Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Western Romance and a sense of humor

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra is one of those bands
that should not missed. They keep you glued to the
screen. Enjoy The Good The Bad The ugly:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not piracy but the lack of intelligent movies is the problem

John Carr wrote a remarkable article about the obvious failure of Hollywood
producers who all too often make rather stupid decisions and have not to
bright strategies.

Carr poinst not only at the decline of twenty percent at the box office recently
but goes further:

"If Hollywood continues down its path of churning out tired remakes and franchise
entries, they will inevitably sacrifice huge swaths of the movie-going public, and
eventually start losing their core teenage/young adult base. (Put bluntly, the fact
is: crap all dressed up is still crap.)

It's odd. Just when a movie like The King's Speech proves to Hollywood that
boomers will go to the movies in droves when an intelligent, high-quality feature is
offered, they turn around and go back to pushing all their 3-D product for kids."

The practically permanently declining TV programmes, the films offered on TV,
are the other obvious evidence of the lack of good movies. John Carr thus asks
with good reasons: Are Movie Theaters an Endangered Species? 

The crisis in the film industry began in 2009, not just in LA, but other countries as
well. (A search with "movie industry crisis" on the net turn up quite a lot.) This
crisis came parallel with the financial crisis, interestingly enough. One of the big
mistakes that led to it was the idea to make a lot of money with stupid movies, a
concept that did not work out.

Occasionally a report in the financial pages mentions an investment
fund or other investment vehicle that invested in movies is performing
badly, if not being bust altogether, that these funds had financed
Hollywood flops.
The idea a couple of years ago was to finance some, mildly stated,
silly movie and make lots of money out of that. The same idiocies as
elsewhere in the financial sectors were also committed with non
market worthy movies. And, when looking closer, it is often those
who sit on such non market worthy movies who blame whoever
and whatever, are close to blackmail the general public for some
money to compensate them for the mistakes and follies.

Monday, April 11, 2011

NoW scandal ringing in end of tabloid era?

The hacking scandal of NoW could well accelerate the decline of readership and thus
circulation. Newspapers are losing readers anyhow, gradually and continually.
Coming into real disrepute now with that scandal is likely to decrease their value for
advertisers because once a newspaper, a radio or TV channel is not taken serious
anymore so are the ads appearing there. All of it is regarded ever more as ludicrous,
silly, even by the most narrow minded readers.

The newspapers of News International are in any case not profitable. Murdoch is
subsidizing them out of the other News Corps operations. A further decline of
revenue of the newspapers is thus becoming a serious dead weight in News Corp's
balance sheets. This subsidy to loss making newspapers is any case a serious
issue with investors in News Corp shares.

That scandal might eventually have some funny aspects. A great part of tabloid
buyers are rather old, with not too much education and living in rather humble
circumstances. It is not usual that those eldery folks buy two, three or even four
tabloids every day, spending between twenty or thirty Euros a week on such
papers, a lot for somebody getting just a small pension.

Those readers are the ones who  believe every word written in those newspapers.
If something is in the papers then it must be true. The nonsense in those papers
can't be crass enough to shake their belief, their faith or superstitions. Now that
this scandal is even on TV even they cannot escape information and news about
the media, their newspapers. It is something like the scandals of priests.

The involvement and connection of politicians with the tabloids is likely to be
another point that works against Murdoch's papers. Once people realize they can
punish politicians by saving on the outlay for newspapers an additional few percent
of readers and revenue are gone. Other motives might come in. When a newspaper
is falling into disgrace the motives, reasons for disliking and getting rid of it are
usually varied, very nuanced, there are lots of them.

Then there is Hugh Grant, the actor, who recorded what an ex - reporter had to
say, was eager to tell about News of the World. That story, published in the
Statesman, made it round the world. It gave online suddenly a juicy and funny
inside look at such newspapers.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens. This is what has happened in the
United States: a look at the number of layoffs in the newspaper industry.
Here in Ireland the prospects for the media, including those belonging to NI, are
not looking good for many reasons, the economic crisis being one of them.

So, what books can be recommended in the event of a media crisis, to be
prepared for the worst?
There is the satirical crime novel written by John Denton, a veteran NYT
reporter: Black And White And Dead All Over. It gives, among others, an
insight into how narrow minded media people can be. And it has all the
essentials of satirical crime novel. Here is the introduction.

And ever since this scandal includes politics and politicians and as the
last decade was one of rather extreme amounts of spin, the history of
propaganda by Philip M. Taylor might be of interest. Taylor writes really
well, he is very knowledgable and has a sense of humor.
A nice insight into the book is possible via Google books, most of the first
part can read here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

There is a God. Tabloid ceases publication

For a long time it was all too often assumed that anything stupid in the publishing
or media industry would be the key to financial success. Strangely enough this
assumption was repeated again and again even though the actual data of the media industry point the other way since quite a while. Usually it is half witted left wingers who spread nonsense out of their own, see profits where losses are made, see success where a decline of audience can be found out very easily.

And so one folly goes hand in hand with another folly until the famous gang of brutal facts makes an end to the superstitions and nonsense altogether. Ironically it was April 1 that the news of the cessation to trading and publication of the Daily Sport in the UK was announced.

The comment sections in newspapers are quite often more like Dante's Inferno, the place for the eternal hopeless. Not so in this case. It's is good to read rather different comments once in a while, having a good laugh for a change.

That closure could ring in the end of the tabloid era, considering the effects
and the fallout of the NoW scandal. It doesn't take much for tabloid to lose
 the effectiveness for advertising altogether once they are coming into real

The economic circumstances are likely to speed up the media crisis here in Ireland,
something that is really overdue in order to sort out matters, clear obstacles out
of the way merely to minimise damages in the first place, to make an end to that
kind of nearly eternal fooling and drooling along while getting ever deeper in