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April 19 2008

Joss in Fast Company (May 2008). Joss and Whedonverse noted as inspirational to Lost, Heroes, Battlestar, and others.

Thanks, redphoenix23, for catching this interesting article. If, in the post-broadcast-model economic future, depth of passion for a series means more than breadth of reach, there's hope for the kind of television we all love.

[ edited by doghouse on 2008-04-19 13:34 ]
That's rite, Joss rules :)
, "As Lindelof puts it, The Whedonverse was, like, if you have a core fandom, how do you get that core fandom to buy a lot of shit?" And perhaps more important, how do you sell them all that stuff with integrity, so you don't end up burning your biggest fans?

So not actually about being a geek and making quality tv, instead as always it's about making money. Which is fair enough but don't pretend to be something you're not. New faces, same old mindset.
At the moment, he is creating a three-part, 30-minute serial about a hapless villain, called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," which he plans to make available for free online. If that show gets picked up in another medium, Whedon will own a greater stake than if the show originated on network television.

Wait, what? Is this a possibility? Because that never crossed my mind. That would be LEGEN - wait for it - DARY!!!
Interesting, well written article that. Great read. It's very interesting to see the ways in which to tell stories are expanding and combining. Although it's probably more than a few years off, until storytelling like 'The Lost Experience' or the expansive 'Heroes' world will start becoming more normal. Plus: it takes a very healthy fanbase to market this stuff, can't really see that succeeding on any old show.

Wait, what? Is this a possibility? Because that never crossed my mind. That would be LEGEN - wait for it - DARY!!!

Heh. I think they're talking about something like a DVD-release here esg, which is pretty likely given how well Whedon properties sell on the good old shiny disc. I don't think they're talking about expanding the property beyond what we're getting in any way.

And, Simon, that statement bothered me as well. I'm sure it's also true, I mean: money is what makes all this possible. But there I still feel like, with Joss, the art of it really comes first and a succesfull marketing scheme is just a way to help make that art come to life (and if he makes money from that, well: rightfully so). I don't know about Lindelof, but I think that may have just been an oversimplifying statement on his part. I'm sure his geeky side also wants to make quality television, not just loads of money. Also don't forget that this interview was done right after the writer's strike, which was all about writers making money from new media (which they were in the right to want), so the focuss may have simply still been on those issues.
I really don't mind that the article focuses on the business apsect of things. If the things I love make lots of moolah, then odds are I'll get to see more of them! :)
Simon, you're right that it's about making money (at least, for the readers of Fast Company where this article ran) but wrong about same old mindset. The creators, Joss and gang, are on our side, but the money people, who will make the future decisions about broadcasting, may be changing their mindset to measure success in a new way that doesn't depend on lowest-common-denominator ratings. If selling lots of shit to loyal fans, including Blu-ray Firefly releases and Buffy Tarot decks, gets our kind of shows on the air, then we stand a chance against the dark legions of reality TV.
When you are talking about business, you look at the business end of things. When you are talking about art, you concentrate on the artistic side. I think one of Joss's strengths is that he has been able to come to terms with the business side while continuing to be an artist. This article is concentrating on that part of the equation, because you have to be able to offer the money men something so you can have the power to create what you, as an artist, want to create. The more confidence they have that you know how to make money for them, the less they will get in your way.
Fun article. Good read. I really like Joss' emphasis on "back end" money. I also like electricspacegirl's reference to a satanic dairy farm where Tim Curry as the horned one settles on a bucket to milk a cow and shortly after being settled launches into a universe-conquering oration while milking. Then he laughs his deep ecstatic rumble of a laugh, startles the cow, Curry-demon stops laughing - only his eyes follow the cow's movement, cow spills the pail of milk, then the Curry-demon moans so quietly and sorrowfully we know in this piteous moment this farmer won't be ruling the world anytime soon. ...thanks for that reference, ESG. ;)
Re: the making money thing. The other obvious point to make is that the nature of the publication dictates the slant. Fast Company is a business magazine, so they're going to play up that side of things and not talk so much about, you know, stuff that gets you into geek heaven.
I don't think it's fair to divide the world up into "Money People" and "Art People." As long as creators need food, clothing and shelter, the work they do will always involve some kind of financial element, whether it be a NEA grant, private sponsorship, or *gasp*, a Hollywood production deal. There are plenty of people involved in the finance side of other people's artistic endeavors who are themselves truly passionate and knowledgable about art. A $10 million production budget for a cool new pilot doesn't just materialize out of thin air. Someone has to convince the banks to front that money, and because banks are not charities, that person has to be prepared to explain how that money is going to get paid back.

