15 November 2023

Degreased Link Sausage Platter

I've poured the excess fat off these link sausages, but that's far from their most objectionable ingredient. (Don't ask. You really, really don't want to know.)

  • Well, the studios blinked, essentially (with a few changed details to satisfy passive investors — and the Department of Labor — that they had negotiated hard). Inquiring minds want to know precisely what the studios' extensive legal departments were up to while negotiations were on hold, and particularly if there were either new loopholes being grafted in/new bad-faith interpretations being set down in long memos, or new not-collusive-no-never-collusive negotiating strategies for later individual-production negotiations being agreed to becoming industry custom via parallelism due to the (snort!) similar cost structures and efficiencies of the respective players.

    But it's also worth considering the headline of that article. H'wood is in trouble, whether from the executive overreach/blindness or creative ego/vacuum perspective. The common factor here is that none of the actual or prospective decisionmakers as to the entire "industry" have any background or experience whatsoever in the "development," the "design," or the "manufacture" of their products. That means, in turn, that the only internally-credible basis they can assert in intracorporate discussions is that past performance really will predict future returns — an assertion that almost never holds in securities (precisely why the SEC mandates that statement in ads and solicitations for investments and investment advice), and is virtually guaranteed not to hold in the arts. Go ahead: Name a figure in the arts who consistently obtained/continues to obtain both critical and public acclaim by never innovating, instead always being completely derivative. (And I do not mean derivative securities… this time.)

    Worse yet, this requires a Disney executive, or whichever major player we're worrying about, having the ability and motivation to say "Well, one reason that the MCU is now having problems is that we're trying to maintain slavish fanboy-approvable fidelity to the original comics when many of the original comics are shit" (which is an invocation of Sturgeon's Law at least as much as it is a criticism of comics, although the latter is certainly due too). We're just not going to mention other franchises, like a different one at Disney and one at Paramount (both "coincidentally" referring to a stellar body in with their first syllable) that are each even more dubious than 80s/90s superhero comics. It's not "superhero comics" that are the problem; it's badly written and conceived superhero comics that are the problem. And it helps to remember that Sturgeon was an optimist.

  • But what the literati — and, too often, the publishing industry and major bookstores — sneer at as "mere genre" (a sneer that ignores the historical meaning and misuses the word, but whatever) has value according to the British Library. Then, sometimes writing "mere genre" has other, personal consequences.
  • Continuing with the "unexpected seriousness" thread tying off that last sausage, it's rather sad, and entirely expected, when it takes nine years for someone in the "community" of international governments to catch up with a late-night comedy host and a years-past-their-greatest-popularity dance band. It's really awful when it's France that does so.

    Which is perhaps slightly less embarassing than a unanimous decision from the UK Supreme Court holding that a too-right-wing-for-most-Tories plan to return asylum seekers to a third country whilst their applications are "processed" is so obviously unlawful that one's lawyers probably advised against taking the appeal. The key issue here — one that The Orange One and antiimmigrant RealMurikans would ignore — is that one of the grounds for decision was settled international law that applies equally to the US (¶ 5), specifically regarding "leave the refugees in Mexico while their claims for asylum are resolved." (Because yeah, Mexico historically is just so welcoming to… alternative lifestyle choices.) And one should note that the UK Supreme Court, for reasons of tradition, resolves a much lower proportion of matters before it with a single unanimous opinion than does the US Supreme Court: This is the "not even close, bud" version.

    So, yeah: International law matters. And it can be inconvenient to tyrants.

  • Not so long ago, Illinois made its disdain for representative democracy apparent when the marginally-qualified daughter of the Speaker of the [State] House of Representatives not only ran for, but won, for statewide office, after having served as a state senator in a completely safe district. (Admittedly, it was a lesser-of-the-evils choice… each time she ran for Attorney General. The main reason the Heffalumps do so poorly in most of Illinois is that their candidates tend to be doofuses at best, and more often than not more corrupt than a Chicago machine Jackass. Sometimes one cannot tell the difference.) But now the First Spouse of New Jersey is campaigning for US Senator to replace indicted Bob Menendez. C'mon, guys, this is your inferiority complex speaking: You have to try to one-up Illinois in the nepotism standings? Really? It's almost offensively ludicrous. At least it doesn't involve any gold bars or FBI raids… yet.