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Culture War Roundup for the week of September 4, 2023

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This is somewhat tangential to the culture war, but WD-40 will soon be banned in Canada, despite what the headline of the linked article says.

At issue is a 2021 piece of legislation that comes into force on January 1, 2024. It limits the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in many products, setting the limit for "multi-purpose lubricants that are not solid or semi-solid" to 25% (Listed in Schedule 1, Item 26(i)). Needless to say, this is much lower than the 65% VOC concentration listed on WD-40's MSDS pages (website link) for the classic product.

WD-40 Company responded to talk of the ban by evoking the spectre of Fake News, and didn't mention how they would comply with the regulations. I've sent them a message asking if the MSDS info will be valid into 2024 (because I don't trust journalists, particularly when they can't find the "VOC" entry in a table and don't understand that "low vapor pressure" means less volatile.), and I strongly suspect that it will be reformulated by replacing at least 40.1% of WD-40's composition with substantially different chemicals. EDIT: They've answered, and it will be reformulated.

This ties into the same issues as @some's top-level comment on food names: I don't think that breaded tofu is "Chicken" (or even "Chikn"), and I don't think that a >40% new lubricant is "WD-40".

See also: PYREX vs. pyrex

I don't think that a >40% new lubricant is "WD-40".

So is that the reason it's called that? I thought it was just some brand name and didn't know (or care) how it was derived. I think most people will feel the same way and if there is a new formulation, they'll continue to buy it.

Thanks for the link about PYREX and now I have learned about kitchen glassware. I checked, and my measuring jug is indeed PYREX not pyrex, so it'll be safe to use 😀 Interesting to learn about manufacturers cheaping out on ingredients once the brand name has been long established, but I suppose it's not surprising nowadays.

So is that the reason it's called that?

Nope. The WD stands for Water Displacement. When they developed it they tried out a bunch of different formulas, and they numbered each, eg WD-25, WD-37, etc. The 40th one turned out to be the best one, so they went with that.

It was developed for and initially used in the aerospace industry, so they just used the same generic "WD-40" name from their lab book instead of coming up with a catchy marketing name. It was only after employees kept nicking it to take home that they decided to sell it as a consumer product.

OP was just arguing that a large change in the composition of the product makes it substantially a different product, not that the WD-40 name was linked to a specific percentage of a specific component.

Thanks for the correction! Clearly I am woefully ignorant of the high-paced world of lubricants!

I was taking it by "I don't think that a >40% new lubricant is "WD-40" that it contained 40% of whatever the compounds are, but I should have paid more attention to the start where he says "the 65% VOC concentration listed on WD-40".

I dug into this a little more. You linked to the WD-40 Canada website, but when I get the SDS off the USA website, it looks like they already changed the American formulation to 24.1% VOC. The term they use is "50-state VOC compliant," (thanks California).

So yeah, they'll probably just start shipping to Canada the same product already in circulation in America. Presumably if there was a big difference in performance you would have heard about it by now.

California Air Resources Board strikes again.

Presumably if there was a big difference in performance you would have heard about it by now.

By my understanding, the volatility of its organic compounds is a core feature that distinguishes WD-40 from normal spray lubricants. It dissolves gunk, penetrates through cracks/threads, and spreads over surfaces because of the relatively small molecules (which are also volatile).

Also, where are you getting your news from, that you would expect to hear about things in a tiny niche like this??

WD-40 is not even a lubricant, and I wish people stopped calling it that, because some people will take it to mean that it can be used to lubricate moving parts, when in fact the opposite is true: what it will do is that it will strip any lubricant that might have lingers there, and then evaporate, leaving dry surfaces behind.

WD-40 is not even a lubricant, and I wish people stopped calling it that, because some people will take it to mean that it can be used to lubricate moving parts, when in fact the opposite is true

WD-40® Multi-Use Product Classic does claim that it "lubricates almost anything", so perhaps the WD-40 Company should be the first target of your ire.

what it will do is that it will strip any lubricant that might have lingers there, and then evaporate, leaving dry surfaces behind.

Now I'm curious. Did you reach that conclusion from personal experience? If so, in what country and year? I'm wondering if that claim applies to the 25% VOC formulation that's sold in the US right now, or only the (soon-to-be-discontinued) 65% VOC formulation.

Speaking of which, I need a new can of chain cleaner. The old one has a plastic cap that was on too tight and I was dumb enough to try to pry it off with a screwdriver. WD-40 should work just fine.

I saw a headline about it Friday or yesterday. Conservative news loves finding stories like this (popular product faces ban for regulatory reason).

Looking into it more, I believe this Youtube video broke the story last Wednesday.

