(Disclosure: Every so often, I try to write a Hollywood thing and it goes nowhere, though sometimes it goes nowhere after
someone no one has paid me an amount of any money, nor do and we have we signed a contract, so I have a dog in the writers strike fight, even if the dog never gets thrown a bone who is my regular employer!)
Hey, everyone. Yeah. I found something in the paper just yesterday, Sunday when I was reading it that I thought was kind of funny. Yeah. I believe it’s written as a satirical piece. In any case, the headline was, in the paper, anyway, “It’s fine. We don’t need human actors.” Let’s see. “It’s fine. We don’t need human actors.” Same as online. Sometimes they differ. In any case, I thought this was pretty funny.
“My dear shareholders! Do not worry about the fact that all the screen actors and screenwriters are on strike. If there’s one thing I have figured out about the meaning of life and the meaning of art, it is that art is something that should be entirely the product of machines and robots while people march around with picket signs and complain that they cannot afford food and housing.” Not to mention health insurance. That’s not in there.
But anyway, “Also, no one should ever be paid a residual, whatever that is. I just don’t like the sound of it.” Okay. Yeah. It goes on and I could read the whole thing, but that would be wrong. “I do not doubt that we, the studios, are on the right side of this standoff. Yes, human beings have been coming together to tell stories for thousands of years, but just because you’ve been doing something for thousands of years, that doesn’t mean you enjoy it or need to keep doing it. You know what else we’ve had for thousands of years? Tooth decay!” So yeah, I mean, compelling arguments here. So, yeah. Oh, and of course our ancestors, the cave dwellers. Yeah.
“I know for a fact that they hated that part of being alive so much.” Scrawling on the walls of caves. Yeah. It can get so tiresome, telling stories entirely to … “we will be able to delegate this tiresome dreaming and telling of stories entirely to robots and billionaires.” Yes, absolutely. And the thing is, all of this leads up to the idea of robots replacing humans. So it’s like, okay, fine. We have AI. You’re going to rely entirely on AI to create stories? I don’t think so. But if you do, I guess that’s the most efficient way to do it, isn’t it? Huh?
And if we’re going to be really efficient, we really shouldn’t be writing at all. We should all just write code. Let’s all become coders. Let’s just leave it to the machines to write all our stories. Except that doesn’t work, does it? I mean, somebody has to come up with something a little bit different, or you end up rewriting the same story over and over and over, don’t you?
I don’t know. Anyway. Yeah, it’s quite funny, this notion that somehow AI is going to solve problems or make things better. I mean, I think it’s probably good for some things, but for telling whole stories. I doubt it. Oh God, yes. Those actors. “Especially when those actors are women! The worst!” No kidding.
“When I remember ‘Casablanca,’ that classic scene, that perfect quote really sums it all up: ‘Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.’ That’s so true. People are so small, and their problems matter so little. But beans! We all love beans: counting them, making hills of them. Love, love, love it! I will have an AI write a movie about that.”
Sounds like a plan. Thank you. Alexandra Petri, Washington Post columnist offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. And she’s written a book! Click the link for details! And I can always use a lighter take. Thank you.
PS: Listen to Harlan! 🙂