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The Sorry State of Entertainment

Date: 01 August, 2008

By: Chief

Image rather long title which could be shortened to just two distinct, yet very appropriate words — Entertainment Sucks.

Like it or not, it is abysmally true. Entertainment, over the last couple of decades, with very few exceptions, has gone from piss poor to abysmally horrid. And regrettably there appears to be no end in sight for the pure crap being shoved down our throats by the:

Face it when an unadulterated fraud such as Al Gore can receive an Oscar for Best Lie (best documentary), well, that should tell you something about the state of entertainment.

There is, for one thing, an amazing lack of talent that is getting published, recorded, videoed or, in some cases, all of the above. This is not to say that there is no talent, but that producers or the industry have found it to be much more financially rewarding — for themselves — by not reaching out for real talent or nurturing existing talent (if there is any) and just attempting to control the distribution of movies, music, books, etc.

Another thing the industry does is to take a fantastic piece of art and attempt to redefine it. As usual the industry screws up the redefinition horribly. Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about — Harry Potter.

The books, written by J.K. Rowling, are fantastic. I own an entire hard bound set of the seven books plus a couple of other related books such as "Magical Creatures and Where to Find Them." Alas, along comes Warner Brothers and says 'give us the copyrights and we'll make a movie out of each book', it'll be great'! Great for the movie industry without doubt. Great for the brain-dead consumer, maybe. Great for a person with a functioning brain, not a chance.

So all the evil but legal paperwork was signed and now five movies have been released with the sixth in development. And guess what? They all stink. Taken together, the five released films, there is an excess of twenty hours of purported 'entertainment'. Yet if you (or I) were to snip out the very best of that twenty hours we could distill it down to less than twenty minutes. And the vast majority of that twenty minutes (over 90%) would come from the third and the fifth films. Tragically, each movie has been a box office smash.

It's enough to make you heave.

In the movie industry it is no longer about "Art for Art's Sake" (contained within the MGM logo). It is all about "Art for Money's Sake" (contained within the Big Picture Company logo which is from the hilarious Mel Brooks movie, "Silent Movie"). Indeed it hasn't been about "Art" for many, many years. Profit and profit only. Screw the audience.

The music industry is even worse. Far, far worse. To be sure, the music industry, a multi billion dollar per year enterprise, is nothing more than an organized crime family — a syndicate. The actual Mafia could learn a few lessons from these guys.

But enough on the industries. There is enough publicly available crap on them to fill a story, even a tome, without having to work on it. So, that being said, let us turn our attention to the artists — or lack thereof — and see what shakes loose.

In both the music and movie industries are various genres — categories of either music or movies. Left up to me there would be precisely three categories of music:

With movies there would be three categories as well:

Over ninety percent of the either music or movies that are currently available fall into the last category. Flush twice, it is a long way to Nashville, New York or L.A.

Music

Oh, a real quick word about Rap — Rap is crap. Period. 'Nuff said.

When you sit back and think about it there is a clear distinction between musician and singer. Musicians can't sing. For the most part — neither can singers. Furthermore, with a single exception, nary the twain shall meet.

Most singers of today are not singers but merely screamers. The women singers are the worst. Their vocals remind me of fingernails and a chalk board or screech owls. Abject misery at its very worst.

Now the finest singers in the world today are:

Of course the finest singer in history (arguably) is none other than Luciano Pavarotti (here is my story about the maestro).

Like it or not folks, those people can sing and sing beautifully. Yet for reasons unknown, you don't hear them on the radio and it can be difficult to find CD's or DVD's of them. A travesty of no small proportion, to be sure.

Moving right along we now have musicians, bands and what-not. To tell you the truth there are very few good bands and musicians and even far fewer great bands and musicians. Most musicians or bands make noise — not music. Their "sound" is remarkably similar to that of a cat with its tail stuck in a door jamb. The majority are not worth the price of admission to a public toilet much less a concert hall. They really stink in other words.

However, here is my list of the great bands and musicians (you knew I'd do this):

There are a few people, maestros without peer, who must be added in. They are:

Without them music just would not be the same.

With such a list of tremendous musicians I was torn, for a while, as to the greatest single musician in history. But I finally figured it out — John Philip Sousa.

If the recording industry would stick to finding, nurturing and promoting real talent (like those I've listed), well they would not be whining so loudly.

Whew, that was quite a list. Okay, on to the next category.

Movies

It is no wonder that movie studios are always on the verge of bankruptcy. Producing a movie costs a great deal of money and normally studios produce far more crap than movies, though they will deny it. Studio executives are, after all, quite adept liars.

When I watch a movie I want to watch entertainment. I want to be happy. I do not want to be lectured, terrified, sad, depressed, angry or anything else other than happy. Yet movie companies are quite good at making movies which do everything but make a viewer happy. No wonder they are going out of business. Idiots.

Chief's list of great movies:

Ah, but the greatest movie of all time is the 2005 musical rendition of — The Producers. It is beyond perfection.

Notice anything? No? Well the greatest movie of all time along with the first six movies were all produced (and in some cases, directed, written and starred in) by one man — Mel Brooks. He likes happy. He likes humor. He gets it. Rock on Mel!

Now the greatest concert movie of all time is, obviously — The Original Three Tenors Concert (1990).

Actors? The best of them do stage first and film — when they feel like it. That said, here the list:

And the greatest actor of all time? None other than Sir Richard Burton.

Each one of those actors could be the greatest actor in history. I'll tell you this much, they don't make 'em that way anymore. Nope. Not at all. Most new actors have no stage training. Shakespeare may very well be as exciting to read as watching paint dry. But, if an actor can do Shakespeare — properly — on stage, he or she can do anything.

The movie industry would not go broke all the time if they created intellectually stirring fun movies with great talent — both in front of and behind the camera. But oh no, the studios would rather stick to the well known and losing proposition of producing — crap (they do it so well). Dunderheads.

The only entertaining part of the entertainment industry is listening to them whine. And they can't even get that right.

It is enough to gag a maggot.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

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