The beauty of Joss is that he is an artist whose creativity extends beyond what he writes and direct, going into the dirty realm of commerce. Finance is not a science but an art, and by being creative about how his shows can reap the necessary return on his backers' investment, he is able to offer fans creative material that would not be financially viable if dependent on traditional economic models for television.
Ok, that was really confusing. I clicked and immediately had the eerie sensation that I was coming in halfway through. It turns out I was, because the link goes to page two of the article. (Mayhap we should change it to the article's beginning?)
Very true words all, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read. Hey, perhaps we geeks will inherent the earth after all.

[ edited by Madhatter on 2008-04-19 21:02 ]
I had the same experience as b1x. It was very disconcerting to come in to the middle of the article. About the money thing, as several people have now pointed out, the readers of Fast Company, should not be expected to care about the art. Seriously. This article was very spot on for their readership of tech savvy entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs.

Madhatter, do you have some kind of open ended boldy thing going on here?

[ edited by TamaraC on 2008-04-19 20:55 ]
Opps! Sorry about that, corrected.
Finance is not a science but an art.

Finance is neither, BrewBunny. Don't get me started.
I changed the link to start at the beginning. (Although I note that it was linked to page two because that's where JW came in to the story.)
Dreamlogic, please start. I would be interested. I would love to know how my profession is perceived.
Tamara C, if you don't recall, we've had really ugly debates in the past with you defending studio accounting, the status quo. And me with my paranoia (with sources), yet also with more cogent analysis of the math and accounting involved. If you want to fight again, fine. Let's go.
Well, I was about to ask about that subject, but it's clear to fray some nerves. May I suggest we put that topic on the back burner for now. Take a breath all and smile!
If you want to fight again, fine. Let's go.

Do it somewhere else.
Joss is putting this on the internet for free, huh? The blogger who lent them his house said there were thirty-five people there and they worked about sixteen hours IIRC. The shooting undoubtedly took several more days for the scenes outside the lair, too. Plus all the post filming work and editing. It would seem to me that this could have run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, unless everyone worked for free, or minimum wage. Be interesting to see how it ends up working out financially for those involved.
So not actually about being a geek and making quality tv, instead as always it's about making money. Which is fair enough but don't pretend to be something you're not. New faces, same old mindset.

Biz Mag or not, this is truth. I applaud Joss for the direction he is going with this. And, I hope he does not take it to TV if offered. Keep it DIY and give it to the fans direct. The money will come. It may not be lots but thats not why you make art, right?
It's not money vs. art -- it's the current ad-driven, ratings-ridden business model vs. reality. Ratings are going to keep on declining. We'll need new financial leverage to get the drama shows of tomorrow on the air, otherwise it's "Deal or No Deal" forever.
Am I the only one who read my own biography in the article? Shoot, I was making tricorders in fourth grade. And was bullied for it, I might add. I even had a book of blueprints and a Princess Leia dress that I made myself. (Completely revealing my geekdom here, guys.) Am I the only one? Anybody?

I really enjoyed this article. It's nice to see that my generation of geeks is coming into its own. Thank you, redpheonix23, for a very enjoyable, and identifiable, read. :)
Exactly, doghouse. And the point made about Joss making more money off this property (when/if it moves to other media) because of its unique origins (no studio involvement) is key to getting other creators to do the same.
Fine, keep Deal or No Deal on TV. The interwebz ain't leaving and neither are DVDs (and whatever is beyond DVD). Look at the relatively successful indie musicians without the help of Clear Channel and MTV.
Spikecam21, it is the studios (or their parent companies) who have the resources to manufacture and distribute DVDs and making enough money off the interwebs to pay the mortgage is kind of a long shot right now. I'm not saying that it isn't coming, but I bet it has been Joss' intention all along to take this to another medium in order to monetize it after it debuts online. Of course I could be completely wrong about his intentions and still be right about how it does end up jumping off the internet and onto our TVs.
"All static, all day, forever." That was the B-52s like 20 years ago. We wouldn't have considered them a serious, much less prophetic band, then. But isn't that how it's going? Less meaning, more noise, all times, whatever. A small percentage of the noise of an untuned TV or radio channel is believed to be from the birth of the universe. There's no way we can understand it directly. But just piling layers of shit and other garbage on it doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
TamaraC, doesn't the manufacture of the actual DVD cost like, about a dollar? Couldn't Joss take the show to some company and pay to have, say, fifty thousand made and sell them for five or ten bucks or something? I know it's all more complicated than that, so could you or somebody elucidate a little on the actual costs?
You don't need a studio to sell DVDs. With enough leg work, word of mouth and an already loyal fan base to build on, you don't need anything from big business. You can put out a quality product and make a profit without uber-funding.

