Nickin' Morty and Hollywood's Pilfer Problem
Hey, I wrote this very same article a couple of weeks ago!
But in my version, the fat tumbler was a young, nubile, busty blonde actress wanna be, and she was throwing her panties, with her head-shot stapled to it, over the fence of Harvey Weinstein!
But that's not the twist...
The twist is that when doing so, she 'twisted' her ankle, and after slithering back to my swanky but modest bungalow, for an ice pack and a couple of pain relieving White Russians, we start discussing the nature of time travel, which was shocking, because she might otherwise be assumed to be just another ditzy airhead from Sheboygan Wisconsin. But no, she was quite brilliant! Maybe not a Rhodes Scholar, but for a dumb blonde from padooka-ville, that doesn't have the good sense to avoid Harvey Weinstein, she was fairly bright, but I digress.
On about our third Caucasian, well, her third, my sixth or seventh, she begins to tell me the most incredible story...
Let's just say, from there, it gets really weird.
I'll send you a copy, so you can throw it over your neighbor's fence, for me!
On another note, I'm curious- As follow-up to your earlier reporting on the effects of DEI/ESG on the film and TV industry, their quotas, hiring guidelines, etc., I've been wondering "How's it going?". Any updates, or on the ground, in "the business" anecdotes? Perhaps you can work it into your next video?
Relative to your Taki article- I've been wrestling with the entire concept of "AI" for a while now, and I'm still undecided on whether it will be even remotely legit, a total sham, or a ham fisted failure. I can see it replacing millions of paper-pusher, administrivia jobs, bean counters, etc., but for truly "creatives"...? Will it be able to glob together some canned, sterile, glib "lines" for your run of the mill TV show, probably, but as you say, what's the magic in that? Is someone on CSI Nowheresville, going to find out that somebody or something, is feeding them lines from a 1974 episode of Emergency 51?
What I don't see happening is AI coming up with something as off the wall as "The Lobster", or "Being John Malkovich"; anything that rivals the Coen brothers, or Wes Anderson, or Woody Allen for that matter.
I may be proven wrong, but true creativity, like "being funny", isn't a science, it's an art, and I can't imagine a machine, coming up with something that really sinks in with teeth and humor.
Thus, hack sitcom writers may need to fear that AI will best them in the canned, sterile, formulaic verbiage Olympics, but I don't think someone like you has anything to worry about, there will never be an AI that can emulate Cole! (unless "they've" already gotten to you, and replaced you with one of those alien-human-hybrid-replicants, in which case blink 7 times in rapid succession in your next video, and we'll.... do "something...)
As much as I love your columns on politics I really feel the ones featuring inside stories on Hollywood and the film industry are the most fascinating. Would love to see more of them on Taki and here. As an aside I remember years back there was an indy comic book I read called Flaming Carrot and in one of the issues the author called out Williams Street (one of the Adult Swim studios) for brazenly stealing characters straight from his comics.
Oh, Dave. Nothing gives me more joy on this Viennese morning than seeing a new substack from you.
That and Weißbier and Czech women who forego their brassieres.
This is fascinating. Very good article, and the related Taki column published today.
I agree with you that AI is a threat to the mediocre masses. One thing that occurred to me talking about this topic with a friend was that technology has been "replacing" artists (small A) for decades ever since they began using CGI to create hordes of soldiers in the background of huge battle scenes, a la Lord of the Rings and any WW2 films. Decades earlier all those little dots were real people being paid a few bucks to run and scream half a mile from the cameras. Did the actor's guild complain about that? Well, maybe because of the technology, films that would never have been made -- due to financial and logistical considerations -- are now able to be made. And I can see AI having a similar benefit to the industry, not just in writing but other aspects relating to the administrative side of the industry doing away with extraneous staff. As you've indicated in other Taki columns over the years, Dave, Hollywood is full of deadweight and passengers who are a drain on the truly productive and talented Artists (big fuckin' A!) so if AI has any benefit then it's shearing away the detritus. Bring it on!
Final point: we humans are very biased. Indeed, we tend to only like seeing each other for the most part. The technology to replicate humans either via CGI or sophisticated animation has existed for years at this point, and yet we have more actors and more TV and film productions than ever before. Bottom line is we are fascinated by people and peoples' unique stories. The notion that AI is going to fundamentally change our desires to see other human being human is preposterous. AI like ChatGPT is fantastic in the same way a calculator is an extraordinary tool that amplifies human thought and processes, it does not replace humans in a meaningful way.