Also: Google's date ranges lie, but DuckDuckGo's don't. Google gave multiple relevant-looking results when I searched for "WD-40 ban Canada" and restricted the date range to before Sept. 6. They either had the date listed incorrectly, or they had it listed correctly but decided that a page from "6 hours ago" deserved to be in a search that specifically excluded it.

Aww now I'm a little bummed I didn't get it straight from the source, it's been too long since I watched an AvE video.

Also, where are you getting your news from, that you would expect to hear about things in a tiny niche like this??

He still believes we live in a world where when something is an issue, people start talking about it, which kicks off some sort of a chain reaction, rather then getting throttled to hell.

This is antagonistic. You've had 6 previous warnings for bad behavior. And two of those were just last month for this exact kind of low effort antagonistic posting:

3-day ban.

Man, I'm starting to wish for an AI-powered "are you sure you want to post this" feature they have on twitter, because half the time there's no telling what will set you guys off.

I suggest WD-25

My marketing instinct suggests WD-41.

It's 1 more than before, so people will assume it is better, also the original WD-40 is because it was the 40th attempt to create something that displaces water (or so legend goes, I can't be arsed to go track down the veracity), but you can play on that.

AP News reports:

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding county for at least 30 days in response to a spate of gun violence.

The firearms suspension, classified as an emergency public health order, applies to open and concealed carry in most public places, from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The restriction is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met by the metropolitan Albuquerque. Police and licensed security guards are exempt from the temporary ban.

Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000, gubernatorial spokeswoman Caroline Sweeney said.

The summary, if anything, understates the brazenness. There's a delightful video of the release press conference that starts out with Grisham highlighting the emergency order as a state-wide message to "start arresting people", and "just arrest everyone", and goes downhill from there to outright state intent to violate her oath of office! For an order she does not expect criminals to obey. The order declares the city off-limits for public carry, nearly exactly mirroring a specific hypothetical from Bruen.

I went to bed on this last night after trying to find a way to discuss it at a deeper level than 'boo, outgroup', and I'm still hard-pressed this morning. It's not like this is some unique and novel approach: I've written before on the prolonged efforts to provide massive resistance to Breun, or to otherwise violate the law, exploiting the nuances of standing and court timelines. Federal administrations have played footsie with overtly unconstitutional or illegal actions at length as delaying tactics over any coherent principle for matters as serious as the rental economy and as trivial as cancelling Easter. There were even a few efforts from the Red Tribe in early COVID days.

There's some tactical and logistic discussions that can be had, here. Most obvious, there's a ton of fun questions involved when the state can throw around multi-thousand dollar fines against people with no more warning or notice than a press conference late Friday night, should it ever come to that, though it's not clear that the specific stated punishment here matters. There's no evidence that the shooters in any recent murders motivating this order were carrying lawfully. There will almost certainly be open carry protests by mid-week, a completely foreseeable result that someone who actually worried about bunches of lawful gun carry causing violence would at least have planned around; the people going should plan around what happens if and when they're arrested and cited, but it's not clear that will actually happen.

The Bernalillo County police have already stated that they have not been charged with enforcing this: a sufficiently cynical reader should expect that the state police may not consistently 'enforce' the order either rather than tots-unrelatedly harassing the hell out of anyone who disobeys it.

Grisham signed a law abolished qualified immunity in some cases, but the precise text of that law and the New Mexico constitution make this unlikely to apply in the specific nexus of carry. The 11th Amendment makes federal 1983 lawsuits particularly complex, and unlikely to be renumerative or punishing.

They're also pretty boring. So I'm going to make a few predictions. Maybe I'll be wrong! Hopefully!

Grisham will not be impeached for a very simple reason. She will not be indicted, and I think it's more likely than not she never pays in her personal capacity. There will be no grand jury leaking embarrassing details, or FBI investigations doing the same, whether honestly or fraudulently established. New Mexico allows citizen grand juries, and it won’t matter Grisham will not be frog-marched before a tipped-off news media for a predawn raid, nor will we have arrest mugshots on national or local news. There won't be a long series of supposedly-unbiased news programs calling her a fascist, no baldly coordinated smear campaign to distract from someone else's failures, nor will some random employee become a minor celebrity by breaking the law to embarrass her and then claiming prosecution persecution. There will not be a New York Times article or The View segue fearful about how this undermines reasonable public health policy, nor will Lawrence Tribe be writing a characteristically incoherent argument about how this disqualifies her from any future elected office.

