It's painful. The tagline on the bottom of the screen said "GODZILLA OF SEARCH ENGINES". (We're not a search engine).
They asked Gary about the "IPO". He told them, um, no. (We're a nonprofit.) And the Fox lady was like, "The Godzilla of search engines is not going public, wow, that's a scoop !"
How many mistakes can you cram into one sentence?
(Obligatory Simpsons quote:
Mayor: "May the, uh, force be with you!"
Leonard Nimoy: "Do you even know who I am?")
This morning somebody put up this sign at the office. And somebody else made this image:
(I think the meme is supposed to be spelled "Y U NO IPO", but close enough)
This isn't even the first time Fox Business News have invited us on so they could embarrass themselves on TV. They interviewed our old CEO, John Lily, once, and in that one they told the audience: "Firefox is the most popular search engine besides Google and Apple".
(That's like saying "Firefox is the most popular video game besides Nintendo and France!")
Didn't anybody on the staff have, like, a teenage son who they could have asked about this confusing Internet thing? You don't get something that wrong unless you're intentionally trying to mislead people or you're unbelievably lazy. And I can't imagine any way these mistakes would help push an ideological agenda so I must assume it's plain laziness. They were too lazy to do thirty seconds of research on people they're about to interview or even to skim the info packet that our PR team sent them.
The problem with the mainstream news media (and don't fool yourself Fox, you are the mainstream media) is that nobody is ever punished for being wrong or rewarded for being right. Their only incentive is to bring in viewers and therefore ad dollars, and who cares if what they're telling viewers is complete bullshit? I wonder if the concepts of correct and incorrect even register in their minds.
(Oh, but just look at all those screens in the background showing... numbers... and orange rectangles swirling around! So high-tech! So professional-looking! They must be trustworthy!)
Nobody better be making any business decisions based on this show. Because they don't care if they're right or wrong.
I watched the first two seasons of this show this summer in Shanghai, so of course I had this song stuck in my head a lot. Went around humming it all day, etc.
My thoughts on the show itself (Minor spoilers ahead!)
The casting is pretty good for the most part. The actors who play Tyrion and Catelyn especially are just amazing, to the point where you forget there's an actor playing them; that's the real Catelyn right there caught on camera accusing the real Tyrion of trying to murder her son.
The costumes and sets were real nice. And they did a good job of conveying the plot almost entirely through conversations between characters; most of the big (and expensive to film!) battle scenes are conveyed indirectly, left to the imagination. It could have been a disappointing choice; in a movie you would definitely want to see that stuff, but for a TV series mostly focused on character interaction, it works.
The bad parts: wayyyy too much "sexposition". That's where they have an infodump to give you (which in the book would be an internal monologue or just a descriptive passage) and half-assedly attempt to make it interesting by combining the infodump with a sex scene. It's just as ridiculous as it sounds, and it happens in almost every episode.
Imagine if you were trying to have the hot sex with some sexy royal person and they were like "LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU THE LEGACY OF MY PEOPLE!" the whole time. you would be laughing too hard to keep going.
Speaking of sex scenes, I didn't like how they changed the relationship between Dany and Drogo. In the book, Drogo cares about getting Dany's consent; granted she's not in much of a position to say 'no' due to the power dynamics, but the fact that he asks makes him a more likeable character than most of the scumbags in Westeros, and it makes their developing romance almost believable. The TV show, though, plays it as a straight-up rape scene. Guh! I don't want to see that! Also it makes the later romance arc into a "fall in love with your rapist" story, which is a sick and horrible trope.
Sushu was watching one of her crime procedural shows last night, and there was a scene where the "hero" tortures a suspect (off-camera). His daughter has been kidnapped by the bad guys in this episode, and the suspect isn't talking, and the narrative purpose of the torture is to show that the hero cares so much about his daughter that he's willing to break all the rules.
And I think about why America started torturing prisoners of war after 9/11, and why even after it was exposed the people responsible for the policy were never punished. And why Guantanamo is still open. And yeah, in my last post I blamed Congress, but there's more to it than that: there's a disturbingly large number of voters who support torture. To some degree, Congress is just doing what the people want, scary as that thought is.
Maybe it's partly because their image of torture comes from the way it's portrayed on TV cop shows: where it's something the heroes do for the greater good.
On TV, when the hero tortures a bad guy for information, the audience already knows the bad guy did it. Most of the time, they saw him do it on screen earlier in the episode. Because of the narrative structure of these shows, there's never any doubt that the police have the right person. So it's always like "Well, torture's bad, but this is the only guy who knows where the ticking time-bomb is, so if you don't torture him, lots of innocent people will die." So the heroes have a bit of a moral dilemma but quickly decide that saving those lives is so important that they're going to "break the rules" for it. Torture is shown as (apologies for falling back on D&D alignments but I don't know how else to describe this) a "chaotic good" action under certain circumstances.
What happens in real life, that you never see in the cop shows, is that they've captured a suspect, but nobody knows whether he's the culprit or not, and they torture him and he screams that he doesn't know anything, and they keep torturing him and he keeps screaming that he doesn't know anything, and nobody knows if it's because he's really good at resisting interrogation or because the real culprit is still out there somewhere and they're torturing an innocent person.
Or they torture him and he tells them an address, but it turns out to be wrong, because he really didn't know anything and he just made up an address to get them to stop torturing him.
Like, "innocent until proven guilty" isn't just some bleeding-heart liberal slogan; it's a good policy because police make mistakes. They're only human, and they're required to act on incomplete information most of the time. The chance that you've picked up an innocent person, and the real culprit is still out there somewhere, is pretty high.
But cop shows never end with them getting the wrong guy. They never cart someone off to prison who's still protesting his innocence. The real bad guy always confesses right after the detective explains how she saw through the one mistake in his perfect crime, so the audience can have a sense of closure.
Given that real life never gives us the certainty of a TV show, we should reject the "chaotic good" view of torture. It's not a choice between torturing a guy and letting innocent people die. Some large fraction of the time, torturing the guy gives you worthless information or no information at all, the innocent people die anyway, and you tortured a guy for nothing.. It's not a grey area, it's not a moral dilemma, it's not a difficult choice. Resorting to torture is like selling your soul to the devil for a wooden nickel.
By the way, this is why you shouldn't listen to anybody who tells you that writing fiction isn't important. Storytelling is how you create and influence culture, and culture influences values, and values influence how people vote and what people fight for, which influences history. Not to say you should set out to write polemical fiction: beating readers over the head with a political message makes lousy storytelling. But the values at the core of your work are sure as hell going to find their way into the reader's mind.
What American TV shows of the past few decades had portrayed torture as something the innocent hero suffers at the hands of a villainous government after being mistaken for an enemy of the state? Would there still be as many people supporting it?