I just woke up and I’m headed for bed, so I don’t have much to say but it looks like we could use an Open Thread.
I have genuinely spent 10 minutes starting at this but, no, it really DOES appear to be true that a bunch of cryptobros just spent €2.6 MILLION – 100x the asking price – for a book at auction in the mistaken belief that they would therefore own the copyright in it. https://t.co/2HmaGWHKWF
— Gary Brannan (@garybrannan) January 17, 2022
My personal suspicion is that the end goal is some variation on ‘NFTs’, which may or may not involve ‘money laundering’ but quite possibly premises some variation on ‘affinity fraud’.
Verge, understandably, is kinder towards the Spice Collective:
Last year, a collective of cryptocurrency fans pooled millions of dollars to buy a copy of the story bible for director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s legendary never-made adaptation of the novel Dune. After winning a November auction, the group voted last week on a direction for the project and got promptly roasted online for allegedly not understanding what they’d bought. Their plans included an animated series inspired by Jodorowsky’s Dune, and as any good collector likely knows, buying a commemorative copy of a script or storyboard doesn’t give you the right to shoot your own version.
The actual situation seems more ambiguous than some critics are suggesting. The Dune story bible’s owners, known as Spice DAO (short for “decentralized autonomous organization”), appear perfectly aware they don’t own Dune itself. Instead, they’re committing to an original series “inspired by” the book. The whole scheme might help illustrate why art can’t be reduced to a neat series of copyright licenses — rather than simply showing that “crypto bros aren’t sure how rights work.”
That said, a lot of them probably aren’t…
Spice DAO outlined its future plans in an inaugural governance proposal that was approved by 95 percent of token-holding voters. In addition to electing a four-person core management team, it commits the DAO to a set of four goals between January and March of 2022: “gain physical custody of Jodorowsky’s Dune book by arranging shipping and storage,” scan every page of the book, hire a social media agency, and “present a film treatment and budget by Roble Ridge Productions for the original animated limited series inspired by the book for a community vote.” (The series was previously announced in December.) On Twitter, Spice DAO noted that it planned to “sell it to a streaming service” in the long term…
Spice DAO obviously wouldn’t need to own a copy of the Dune bible to make a Dune-like series that wasn’t explicitly derived from Jodorowsky’s work. But I haven’t seen public statements indicating that the central parties involved believe otherwise. From the outside, the auction purchase looks plausibly like a publicity and funding strategy, not a botched attempt to buy a copyright. After all, anybody can write a script indirectly inspired by Jodorowsky’s Dune — if you want yours to get noticed, hooking up with a group of fans to purchase a rare collector’s item isn’t a bad gambit.
It’s unfortunately hard to tell how many people backing Spice DAO are on the same page about what they’re funding. Ryan Broderick’s Garbage Day newsletter, for instance, outlines some significant confusion around voting, copyright, and what “adapting” the script should mean…
So, I guess, if you’re a big fan of Dune and/or cryptocurrency, this is an exciting opportunity to advance new visions of an sf masterwork. And if you’re not, well, there’s plenty opportunity for multiple amusing-from-the-outside train wrecks?
Among the most painful bits of Dr. King’s legacy is how so much of it’s reduced to “I Have a Dream.” It’s true that it’s a landmark speech, powerful and moving…
…and always heard out of context of the other, more direct speeches that graced the March on Washington (a March organized by an openly Gay Man, no less – go look up the badass Bayard Rustin, please and thank you!). As if the marchers just wanted to spend all day on their feet, listening to platitudes and winsome ideas!
I’m not going to dive into that context, I assume your Google button ain’t broke. :) What I will do, is talk about a couple of other works by Dr. King, works that ground him in the realities he fought to overcome, and that echo into these times.
The text for the afternoon will be taken from two works from near Dr. King’s passing:
- “The Drum Major Instinct,” (hereafter DRUM), which you can listen to here, and read here, and
- “A New Sense of Direction,” (hereafter SENSE), which you can read here.
