Is EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE really all of that?
Plus some Quick Bites as we try to get back in the game
It’s Monday, April 11th, and here’s where we are…
It started as a little tickle of discomfort, not quite pain but a little bit more than pressure, deep inside the inner canal of my left ear. For most of the past nine days, this ear infection has been the primary focus of pretty much every waking hour. I’ve been trying to work, and I have failed magnificently.
Great timing, too. I reached out to a number of people who I’m curious about as possible co-hosts for my upcoming podcast, and I was about to start recording test conversations with them. It’s also the start of Spring Break for my sons, and I had plans to take them to see both John Woo’s Hard Boiled and Kubrick’s 2001 in the theater. Had to let those tickets go and I’ve been here at home, wrasslin’ with antibiotics and hot compresses and ear drops and all sorts of fun. If this particular edition of the newsletter seems extra cranky, that may just be the net result of all of this fatigue and irritation.
I’m glad I accidentally sat out all of the Will Smith discourse. He resigned from the Academy and they banned him from the broadcast and any Academy functions for ten years. Can we be done now? That should do it. Anything more than that seems like overkill. Not that the media is afraid of overkill, especially when it involves someone who is proven clickbait like Will Smith. I don’t think he should have resigned, and I think the vast majority of the discourse around Oscar night has been performative and ridiculous. Yes, it is a transgression to slap someone over a joke, regardless of venue, and the fact that it was during the Oscars only makes it more shocking. But the efforts to make this emblematic or somehow a statement on our culture is just another example of the Eternally Hungry Content Machine at work. The real test here is going to come when Will Smith releases his next film. Whatever questions you have about the residual public impact of the incident will be answered when Will Smith has to do a press tour and when the ticket-buying public gets their vote. One of the many reasons this was a terrible decision by Smith is because the age of the movie star has ended and anyone who was lucky enough to get grandfathered in should be happy they made it. At this point, studios have managed to do away with any kind of real film press and they’ve managed to kill the movie star. It’s a great time to be a corporate bean counter, and the rise of IP as the only thing that matters has been largely driven by the idea that this gives primary control back to the studios.
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