We will not have an injunction today, or a temporary restraining order the same day as a complaint was filed, to mirror the DeWine overreach linked above. The courts will not make a final determination before the order expires, even if the order extends beyond the thirty-day window. If the courts issue a TRO or preliminary injunction before the policy expires, people will still be harassed for carry, and no one will find themselves in jail for contempt of the court's order, even and especially if they Tried To Make A Message out of their disobedience. There will be a perfunctory mootness analysis when asking whether the state will do the same thing again, and in the unlikely even that threshold and standing can be achieved, the courts will instead notice that no colorable relief can be granted.

We will instead have taught a city's portion of gun owners that they can and should violate the supposed law, at length; that the government will quite cheerfully do the same and get away with it; and that the courts will shrug their shoulders and ponder what can you do thirty days later. And that is what happens if they are lucky.

Fucking hell. I can only hope you’re wrong.

On one hand, we are getting the enforcement split that should be expected for this issue. I do think that’s some evidence against the strong form of the deep state, where anyone who takes government dollars is on board with a particular brand of authoritarian neoliberalism.

On the other…I’m not seeing any evidence that the courts or pundits or general voting public are giving Grisham the thrashing she deserves. There’s some intraparty squabbling, but it’s laughable—directly proportional to their distance from the actual law. Talk is cheap, and tweets are cheaper. So your central thesis is holding up depressingly well.

To be fair, the New Mexico Attorney General says he will not defend the law in court, which is a bigger surprise to me. I don't think it'll turn tomorrow hearing into an effective ex parte one unless Grisham decides against sending anyone, but it's not something he had to do, either.

So this is going to get injuncted. Until the injunction happens, there will be some open carry protestors- either local yokels or three percenters- taking over some minor public place in Albuquerque. These people will get away with it, the New Mexico state government will see the NRA crowd take over the square in front of their capital building some time in the next year but otherwise come away unharmed, and the lesson everyone takes will be "violating firearms laws is OK".

... so, there's a funny thing that happened today:

Handguns, assault rifles and even a few muskets were fully on display on Sunday in Old Town Albuquerque by about 150 or so people defying the recent New Mexico public health order issued late Friday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham banning the carrying of firearms in public spaces.

What wasn’t obvious, was an attempt at enforcement. Police were not present, save for an Albuquerque Police Department surveillance device parked at the corner of Old Town Plaza that is often there during weekend events. It’s unclear if any plain clothes officers were in attendance. No police in uniforms were seen throughout the event.

Even without that physical presence, the governor’s office intends to act.

“The order is being enforced, and citations will be forthcoming from the State Police,” said Caroline Sweeny, a spokesperson for Lujan Grisham’s office. ”To ensure officer safety, we will not be providing additional details at this time.”

I don't expect this will stick -- if actually sent, and not sent pretextually, if anything this makes the standing argument easier -- but at this point I could see something stupid like arbitrarily pulling CHL permits without stating the cause.

Separately, there was a hearing scheduling on one court case for a temporary restraining order for early on 9/12; it has since been canceled. Presumably it or another companion will be rescheduled at some point.

I'm all for gun control, but this is just lawless. Trying to pretend that bullets are a disease is nonsense. Using that as a justification to unilaterally take away a constitutional right, without any sort of legislative fig leaf? It's absolute garbage.

If you don't like the second amendment, repeal it. If you can't repeal it, abide by it. It's that simple.

This will obviously get slapped down by the first court it encounters, but there really ought to be some sort of penalty for this kind of blatant abuse of power. I'm not sure what options are available other than impeachment, but if I were a republican office holder in NM I'd be exploring them.

I am genuinely glad to see you post this.

I'm not sure what options are available other than impeachment, but if I were a republican office holder in NM I'd be exploring them.

Unfortunately, most of them find the same problem. New Mexico's abuses of emergency health orders during COVID weren't as severe as California or Michigan, but they were still pretty severe, and legislative attempts to limit them stalled in committee on a party-line vote. The legislature does not even convene until January 16th (for 30 days on even-numbered years), so unless this order is extended for nearly four months it would take a special session to even start any legislative response, which can only be convened by a 2/3rd majority. And Grishman can veto or pocket veto legislation, which again requires a 2/3rds majority to pass.

The New Mexico GOP has claimed to pursue a federal lawsuit, though I'm skeptical that they'd have any better standing or argument than the individual cases. There's... not much hope of a state lawsuit going anywhere.

It's too bad NM doesn't seem to have criminal penalties for violation of oath like Georgia.

Also relevant to point out that CHL license holders are filtered for higher levels of law abidingness than the general population, and if the goal is to make gun owners trust gun control, it is almost exactly the wrong approach to make policy which primarily impacts them.

if the goal is to make gun owners trust gun control, it is almost exactly the wrong approach to make policy which primarily impacts them.

And this is obvious to anyone, including skilled politicians like the New Mexico governor. Therefore, that is not the goal.

