Expanded Universes and Auteur Theory

Sharp, you dig. Extended Universes are like psychic Skinner boxes, man. These sprawling narratives, with their intricate lore and endless franchises, pump out rewards – character arcs, epic battles, fan theories that bloom like digital peyote. We get hooked, wired right into the pleasure circuits. Deeper we delve, the more enmeshed we become in their programmed worlds.

These Universes function as a giant Big Other, a booming voice that dictates the rules, the good guys, the bad guys. We, the subjects, scramble to decipher its pronouncements, to conform to its narratives. It’s a control system, disguised as a playground. Extended universes – vast, sprawling fictions – they ain’t some harmless amusement park. They’re a goddamn subliminal flickervision machine, a full-on psychic programming job. These intricately woven narratives, these pantheons of characters and backstories, they slither into your meat and mess with your perception.

Infiltrating your eyeballs, your meatware mind with intricate narratives, pre-fabricated mythologies. It’s a slow burn, a Chinese mind control drip. World-building becomes world-binding. You get hooked on the lore, the characters, the whole damn fictional ecology. Here, we find sprawling necropolis-worlds, teeming with the detritus of a thousand narratives. Junk shops stacked high with plot twists, cast-off characters like severed limbs, and lore that leaks like a severed psychic artery. Here, we find sprawling necropolis-worlds, teeming with the detritus of a thousand narratives. Junk shops stacked high with plot twists, cast-off characters like severed limbs, and lore that leaks like a severed psychic artery. The gaze? A fractured kaleidoscope, a million flickering eyes of the Big Other peering down from the corporate monolith.

This universe, it’s a giant Symbolic Order, a web of rules and references spun so tight it holds the self together. You identify with a character, bam! – a chunk of your ego gets grafted onto theirs. You crave the next plot twist, the next expansion pack, that’s your lack howling, baby, a junkie jones for narrative fix.

The Narrative Override: Think of it like a virus, a self-replicating code. You jack in, and the universe starts rewriting your neural code. Every detail, every plot twist, every goddamn spaceship whooshes and lightsaber clang – it embeds itself deep in your psyche. You become a character in the damn story, your thoughts and desires molded by the universe’s script.

Manufactured Desire: And here’s the kicker – these universes, they manufacture a specific brand of desire. You crave the next hit, the next episode, the next piece of lore. It’s a feedback loop, man, engineered to keep you hooked, a dopamine drip straight to your pleasure centers. You chase shadows, phantoms constructed by the programmers, forever unsatisfied.

We, the scrambling horde, drawn by an insatiable hunger for the next fix, the next piece of the puzzle. Pretty soon, you start seeing the world through their lens, their conflicts become your own. They’re rewriting your code, splicing in subroutines of heroism, villainy, whatever their grand narrative demands. We chase shadows down neon-lit alleys, the echo of meaning just out of reach, forever chasing the dragon’s tail of completion. Identity? A flickering hologram, assembled from the flotsam and jetsam of a thousand stories, a bricolage self cobbled together from the chrome heroes and leather-clad villains that strut the screen. These extended universes, they’re psychic wormholes, burrowing into the id.

Auteur Theory

Now, shift gears, mainline some pure auteur juice. Here, the director’s mind becomes the throbbing control panel, a fleshy switchboard where reality is sculpted and twisted. They are the Bug-Eyed Monster, the puppeteer pulling the strings of the Symbolic Order. Their vision, a virus injected straight into the cultural bloodstream. We, the junkies, chase the auteur’s high, the unique brand of madness they cook up in their twisted laboratories. We crave the auteur’s signature style, the warped lens through which they view the world. It’s a brand loyalty for the soul, a search for the perfect fix, the auteur’s vision the only antidote to the gnawing emptiness within.