I love the comical stories that accompany your articles, I always visualize them in my head as I'm reading. This walrus fat guy one really had me laughing & for whatever reason the the curb your enthusiasm theme immediately came to mind. Then I thought, wouldn't it great if there was a dave show chronicling all these stories as comedy skits. I am feeling a sense of utterly shameless & undeserved brilliance for coming up with the name for the show: Curb Your Revisionism. It's not even that clever but it tickles me because I'm an utterly deranged soul.
Anyway great articles this week, I'm totally ignorant of the subject matter, this hollywood stuff, it's always a fascinating insight. Also, hasan makes pond scum look like irish spring soap & the comments on that video of him handing out pizza are veritable proof my misanthropy is completely justified. There should really be a warning not to scroll down on that video, at the minimum it needs an MSDS sheet & a proposition 65 warning because I'm absolutely certain I've developed cancer after seeing those comments.
The plot of "The One Minute Time Machine" reminds me of 2006 film "The Prestige" where Tesla's machine sends of copy of the magician in the tank into the balcony, leaving the original to drown.
Dave is a very good writer and always writes it right out of the park first time; every time, no time machine needed, that shit's for geeks.
I always thought that Jim Croce's treacly "Time in a Bottle" was a ripoff of "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from Mary Poppins and that Disney should have sued his pants off.
ALSO Harlan Ellison loved to sue people and he successfully sued James Cameron for borrowing his time travel tropes from Star Trek and The Outer Limits for The Terminator. What Ellison never said was he "borrowed" the time travel bit from Frederik Pohl's story "Target One." In that story, a post apocalyptic man is sent back in time to kill Albert Einstein in order to avoid development of the bomb and a nuclear holocaust. I guess Pohl didn't have good lawyers. Apparently, neither did Cameron who could have done a little research.
Title: "Paws of Contagion"
BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHAT-GPT AI
In a world where a deadly virus transmitted by pets threatens humanity, a dedicated veterinarian, a grieving pet owner, and a rogue scientist must navigate their personal struggles and join forces to find a cure and save both their beloved animals and the human race.
Introduce Dr. Sarah Roberts, a passionate and empathetic veterinarian, who treats a sick dog brought in by its owner, Karen.
News reports highlight an alarming rise in pet-related illnesses and deaths across the country.
Sarah witnesses the first signs of a mysterious virus when more pets are brought to her clinic, displaying similar symptoms.
The Grieving Owner:
Introduce Mike Thompson, a recently widowed man, devastated by the loss of his wife to the pet virus.
Determined to find answers, Mike contacts Sarah, hoping for guidance.
The Rogue Scientist:
Dr. Victor Kane, a brilliant but disgraced scientist, is convinced that the pet virus has been intentionally engineered.
Victor reaches out to Sarah, sharing his controversial theories and urging her to investigate further.
Unraveling the Mystery:
Sarah and Mike join forces, forming an unlikely alliance.
They discover a pattern of infections originating from a pet food company, "Paws & Purrs Corp."
Infiltrating Paws & Purrs:
Sarah and Mike infiltrate the headquarters of Paws & Purrs Corp, searching for evidence to support Victor's claims.
They encounter suspicious employees, face dangerous situations, and narrowly escape capture.
The Truth Unveiled:
Sarah uncovers secret lab records revealing that Paws & Purrs Corp. had indeed tampered with pet food formulas, inadvertently creating the deadly virus.
Victor's theory gains credibility as they connect the dots.
Racing Against Time:
As the virus spreads rapidly, leading to human infections, Sarah, Mike, and Victor face a race against time to find a cure.
They reach out to international experts for assistance.
Sacrifices and Redemption:
Sarah's compassion leads her to develop an experimental treatment for the infected pets, offering hope for both animals and humans.
Mike confronts his grief and decides to dedicate himself to helping others affected by the virus.
The Final Battle:
Paws & Purrs Corp. realizes the trio's intentions and launches a campaign to silence them.
Sarah, Mike, and Victor face intense opposition as they fight to expose the company's crimes and distribute the cure.
In a climactic confrontation, Sarah, Mike, and Victor succeed in exposing Paws & Purrs Corp. to the public, leading to a massive recall of contaminated pet food.
The cure is distributed worldwide, saving countless lives.
