Wednesday, March 31, 2010

THEORY CORNER STORE DEBUT (PART 1)


EXT. CENTURY CITY CIVIC AUDITORIUM: On the crowd outside.

UNCLE EDDIE (V.O.): "Hi folks! This is Uncle Eddie, here to host the opening ceremonies for the much-anticipated, much talked about THEORY CORNER STORE!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Can you believe this turn-out? Maybe that's because so many celebrities are are on the red carpet tonight. The place is crawling with them...all the stars of Theory Corner's Photo stories."


UNCLE EDDIE: "I think I see one now!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Gasp!!! It's too good to be true!!!!"



ROMANCE READER: "Hi Uncle Eddie! Hi everybody!"

UNCLE EDDIE: "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Romance Reader!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Miss Reader, you've read more romance books than just about anybody. Can you tell our audience which was your favorite?"



ROMANCE READER: "My favorite? Well, let's see...hmmmm."






ROMANCE READER: "It would have to be this one: 'Passion's Passionate Fire' by Rebbecca Brandythistle!" It's got a powerful love story, and it's kinda spicy, too...if you know what I mean. This is a book that everyone would love!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Wow! The world's foremost romance novel chosen by the world's foremost reader!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Bye, Miss Reader! Enjoy the opening!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Gasp!" It's my hero, Cowboy Bob!"



COWBOY BOB: "Howdy Uncle Eddie! Howdy folks!"



COWBOY BOB: "Uncle Eddie, I hate to disagree with that lovely lady who was just here, but I gotta be honest with ya; real cowboys don't read romances. I been on the range for twenty years, and I ain't seen one yet."



COWBOY BOB: "What we do do, is drink lots of milk and always do what our mother tells us to do. You young buckaroos do that, and maybe you'll ride the purple sage with old Cowboy Bob someday."



COWBOY BOB: "Gotta go inside, Uncle Eddie! See ya later!"

UNCLE EDDIE: "See you, Bob! Thanks for stopping by!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Let's see...who else is out there???"


THE EX-GIRLFRIEND: "You haven't seen any goofy-looking ex-boyfriends have you?"

UNCLE EDDIE: "Huh!?"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Whoa, wait a minute! I know that face!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "You're The Ex-girlfriend, aren't you? The girl who's always hiding out from ex-boyfriends! I read your photo story on Theory Corner!"



EX-GIRLFRIEND: "Shhhh! What are you talking so loud for? My stupid ex-boyfriends are all over the place, and they're such pests!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Well, gee...there's only me and a few friends. Nobody's going to know you're here. Can't you spare us just a minute?"



UNCLE EDDIE (V.O.): "I mean, how would they know? Maybe your boyfriends aren't even here."



UNCLE EDDIE (V.O.): "It's so intimate here."



UNCLE EDDIE (V.O.): "There's a fountain over there. Maybe we could do the interview there."



EX-GIRLFRIEND: "Nope, gotta go! See you inside...or not!"

UNCLE EDDIE: "Uh...Okay...bye, Miss Ex!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "Uh oh! Hear that!? It's time to go. The opening's starting inside!"



UNCLE EDDIE: "I have to tell you, my knees are buckling with excitement! Theory Corner promised a lot here! Can the store live up to that promise? We're about to find out! I hear applause. That means the curtain's going up...."



UNCLE EDDIE (V.O.): ".....GOOD LUCK, THEORY CORNER STORE!!!!!!!!!!"

.........................................................................................................................................................

NOTE TO READERS: The store won't appear til the next post. It'll debut right here on Theory Corner, so you're on the right URL to see it. And don't worry, Theory Corner is still about articles and theories.



Sunday, March 28, 2010

BE BACK ON APRIL FOOL'S DAY!



I'll be back in a few days, on Thursday, April first...April Fool's Day. Maybe I'll have the store up by then! No, wait a minute, I still have to get my license to sell. Well, we'll see. Anyway, I'll be back here by late Thursday!


Friday, March 26, 2010

FOOLING AROUND WITH PHOTOSHOP


As you can see, I'm still just a humble, bungling student of the program. Anyway, here I am as a hipster (above)...somebody who's so hip that he doesn't even have to work at it.



Here I am (above) as a successful, Chairman of the Board-type. John says I should call myself "Uncle Corporate." He thinks I should dress like this all the time.



Here I am again (above) as a bookie in a state where it's illegal. I stay one step ahead of the law because I have an expensive lawyer.



This time (above) I'm an Italian immigrant from a hundred years ago.



The immigrant again (above).



Now a truant officer (above)!