I respect DIY more and practice it in my life.

I don't want this to seem directed at Joss personally. Just speaking generally.

Also, there are many mom and pop distributers and other helpful folks that you can work with and build trusting business relationships with. And they don't wear suits.

[ edited by Spikecam21 on 2008-04-19 23:45 ]
Did anyone else get a kick when Jane described Ron Moore meeting Joss on the picket line during the writers strike? That must of been quite a scene, wish someone had captured a picture (hint). Share pretty please?
Good for you, TamaraC. You just kept going past my crudeness, and dreaminess, and remaining issues with your positions. I bet we could sell tickets to the rematch, though.
dreamlogic, someday we should do an epic back and forth on LJ. That might be fun. I am of course learning more everyday on how the crazy business of show actually works and still have a lot more to learn. :)
shambleau and spikecam21, of course it is possible to have a DIY approach. That is working for people these days in a couple different media. Jeremy and Brian did it with their DVD, Can't Stop the Signal. It be interesting to see the economics of their project.
I was just trying to make the point that the economies of scale and vast distribution networks of the studios is going to make more money every time. Yes the Internet is the great equalizer, but getting shelf space in Wal-Mart is the win.
About time you two crazy kids got it together, I was running out of idle talk. You both have good points, and I would love to hear them, but not here in this room. You know, why not open a topic in our flick?
I had a bit of an inner fangirl squee to hear Lindelof address the Joss phenom with more than a little envy and awe.

Loved Joss' point about getting profit on the backend of a project. If you work hard and produce something people love, you will be rewarded for it as a result--giving you more creative freedom up front, and that being the most important element. Bravo, sir!
And the point I was trying to make is getting shelf space at, ugh, Wal-Mart, is not the win.
If one needs to recoup a $50 million production budget, I would argue that shelf space at Wal-Mart may very well be a necessity. Especially if the artist in question would like to be awarded another $50 million dollar production budget for their next project.
The best part of this article is Lindelof challenging the others to find the Boba Fett cartoon.
Spikecam21, it is all in how you define win. And if you want to eat and pay for your kids' college educations.
OK, I was tip-toeing around the specific subject of money because I don't want to sound like I am demonizing it. I don't believe money is the root of all evil. I believe people who use money irresponsibly are the root of all evil. That runs the gauntlet from Corporate Execs at Wal-Mart and Production Companies to you and me.

Money is not the end all be all. But, yes, I believe artists should be compensated appropriately for their art. And, you can make rent and live comfortably without the help/burden of big business.

I feel like you guys are thinking far more large scale than I am. If enough people believe in your work it will take off on its own. I see it happen all the time. Yes, it takes work, yes it takes time, but it happens. And if it doesn't, then you find something else to do.

We live in a world controlled by the wealthy business owners. We do not need them.

Just trying to eat and paying for your children's college education are two very different things.
I will certainly defend the rights of networks and show creators to make fair profit off quality shows and quality merchandise.
(This is a debate that goes back almost 90 years to the 'Felix the Cat' movies and the tie-in range of toys, comics and posters.)

The net is a relatively brave new world and one that has been used well by 'Heroes' and 'Lost'. Also for marketing purposes, such as 'Cloverfield' and 'Snakes on a Plane.' (Just ignore the white elephant in the corner that starts with 'S' and ends in 'y'.)
I do hope that Joss takes advantage of the net in expanding the 'Dollverse'. In fact, part of me kind of wishes that 'Buffy' was airing now- can you imagine the possibilities for say, 'I Robot..'?

As squeamish as I am at the thought of being reduced to a walking cash sign, if it leads to entertainment that *I* want to watch being produced, well that's life. Or simply, economics.
(Even if that means having an Eliza Dushku plastic doll handed over with my Happy Meal!)

