investment and even to a degree...ownership of Star Wars.

George had plenty of problems with his fans since the first Special Edition was released but that said, he would have had these two shitheads dragged out and shot.  They are still working at Lucasfilms.

Customer Service 101, you don't tell your customers that you are right and they are wrong.  You just don't do it because if you are telling your customers, "you've got it wrong!"  You. Have. Got. It. Wrong.

When Disney was in the process of acquisition one of the things that was repeatedly pointed out to George was that they had gone to some lengths to assure the fans that they would look after the Star Wars the right way.  Disney pointed to it's annual Star Wars Weekends at Disney World, which was an unofficial gathering of the clan every May.

It should be emphasized that this campaign was conducted by Disney Parks which has an actual college for customer service. It's pity Cray-cray Kay-Kay was never forced to attend.

With George Lucas out of the picture the Gamma males he recruited over the years have the run of the place at Lucasfilms.  Gammas aren't always SJWs but SJWism is very Gamma friendly.  It provides the secret king with a secret kingdom.  It gives them a balcony, upon which to gaze down at the masses.

Secret kings are not naturals when it comes to Customer Service. They would much rather scream, "you're completely wrong!" Rather than ask, "how can I make this better?"

The internal numbers at Disney must be terrifying because these guys have gone full Ghostbusters 2016 on the Star Wars' core audience.  How dare you cretins not love this movie!

The problem here is the boss.  Kathleen Kennedy, is no story teller,  so she can't really tell a good story from a terrible one.  She also can't tell the difference between a strong character and a weak one.  But what she does know how to do is acquire power.

Here is the thing about Dark Triad Females, with them it is all about obtaining and keeping POWER.  At it's most extreme example; male serial killers hunt but female serial killers gather.

Just to be absolutely clear I am not saying, hinting or even obliquely speculating that Kathleen Kennedy is a serial killer.

The only thing Cray-cray Kay-Kay has ever killed was the golden goose called Star Wars.

At Lucasfilm she has complete power over a group of Gamma males who are invested in sucking up to the boss because that is the corporate culture at Lucasfilms.  She had complete power over Rian Johnson and so loved the experience she green lit his own Star Wars trilogy despite the fact that it's pretty obvious he hates Star Wars.

She does have complete control over the franchise and that appears to have made her so dizzy with power she's blithely wrecked the fanbase in the name of feminism.

As I said at the start, George Lucas fostered a fanbase that felt a sense of ownership over Star Wars.  Kathleen Kennedy and her sycophants at Lucasfilms, have baldy told the fans, no you don't own this, we do and you will enjoy it the way we tell you to.

We'll see if the box-office numbers agree with her.

UPDATE:  Great minds think alike.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Star Wars: Lucasfilms' Biggest Problem

Gamma Male: The introspective, the unusual, the unattractive, and all too often the bitter. Gammas are often intelligent, usually unsuccessful with women, and not uncommonly all but invisible to them, the gamma alternates between placing women on pedestals and hating the entire sex. This mostly depends upon whether an attractive woman happened to notice his existence or not that day. Too introspective for their own good, gammas are the men who obsess over individual women for extended periods of time and supply the ranks of stalkers, psycho-jealous ex-boyfriends, and the authors of excruciatingly romantic rhyming doggerel. In the unlikely event they are at the party, they are probably in the corner muttering darkly about the behavior of everyone else there... sometimes to themselves. Gammas tend to have have a worship/hate relationship with women, the current direction of which is directly tied to their present situation. However, they are sexual rejects, not social rejects.

The two worst bosses I've ever had in my life were both Gamma Males.

Trying to work for a Gamma Boss is an exercise in forced obsequiousness on your part.  They demand the bended knee constantly because of their paper thin egos.

The Gamma Boss' favorite battle cry is, "don't come to me with a problem unless you've got a solution."  They think this is a brilliant way to foster initiative in their subordinates.  What it really fosters is a situation where everyone lies to the boss.  If you have a problem that you can't solve but can bury, you bury it and hope for the best.  

