Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Graduation Scammin': Penn Invites Chris Dodd

We now continue this popular series with the U. of Pennsylvania, mostly a stranger to these parts, who scored a major victory with former Senator Chris Dodd, who spoke at its law school's commencement ceremony yesterday.

No, Dodd didn't shill for law schools or blah blah blah about feeling washed in the holy waters of lawyer baptism.

No, Chris Dodd, now MPAA Chairman, decided it was a good time to shill for his own industry.

“In order to continue providing the world’s greatest content, we must protect the rights of our creators and makers so they can not only profit from their innovations, but will be further inclined to create more,” he added.

Pointing to Kathryn Bigelow’s film, Dodd described "The Hurt Locker" as an artistic triumph, but “a financial disaster.”

If only The Hurt Locker producers had gone to Temple! No financial disasters there! For reference,The Hurt Locker grossed $49 million worldwide against a $10-15 million dollar budget, which in crude Hollywood studio accounting terms means it made an expected profit of somewhere around $20 million regardless of how the ace accountants cooked the books. The Hurt Locker was also a terribly marketed movie, an indie/arthouse war film that opened during the middle of summer blockbuster season. They used limited release and never put the film in more that a few hundred theaters (in contrast, a normal major studio film reaches 2500+).

Dodd now wants to claim that it was PIRACY (ARGH!) that lead to the low numbers, with "literally millions of pirated copies...being unlawfully sold on street corners or streamed illegally across the Internet." LOL. Millions of bogus DVDs for an unheard-of art house movie during the middle of a summer where people paid millions upon millions of dollars to see Up, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Ice Age, Transformers, GI Joe, Inglorious Bastards, Final Destination, etc.? From the group of people least likely to buy DVDs or pirate must-see movies? (Highest PirateBay seed count for Hurt Locker: 374. Highest for Star Trek: 1800+.)

Dodd says the film "was first released in the U.K., where it was well received." This is also dogshit.The film was released in the UK in August 2009, where it played for two weeksIt was on the festival circuit and may have opened in Italy first, but the Italian run was lukewarm at best.

I'm in awe of this silver-haired ass actually trying to pull this off. Blatant lies to a group of SUPERSMART T-14 law graduates? Industry whoredom? Is he that much of an arrogant shyster or does he honestly believe this crap?

Dodd said the graduates were entering the work force during “what I believe will be a new gilded age of creativity and innovation,” with the variety, quality and platforms for creative content growing every day.

Emphasis added so Mark Twain doesn't have to read through the rest of this muck when I pull out the Ouija board and summon his bitter spirit.

This guy is clearly a doofus or a purposeful scammer who proudly served in the US Senate and now shills for Big Hollywood.

And of course none of this has anything to do with law school, the legal profession, what the graduates have accomplished, or where they are going.

Because ultimately, that's the scam tie-in. These kids at Penn paid $100,000+ in tuition and worked hard for three years. Most of them will go to remunerative careers, but graduation still means something. Instead of ensuring that the commencement speaker actually had a great speech, no one at Penn could apparently be bothered about checking over Chris Dodd's speech in its entirety. No one bothered to fact check to preserve University integrity. No one bothered to pull Dodd aside and tell him that a commencement speech is not a good time to spout industry propaganda.

I realize there were other, more traditional elements to this particular commencement speech, but Dodd's decision to shill, and the U. of Penn's decision to allow it, are boldly condescending and apathetic towards the paid audience in ways I thought only lower-tiered schools excelled. Places like Hofstra and Wayne State only wish they could aspire to such lofty heights, to invite prestigious names and slip advertising in the middle of a commencement speech without hearing laughter or serious backlash.

Serious problems with the legal industry? Naw, fuck that. I'm going to tell you about made-up problems with the film industry! OOOOOOHHHHH Boogeyman noise. Piracy kills babies but the lack of funding for public programs and the unauthorized practice of law is...shrug?

Scam on.

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