Monday, October 24, 2005

Photos and weekend stuff

Friday night, I had a dream about buying records, so I woke up Saturday morning with an irresistable urge to go music shopping. I went to Amoeba and bought the Dangerdoom CD, the collaboration between MF Doom and Dangermouse. Most of the lyrics are about Adult Swim characters, and the voices of those characters appear in skits and samples throughout. It's fun, but not really great. Danger's beats are sort of hit-and-miss--about half of them are memorable. But some of the lyrics are truly great. The best track is "Space Ho's," Doom's dis track toward Space Ghost, demanding his own late-night talk show:

How they go an' give his own show to Tag Ghostal
When any given sec, he may go mad postal
Stay wavin' that power hand space cannon
Even talk bad up in the face of Race Bannon

I love that internal rhyme, "face of Race Bannon." Also...

And since when the way backs included Zorak
Play back to when he rubbed his thorax in Borax, floor wax

Awesome. I came close to getting the King Gheedora CD instead, but I decided I should get the new one. I also picked up The Funky 16 Corners compilation, and Brian Eno's Here Come The Warm Jets. The Eno album is amazing, kinda like the cool version of Bowie. I've gotten to like Bowie much better in recent years, but Eno is like everything good about glam-era Bowie, plus everything Bowie was missing.

When I got back, we cleaned up the back yard in anticipation of our Halloween party, then went to the pumpkin patch, and finally to Target for candy, decorations, and stuff. I got this great snow globe:

It's cool, but homey. I took the sticker off the back and tried to get a better picture, but none of them turned out as well as this. We also got a new bunch of Christmas lights to string around the back yard, but in the process of hanging them we cut down a bunch of vines and ultimately left the yard looking worse than it had looked before we cleaned it up.

There's this church in our neighborhood that always has these crazy non-sequitirs on the sign announcing the sermon. One of these days I'm going to have to go, just to find out what the hell these sermons are like.

One more. This is looking from where I lie on the bed. You can see through 4 doorways (one at right angle to the others), leading from the bedroom to the hallway, living room, dining room and kitchen. I don't think it came out as well as I was hoping, but you can see what I was going for. You can see my dog's tail at the bottom there.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wake-Up Call #9,758

Q: Why are western journalists, such as David Frost, choosing to go work for Al-Jazeera?

A: "They see it as an opportunity to get around some of the censorship that they feel in covering the war and other issues in the Western media."

The Special Election

How I'm voting on some of the props:

Prop 74: Yes. This is the one that changes public school teachers probationary period from 2 years to 5 years. Let me start by devil's advocating against this: it's being dishonestly sold as lengthening the time it takes teachers to receive "tenure." Public school teachers do not receive tenure, as we know it. It's much closer to a probationary period in a private sector job, although teachers still have a right to be told the reasons for dismissal, and a right to a hearing if they are fired before the end of the period. They can also have their annual contract not renewed during this period (a seperate idea from being terminated during the school year), with no explanation necessary or appeal granted. This sounds like a great arrangement if you believe principals only fire teachers for doing a bad job, and a horrible arrangement if you believe all teachers are competent and try their best.

Having said all that, I know from experience and anecdote how difficult it is to get rid of a public employee who doesn't want to go. And I know how bad some of the public school teachers are, and how important it is to have good teachers. So the pros outweigh the cons for me here. I also see this as a legitimate use of the initiative process, since union pressure makes something like this virtually impossible to push through the legislation.

Prop 75: Hell No! This is a union-busting law, no two ways about it. Requires union employees to give the OK to have their dues go toward political campaigning. In other words, an attempt by Republicans to strip political power from their opponents. Plain and simple. I was against this even before the LA Weekly pointed out that "These workers currently can opt out of paying their union to do political lobbying and campaigning. Under Proposition 75, they would have to opt in." I love how the campaign ads for this measure have union employees saying "It's not fair for my money to go to causes I don't believe in." The only causes and candidates unions are supporting are ones that benefit the workers! That's their whole fucking purpose! When Arnold wants to pass a law that would require shareholders to sign off on having a corporation's money go to political campaigns, let me know.

