Thursday, March 27, 2008

corp. minds


Well, I got a slightly bad surprise today. I was Really looking forward to seeing Run, Fat Boy, Run, the new Simon Pegg film, which starts tomorrow. Well, it doesn't start here. It starts in Atlanta, and Tallahassee, where we'll have to drive to see it, but not in Albany, GA where I live and not in Columbus, GA where we often like to go for day trips.

I've liked Simon Pegg ever since I first got hooked on The 99p Challenge, one of the Best British shows I've heard on BBC Radio 4 in the last 10 years. Alas, it's been a couple years since the last series, and even if they bring it back, will Simon Pegg be a part of it again, now that he's hot stuff? Well, at least it will have the beautiful, Very funny Sue Perkins in the chair. It must - it's her show.

From there, I saw Shaun of the Dead, but mostly because Dawn of the Dead '78 is one of my 5 favorite films. (Too bad they remade Dawn so that I have to type '78 from now on.) Then Hot Fuzz came out - well, not in Albany again, but I didn't Mind driving to Columbus to see it on their bigger screen. Saw it 3 times. Great, great movie, much like Simon's Spaced TV series.

After Hot Fuzz, I became a true Pegg fan by renting Big Train - a GREAT sketch show - then Spaced, also great. I'll see anything Simon's in.

But I won't see his latest in Albany, GA because Carmike doesn't want me to. And we've only got one theater in town. So even tho Carmike always thanks me for my patronage at the start of every showing, they don't mean it. Because I have no say in what comes in to my town. Instead of Run, Fat Boy, Run, Meet the Browns will remain in 2 big theaters, because that's the crowd here.

It's bad enough that these huge movie chains never play old films, but by limiting my choices, it hurts Everyone - eventually. Corporations aren't always bad, but I've thought less of them ever since I lost thousands of dollars trying to get my books into chain bookstores via Midpoint Distributing. Our books aren't mass market. They are niche books for old movie/tv fans, and that's not a mainstream mindset. So, the big boys are limiting what you can buy in the stores because the smaller guys like me don't have the $ it takes to take a $7k loss every couple months when books don't sell and are returned to the publisher at the publisher's expense. That's also why - believe it or not - 90% of publishers aren't on bookstore shelves. Blame the bookstore, not the publisher.

But more so, blame the economy, I suppose. There actually is an INCREDIBLE amount of choices in the world. But only online, when you think about it. If you like to browse, like I do, and go into bookstores, like I do, you're going to be out of luck unless you're looking for Really Popular items. You won't find BearManor Media books there. And that same reasoning means I won't find Run, Fat Boy, Run anywhere around here.

The moral to the story. I don't think there is one. I can only think of solutions. But our Star Trek society of "the wants of the many outweigh the wants of the few or the one" dominates today, and in this Walmart generation - I shop there too - it's hard to muster the gumption to fight Giant corporations.

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