4.23.2005

Minutiae

Here's four movies:
Ghost
Toy Story 2
Return of the Jedi
Meet the Fockers

Ok, now try to put them in order of box office take (worldwide), lowest to highest...

Got it?

Here's the answer:
Return of the Jedi ($475 million)
Toy Story 2 ($485 million)
Ghost ($505 million)
Meet the Fockers ($511 million)

Seriously... (from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/world/)

4.21.2005

The Boob Tube (hee hee)

Television frequently gets a bad rap as a purveyor of garbage and mindless waste of time, the junk food of entertainment. Books, however, are praised as the ultimate achievement in human history. We are trained from a very young age to dismiss TV as the lowest media while elevating, sometimes to a intimidating level, the almighty book (and I ain't talking Torah 2.0).

It's tough to argue otherwise. Any given person will say that most of what's on the idiot box is not worth their time. Any given person can likely also list a few books that they simply loved, oh and you should read it too! TV, WTF. Book, OMG.

Here's the problem. The number of new TV shows that appear each year is not that big a number. Maybe a couple hundred if you add them up across all the cable channels here in Canada. The number of new books that get printed each year is pretty large. Ok, here's my hypothesis (one I don't plan on supporting beyond its assertion). The ratio of books that you'd like to ones you'd hate is the same as the ratio of TV shows you'd like to TV shows you'd hate.

Now let's examine the two forms of media.

Television:
  • The viewer is at the mercy of the broadcaster to watch the shows they like.
  • Once a TV show you like ends its run, you are at the mercy of re-runs/syndication no matter how popular it was.

Book:
  • Buy the book in a store, enjoy when you like.
  • Once a book goes out of print, you can try to find old copies of it, or if it was popular, find a reprint.
Books that are in long-term demand, presumably because people enjoy them and thus posessing some quality one might term "good", subjective though that term might be, get reprinted into infinity. Shakespeare, still macking hard. Homer, gets the face-out treatment in stores today.

TV that you might be interested in, however, is buried in an avalanche of crap that you aren't interested in. Imagine you had an eBook whose pages dowenloaded Book A one hour and then Book B the next hour. You'd have to wait around for the book you wanted to read to come up. Or maybe find out which website would feed your eBook the book you wanted to read. Of course, your book would be filled with print ads every few pages and you could download the book for free once you bought the reader. Books are so liberating by comparison. Portable, ad-free, ready at your command, with a wealthy history where generations of readers have weeded out the obvious crap.

Which brings me to DVDs of TV shows. Finally, the book has arrived for the TV. It's not completely analogous, obviously. You do need a TV to watch it. But a history is being built. The good shows will outsell the obviously bad shows. The marginal shows make it to air as often as the marginal books make it to print but don't expect either to return for a second printing or a DVD if they dont appeal to someone. Every single show ever made is now going to the DVD. Thirty years from now, though, the selection of DVDs from this and previous eras will have been weeded through by consumers.

You can watch the shows when you want. There's no commercials. The power is now in the buyer's hands (provided your favourite show is allowed an opportunity to compete). The price is still not comparable. 50$ and up for a season is still steep versus 30$ for even the pricy hardcovers with used bookstores selling books for next to nothing (of course, compare just the number of people involved in making a TV show vs a book). Perhaps the day will come when audio/video storage with playback will be as cheaply made as books are and then we really will see an analogous situation. Who knows what re-runs of today will be the Dickens of tomorrow?

4.11.2005

But With A Whimper

As of April 18th, I will be gainfully employed.

It's a company that does "digital signage" (aka: ads in stores and malls). It's a small company of about less than 30 people. They seem to be growing though, so that's good. While advertising is not one of my favourite industries, my last employer was also a military contractor (in a another division) so I definitely feel like I've taken a step up the ethics ladder. I'll be doing the same ole QA routine: look for bugs, fix problems, write a ton of documentation. The really big bonus in this is that it's a twenty minute walk from home, right downtown. Oh man, what a relief to not have to drive. It's a dream come true.

I was hired mostly for my English skills as they appear to be hard to come by in Montreal among the technorati; their documentation apparently needs a total overhaul. Also, I got bonus points for having my CV on one page. Seriously, I've never understood why it should take more.

This all adds up to my wife sleeping a little more soundly and people finding out how tiny my penis is.

My very small sex organ. Doesn't hit the market until June...

Sorry, suffering humans, my sense of self needs indulging. Well, further indulging... Ok, massive self-indulgence. Yeah, that's me. Guilty, but not that guilty.

4.09.2005

Remix

Man, I'm a big Weezer fan. They're on my auto-buy list still (which reminds me I should pick up Guero by Beck when I get the weez album). I just saw the video for their new single, Beverly Hills, today. It was also the first time I heard the song. The video is pretty mediocre, which is disappointing because they usually manage something interesting. I was prepared to write off the single with the same word until... the Frampton solo. Love it. Salvages the whole song. Still not groovin' on the talk-singing and the "gimme-gimme" is a little Offspring ("uh-huh! uh-huh!", among others).

You can check it out at the MSN video site.

They also have the Clubfoot video by Kasabian at the MSN site. Reminds me of EMF (of the Unbelievable one hit wonder). I really liked the whole EMF album and even their follow up. Clubfoot has the same vibe. Must check them out.

Still rockin' to Tegan and Sara, Speak Slow.

Oh, and that sound you keep hearing everywhere you go is the sound of millions of teenagers learning to masturbate as inspired by Gwen Stefani's new video, Hollaback Girl. It pretty much pushes the high schooler fetish to its logical conclusion. I've never really found her physically attractive (so skinny!) but she's got her bodymoves set to eleven in this video. The song, passable, is largely irrelevant in the face of her sexyvibe. Yeah, that's two portmanteaus in two sentences... Score!

=w=

4.04.2005

Rock The House

I went curling yesterday.

I realised how much I missed it.

I hurt everywhere.