Prop 76: No. Honestly, after listening to a debate on this, I'm pretty neutral about it. I don't think it's the disaster that liberals have made it out to be, nor the important fix that its supporters say. But it does seem to favor "efficiency" over democracy and cooperation, and give too much power to the governor. I also think strong leadership can accomplish what this bill accomplishes anyway. So, no.

Prop 77: Yes. This is the change in the redistricting process, and even most of the opponents of this bill agree that it would be a huge improvement over the politicized process we have now. This is also a legit use of the referendum process, since no way would a bill like this get through the legislation process. Here's a good argument in favor from Jill Stewart. Here's an argument against, from State Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg: Then, of course there is the redrawing of district election lines. No state uses retired judges. In fact almost all of them do it the way we in California currently do it. That is the legislature, with the signature of the Governor, writes a plan every ten years. Both sides have to agree. When they cannot agree, a lawsuit puts it into court, and then an active judge will make the changes necessary to make it fair. Think about retired judges. Currently almost all of them are going to be Anglo males, largely drawn from the men appointed by Governors Wilson and Deukmejian. This does not sound "non-partisan" to me.

Prop 78: No.
Prop 79: Yes. These are the two prescription drug bills, but Prop 79 seems to be the better version. I mean, come on: if pharmecutical companies are spending this much to advertise Prop 78, it must mean something.

Prop 80: I really don't know much about this, but for the time being, yes. This is a re-regulation of the electrical utilities. To be fair, the most disastrous problems we had with the utilities in California in recent years were not purely because of deregulation, but because of an unworkable hybrid of regulation and privatization, but I'm generally of the opinion that electrical utilities are not the sort of industry that deregulation works for (and privatization is overrated anyway).

That leaves prop 73, which I'm undecided on. It requires parental notification for minors to get abortions. My initial instinct is to be against this, but I don't know...a minor can't get any other medical procedure done without parental consent, nor should they. I can think of cases where circumventing the parent would be desirable, but they seem more like exceptions than rules. So, still thinking on this one.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Miranda July

A few years back, I had a job in Santa Monica. The downside of this was that my commute took over an hour each way. The upside was that, as I snaked through Hollywood (no slower than going the freeways, and more interesting) my radio could pick up KXLU, the student radio station out of Loyola-Marymount College. One day, I heard this amazing track, a strange monologue that told some kind of paranoid scifi story over a background of annoying electronic sounds. It seriously freaked me out. When I got into the office, I immediately called the radio station and asked the DJ what it was. She told me the artist was Miranda July, and the track was called The Birnet-Simon Test (which, it turned out, was actually the name of the CD--the track was called "Medical Wonder").

Miranda July resurfaced this year, as the director/writer/star of Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won the "Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision" at Sundance, which seems about right. It's a unique film. I'm not sure what other way to describe it. It's not weird in a David Lynch way, but it's unlike any other film I've ever seen. It's mostly about alienated people trying to connect in the modern world, but it also has some strange and disturbing things to say about the sexualization of children (whether that is it's intention or not). As weird as some of the things that people say and do in this movie are, they feel very real, and I'm positive that many of them must be taken from real life. It's the kind of stuff you just couldn't make up.

Miranda July - Medical Wonder (mp3)
From The Binet-Simon Test on Kill Rock Stars

You and Me and Everyone We Know

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Miers and the Evangelicals

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Spittin' Wicked Randomness Vol. 5

We started the Hallowe'en season this weekend. It seems the weather has been happy to oblige us in this. Dark and stormy nights have prevailed since Saturday, finally putting an end to the overstayed summer.

Friday night, we went down to Hollywood Blvd. to put the finishing touches on our costumes. The Hollywood Toy and Costume Shop closes at 7 on a Friday night, even during October? What the fuck is with this town? You'd think all these businesses on Hollywood Blvd. would stay open a little late on the weekends to take advantage of the crowds. Afterwards, we ate at Micelli's, and the wait staff was all taking turns singing Dean Martin tunes and opera arias at the piano.

Saturday, we decorated the house and watched Eyes Without A Face. Creepy little film. The score haunts me--where have I heard that music before? Generally, it sounds like every Danny Elfman score for a Tim Burton movie, but I'm positive I've heard that exact theme somewhere else. Sunday, we caught Chaney's Phantom of the Opera on TCM. God, I love that film. There's something so eerie and dream-like about the images, the way the characters seem to float through those strange, elaborate sets.

Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anywhere Else is an excellent audioblog. This guy's been posting Halloween themed mp3's, as well as some great proto-rock-n-roll tracks. Also, shout out to Something I Learned Today for turning me on to The Bellrays (incredible band), and now for posting some much-coveted tracks from the mysterious Rocket From The Tombs. I was going to say something snide about him posting one of the shittiest punk records ever, but reading the comments on that one, I just feel like a big meany.

Tonight at 8 on TCM: The Wild, Wild Planet (1965): Space amazons contraol the Earth by shrinking it's leaders. Sounds good to me. Also, tomorrow is a definite Set Yr VCR night, as they're showing ALL of the Val Lewton horror movies: Cat People, The Seventh Victim, I Walked With A Zombie, The Leopard Man, The Ghost Ship, The Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatcher and Bedlam. I've only seen two of those (The Cat People, which is excellent, and I Walked With A Zombie, which is one of my all-time favorites). I'm going to try to catch The Seventh Victim, Curse of the Cat People, and possibly Bedlam. Arsenic and Old Lace is playing twice this weekend (on Saturday and Sunday), and Monday morning at 1:30am, Zombies on Broadway (1945): Two bumbling press agents seek a real zombie for a night club opening. How can you go wrong with that? Finally, next week is Hitchcock Week. 39 Hitchcock flicks, including quite a bit of rare stuff.

Oh yeah, that P-Funk documentary was pretty good, although I felt like it could have been longer. Amazing footage of various incarnations of Parliament, Funkadelic, The Brides of Funkenstein, etc. I wish more of this footage would find it's way onto DVD in unexpurgated form. The thing that got my attention the most was Wayne Kramer talking about frequent Saturday night shwos in Detroit that would feature MC5, Funkadelic and The Stooges, all on the same bill! Can you imagine?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Heart Brand Library!

I cannot BELIEVE the haul I got from there last night:

Frank Zappa: You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Vol. 3
Can: Tago Mago
Stooges: Raw Power (Iggy's remix)
Julie Ruin: s/t
Miles Davis: Milestones
Thelonious Monk: Underground
Staple Singers: Uncloudy Day
Ramones: Animal Boy (not sure why I got this. I don't own it, but I've heard it plenty of times, and all the best songs are on Ramonesmania. Just an impulse.)
James Brown: 20 All-Time Greatest Hits
Carl Perkins: Original Sun Greatest Hits
Ozomatli: Embrace the Chaos
Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson: Seashores of Old Mexico (I think my dad used to have this album, so maybe I'll get some nostalgia out of it)
Hillbilly Fever Vol. 1: Legends of Western Swing
Hillbilly Fever Vol. 2: Legends of Honky Tonk
History of Trojan Records Vol. 1: 1968-1971

I wish I had a copy of the old mix of Raw Power to make a side-by-side comparison with. The only song I can really remember well enough to judge is "Search and Destroy," and I think I like the old version better. This version is less shitty, but not as good, if that makes sense. But I think "Gimme Danger" sounds better.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oxford American: Bargain of the Year

Oxford American is a Southern literary magazine that comes out quarterly. Their last issue, the Southern Food issue, was guest-edited by John T. Edge, and was just fantastic. The annual Southern Music issue is out now, which always comes with a free CD. The cover price is $10, and it's the fucking bargain of the century. The CD has 29 songs on it, almost none of which are less than great. And, with a couple exceptions, each song is accompanied by a 1-to-5-page essay. Whatever kind of music you like, it's here. There's funk and soul from Al Green, Jim Ford, Howard Tate (incredible!), a manic Joe Tex, and Erma Franklin (Aretha's sister) doing the original version of "Piece of My Heart." There's blues from Lightnin' Hopkins and Blind Willie McTell. For rockers, there's classic rockabilly from Dale Hawkins, Texas garage psychedelia from Bubble Puppies, and some sizzlin' Johnny Winter. Old-school country, western and bluegrass is well-represented by Ricky Skaggs, Johnny Lee Wills, Cowboy Jack Clements, The DeZurik Sisters (doing some fine yodeling), The Wilburn Bros., and an AMAZING song from Sammi Smith that just put me out on the floor. Erykha Badhu has a song called "Southern Gul" that's funkier'n fried fuck. There's New Orleans jazz from Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, and Helen Humes, and a great gospel track called "Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb" from The Pilgrim Travelers, all leading up to Elvis delivering a climactic live performance of "Suspicous Minds" that is just EPIC. Plus there's a poem about REM's Murmer album, and a great short story involving Lorretta Lynne.