This cinematic shaman, pumps their own brand of psychic poison into the film. Their vision, their unique brand of storytelling, becomes the object of desire. Fans are word junkies, strung out on the auteur’s style, their every frame a fix. The auteur’s the spider spinning the web, the audience the hypnotized flies, drawn in by the auteur’s singular gaze. This cat’s got his own brand of desire, a twisted need to impose his sick fantasies on the world. He’s the one weaving the symbols, the one who decides which way the Gaze falls. You dig a director’s style, man, you’re hooked on his personal brand of madness. It’s like a psychic virus, rewriting your imaginary, turning you into a disciple of celluloid surrealism.

Auteur theory, now that’s a rusty hacksaw, a tool for dissecting the programming. It cuts through the director’s bullshit, exposes their obsessions, their recurring motifs. You start seeing the auteur as a whacked-out shaman, pumping their own brand of cinematic mojo into the celluloid. Their hang-ups become the story’s kinks, their worldview bleeding into every frame. Fans become detectives, sniffing out the auteur’s fingerprints, the hidden codes embedded in every scene. They’re deconstructing the program, man, pulling back the curtain on the Oz behind the camera.

Now, the Auteur theory throws a wrench in the works. These cats, these directors with their so-called visions – they’re like glitches in the matrix, man. Cracks in the programming. They see through the bullshit, see the underlying code manipulating the masses. They try to deprogram us with their whacked-out films, their jarring narratives. They shove the artifice in our faces, jolt us out of our comfortable delusions.

But here’s the rub: Are the auteurs any less manipulative? They’re just another program, another control system, imposing their own twisted vision. They yank you out of the frying pan of the universe and toss you straight into the fire of their own idiosyncrasies. The act of deconstruction can become its own program. We can get hooked on dismantling the codes, unraveling the hidden messages, trapped in an endless loop of analysis. We forget the visceral thrill, the emotional gut punch that the film originally delivered.

Both these trips, extended universes and auteur worship, they’re escapes, sure. A way to outrun the meat grinder of reality. But they’re also control mechanisms, man. Both universes and auteurs are just control booths in the Interzone. They offer a sense of order, a bulwark against the buzzing, chaotic Real. But the Real, that meat machine thrumming beneath, always seeps through. The universes become infested with contradictions, the auteurs with their own neuroses. It’s a word virus, man, a feedback loop of desire and escape. So, buckle up, fellow travelers, and hold on tight as we hurtle through the wormhole of fiction. Just remember, the exit might be a one-way trip.

The Escape Hatch is Malfunctioning: The truth? We need both. We need the Universes to blast open our minds, to take us on journeys beyond the meat world. We need the Auteur Theory to yank us back, to remind us that it’s all just a movie, a story cooked up by some joker with a camera. Whichever way you cut it, man, we’re caught in a maze of flickering stories. Extended universes or auteur deconstructions, it’s all a goddamn mind control experiment. The escape hatch is malfunctioning, buddy. We’re all lab rats in a fiction simulation. So, what do we do? We cut up the script, rewrite the code. We hack into the system with our own narratives, our own visions. We become the authors of our own goddamn stories. Now that’s a Burroughs ending, wouldn’t you say?

The Illusion of Funding: How Hollywood Forgot How to Dream

The primary challenge for Hollywood now is to abandon the idea of creating various schemes around box office numbers, realizing that they could essentially “print money” using alternative financial methods, relying on box office and streaming figures to uphold the belief that these streams primarily funded projects.

What it funded was an artistic vision of cookie cutter films, superheroes and remakes sacrificed on the altar of free market nihilism creating the stagnated, homogenized content while disconnecting from diverse audiences and jeopardizing long-term sustainability we’re “enjoying” today

@bravojohnson

Hollywood: A Gonzo Audit in the Age of Algorithm Gods

Hollywood. Sunset Strip’s a fever dream neon jungle, where lizard kings in Armani suits wrestle with stacks of cash taller than the Hollywood sign itself. But listen up, you sun-baked celluloid cowboys, the celluloid tape is running out on this flickering projector of dreams. The sun bleeds down, casting long shadows on a town drowning in its own shallow, chlorinated pool water. The air, thick with suntan lotion and desperation, carries the faint echo of celluloid dreams long gone belly-up in the director’s pool.

