Monday, August 10, 2009

Prof. Pluggy explains it all to you

The old man is sound, hearing. Lear, ear. The daughter is the image, what is seen. The father insists on words: he has specific things he wants to hear. But the daughter will say only "nothing." Link

I know less about economics than Godard did about King Lear:

I would have thought that there was something I was missing if Sellars had not told me that Godard had in fact never read King Lear.

That didn't stop him him. Therefore I humbly offer my solution to two conundra of the current Internet economic predicament. Which, in brief, is:

This is one of Godard's many films in which he attempts to reconfigure the cinema from a razed ground zero.

Zero Re-set

On one side, the USian telcos and ILECs -- the service providers, in short -- are raking in huge bucks for essentially doing nothing except enjoying Proprietorship of the Pipes. They are the Landlords of the IntarTubes. Now, granted there were some costs associated with putting those pipes in, and turning on their systems, and selling them to a generous assortment of would-be content creators, thieves, and middlemen. And a few customers. If these costs haven't been recovered by now, some stockholders ought to be asking why. So for doing pretty much nothing beyond maintaining their system, and (some expansion where they see fit), yer lordships be making billion$ every quarter.
Professor Pluggy might be an absurd concoction — a cinematic prophet with hair made of audio-visual cables, a cigar perpetually in his mouth, and a mumbled, slurred diction that makes him sound like he's narrating the film while eating breakfast — but he's the one who introduces Shakespeare's descendant to the idea of the image.
This is not enough, however, for the telcos. In the movie they're making of reality, they get to charge customers for the privilege of using free capacity on their systems. Free to the telcos. Unused part of the band. By limiting text messages to 160 bits, it costs virtually nothing to let trillions of text messages swim through the vasty and deep inane of their pipes.
The image shows, unequivocally, Shaksper meeting Edgar, but the voiceover suggests something stranger, something surreal and impossible to visualize: Shaksper meeting Edgar and a girl who isn't there.
Essentially the landlords are charging us tenants to write to each other even though it costs them nothing when we do so.

  1. "Lear: Speak.
  2. Cordelia: Nothing, my lord.
  3. Lear: Nothing?
  4. Cordelia: Nothing.
  5. Lear: Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again."

The landlords, not unlike Mr. Bernanke and Señor Tetragrammaton, have mastered creation ex nihilo.

On the other side, the tenants are freely appropriating tons of alleged intellectual "property" in the form of mp3s etc., except in this case, other landlords, such as the RIAA, are not afraid to use the courts to collect their pound of Mr. Tenenbaum.

Norman Mailer: I knew Godard was going to destroy any script I wrote for King Lear; he hated scripts. He considered them his personal antagonist. But it was worth it. So I wrote a script of King Lear, which I called Don Learo. Godard and I got along 24 hours before we went our separate ways. I will say, for the record, he may be the second or third most awful man I've met in my life. And that's saying a lot."
So, in brief, I propose a return to good form, say, a cutaway two and a half somersault half-twist. The Telcos will continue to charge the texters for using nothing and paying something. The profits realized from this bonanza will be put into a {{{{pool}}}} to supplement the paying of nothing for the alleged IntelProp something. Kind of like hair plugs. Any time Mr. Tenenbaum steals a song he happens to like, some record co. executive with bad hair gets $.0007 from the proceeds of the Telcos' movie about texting.

"I don't know if I made this clear before, but this was after Chernobyl."

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Anonymous BeBe said...

Tom, this may be of interest, your perspective is likely less limited than mine:


9/03/2009 10:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Thanks. I've no privileged point from which to make anything of it. The site does seem rather consistently ominous in tone, if one just scrolls down -

And there's something protested maybe too much about


9/03/2009 11:26 PM  
Anonymous BeBe said...

Hard to admit it, maybe, but likely less limited than mine (which are substantially limited for a variety of inameliorable reasons ;-) Anyway, I'll amend to say "probably less limited than mine."

I'm left balancing-off various self-interested scenarious against others, as are many, but I'm left without the capacity nor the inclination to consume torrents of words in a seemingly futile debate. So one chooses. The best story. As one is able to determine. What a fucked up rat-in-a-maze situation. But there it is.

I've spent today speaking to a handful of friends about the best story I am able to discern, with the caveat that it is the best story, with the need to precipitate SOME kind of action, but with the probability that it will be received as "a necessity" as approximately .xx % of the total, either immediately or within a reasonable span, sooooo..... wtf. One says it anyway, and takes the hit. Hope things are trending favorably your way in this re, best, BeBe. (p.s. I'm nothing if not a non-alarmist, or so I believe. =:0 )

9/04/2009 2:37 AM  
Anonymous BeBe said...

OMG, Tom, the captcha for that post was lower case 'proud.' Stop it!!

9/04/2009 2:39 AM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

There are the alarmists, the non alarmists, and the alarmingly non-alarmist alarmists.

It's the non-alarming alarmists we don't know that are the most alarming.


9/04/2009 2:00 PM  

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