I'm going to drop a couple mp3's on ya, probably the two weirdest tracks on the disc. The first is from writer Zora Neale Hurston, who did some work documenting the folklore of her (and my) home state, Florida (she was born in Eatonville and died in Fort Pierce), in the 30's and 40's. "No other State in the Union has had the history of races blended and contending," Hurston wrote in her proposal to chase these figures down; in Florida, she insisted, there was still "an opportunity to observe the wombs of folk culture still heavy with life." This is a recording of Zora singing a Bahamanian folk song called "The Crow Dance" (the magazine features a photo of her dancing with wings spread). I love the crooked rhythm of this thing--I could see building a great track around a sample of it. This really makes me want to track down some of her writings on Florida folklore.

The second one is by Moondog, of whom I had never heard, but he seems to be one of the all-time great weird musicians. He was a blind guy who panhandled on the corner in NYC for years dressed as a viking while composing 9-hour symphonies of ridiculously complex counterpoint requiring 1,000 musicians and often incorporating homemade instruments and street sounds. Most people assumed he was just some homeless lunatic, but his recordings and compositions were admired by Charlie Parker and Igor Stravinsky.


If you listened to NPR at all last week, you probably heard about the newly-discovered Monk/Trane performance that was just released. Great story, and the stuff sounds really good. The thing that blew me away the most was that the bill for that 1957 concert inluded Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker with Zoot Sims, and Sonny Rollins, and the most expensive tickets were $4!!! Also on NPR, I never thought I'd be interested in a version of "Born to be Wild" again, but The Knitters' version sounds quite amazing.

LA Weekly has their annual "Best of L.A." edition out right now, which has developed over the years away from being a list of a bunch of restaurants and stuff that repeats every year, toward being a collection of great essays extolling the city's virtues. My favorite is this one, which really nails what it is I love about L.A. right now, and why I think it's the food culture that makes this such a great damn city.

PBS is running a documentary on P-Funk tonight on Independent Lens, although it looks like it won't be shown here until Saturday (10pm on KCET).

Friday, October 07, 2005

No Direction Home

So I watched that Bob Dylan documentary that Scorsese did for PBS. I've always been fascinated by the people that got pissed off at Dylan when he went electric. Just personal taste, but that whole 60's folk movement is just one of my least favorite musical movements ever. I mean, I like "real" folk music, but these guys trying to imitate it, totally out of context, and taking all the edges off...yech. Dylan's stuff is good, the rest I just don't care for. So when I look at these people, in the days of the Stones, Dick Dale, The Yardbirds, James Brown, rejecting all that stuff to embrace Pete Seegar and Joan Baez, it just makes my head spin. They've always seemed like these weird, neanderthal luddites who were just on the wrong side of history.

The parellels to what would happen with Miles Davis 5 years later are pretty obvious, and this documentary did go some ways towards explaining it for me, in the same way that Ken Burns' Jazz helped me understand the people who were pissed off at Miles. But there are some important differences. For one thing, Miles' jazz fans had been listening to Miles play jazz for something like 20 years. They can be forgiven for being reactionary. Dylan hadn't been on the scene for 5 years at the time. And Miles' electric albums are vastly different from his previous work, especially by the time we get to On The Corner. They don't have most of the elements that a jazz fan finds appealling. I would even go so far as to agree that they are not jazz, closer to "jam rock." When Dylan went electric, he was basically doing the same thing he'd always done, just with an electric guitar and some drums behind him.

As it turns out, though, more or less the same reasons are given. The argument against Electric Miles was that jazz is all about the players interacting, listening to each other play and reacting to what they hear, and they were playing so loud, and playing over each other, that they couldn't hear. On the surface this is absurd, but it is true that there's a hell of a lot going on on On The Corner, and noone seems to be paying any attention to each other, and even on Bitches Brew I can see how an older fan with a jazz-oriented ear would miss the interaction.

