Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A can't miss attempt at fiscal solvency

We live in trying times. Dick Cheney has emerged from his bunker to sneer ghoulishly at moral reason, California's Supreme Court is shitting the proverbial bed, and Kobe is two wins from the NBA Finals. Frothing loonies are everywhere. I am troubled.

But nothing is more troubling than the global economic meltdown. Perhaps you've heard about it. American auto giants are crumbling, upstanding companies are claiming "oopsies!" on their balance sheets, and hordes of bankrupt rubes are wishing they read the fine print. In these dire economic times, what's a man to do?

Get rich.


I've had a few ideas. The first is starting my own cable movie channel, a la HBO or Showtime or Starz or, God forbid, Cinemax. But, being that there are plenty of reputable options out there and, further, considering that HBO has offshoots like HBO Comedy and HBO Action, what you need is a niche.

Which brings us to my first idea: "Flopz." Your HBOs can have their collection of Oscar winning weepers; they can keep their fancypants original series about invective spewing frontier types and stabby gangsters in Baltimore. Showtime can continue being HBOs less cool stepchild and Cinemax will never stop cornering the market on soft-core laffers like "Cheerleader Summer Camp" and "Take Your Shirt Off 6." On my channel? It's all flops and nothing but flops. Or, rather Flopz.

"Gymkata"? We'll get that. "Roadhouse"? For sure. "Waterworld," "Battlefield Earth", "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2"? Those are mine. Every time you turn on Flopz, I guarantee the movie you're watching will suck. In fact, that's our slogan. The best part is, while all those tweedy fops at Home Box Office and Showtime are bidding for the cable rights to "Slumdog Millionaire", I'll be in the other room, getting "The Hottie and the Nottie" for three sacks of aluminum cans. Admit it: you're excited already. I know I am.

Of course, there's a problem. It's enormously expensive to start your own channel. So I need to get rich quicker before I really get rich quick. Which brings us to idea number two: "Facester"

See, you kids nowadays: you love your Twitter. Me? I don't.* I thought Twitter would flash in the pan and die, largely unmourned. I admit, it's the fanatical language nerd in me that hates all that internet abbreviating, the constant updating of what people are doing 2nite, what movie they're going to c, the consistency of their latest bowel movement. It's all a little tedious. But, as the proverb goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

I figure, if we're moving towards a world in which everyone knows what everyone else is doing at all times, and if those updates are simultaneously getting shorter, let's just cut out language all together. Paragraphs are for turds and lameoids; words are so twentieth century. That's why you need to use Facester. It's all emoticons, all the time. No more composing tiresome sentences, no more reading. Just colon end-parenthesis. Or colon begin-parenthesis. You get four generous characters to sum up your feelings at any given time. Woke up this morning hungover? Sad face. Took a long lunch and your boss didn't notice? Happy face. Feeling ironical? Winking face. I imagine President Obama returning from Mideast peace accords, logging into Facester on his Blackberry and typing


Take that Ehud Olmert.

I don't see how this can fail. When I'm rich like a Saudi sultan, you can hang out in my treasure bath with me, watch "Firemaidens From Outerspace" and let the world know we're both :)

While I'm designing the Facester website, though, I'll need something to do with my nights. Like, say, play shows in Berkeley. In fact, that's what we're doing Friday. We're heading over to the Starry Plough with Mumlers and Winters Fall in two days (the 29th) and we're headlining, so drink your coffee. Please do join us. We made a poster and everything.

*(Parenthetically, I'm aware of the irony of crapping on Twitter while writing on Blogger. I'm a big smelly hypocrite. Glad I got that off my chest).