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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stuff

Light blogging as of late.  You'll have to forgive me.  I've been hiding in my crawlspace, avoiding not just ebola but offensive Halloween costumes and the pot candy police are saying people will be handing out this year.

By the way, if you hear someone worry about pot candy being handed out on Halloween, you should be comforted by this fact:  That shit is expensive.  We're talking, like, five bucks per gummy bear.  No one's going to be giving out pot candy this year, at least not on purpose.  Don't be silly.

And now, the rest of the story.

Received Wisdom I'm Not Sure I Buy

From a review of Amy Poehler's new memoir:
(Tina) Fey reportedly netted a near-$6 million advance for her book, and (Lena) Dunham more than $3 million; Poehler’s fee is undisclosed, but she fits the bill. Women are still underrepresented as writers, directors, and stars of comedy, but the few women who have clawed to prominence on TV can find a comfortable perch in the publishing world.
This "women are still underrepresented" stuff is starting to take the sheen of old or bad information that just keeps getting passed around unchallenged.  I suppose it might come off as a little sexist to ask, "But are they really?"  I mean, I won't pretend to have an answer.  I'm not sure exactly what the acceptable level of representation is, so I can't say if women are "underrepresented" or not, but this is getting a bit absurd.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler "represented" about half of NBC's valuable and highly-rated Thursday night block for, oh, I dunno, years.  Shonda Rimes is on her way to "representing" Shondaland 7 days a week over at ABC.  Show me the 28 year old dude who is writing, directing, and starring in the third season of his HBO show.


In other words, if you're saying "women are still underrepresented," it's not because you've run the numbers.  It's because you haven't been paying attention.

Why We Need Net Neutrality

A lot of supposedly smart people say we don't need net neutrality policies.  This from Matt Yglesias points to why that might be a bit naive:

Over the past year, the company reports that it lost about 155,000 pay television customers. But during this same period revenue from pay television customers actually rose one percent due to higher prices. That's a sign that Comcast isn't really trying to save pay television as a long-term business proposition. The company isn't lowering prices to try to beat reduced customer demand, it's accepting that this will keep shrinking and they're simply trying to squeeze the customer base for all their worth.
I mean, at what point will these economic theorists pull their noses out of their textbooks and see for once and all that these telecom companies don't want to innovate or compete with each other.  They can argue for a "de-regulate" approach all they want, but it's the regulations that are keeping these companies honest.  Not market discipline.


And finally, some wisdom from David Simon, creator of The Wire.
Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and until very recently American television didn’t plan the end. You just tried to keep the franchise going for as long as you could. That lent itself to mediocrity eventually, because you need to be thinking about your last page as soon as you start filming your first.
Damn straight.

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