Listen now (101 mins) | Elon Musk throttle, Bill Maher strike break, "Has the Sexual Revolution Failed?"
Thank god for Matt. Throwing this woke, NPC substack subscriber a bone!
That was better than I thought and I’m warming up to Matt. Along the lines of what others said—These writers appear to be playing with fire in an environment where content is abundant.
And they aren’t especially sympathetic because they have jobs where they can exercise a level of creativity many of us would kill for. That’s not to say they don’t deserve it, but it’s easier to feel sympathy for people in unions doing work that doesn’t make people envious.
Here’s the thing, it’s actually true that many (most) of the “heterodox” or “dark web” people are strange dorks and losers. But the thing is you expect the deeply autistic eugenicist whose visage is so creepy it triggers the “Burn it with Fire” impulse in most people to be a strange dork and loser. That is the trade off for maybe getting one novel idea out of that horrific dork’s lifetime of work. Look at the lives of many prominent people whose ideas live on— not many great people with healthy personal lives, or well balanced personal beliefs among them.
On the other hand it is very concerning that so many of our culture workers are *banal* dorks with *banal* views. The public and “management” are very much complicit in the fact that we produce so much ice cold garbage, but another cause is that so many of the culture workers are un-self aware dorks who are incapable of producing anything but banal ice cold garbage.
Re the strike, I am amused by your friend’s failure to recognize that an industry that has become as tediously boring as the entertainment industry has been long selecting tediously boring people to produce that garbage. There is your systematic failure. The idea that these same people can create some kind of untapped value is…evidence free. Indeed, the greatest thing that has happened in this sphere is the strike as the pipeline of crap has been disrupted by the banal dorks not working, maybe giving space for other stuff or interesting people working in other mediums to gain a foothold.
Do writers like Matt understand that the optimal model for streaming would be a 1/4 of the shows and movies being produced, which means less work for him and his colleagues?
Also the talk of the Deftones here made me want to go listen to Around the Fur which I haven’t actively sought out in like 20 years and that album is so choice. Be Quiet and Drive, the tittle track, My Own Summer…so good!
Barbie is not funny.
Matt’s arguments for the strike make me even more pro studio. These dorks playing make believe think their thoughts are undervalued.
I like Matt, but he’s often arguing against himself through different topics. Tech enabled many content creators to reap huge rewards through no gatekeepers and minimal layers. I was at a local festival last weekend where a Twtich streamer had fans lined up around several blocks to get a photo with him. He is likely making $3-5M/year from an area of Canada with a small media footprint.
The legacy entertainment supply chain that the writers are striking from is not as lucrative as it once was and it’s not going back. Structurally it had to fail because the model was bilking customers through a de facto monopoly that’s been toppled. But perhaps more importantly, scripted studio content lately hasn’t been ‘high quality’ as Matt wants to promise us, rather it’s mostly been compromised by too much forced woke garbage.
Since the great awokening (say 2015), Hollywood produced media has been mostly awful. I can’t think of many films or TV shows since that don’t succumb to injection a preachy political signalling. Disney’s troubles --as much as anything else -- is caused by there commitment to producing content with lefty ideals infecting its story telling. There is a growing audience that’s not interested and their pictures have become box office failures. This is not exclusive to a Disney culture war either. Amazon has admitted their prime video ranking algorithm was not good for their ‘woke’ shows. And if you look at Netflix’s top 10 you’ll find older programming like Suits and Ballers.
If writers want to earn a good living, then write for all audiences not just Hollywood liberals.
Matt is probably fun to hang out with but he's hard to listen to because we can't bust his balls or push back when he trolls the heterodox podcast/substack world.
Every time you have this guy on I hate him a little less
Melanie Morgan, a reporter on KGO years ago was very public about her gambling addiction. Her game was 5 card stud I believe.
I thought this was a great podcast. Lots of fun.
The industry has been broken for many years and the writers strike can’t be evaluated in a vacuum. I would strongly suggest Ethan and others read this from 2019: https://open.substack.com/pub/mattstoller/p/the-slow-death-of-hollywood?r=2gsooz&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
Enjoy the dynamic of friends, though I believe Matt likely despises non-elite types given his dismissiveness of certain people, thoughts, and ideas. If he did not know you I believe he would hate you Ethan.
I suspect that the only reason y’all are friends is that y’all have been friends. *This is a point that sounds stupid in plain text, but I have a number of friends in my life that if I met them now we would be unlikely to strike up a friendship let alone a long-standing one with lots of investment. I’m glad I have those friendships as I am sure the two of you really enjoy your friendship. Having and being friends rocks.
Anyways, fun listen. I enjoy when the two of you pod. That’s just the thing that struck me the most during the pod.
Come on, man, it's not "giving" [your copyright &c] when you're getting something in return, it's "selling". Nothing is being *given* here, and it makes me suspect Matt's whole position.
It wouldn't bother me as a slip of the tongue, but he said "give"/"giving" over, and over, and over. This is the kind of dissembling you use at the negotiating table because both sides know both sides will do it as hard as they can; it's not part of an honest explanation.
To boil down Matt's argument/observation a bit:
The move online has placed the future of creative work in the hands of tech CEOs. Market forces will lead to making these platforms unfriendly to content creators -- they have concluded that serving as link farms to content hosted elsewhere is a losing business. They want to host content on their platforms, on their terms. The personalities and politics of the CEOs don't really matter so much -- it might impact which branches get pruned first, but the shears come for all. The terms these CEOs will impose are not ones that are amenable to the creation of great content, in part because this isn't their business and they don't know anything about it.
Ok. But my questions is what should we do about it? Is this materially worse (for me as a consumer, anyway) than the old system controlled by studio and network executives. For what reason should I favor Bob Iger over Elon Musk?
It seems that there will always be a certain demand for entertainment, and the industry will find a way to supply it. I understand that the manner in which it does matters a great deal to those in the industry like Matt, and perhaps human empathy and solidarity should move me to sympathize, but it seems like I'm just delaying the inevitable.
Would it serve our host here to try to find a way to keep the craft of basketball beat-writing alive, or to advise him to make the pivot he's made?
Found out I have two female coworkers that are degenerate gamblers
This guest sure likes to mention pornography a lot, huh?