How To Humor journalism News Post Programming rejection reporters Science The Internet web-analytics web-stats Web Design WordPress

How the Internet is Ruining Movies

I came across a site today with concept art for the extremely hyped new movie, Transformers. As usual the nerds were all up in arms over the changes made to their beloved Autobots and Decepticons. But what none of these morons bothered to mention is that these were merely concept sketches and might not be anything like the finished product in the movie. By constantly having to take criticism about a movie before it is done directors are feeling pressure to alter their movies. Even a few years ago the amount of attention to people’s opinions on the internet was minimal from Hollywood. However, now movie studios and directors are paying more attention to these obsessive fan boy opinions. A negative response from them can generate enough bad publicity to kill a movie prior to it opening. For example the Hulk was ridiculed for its special effects (which were incomplete at the time) by internet bloggers which led to the movie having a poor opening. Now Hollywood is constantly concerned with appeasing all of these fanboys concerns before the movie opens lest they have a negative impact on the box office. This does not often lead to a better movie though. For example certain scenes of dialogue were changed in Snakes on a Plane, per internet requests by bloggers, but the movie still was barely tolerable. This leads to reason why so many movies are terrible, they are trying to please too many people. Directors can’t even have a completed movie before being criticized on it. Now if one piece of concept art gets criticized by a website the studio will be so panicked that they will rush to change it. Movies are no longer just the vision of a few people such as the director and writer, but become a huge compromise of thousands. In books and comic books, a writer is able to produce a finished product that is for the most part like his original vision. But with today’s big budget movies directors are forced to listen to every ones opinion about what should and shouldn’t go into the movie. People are more interested in movies than ever and want as much information about them as is available. But, people need to wait until a movie is complete before judging if it is good or not. Movies like any type of art are best when they are the product of one or a few artists. Trying to make a movie with a populist point of view where everyone is happy leads to the lame, uninteresting drivel that we see at the movies everyday.

Down with the metric system!

There is a problem facing society, but no one is willing to talk about it. Virtually every journalist, television reporter, and blogger has personally encountered this problem, and yet – silence. The problem is the metric system. Not just the metric system, but the US customary units as well. Basically, in order to be useful, a measurement system must:
  1. Have well-defined units that everyone agrees on.
  2. Give people the ability to measure things and understand quantities.

Neither system really meets both of these criteria. The metric system, although it meets the first point, fails miserably on the second. The US system fails the first point semantically, and does a really poor job on the second point.

Allow me to illustrate:

Scenario 1: The news has just reported that a 4,081,440 - foot wide asteroid is heading toward the Earth.

Scenario 2: You just heard on the radio that a 695,622 km² area of the ocean has become an oxygen-free dead zone.

Now, think quickly – how do you react to this news? Do you panic? Do you relax, secure in the knowledge that the asteroid will burn up in the atmosphere and the dead zone will clear up in the spring?

Nobody knows! What the hell is a kilometer? How I measure something be that many feet wide, when I only have two feet, and neither one is a foot long anyway?

Now imagine if we had a new system in place:

Scenario 3: The news has just reported that an asteroid the size of Texas is heading toward the Earth, and you just heard on the radio that a area of the ocean the size of Texas has become an oxygen-free dead zone.

We need to standardize on a new set of units that actually reflect what is in use today. I am not the inventor of this system, but I would like to codify it and propose a name: the Journalistic System.

The Journalistic System is actually in use today—just open up a newspaper or turn on CNN. Below are some common units. Later, I will post my completely empirical and scientific method for determining and naming units, and some conversion tables.

Area

  • Football Fields. “The new convention center covers 3 football fields of space.â€?
  • Manhattans. “A remote island twice the size of Manhattan.â€?
  • Rhode Islands. “The wildfire covers an area the size of Rhode Island.â€?
  • Texases - “An asteroid the size of Texas.â€? (note: in this case, we are talking about the cross section)

Volume

  • Grains of Sand. “The transistor is thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand.â€?
  • Olympic Swimming Pools. “Each day Americans eat enough barley to fill 20 Olympic swimming pools.â€?
  • Earths that Could Fit Inside. “Jupiter's Great Red Spot is so large that 3 Earths could fit inside.â€?

Data and Information

  • Number of Songs. “This portable hard drive can hold 20,000 songs.â€?
  • Libraries of Congress. “The database for this particle accelerator holds as much data as the Library of Congress.â€?

Food Energy (calories) and/or Fat Content

  • Big Macs. “The new salad, with dressing, is equivalent to 3 Big Macs.â€?

Width

  • Human Hair. “The stress cracks were thinner than a human hair.â€?

Mass

  • Empire State Buildings. “The new oil platform will weigh more than the Empire State Building.â€?

Tumors

  • Currently undecided. Multiple units exist - size of a baseball, size of a tennis ball, football, bowling ball, peach, orange, grape, etc.

Population

  • Chicagos. “At this rate of population growth, it is like adding three Chicagos each year.â€?

Money

  • Starving Children Meals. “What you spend on a cup of coffee could feed a starving child.â€?
  • Cups of Coffee. “What you spend on a cup of coffee could feed a starving child.â€?
  • Inner-city School Teachers. “The cost of the war is enough money to hire 2000 teachers for our inner-city schools.â€?