Dylan's folkie fans felt that the essence of the folk scene was a communication between performer and listener, as opposed to the one-way loudspeaker of rock-n-roll. This seems a far more nebulous concept to me, but I guess I can understand the idea.

Mostly, in both cases, the central argument was always that they were part of a non-commercial subculture, which the offenders abandoned for a more lucrative, integrity-free field. Nothing surprising there. Sonic Youth fans were ready to lynch them when they started writing structured, coherent songs, and in fact the whole punk scene around 1985 seemed to be based upon villifying anyone who did anything that didn't sound exactly like the first Minor Threat record. REM's fandom represents an especially neurotic juxtaposition: they spent the first half of the 80's crying out about the injustice of mainstream culture's insistence on ignoring them, then spent the second half of the decade disgruntled at the maintsream attention they got. Perhaps the price of investing your identity into an artist is to be betrayed. "Selling out" is a concept that only fans understand, because it involves an artist ceasing to be what a person who never met them assumes they are all about.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tic, tic, tic, tic...


Serenity Broke The Internet

UPDATE: I like this bit, from someone who's good at pointing out Whedon's flaws without denying his strengths. Also, It's hard not to want to compare it to certain other recent sci-fi films, but "it's better than Revenge of the Sith" sounds like damning with faint praise. So let me amplify: not only is Serenity vastly superior to Revenge of the Sith in every way it is possible to judge a movie, it is superior to Revenge of the Sith in every way it is possible to judge human endeavor at all.

Except, I suppose, profit.

That's kinda funny.

For those of you outside the Extreme Geek Community, a rundown of recent events.

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, had a third series on Fox called Firefly. It was cancelled, but he managed to get a deal with Universal to make it into a movie, called Serenity. His fans rallied around the film, convinced that if they all worked as volunteer marketers, they could turn the movie into a hit. They took to calling themselves "Browncoats," after the rebel forces in the TV show/movie. As time went on, they began to become somewhat annoying. As with any such group, the more irritating individuals within the group became the public face of the group for many outside (and even within).

At Ain't It Cool, the reviews went up. Harry's review could be summed up as "it was a'ight." Moriarty's could be summed up as "Overall, a good film, with a few small problems. And, oh yeah, the fans are starting to get on my nerves." Not as a gratuitous insult, but because they were causing problems in the talkbacks, dragging unrelated threads off topic, etc. Response to these two more-or-less positive reviews was so vitriolic that they were forced to shut down registration for the talkbacks. Meanwhile, over at CHUD, Devin was getting a similar response for his "8 out of 10" review (and ongoing prediction that the film wasn't going to be that big a hit). (for the record, I'd give it 7 out of 10 for my objective view of the movie, 8 out of 10 for my subjective enjoyment as someone who already likes the series and Whedon's style)

The movie opened to a disapointing $10 million weekend, which probably means no sequel (this is disapointing to me, but not unexpected, and frankly even getting two sequels would be a booby prize, since Firefly really works better as a TV series). Devin floated the idea that just maybe the obnoxiousness of the fans kept the "core genre audience" (working from the idea that you can expect any geeky scifi film to take in about $15-20 million opening weekend, based on the take of stuff like Hellboy, Sky Captain, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) away from the film (a theory that I do not subscribe to, by the way). Joss Whedon Himself responded, rather huffily defending his fans. Devin responded to Joss' response. By this time, CHUD was also having to suspend registration over the influx of Browncoats signing up just to fight over this. Devin claims he will literally eat his words if the movie has less than a 30% drop in week two.

This is by far the geekiest shit not involving a new Star Wars movie in the history of the internet.

Monday, October 03, 2005


I guess the only way to start is to say that I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and, to a lesser extent, it's spinoff Angel) is not just my favorite TV show, but possibly my Favorite Narrative Thing. As for Firefly, the TV show, I've seen about 2/3 of the series, and I like it. I don't love it like I love Buffy and Angel, but that's mostly because I don't love westerns (or even space operas) like I love horror, kung fu, mythological fantasy, high school comedies/soap operas, or film noir. But I do love Whedon's sense of characters, his love of strong women, his too-snappy dialogue, his constant deflation of genre conventions, and the geeky way he mashes genres together, and there's plenty of all that stuff in both Firefly and Serenity.

