Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 18 2004

Read an interesting, if rather old, article by Dav…

Read an interesting, if rather old, article by David Brin about the differences between two kinds of sci-fi, aka the Star Wars camp and the Star Trek camp. This solidifies some of the reasons I have for disliking the prequels as compared to the original trilogy. The main difference for me had been that the prequels don’t have Han Solo or anyone like him, and now I know why: the prequels are all about the royal elites and demigods, whereas the original triligy was about common people. As far as the audience was concerned, up until the revalation in Empire, Luke Skywalker was just a farmboy on an incredible mission. Could it be that it wasn’t really the Ewoks that made Return of the Jedi the worst film of the original three, but the fact that we now knew that Luke wasn’t really one of us anymore, and the only guy who was one of us, Han Solo, was basically whipped by Leia.

The prequels don’t even have a Han Solo character. Lil’ Orphan Ani is known from the start for special powers, and all the other characters are either jedi or royalty…so why should we care? It always bothered me before, but until I read Brin’s article all of the ambivalence I had for the new films suddenly made sense.

In other news, it’s sunny again, so naturally to celebrate I’ve come down with a cold. I think it might have had something to do with freezing my ass off at Taipei 101 the other day. I don’t know why, but the AC was pumped so strong everyone there was running around with their arms wrapped around them. A couple of shoppers looked like they were on the verge of starting a phamplet fire in one of the trashcans. I was there to look for some blues/jazz sheet music at Page One, but for some reason that section of the bookstore was mobbed by young Taiwanese girls. There were three or four huddled around the one shelf, and when one left another came in to take her place. I sat on a bench nearby, waiting for the little clot of jazz music seeking girls to disperse, wondering what was going on. Perhaps there’s a larger jazz/blues scene in Taipei than I realize, or maybe it’s the Next Big Thing? Who knows. Eventually I was able to worm my way in long enough to pick out a volume worth buying and escape.

I was also interested in buying some Oscar-meyer balogne, but it was not to be. I predicted early on that Jason’s Market would gradually absolve itself of it’s main selling point, i.e. foreign goods, in order to greater exploit the local market with local tastes. Gone are the oscar-meyer stuff, the Keeblers cookies, the pop-tarts, etc. Eventually it will become just another Wellcome, and the managers will wonder where all their profits went. It’s inevitable. I’ve seen it happen a thousand times. Profitable niches abandoned out of a desire to cash in on mass market profits, followed by a crushing by mass-market enterprises who have more market share and experience. Granted, I know nothing about running a business, but I know enough to know I should stay away from such things.

posted by Poagao at 5:03 am  

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