The Gamma Boss, inhabits a happy dream world where he has humiliated his high school bully (that's you, if you're an Alpha) and everyone always tells him how smart, successful and cool he is, so that nothing can challenge that state of bliss.  In truth he is walking around in a minefield of buried problems that have a nasty tendency to go up in a chain reaction once the first one blows.

If the Gamma Boss is lucky, he's moved on before this happens.

Which conveniently brings us to Lucasfilms.

American Graffiti was a pretty big hit in it's day.  In fact it kicked off the fifties nostalgia craze that lead from Happy Days on through to Back to the Future.  If you have ever seen it, it isn't hard to figure you which characters are the avatars for the kid George Lucas was and the one he wanted to be.

When Lucas made Star Wars, you saw the same thing.  George clearly dreamed of being Han Solo but then he'd wake up and find he was Luke Skywalker.

Despite the image that George likes to project Star Wars was a truly collaborative effort.  He had a big budget (for it's day) and that attracted the best talent.  But they didn't stay. John Dykstra was out the door as fast possible and he wasn't the only one. There was a reason for that.

If you told Lucas, that won't work more than once, you were out.

George was now starting to build Lucasfilms,  however Star Wars had been such a draining effort for him that he was notoriously disengaged through out the production of The Empire Strikes Back.  That was Irven Kirshner's project.

Lucas was reengaged in filmmaking when he made Raiders of the Lost Ark with Steven Speilberg. And no getting around it. That was a great film although there were a few Lucas hallmarks connected with it.  Secret of the Incas was buried so deeply that it fell into public domain.  Just to protect George from the well aimed charge of having totally ripped off Harry Steele when he created Indiana Jones.

 Lucasfilms' last really good film is one that I am certain that you never heard of called Twice Upon A Time.   Still a favorite of mine.

It is the last picture by Lucasfilms that lists Marcia Lucas in the credits.

Marcia Lucas was the one person that could make, "No," stick with George.  Collaboration was out the window at Lucasfilms when their divorce was finalized.  And that was when the bad really started to set in.

Like any Gamma, George is given to lying constantly and like any Gamma boss, he demanded that everyone repeat his lies.

Classic example (1): Lucas claiming that Darth Vader was always Luke's father.  Bullshit.  In his original iteration Vader was more like a court favorite commando, sort of like Otto Skorzeny.  He really wasn't all that important in the circles of the Empire's high and mighty.  Princess Leia didn't think twice about getting all up in his grill when he boarded her ship.  The admirals in the Deathstar conference room seemed to regard him as Tarkin's pet.  Tarkin was the most important guy in that room, not Darth Vader.  He was just a knuckle duster.   "He was just the guy that showed up when the Empire meant business." - Mister Plinkett

Also, he wasn't Luke's Father.

The early drafts of the script had Luke's Father and Darth Vader fighting it out on the rim of a volcano.  They both fell in and only Vader crawled out.  Vader didn't become Luke's father until Empire.

It wasn't just a plot twist, it was the lowest point in the story for Luke because the central truth of his life was now revealed as a lie.  That worked but there was no string of clues adding up to the reveal.***

Classic Example (2):  Lucas claiming that Luke and Leia were always brother and sister.  That one is really a crock of shit.  The romantic subplot of Luke and Leia was a very strong element in the early expanded universe stories.  Particularly in Splinter in the Minds Eye.  You have to remember, Harrison Ford was really not too cool with being Mark Hamill's supporting actor and for a while it looked like he was not going to sign on for any more sequels.

Honestly the only reason that Han got the girl was that (A) in the second movie, a love interest had to be selected if their was to be any romance at all. (B) Luke was too busy learning how to be a credible threat to Darth Vader to pursue a  relationship. And (C Prime) Ford and Fisher had some pretty strong chemistry.  Rather than just have Luke say, "I'm happy for the both of you" and then take off for Heartbreak Town.  Lucas opted to neatly tie everything down emotionally with the silly-ass soap opera reveal.  It was incredibly weak but by then nobody was telling George, no.  The Gamma Boss wouldn't allow it.