Serenity didn't play at The Vista, our usual favorite theater, and it seemed inappropriate to just go to some shit theater in Glendale, so we went to an early (11:30 am) show at The Arclight. This was our first time at the Arclight, and I could get used to it. Nice, big, comfy chairs, assigned seats (which I'm not really sure how I feel about), clean, attentive, just a damn nice place to see a movie (although I think I still prefer the more lived-in Vista).

So, Serenity. It's good. But you know, I can't help but wish it were a TV show still. I assume this story is what would have been the remainder of the first season of Firefly, and would have been told over the course of 4-6 hours (depending on how much time they devoted to this storyline--and maybe this was going to be played out even longer). It works as a movie, but it would have worked much better as a series. But of course, what are ya gonna do? Compared to the X-Files movie...well, there's no comparison. Granted, that was a different situation, since that was not a cancelled show, but even given that difference, I feel like Serenity justifies it's presence on the big screen much more than Mulder and Scully did.

There's also the question of how well did it work for people who know the series vs. people who have never seen it. Surely the deaths couldn't have had much impact. I'm not even sure I cared much about Book's death (treated as a plot device, from a character that was barely in the movie. I mean, I cared, but not much.), although my heart broke over Wash. If I had never seen the show, would I have cared?

I think it's interesting to think about Serenity's relation to Star Wars. I'm talking about the original films, of course. You can see how those films planted seeds in different filmmakers' minds, and how they've sprouted up over the past decade, and what aspects they took from them indicate who they are as filmmakers. Like, take the bad example of Emmerich's Independence Day. Emmerich obviously was taken by the spectacle of Star Wars, and that's who he is. The Wachowskis loved the mythology. Whedon, of course, is all about the characters. And, like most of us, the character he zoomed in on was Han Solo. Putting aside the "space cowboy" thing (which we all know is not really that original--Star Wars and Star Trek both had plenty of Western elements), the concept of Firefly is basically "the adventures of Han Solo before the beginning of Star Wars"--which is also the concept of Cowboy Bebop, come to think of it. But of course, Mal is the funny version of Han, and the women around him end up being more interesting than Princess Leiah.

And I think they are interesting. There's a tendency to criticize Whedon because he keeps coming back to that chicks-who-kick-ass concept, but that's a goddamn broad concept. River kicks ass in this movie, but she's clearly not a clone of Buffy, or Faith, or what Whedon has hinted he will be doing with Wonder Woman. They are all unique characters. For that matter, Willow, Fred and Kaylee, much more recognizably a character type, are each unique charcters.

It's actually Zoe whom I think is the ultimate Whedon warrior woman character. Strong, capable, happily married to a sensitive, goofy guy (who, again, is not quite a clone of Xander), a Tura Satana fan's domestic fantasy. The pairing exemplifies the way he plays with gender types. And goddamn, Gina Torres is amazing. I can't think of any actress that projects that kind of power. So of course, Joss brings the pain, which would have been a pretty great moment in an ongoing series, but seemed...not meaningless, but a lot less meaningful in a two-hour movie, even for someone who had time to get attached to them.

So it's looking like a slim possibility that Joss gets two more Firefly movies at this point, especially if it Star Treks in the second week. The alternative of getting the show back on the air on SciFi looks less attractive now that he's used up his big arc and killed off two major characters. Maybe he gets to do two straight-to-DVD sequels, if his pride lets him. But certainly this movie does not make Joss into a player. That's OK, I never expected it to. Hopefully he can accomplish enough with Wonder Woman to start getting somewhere. What this did do was show, inarguably, that Joss can direct action. There are some really good set pieces here, and the chase scene near the beginning with the Reivers' ship was as good as any comparable scene in any recent movie I can think of. Which bodes well for getting his scripts made.

In the end, the lesson is: movies suck. TV even moreso. A band puts out a record that doesn't sell, or a writer writes a book that doesn't sell, so what? They can get another one out, one way or the other, and fans can find them, one way or the other. But if a property bombs in the movies, which are so expensive to make and distribute, you're fucked. And TV? Geez, it's almost random what gets cancelled and what doesn't. So I continue to put most of my chips in music, where a band like Shockabilly can put out six albums (and could have gone more, I'm sure) despite being failures on a scale that would have called The Butthole Surfers financial successes. Before "Pepper."