Society rebuilds as people mourn their losses and focus on healing.
Sarah, Mike, and Victor, hailed as heroes, continue their work to prevent future outbreaks and restore trust in the pet industry.
A year later:
Sarah, Mike, and Victor celebrate the opening of a state-of-the-art research facility dedicated to preventing and combating zoonotic diseases.
Pets and their owners thrive in a world where the bond between humans and animals is stronger than ever.
I suppose many writers, of all types, have already switched from the briefcase full of story lines to ChatGPT. They just want to keep getting paid
I just made a friendly wager (sort of) with Ann as to whether Heavy D will take the advice of that PAC posted online, and "invoke a personal anecdote story about family, kids, Casey, showing emotion." (their words, not mine). She was just saying how much she hates it when politicians do it, so I told her that if Ron DeSantis does it, I'm going to give you $50. (not that it makes a bunch of sense, so don't look for any. The point is that I think he will do it, and you getting the fifty bones closes the circle on my prediction).
"The other day I was talking to my lovely wife Casey, and she asked me "Ron, do you ever worry about the future of our country for our three children, Madison, Mason and Mamie?' And I said (voice quivers a little bit, because it's such an emotional topic) Yes, Casey, I am deeply concerned for their future, and that's why it's so important that we get our message out to the voters, so we can ensure they have a future as bright as the light in your beautiful blue eyes"
You know, something like that, except perhaps with even more cheese...
So, expect $50 dollars on Wednesday night!
This is about your recent writing for Takimag, not this column (which is great). You keep mentioning Native Americans and how they "only want land." You should delve a little deeper on this topic I think. During the boarding school era, places like the Carlisle Institute turned out sports stars (Jim Thorpe), politicians (esp in Western or plains states), successful businessmen. It was a brutal form of education, but frankly, so was most education at the time. Corporal punishment was okay. White immigrants from French Canada were told to forget their languages, too. It still led to more success than anything that's followed it.
I have no idea why Native American rights groups are so focused on things like land acknowledgements right now. But the big story as far as Native Americans is in things like: why did Mohawk men stop getting hired/working in good-paying union steel jobs in NYC? Why did we have a Native American VP in under Hoover - whose grandma told him NOT to go back to the rez, to go to the city and get educated - and no one's been that successful in politics since (Elizabeth Warren notwithstanding). How did we go to having very famous pop culture American Indians (Will Rogers, Cherokee Nation citizen) to having almost none (Bob Barker is the most prominent example I can think of.)
Native Americans are a story of a group that was doing pretty well when the system was focused on integrating them. And which fell off a cliff when they went back to viewing the world in tribal terms. Some groups (Mohawk in Canada) have pretty much rebounded/had renaissances. The Seminole were always tough & refused peace treaties with the US, they were also good at business and bought the Hard Rock at some point. But even with casinos? Most tribes have not done jack shit for the past 60 years. They've actually declined. That's the story.
I don't know if you will read this, but I just wanted to say that you are spot on when you say there is no place to retreat to. A clear example is Held v Montana, an environmental lawsuit that could cripple the economy of the state. There are also EPA regulations that could send ranchers to prison for merely using the water on their own property in the same ways they have for 100 years and more, but now this is a criminal act. Then there is the war on beef. Cattle raising harms the environment and promotes global warming, don't you know. You need to eat cockroaches instead. "They" are not kidding about this.
Hey David, great stuff as always, but I have a question(not relevant to the essay but to WWII history). Would you recommend reading David Irving's stuff? I never have before, and I didn't realize he had a website with his (pricey) books. I'm thinking about Hitler's War(the updated edition) and the soon to be 3 volume Churchill bios. I don't intend them to be the last word or anything, but I wouldn't mind getting more perspectives. What do you think?
The best description I have come across about the current state of AI is that it is a complex autocomplete. AI doesn't think. It doesn't really know if something is true or not. In other words it is similar to modern journalists.
As an outsider to the inner workings of the entertainment business, it seems like the current system is set up to best serve hacks with connections. They pretend to be original while the executives pretend to care about quality writing.
AI seems to fix that situation and bring it to its logical conclusion: AI generated scripts, actors and special effects.
To be wildly optimistic, maybe that will remove the hacks from the industry and allow real writers to get more attention.
Or maybe the movie going public won't care and will be happy with AI scripts. In that case, writers can do something more creatively fulfilling like being an accountant for a studio or crypto company