ETA- Just noticed the tag- LOL! Makes me think of 'Beauty and the Geek'.

[ edited by missb on 2008-04-20 03:14 ]
Yeah, but in the case of THIS possible DVD project, where more than likely the production budget was closer to a couple of hundred thousand than $50 million, do you need the studios? Their distribution networks would gross more money, yes, for the studios, but he'd get 1 or 2 per cent of whatever the studios said the profit was, right? Joss's per centage share of the profits on his own would, I assume, be huge compared to what he'd get with the studios involved, and so would require a much smaller number of dvds purchased for him to break even.

Also, I'm trying to imagine customers at Walmart shelling out the bucks for a three-person, thirty-minute musical and I'm having as hard a time doing it as I imagine a studio promo department would. The audience for this is strictly internet-savvy people and Joss fans, IMO, so it seems like DIY is a good gamble in this case. We'll see, I guess.
shambleau, I don't see the 30 minute thing going straight to DVD. I see the 30 minute thing turning into something that turns into something else that ends up on TV or as a movie and then to DVD.

Spikecam21, being paid well to create what you want how you want is the bestest of all worlds. Very few get to do it. Many/most barely scrape by or fail horribly to monetize their art (and then glorify their own penury and suffering). I understand suffering for your art and all, I just do not get the appeal.

I wish Joss piles and piles of filthy lucre and I hope the kids get Ivy League educations. If he can do that without the soul sucking horrible corporations (made up of individuals just like you and me just trying to do their best and you know, eat) then great. I think he will need a collaboration and compromise or two to really reach the true potential of any project.
....the soul sucking horrible corporations (made up of individuals just like you and me just trying to do their best and you know, eat)

Right, the CEO's of those dear and fluffy corporations, like Wal-Mart (mentioned above) are just individuals "like you and me". If "you and me" make three billion $ a year "bonuses" on top of our multi-million yearly salaries, while the corporations we head avoid paying most taxes by locating their "main office" somewhere in the Cayman Islands.

Count me among those who hope that Joss makes tons on money, because artistic creativity deserves that kind of reward. But having your product or some spim-off on a shelf at Wal-Mart is not the ultimate in success. It is rather, IMO, the downside. And the point at which you double check to see if your soul is still intact.
Shey, everybody, you're all mostly right on this (TamaraC and dreamlogic, you can both be right) but a quick point: the business decisions won't be made by CEOs, they'll be made by middle managers who need to justify themselves to CEOs but who also watch TV, talk to the sales force, etc. Sometimes these overworked, overstressed folks make OK decisions.
I feel like you guys are thinking far more large scale than I am. If enough people believe in your work it will take off on its own. I see it happen all the time. Yes, it takes work, yes it takes time, but it happens. And if it doesn't, then you find something else to do.

Spike, are you saying that you would limit our entertainment options to the sort of shoestring budget projects that can be financed through your Tinkerbell strategy (i.e., if I really, really believe in my project, other people will come up with the cash required to pay for the actors, costumes, sets, cameras, and film necessary to bring my artistic vision to life)? Sure, you can certainly produce great movies on the cheap (see Sex, Lies and Videotape), but unless you're willing to give up stuff like Lord of the Rings or Serenity, you're going to have to make your peace with the existence of businesses big enough to finance $10-100 million production budgets. Businesses that are owned by people who expect to make a return on their investment.

Unless of course you're aware of a magic money tree somewhere, in which case I hope you'll point me to it.
Shey, I have worked in corporations all my adult life. Some small (25 people), some large (over 10,000 people). I never met Mr. Burns. Sorry to disappoint. Everyone was just trying to do their job the best way they could and get a paycheck. And most people really cared about the customer, quality and doing their job with integrity. I've never worked for or shopped at Wal-Mart so I can't speak their company culture.
TamaraC, you've worked in better corporations than some of us.

I hope that more female geeks, like Jane Espenson, will be able to break into this boys' club.
Suzie, I didn't mean to imply that there were no nasty people in any of these places, just no evil "we will destroy the world" people that some assume are required in every corporation. Just normal, flawed humans.
Normal, flawed humans are plenty bad enough, we don't need to build straw-men out of James Bond villains.

