The MPAA Might Need a Better Public Image

Recently a satirical news story had some people up in arms. The idea of the story was that the MPAA wanted to start charging each person that watched movies at home. The idea being that the MPAA though everyone who watched a movie ought to own it or at least pay for it. Outrageous, yes, but not outrageous enough to be put beyond the realm of possibilities. Lots of people thought this was the real deal. The question is why?

Could it be that people think the MPAA is greedy? Looking at the news we can see that just recently movie studios came out saying that they want to impose heavier limits on iTunes store movies (there are already some pretty crappy restrictions), people have a good reason to think they are greedy.

mpaaThe interesting thing is that they keep saying they don’t want to have the problems that record companies have had with downloading music. They say that, the question is whether they have considered that part of the reason record companies have done so poorly (aside from releasing terrible music) is because they were unable to adapt to new consumers.

Consider yourself that a movie ticket in Seattle costs $9.50, then you’ll have to watch five to minutes of commercials, and most of the movies out at these huge theaters are, at best, mediocre. Does this have anything to do with people not going to the theaters anymore? A family of five has to spend money on gas, probably some crappy over priced food and then there’s the tickets and maybe even parking. We are talking well over $60 for them to see a movie. Or they could watch one of the movies they just got from netflix for $17 a month. Best of all there are no commercials, annoying people in the audience (unless your family and friends are annoying), and if the movie sucks you just send it back— you’ve barely lost any money on the deal, certainly no where near $60-$70 dollars.

But that isn’t the reason movie studios are doing poorly. It’s clearly pirates, lurking in the filthy darkness where they grow rich off the sweat of the sweet hard working movie execs who just want people to play fair.

arts, seattle

The PC is Funny

John Hodgman (I'm a PC)Tonight I saw John Hodgman read at the Elliot Bay Book Co. he wrote the book The Areas of My Expertise, which has an accompanying website. He is also famous for the Mac Vs. PC ads, in which he plays the PC.

The reading was part performance, which sounds like a dumb thing to say because what reading isn’t, but what I am saying is that his reading was much more a performance than most readings. More important was that it was more a performance than most readings without becoming annoying like performance/readings can sometimes be. His sidekick Jonathan Coulton had to skip out early for his own solo performance in town, but from what little I saw of him he was amazing. He’s got a website too, though I haven’t checked it out yet so I can’t say anything more. I can say that you should listen to his song “code monkey” which you can find right now at the bottom of this post… though I must say that it was better without the electric guitar & band, but what can you do? No, seriously, I’m asking.

The short of it is that I will definitely read Hodgman’s book, though I’m afraid it might not live up to the performance. I feel safe recommending that people look at the book and I definitely recommend going to see him if you get the chance. I’ve been told you can find out where he will be next from the Area of My Expertise website, so go there if you are at all interested. Be interested. He is smart, funny, and weird. That’s a pretty perfect combo in my opinion.