Monday, May 23, 2005

The new narco traffic

It's short, sweet and clever. Like Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" only it's Los Angeles, 2005, and the new narcotic is not acid but high-def filmmaking.

Sounds like cyberpunk, no?

Well, the funny thing is: it's fact, not fiction. In the above blog entry by Xeni Jardin, we are treated to an unabashedly consumerist directive (The movie was shot and projected in digital and the blogger swears this is now the only way to see movies) followed by, I shit you not, a bigwig from Lucas saying that they have installed monitors and spies throughout
the movie hall and will be going after anyone with any kind of recording device.

(Hence the "napkincam" title and motif which ties together the whole device. It's an _illicit_ recording device. Written in eyeliner, if I'm not mistaken.)

To me, this sounds like a new narco traffic.

So, here we have a highly addictive pleasure (well orchestrated hallucinations) mixed with a "black/white market" economy.

OK, OK, then the guy from fucking Lucas, at a fucking South African AIDS Relief benefit screening of the third Star Wars movie, says -- with very ineffective irony, I should add:

"We have monitors everywhere inside the theater tonight, looking for prohibited recording devices, and when I say we have monitors everywhere, I want you to remember, we are the people who invented the Evil Empire."

What?! Even if we're laughing at the hyperbole, we should be taking quite seriously what this exec would do if he _did_ have the legal wherewithall to do as his directors and big stakeholders have requested.

Jokes don't come out of thin air any more than special effects come out of computers. Bad jokes, like bad movies, tend to come from sloppy thinking. I can live with bad Star Wars movies. Bad intellectual copyright laws, on the other hand...

Oh, and a final aside for those of you who have seen the movie version of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" or read the book (highly recommended!). I wonder what the sherrif's convention would look like if it were actually an intellectual copyright enforcement convention. Is Bush an interesting version of Nixon? Iraq anything like Vietnam?

OK, well, that's all.


José Marquez


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