The thing about corporations is, to some extent they reward flaws, which is why folk are (rightly) suspicious of them. They're there to make money, plain and simple. Sometimes that coincides with making great art but it's not a requirement.
I completely agree, Saje. The system isn't perfect, but then I don't know any system that is.
I'd comment, but I think I'm actually all alone on Whedonesque. Hello?



Oh well, I guess nobody's interested that I actually worked for someone who was evil incarnate, but who, oddly enough, didn't make any money from it...
I'm here, MysticSlug, in between the housecleaning spurts. Evil pays off less than people think in corporations. Mainly because the other people the evil ones work with don't tend to like them very much.
I think it depends on what customers require of the corporation.

Corporations that sell necessities (like energy) can pretty much do what the hell ever 'cause we need what the sell. (Or I should say, things we think are necessities.)

Wal-Mart customers demand cheap and convenient. They want everything they want to be available at Wal-Mart, and they want assurance that it will be priced at the cheapest price around. They pay their employees crap and stock their shelves with the cheapest brands from sketchy countries, because customers are willing to overlook that "evil" if they can have their cheap DVD players.

If TV viewers demanded great artistic television AND refused to watch it if it wasn't, studios would have to provide that.

Corporations have to make of consumers. Consumers can shape how corporations make money. If you want ethical corporations, you have to factor ethics into the price of the product. If you want great art, you have to factor that into the price...if not into the actual art itself, then into the merchandise.
GrrrlRomeo, I think we have to realize that the number of consumers that actually care may be vocal but are simply too small to make any difference. Kind of like Firefly viewers.
Yep, that's exactly what happened.
So, "We have met the enemy and he is us" is as apt as always, I see.
Wal-Mart customers demand cheap and convenient. They want everything they want to be available at Wal-Mart, and they want assurance that it will be priced at the cheapest price around. They pay their employees crap and stock their shelves with the cheapest brands from sketchy countries, because customers are willing to overlook that "evil" if they can have their cheap DVD players. GrrrlRomeo | April 20, 23:33 CET

Glad to see that you've encountered the softer side of Wal-Mart. This is what I've encountered: We did not want a Wal-Mart in Hilo. People here are very conscious of how Wal-Mart puts small, "Mom and Pop" stores out of business, as well as being conscious of the environmental and workers rights abuses practiced by this largest corporation on the planet.
They are notorious union busters (literally, no unions allowed, try to organize and you're fired, complain about the missed breaks and unpaid overtime and you're fired).

There was a major struggle to keep them out, which "we the people" of course lost. Sometimes you need to tilt at windmills, just to let the Senior Partners know you're at least still alive, although basically powerless in the Corporate/Capitalist Plutocracy that the U.S. has become. And no, Capitalism is not Democracy, brainwashing to the contrary.

So now, several years later, I've lost count of how many small businesses in the area have indeed been put out of business by Wal-Mart. Many former employees of these small family owned shops, who used to work full time and receive health insurance, now work for Wal-Mart, because they have no choice.
Wal-Mart hires twice as many "part time" people, working a half hour per week less than what federal law requires for providing health insurance(I think it's twenty hours per week).

But that works fine for Wal-Mart, they don't have to provide health insurance but they still get unpaid overtime out of their employees, because of their union busting policy.

There is literally no choice but to shop at Wal-Mart, now. Even if you have enough money and are willing to pay a little more to support small businesses that operate with integrity, these small businesses no longer exist.
Hilo is a small city (still under fifty thousand, I think) but the largest city on this island. This scenario is played out in rural areas and small cities all over the U.S.

People here don't shop at Wal-Mart because we "demand cheap and convenient", we do so because we no longer have a choice. And everyone I know, hates it.

So tell me again why huge corporations aren't evil? They literally control this country, through their paid lobbyists. We're rapidly losing the last vestiges of our Democracy, because of multi-national corporations and the so-called "free trade" agreements they demand from our government.
Shey, if no one had shopped at Wal-Mart the small companies would not have gone out of business in the first place. I understand your anger, but you need to direct some of it at the people in your own community who utterly failed to support local business. Wal-Mart did not put those companies out of business. The people who shop at Wal-Mart (something I will never do) put them out of business.
Well, Tamara, it would really have to be both Wal-Mart and the people who shop at Wal-Mart in combination that put those small businesses out of business - otherwise, it doesn't even really make sense...