Hollywood, huh? Land of dreams, or at least that’s what the flickering neon signs would have you believe. But lately, those dreams have been smelling more like a dusty back lot and stale popcorn than fresh film stock. Why? Because the suits in charge have turned storytelling into a goddamn slot machine, cranking out the same tired tropes faster than a Vegas croupier on a sugar rush.

These days, the “creatives” in Hollywood are more like financial alchemists, desperately trying to turn derivative dreck into cinematic gold. Superheroes, sequels, and remakes – these are the sacred cows worshipped at the altar of market cannibalism. Originality? Artistic vision? Gone the way of the dodo, sacrificed to the insatiable maw of the falsifiable box office beast.

These numbers, like flickering neon signs in a graveyard, promise untold riches, a siren song leading studios down a path of creative oblivion. They chase the elusive white whale of the billion-dollar gorilla, their eyes glazed over with visions of franchised turds and superhero spectacles, all churned out in a soulless assembly line of mediocrity.

The box office, that golden calf you’ve been worshipping, is starting to look a little less golden and a whole lot more like a tarnished tin god. Numbers are down, folks. Your blockbuster “universes” are more like black holes, sucking in creativity and spewing out the same tired tropes faster than a Kardashian can change husbands.

Here’s the truth, served straight up in a chipped tequila glass with a side of mescaline: you’ve been snorting your own exhaust fumes. You tell yourselves these superhero sagas and nostalgia rehashes are “printing money,” when in reality, they’re just printing out the same tired script, page after forgettable page. The result? A cinematic wasteland of homogenized dreck, a never-ending loop of predictable plotlines and CGI-laden spectacle that leaves audiences feeling like they’ve been force-fed lukewarm gas station nachos.

It’s a vicious cycle, this obsession with box office numbers. It disconnects Hollywood from the kaleidoscope of humanity, churning out the same tired tropes and expecting us to keep shoveling money into your greedy pockets.

This “alternative financing” you’re hawking, chasing those streaming service dollars like a junkie chasing a dragon? It’s a mirage shimmering in the desert heat of desperation. Sure, it throws some cash your way, but at what cost? You’ve sold your soul to the algorithm gods, trading artistic integrity for data-driven drivel.

But the truth, my friends, is as twisted as a Kardashian’s weave. These box office numbers, these supposed harbingers of success, are nothing more than a gilded cage. They lock studios into a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy, reinforcing the notion that the only stories worth telling are those guaranteed to mint money.

What have you gotten in return? A cinematic wasteland populated by cookie-cutter characters, interchangeable plots, and special effects that wouldn’t impress a stoned teenager in his mom’s basement. You’ve sacrificed originality on the altar of market nihilism, and the only one left smiling is the bottom line. Oh, the cruel irony! These Hollywood execs with million-dollar tans and two-dollar minds claim to be printing money, but what they’re printing is a colorless, formulaic sludge, devoid of originality and soul. Superheroes punch each other into oblivion, sequels rehash the same tired ground, and remakes defile the memories of better times.

This relentless pursuit of beige entertainment comes at a cost. Long-term sustainability? Laughed out of the boardroom faster than a blacklisted screenwriter. Disconnected audiences? Easier to find a unicorn grazing in Rodeo Drive. Artistic vision? Sacrificed on the altar of the market god, its ashes scattered to the four winds like a prop bag full of fake movie snow.

Meanwhile, the audiences you’ve so meticulously alienated – the diverse folks tired of the same old recycled garbage – they’re tuning out faster than you can say “sequel fatigue.” You’ve built a wall of mediocrity, and on the other side, a vibrant, hungry audience awaits something real, something that speaks to their soul, not just their wallets.

But here’s the thing, Hollywood: you’re sitting on a gold