Monday, May 19, 2008

Numbskull News

Listening to Monday ATC's two (count 'em: one - two!) commercials stories related to the about to be released Indiana Jones movie it dawned on me why NPR hasn't been able to cover those other silly stories like the West Coast Longshoreman's anti-war strike on May 1st (NPR's non-coverage), last week's Winter Soldier testimony before Congress (more NPR non-coverage), and the US War on Terror™ version of NCLB (more non-coverage...wait, NPR did cover the free schooling that kid-prisoners in Iraq are getting - I hope they are making AYP).

With an Indiana Jones movie coming out, no wonder these stories get bumped. First it takes a bit of lead up to get to the opening week: a September teaser; deep, archetypal analysis to consider, a little Cannes teaser, a canned Cannes review, then finally Monday's All Things Consumerist one-two finale. There was the "research news" bit on phony Aztec skulls and then the hard hitting piece on the marketing strategy of Lego and Lucas Films as they generate hype (and money) for the coming movie.

If I have my way, NPR's story on Lucas and Lego should be in line for a Peabody. Norris begins the piece with "Lucas Films has had a long and successful partnership with Lego...the two companies are using Legos as what you might call a 'gateway drug' to get kids interested in the movie." (Gateway drug? I'm seeing a new ad campaign for NPR news: "Your Gateway Drug to Cable News.") Norris hands off the story to the capable Nancy Mullane who tells us:
  • of mall shoppers who "watch a Lego designer construct an 8 foot R2D2 entirely out of Lego bricks."
  • of one shopper whose "son has been saving his allowance and last week he bought his first Indiana Jones theme set, 'The Jungle Duel' for $9.99...interest started when Indy showed up in the middle of a Legos Star Wars video game."
  • "at first the two companies collaborated on the Star Wars Lego play-sets, offering a winged fighter and Lego characters Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, but Indiana Jones was another story"
  • "the campaign is working; kids are craving it."
  • that the earlier boy-shopper "wants to buy one of the larger theme sets, it's called 'Race for the Stolen Treasure,' and it costs $29.99, so he's going to start saving for it..."

Look out Barbaro, I think Indiana Jones may have pushed you out of the headlines.


Anonymous said...

Sell sell sell! Buy buy Buy! Fake crystal skulls are a rather apt metaphor for our decline...

Porter Melmoth said...

Yeah, it's getting MUCH WORSE than I thought.

I'm one of those who thinks that the Lucasfilm/Speilberg Industrial Combine wrecked movies, so I'm especially curmudgeon-ly about the marketing aspects. And NPR's right there to kiss the ring of those Masters of the Universe, groveling as usual. After all, one hand washes the other.

Indeed, NPR stands to sweep the Peabodys (and whatever other self-congratulatory action-toy baubles they'll dole out), what with their enlightened coverage of the China quake (which was a MUCH better quake than that Armenian one or that one in Gujarat), and Mike Sullivan's finally getting emotional and annoyed about what he saw in Burma, and oh yes, all that fine Indy coverage.

Our president at least had the good taste to cease playing golf while there's a war on. The least NPR could do is turn down the bubble machine a bit. But of course they won't.

I would venture to say that all those awards really don't have much value any more, as the bar has been set to ground level.

Anonymous said...

Priorities, priorities.

Thanks for the plug, McNews, but I'll have to pass and stick to the good stuff. When it's alleged that Kurosawa's mighty "Seven Samurai" is about to get the remake treatement, you are at last completely convinced that Hollywood has truly run out of brain-fartz.

Annnd, just say NO to LEGO!

Anonymous said...

PS: And I wasn't referring to the suitable SS adaptation 'The Magnificent Seven.' But that was back then, and they simply don't make 'em like they used ta.

Porter Melmoth said...

Yeah b!, Yul Brynner made a pretty decent substitute for Toshiro Mifune, plus there was Elmer Bernstein's outstanding 'Marlboro' score!

Anonymous said...

Port, I already pre-ordered my 'Kikuchiyo' action figure! Be the coolest kid on your block to collect 'em all! guffaw, guffaw.

I fear the great spirits of cinema - Akira, Andrei (Tarkovsky), Federico, Luis (Bunuel), are rolling in their graves at what the art they were so passionate about has degraded to. But collectively in their various writings and musings, I think they saw it comin'.

Porter Melmoth said...

And the great thing is, the maestros look better than ever, and are always ripe for rediscovery.

With Ingmar's recent departure to the great screening room in the sky, they pretty much all belong to the ages now.

Anonymous said...

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are lead Mockingbirds in CIA-Hollywood doing what CIA-Disney does, making movies that promote military recruits with 1930s values portraying Action Adventure Alpha males (AAA) and Evil Darker Savages (EDS)to overcome.

Indiana Jones and the comic book thwarting of Nazis began in 1981 because Jim Jones of Jonestown (1978) was both from Indiana and he was CIA.

Jim Jones had started out as FBI in the 1950s infiltrating the black churches where the Civil Rights movement was gestating.

But Jim Jones' buddy from childhood back in Indiana was the CIA's torture guru, Dan Mitrione.

The CIA's old Nazi and cocaine dealer network (including Klaus Barbie) staged what is called The Cocaine Coup in Bolivia 1980 even as a DEA whistleblower, Michael Levine, tried to notify Newsweek that the CIA was protecting the coke moguls and Nazis.

Little did Levine realize that Newsweek was owned by the Washington Post and was a CIA-Operation Mockingbird stronghold.

Levine's career was dead-ended and Steven CIA Spielberg made a CIA counterpropaganda movie to inoculate America's recruitable youth against this ugly history by hijacking the dangerous keywords (Jones, Indiana, Nazis) and using meme-reversal to make a new white hat American stopping Nazis named Indiana Jones.

That's why Voice of America for Americans, Nationalist Propaganda Radio, is hyping CIA-Spielberg's movie.

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