ďPersonally, Iím in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we canít have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every levelóthereís little bargaining, a little give and take,but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as Iím opposed to political fascism, Iím opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, itís pointless to talk about democracy.Ē - Noam Chomsky, Language and Politics
You are right,of course, QG. That is why I said "direct some of it at the people". I do know that most consumer products company would not shed a single tear if Wal-Mart disappeared tomorrow. Not a single tear. Wal-Mart is disliked greatly by corporations because in the product company vs retailer battle for power, Wal-Mart always wins. They are the behemoth that rapes small companies, consumers, and large corporations without discrimination or preference. Wal-Mart can cripple a large company without even thinking or barely even trying simply by taking products off of their shelves or demanding that you practically give them the product for free.

So I guess, everyone wants to have their products on Wal-Mart's shelves because they can make you wildly successful, but they hate them at the same time because they can ruin you in an instant.
Shey, if no one had shopped at Wal-Mart the small companies would not have gone out of business in the first place. I understand your anger, but you need to direct some of it at the people in your own community who utterly failed to support local business. Wal-Mart did not put those companies out of business. The people who shop at Wal-Mart (something I will never do) put them out of business.
TamaraC | April 21, 02:50 CET

Hardly that simple. As I said, people on this island fought hard to keep Wal-Mart out. But this is not a wealthy or even affluent area, and once they were here, their predatory pricing practices lured the most financially desperate into the doors. Putting small shops out of business didn't happen overnight, it took s few years.

You obviously have the luxury of choice. We here in an isolated area, no longer have that. It may be hard for people in large urban areas to understand, but there are things - basic necessities - you simply can no longer find anywhere else, without paying half again as much as Wal-Mart charges. and the vast majority of people here, simply can't afford to do that.

It isn't just Wal-Mart. Aloha Airlines, a sixty year old inter-island airline with a few mainland routes, was recently forced into bankruptcy by Go! airlines, a subsideary of Mesa Air.
They came in and offered round trip tickets inter-island for as cheap as twelve dollars (the going rate was $110.00). They kept it up for over a year. Aloha matched their fares until they literally went bankrupt.

As I said, tell me again why mega-corporations aren't evil. We need regulation, which is not a communist conspiracy. Corporate America has proven again and again that they will not regulate themselves, they will simply rip off the population in every way they can get away with, while evading most taxes, which get passed down to the (rapidly disappearing) middle class and even less affluent working class. And not just Wal-Mart.

QuoterGal, great Noam Chomsky quote.

And the topic was .... tah-da .... having your tie-in stuff on the shelf at Wal-Mart is not the ultimate success. For one thing, it pretty certainly had to be made in China under slave labor conditions with devastating environmental consequences. And don't even think about putting it in your mouth, it will no doubt poison you.
We already have regulation, we need regulation that's actually enforced (i.e. we need politicians that aren't in the pocket of large corporations and a legal system that isn't biased towards the party with the most money) but apart from that I pretty much agree with you Shey.

I don't think corporations are evil but I do think they're allowed to commit acts that some might consider evil and then merely fined a paltry amount for the "privilege" or slapped on the wrist in some other minor way. Many large corporations consider fines for breaking the law just another cost of doing business.

Capitalism is only an even vaguely moral system if you prevent monopolies and yet a monopoly is precisely the aim of every single corporation. Though any fairness inherent in the system depends on competition (the outcome being determined by the people/consumer - which is where the democracy comes into capitalism so I don't agree with Chomsky there) corporations don't want to compete, they want to have it all without doing so (because competing is expensive) - which is why they have a built-in tendency to use their "muscle" to "destroy" the competition and to adopt whatever tactics they can get away with using to do so (and since they often have so much money available to "grease the wheels" those tactics can even be unlawful, thanks again to normal, flawed humans).

Basically, we either need laws (with teeth) to reign them in or we need to radically change human nature so that it's not short-sighted and essentially selfish. Reckon the law thing might be easier ;).
How did the love for Joss and new media turn into evil and Wal-Mart? ???

I really enjoyed this article. Even if Joss currently isn't rolling in the "big bucks" as the Elite Geeks are, I do appreciate how he is honored as the "Jedi-master" pioneer of the blendings.

And, unlike Star Wars & Trek, Whedon gets another go-around with the TV medium that actually is more open to the trans-media.

I predict Whedon for 2020. Anybody else?

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