These were both ridiculous lies.  But everyone at Lucasfilms repeated them endlessly.  If you were in the mainstream entertainment press you repeated them endlessly if you wanted to maintain access.  The Gamma Boss was now able to alter perceived reality to fit his self image.

During the next twenty years, George Lucas transformed Lucasfilms into a fortress that would protect his ego.  If you could tell the Gamma Boss, no, then your resume would be kept on file.

Everybody always asks why were the Special Editions made?  Because no one at Lucasfilms dared to tell him no.   I am quite certain that they started out as a simple clean up and restoration project but then George asked the computer effects guy if he could add something.  The rest was tragic history.

If you ever watch the documentary on the making of Phantom Menace, George reaches a point where he realized that the climax is an unworkable mess with too much stuff going on all at once and no one in the room knows what to say to him.  If you start telling the Gamma Boss he is wrong, where the hell do you stop?

George chugged his way through the second and vastly inferior trilogy that was chock of full of characters that no one ever missed, (possible exception Darth Maul but that was entirely Ray Parks performance).

There were numerous Star Wars related projects that never went anywhere. Maybe he was too creatively exhausted by creating the fiction that was his Gamma Boss universe.

And finally he made the thoroughly forgettable Red Tails and proudly and repeatedly lied about it being "the first film with an all Black cast."

It was a staggeringly absurd lie.

Two Gun Man from Harlem (1938)

Yes, the girl is black too.
She was Joe Louis' girlfriend 
and was really into foxhunting*

Redtails was released in 2012.  That was the year that George Lucas discovered that he could force everyone except people on Facebook and Twitter to repeat his lies about himself and his movies.  His Gamma Boss delusion bubble shattered and he finally gave into to Disney's thirty year campaign to get him to sellout.**

Lucasfilms was sold for 4.05 billion dollars to Disney and Cray-Cray Kay-Kay was handed the keys to the crown jewels.

Lucasfilms, an organization that was built from the ground up to make certain that no one ever told the boss, "Sir, I'm sorry but that is a really bad idea," was handed over to a woman who never wanted to hear it.  The silent minefield that had been built up for forty years finally went off last December.

NEXT Lucasfilms' Second Biggest Problem (The Dark Triad Female)

*By that I mean actual Fox hunting on horseback.

** Remember Captain EO?  Yeah, that was a Lucasfilms production.  Micheal Jackson as man of action was George's idea.  The Bad goes back that far.

***I know some nerd is going to have to bring this one up.   Aunt Beru sympathizes with a boy that wants to get off the farm.  Uncle Owen is worried about having to bury the boy that he raised as his son.  Clearly and obviously neither  Owen or Beru are worried about Luke becoming another unspeakable monster.  They would never had let him keep his last name if they were worried about that.  Kind of a giveaway to Anakin Vader you know?

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Panopticon

The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Benthamin the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow all (pan-) inmates of an institution to be observed (-opticon) by a single watchman without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behaviour constantly. The name is also a reference to Panoptes from Greek mythology; he was a giant with a hundred eyes and thus was known to be a very effective watchman.

The design consists of a circular structure with an "inspection house" at its centre, from which the manager or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, sanatoriums, and asylums, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison. It is his prison that is now most widely meant by the term "panopticon".

Bentham described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example."[1] Elsewhere, in a letter, he described the Panopticon prison as "a mill for grinding rogues honest"

Presidio Modelo in Cuba was built along Panopticon lines in 1928. When Fidel Castro took over he came up with an innovation. Certainly punish those that committed an infraction but also any who clearly knew about the infraction.

Thus were minds more efficiently policed.

The Presidio was closed sometime ago but the SJWs have found a much more efficient Panopticon with which  to imprison their minds.