A similar body shape (above), only now I'm a detective.



Here I'm a wacky announcer (above) on The Shopping Network!



My last one. Now I'm (above) an opera singer, singing my guts out.



Here's (above) my leading lady!



Here's John's caricature of "Uncle Corporate." I look only 110 years old, which is younger than John usually draws me.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

THIS MONTH'S ISSUE OF "THEORYBOY"


WARNING! Nothing obscene here, but it's not office safe!


I had a killer idea for facial analysis so I went to the best face site I know, which is a porn menu that only puts faces up. I was surprised to find several faces that looked really...really...I don't know...BORED OUT OF THEIR MINDS! I guess taking your clothes off for a living isn't as much fun as people think it is.

When I clicked on the pictures I was taken to a site which apparently is a dumping ground for photo sessions gone awry. It was the Island of the Dead. Everybody looked they'd rather be someplace other than where they were. I have to confess that it was kind of a turn on...maybe because it reminded me of girls who wouldn't give me the time of day when I was in school. Now I get to see what I missed! And so do you.



Sorry about the censorship! I want to keep my "G' rating.



Who have I seen file her nails like this before? Maybe Lois Lane in Mad's "Superduperman!"



Aaargh! Icy cold!



This girl (above) is visibly falling asleep while undressing.



This girl (above) regards herself as too cool to be naked. This brings back painful memories of a date I had with a hippie girl who considered herself many levels of hip above the level I was at. That's okay. I respect that. I mean, you can't have pretenders running around trying to foist themselves off on their betters.



Unbelievable! I might know this woman (above)! In fact, she might be a relative! I always suspected that she had some kind of weirdness in her life. Boy, if it's her then that's going to make Thanksgiving dinner awkward.



Friday, March 19, 2010

THE WARRIORS OF PUBLISHING


You don't think of book people as warriors, but that's exactly what they've been for about 130 years. I thought it might be fun to examine why print on paper is losing the media battle. Until fairly recent times books held their own pretty well, which is remarkable when you consider how strong the competition used to be. Book publishing used to be a feisty industry and its battles deserve to be chronicled.

Here in three short paragraphs is the David and Goliath story of how publishing managed to survive and even thrive against fearsome odds for more than a century.



The first major hurdle that books had to overcome was newspapers, starting in the late 1800s. Newspapers improved rapidly in that time in content, presentation, and distribution, and an awful lot of people stopped reading books and read only newspapers.



Book companies fought back by sponsoring magazines, which were enormously successful.









Then came the double threat of film and radio, which threatened to sweep everything before them. Radio was free, and it's hard to compete with free. Print fought back manfully with the magazines about movie stars, the Golden Age of Pulp, and comic books.



Then came TV and LP records, and once again print fought back...



...this time with the cheap paperback revolution, which was so influential that it helped to create the youth movement of the sixties.



It also fought back with skin magazines like Playboy. Can you believe that a guy actually got rich by stacking a mansion with beautiful girls and then writing about it? Poor censored TV was powerless to compete! Man! Print people were gladiators back then!

So with a distinguished and combative history like that, how did it come about that the latest new medium, the internet, managed to do what film, radio and TV couldn't...namely, cripple the publishing industry? The short answer is that it didn't. Modern publishing self-destructed.




If you think about it, books should have had nothing to fear from the web. Book people were the natural providers of content for the web. Books had all the ideas, all the in-depth research, and a significant share of the recognizable public figures that people cared about. It was better than the net at providing fiction and fictional role models. The net, which even now is still primarily a reading medium, is potentially a terrific instrument for funneling people into bookstores. Of course this assumes that publishers are printing stuff that people actually want to read, at a price they can afford.

Sure the net is free and books cost money, but radio and TV were also free, and old-school publishing still managed to be competitive. With so many advantages at the starting gate, why did modern publishing fail to compete?



I can think of no other answer than that publishers in our era are less imaginative and less competent than their predecessors. Maybe we're paying for the anti-business attitude of the sixties. Older publishers stood up to film, radio, and television by innovating and redefining themselves. Our guys can't be bothered. Our best minds have either abandoned publishing or, more likely, been locked out of it.

I have my own ideas about what publishing should do to be competitive. I'd need more room to talk about it than I have here, so expect to see a pamphlet on the subject in the Theory Corner Store (...sorry for the delay in putting it up...I got side-tracked into learning Photoshop). In the meantime, I'm hoping that publishers jump on Amazon's offer to sell new top-of-the-line ebooks for $1o, and iTunes' offer to sell books by the chapter.