The Civil Culture War: Bleeding KansasThe Dark Herald
Industrial Light and Magic Singapore, an animation studio that was formed by George Lucas 20 years ago has been shut down by Disney. ILM is the only part of LucasFilm that is making big money for Disney. All of the “creatives” in that studio have cost Disney hundreds of millions in failed entertainment projects. They have to be scared to death now because Disney is pruning the healthy branches on the LucasFilm tree, they have to know that the deadwood is simply going to be chopped away wholesale.
The closure of ILM Singapore comes the day after “Richman North of Richmond” pushed another rightwing protest song out of the number one spot on iTunes.
What made this funny was that Rolling Stone, that bastion of monocle popping, white bow tie ruffling elitists attacked the song for among other things, mentioning Epstien’s Diseased Fantasy Island. Rolling Stone is only interested in easily commoditized 1960s-style protest songs, not something with genuine passion or rebellion behind it. That frankly scares the shit out of its editors and its Boomer audience.
Back-to-back #1 protest songs haven’t happened since I was a kid.
The culture war has entered its Bleeding Kansas period.
The American Civil War didn’t just take place between 1st Bullrun/Massas and Appomattox. There were extended periods of protracted guerrilla war both before and after the hot period. The warm-up period of low-intensity Civil War was in the Kansas territory, also known as Bleeding Kansas.
Our current Bleeding Kansas is no longer just snarling between angry superfans that hate what has been done to their beloved franchises and the studios that are demanding they shut up and keep paying them money, the fighting has gone mainstream. The normies have decided they do have a stake in this after all.
It’s utterly ludicrous to see the kind of viewership numbers that are connected with entertainment companies’ earnings calls. Thousands of people who are not connected to the financial industry in any way, shape, or form, are streaming what is unquestionably the (intentionally) dullest financial reporting dog and pony shows in existence. No one who isn’t trying to decrypt the delphic visions of corporate finance should be watching these things, let alone cheering for them. And what they are mostly cheering is the bad news parts. Unless you get a special treat and Iger is having one of his increasingly spectacular senior moments.
Keep in mind, Bud Light wasn’t the first Black Swan to land, that was Pixar’s Lightyear. A film that wasn’t exceptionally Woke as these things go. The Last Jedi was much worse from that perspective. But there was a key difference between The Last Jedi and Lightyear. People gave Hobo Luke a chance when that movie disappointed, then they complained. But they didn’t give Lightyear a chance at all. The normies didn’t even consider seeing it. Pixar never had a bomb that big.
Disney has been the biggest casualty of the early fighting. Mickey the Great and Terrible has gone box office titan to the kind of titan that got thrown into Hades by the Olympians. They have lost over a billion dollars this year at the box office. The park attendance has dropped through the basement as well, and Disney + has gone from a challenger to Netflix to falling behind Paramount +. If it wasn’t for Bluey it would be even worse, and now that Disney+ is hiking their prices it will be. Just as soon as people discover that for a little over one month’s subscription fee to D+ they can just buy the first two seasons of Bluey for less than $20 and Disney doesn’t see a dime of that. Also, you get the episodes that Disney censored.
Disney has gone from the brand that was in the unassailable position of being the company to whom you could entrust your children, to being the San Francisco bathhouse owner that you wouldn’t consider having your kids in the same room with.
This isn’t just corporate cluelessness, it’s a deliberate middle finger to the American family man. Disney is a company that simply can not control its worst impulses.
They kept pushing until they finally reached pushback. And they are still pushing because they don’t know how to stop.
Somebody should write a book about Disney’s decline and fall.
Come to think of it, I’m somebody.
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