I post all this to encourage you to read/listen to the above in full. To underline that Dr. King was far richer a thinker and even rabble-rouser than gets noticed — that the Hoover FBI feared him for damned good reasons. If you chose to read the above docs, and skip the rest of this? HELL YA!
But for those who want more? Follow…
See, Dr. King did not buy into a color-blind society. That wasn’t the context he gave his “Dream” speech under. The context, the fuller context of his work and life’s mission, is made plain by this remarkable passage in DRUM:
[…]when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, “Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. [laughter] You’re just as poor as Negroes.”
And I said, “You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white.
And you’re so poor you can’t send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.”
Now that’s a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can’t hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out.
And there’s so much more.
This is so good.
Keynote speaker peaking right now:
https://bam.gallery.video/mlk2022 Link fixed!
The 36th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Presented by BAM and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso
Join us via livestream for this beloved Brooklyn tradition, which rings in a new year with music, dance, and an invigorating call to action. Led by keynote speaker Dr. Imani Perry, this year’s tribute encourages us to continue in Dr. King’s radical spirit, relentlessly pressing forward in pursuit of justice—even against the odds—and celebrating the strength and power of community to create change.
This free event, livestreamed from BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, features speeches by civic leaders and activists and performances, including live appearances from singer Nona Hendryx with Craig Harris & Tailgaters Tales and Sing Harlem, and a recorded dance piece by choreographer Kyle Marshall. Join us in hope and in solidarity!
I mean, seriously. Who Wouldn’t Want to Change the World and Then Be Honored with Mattress Sales?
It is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he should lift himself up by his own bootstraps. It is even worse to tell a man to lift himself up by his own bootstraps when somebody is standing on the boot….I had to tell him finally that nobody else in this country has lifted themselves by their own bootstraps alone, so why expect the black man to do it?
I continue to think that Martin Luther King was killed not just for demanding equality for black people. The even worse crime was to demand dignity for everyone.
You are doing many things here in this struggle. You are demanding that this city will respect the dignity of labor. So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight, that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity, and it has worth. One day our society must come to see this. One day our society will come to respect the sanitation worker if it is to survive, for the person who picks up our garbage, in the final analysis, is as significant as the physician, for if he doesn’t do his job, diseases are rampant. All labor has dignity.
But you are doing another thing. You are reminding, not only Memphis, but you are reminding the nation that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages. … Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working every day? And they are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen, and it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income. You are here tonight to demand that Memphis will do something about the conditions that our brothers face as they work day in and day out for the well-being of the total community. You are here to demand that Memphis will see the poor.
What would Martin Luther King say to us about our challenges if he were here today?
If you’re up for it, let’s use the premise of BG’s Medium Cool last night to share our thoughts in this thread.
One of the things all screenwriters do is write what are called “loglines.” These are the 1-2 sentence pitches that hook the reader and describe the central conflict of the story.
Example: A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.
Oh, and in case you want to follow the tradition that President Obama started when he asked people to volunteer for something on MLK Day, I will include satby’s comment from the earlier thread.
For anyone who wants to take part in the Betty White tribute, the spay/neuter group I am a member of was notified this month that ALL our partner vets are raising their fees. We have to decide between raising our client copays or keeping them as low as possible and running out of funds sooner. Donations gratefully accepted. SNAP of Michigan
It’s a hat trick. You get to honor President Obama, you get to honor the beloved Betty White, and you get to help out the rescue that satby works with. SNAP of Michigan was one of our two finalists when choosing the new pet rescue last year.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden packed food boxes for the hungry and chatted with volunteers at a food bank as part of a day of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The president repeated his call for the child tax credit to be renewed. https://t.co/p6z4SYaXJb
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 16, 2022
As the nation prepares to mark the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., some members of his family are spending it in conservative-leaning Arizona to mobilize support for languishing federal voting rights legislation. https://t.co/GX95kQHFha
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 15, 2022
One possible charity:
Specialized rescue and adoption organizations are helping to rehome pets of terminally ill people and seniors.https://t.co/waaCRl1zqg
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 11, 2022