While the geeks cream their jeans waiting for the iPhone, I’m waiting (much longer) for PT-141. And that ain’t a patrol boat:
“With PT-141, you feel good, not only sexually aroused,” reported anonymous patient 007, a participant in a Phase 2 trial, “you feel younger and more energetic.” Said another patient: “It helped the libido. So you have the urge and the desire. . . . You get this humming feeling; you’re ready to take your pants off and go.”
Not that I need any help, mind you…
Cleaning up some old bookmarks I decided to pay UBUWEB a visit and came across Orson Welles: The One Man Band, a 1995 documentary by Vassill Silovic that features fascinating bits and pieces from the numerous projects Welles started but never finished in his later years. It’s 90 minutes long, but if you’re like me it’s completely fascinating. One can only wonder what Welles would have done in the age of digital video, when the costs would have dropped immensely. Of particular interest to me are his readings from Moby Dick. Has Melville ever sounded this good?
Went to a sneak preview last night of Werner Herzog’s first big-budget Hollywood film, “Rescue Dawn,” about Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale), a US pilot shot down over Laos and how he escapes internment. My review will come later, but in the meantime my friend Jon has pointed out this New Yorker profile on making the film from about a year ago. Apparently, Herzog (with whom I share a birthday) likes to do things his way:
The fact that Herzog has been making films for more than forty years, many of them acclaimed as works of unnerving originality, didn’t shake the collective judgment that he was doing it all wrong. The mood on the set was toxic. Josef Lieck, the first assistant director, who has worked with Wim Wenders, said, “For a man of his age, it’s a very . . . raw talent. It’s more like an eighteen-year-old running into the forest.” A costume designer complained, “He doesn’t know basic things about filmmaking, things that simply make it easier to tell a story. He thinks that these things will undermine his vision, but they won’t.” Harry Knapp, an assistant director, said, “There is a silent war on the set. We’re all in a state of shock.” Herzog, for his part, politely ignored the crew’s complaints. Zeitlinger explained, “When making a film, Werner tries to pretend as if nobody is around but him and the actors.”
That the film is very suspenseful and gripping shows how much all the crew’s opinion really mattered. The article is long, but a hoot.
Rolling Stone has an article up about Who Killed the Record Industry. Answer: the companies themselves.
So who killed the record industry as we knew it? “The record companies have created this situation themselves,” says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. While there are factors outside of the labels’ control — from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs — many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels’ failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. “They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster — that was the moment that the labels killed themselves,” says Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of management company the Firm. “The record business had an unbelievable opportunity there. They were all using the same service. It was as if everybody was listening to the same radio station. Then Napster shut down, and all those 30 or 40 million people went to other [file-sharing services].”
I would also add a few other factors:
1) Getting rid of singles, and forcing people to buy an album for one song. Another reason people started grabbing MP3s.
2) Never dropping the price on CDs, but instead jacking it up to about $18. A crime.
3) Shameless CEO salaries.
4) Being Lowest Common Denominator about everything.
Also, why don’t record companies sell CDs for cheap at concerts? That’s a major audience who are ready to impulse buy. I’m sure there’s some stizoopid legal reason for this, but I’ve always seen this as a missed opportunity.