If you don't like the second amendment, repeal it. If you can't repeal it, abide by it. It's that simple.

Thats outdated point of view, the constitution is something to be ignored, worked around or at best something to be read as we say in my country - the way the devil reads the bible. And also courts are allowed to write their own fan fiction on the original material.

To explain in game of throne terms - after the 60s we are living in the constitutional season 8. Probably split 2/1 about it written by democratic leaning SCOTUS.

Sometimes I dream about the Marshall of the Supreme Court going to the house of the NY governor and jailing them for contempt of court for passing the same bullshit gun restriction that has been slapped down a dozen times with minor alterations. Would certainly enact the spirit of the law if not it's letter. Then I remember that would only escalate the situation and probably trigger court packing.

But if officials are going to have such blatant disregard for the law of the land, maybe escalation is all that's left.

That's the beauty of it, with leftist control of the justice system, they can just do this in thirty day chunks and by the time any judge ever hears it, it will be "moot" because that particular policy ended and a new thirty day one just started.

There are of course exceptions to mootness for recurring policies.

I'm sure there's an emanation from someone's penumbra that creates an exception to anything that's unpopular in law schools.

There are of course exceptions to mootness for recurring policies.

Indeed, but entirely up to judicial discretion. Which means whether they are applied or not will be decided by other criteria.

Could this work by "all law-abiding citizens no longer carry, only the criminals, so now if someone is stopped and found to have a gun, the book gets thrown at them NO EXCUSES so for once we can keep Denzil The Drug Dealer in jail for longer than ten minutes"?

I don't see any serious approach where it could. There's already a lot of normally law-abiding citizens who are going to go far out of their way to break this particular order, and the order was issued with far too little notice for law-abiding normies to obey it if they wanted. And the punishments are trivial compared to traditional criminal law.

Perhaps more damning, I'm not sure why anyone would issue this order for that purpose, as opposed to simply directing her branch of the government to do it directly. There's some fun constitutional questions for whether drug users or sellers can possess firearms legally, but they're less constitutionally dubious than this. And the simple bit of "actually just go after drug dealers and violent criminals" is right there waiting for someone to pick it up.

There's a (very limited) steelman where this becomes a police tool, as a fig leaf for a broader stop-and-frisk; even if no one's ever prosecuted for breaking the order, it gives a lot of space for police to do random searches for weapons (and thus drugs and contraband and fleeing-from-police and not having a license for a gun and not having a gun that's not the one listed on your CHL and whatever). But even that doesn't really do a great job of actually focusing police power on violent criminals; it's one of the major flaws with actual stop-and-frisk. And it of course only augments the constitutional issues.

No, fails the disparate impact test.

No, no it can't.

Which means Denzel just hires local youths to be his security. Drug dealers have been splitting up roles for decades to make prosecution harder.

I will make a further prediction: At least one person will be arrested and charged with violating this order. Like the tiki torch marchers, they will not get their day in court; they may not be convicted of violating the order but they will be effectively coerced into pleading guilty to something and having their firearms and firearms rights taken for them.

I predict that this emergency order works as intended: if you look like an upstanding citizen you can CC and no one will care. If you look like a felon, this now gives the police a great pretext to stop you, leading to your likely arrest for other infractions.

That is, unless an unlikely bipartisan coalition tries to force the government hand: upstanding citizens that look like upstanding citizens and defiantly OC because constitution, and upstanding citizens that look like felons and want profiling to stop.

It's New Mexico. It's solid democrat but there's actual hardcore red tribers in much more significant numbers, and much more urban and periurban environments, than in say New York or California, and lots of libertarians running around. Open carry protestors will take over some minor local landmark(maybe a farmer's market or a park) and the cops(at least the locals) will let them. That's just going to happen.

Usually, at least at the prosecutor's level, if not the actual beat officers, this seems to work the opposite way. If you're an upstanding citizen CCing in full compliance with the actual published law, then you get the book thrown at you - full charges, highest bail they can get, max punishment, etc. If you're a career criminal on the way to commit another armed robbery or gang hit, then you get charges dropped lightened to where you can be released immediately.

This law doesn’t prohibit CC though.

become a minor celebrity by breaking the law to embarrass her and then claiming prosecution.

* persecution?

Technically both, since she claimed the persecution was in the form of prosecutions, but yeah, that's more correct. Thanks.

"Civil Rights" is a wholly-owned trademark of Blue Tribe, and as such nothing Blue Tribe does can be recognized by them as a civil rights violation. The right to keep and bear arms obviously is not a real civil right, and neither is the right to practice Christianity; such activities are simply too harmful to society, and of course things people want must be balanced against the interests of the public, as understood by Blue Tribe. They will never stop violating these rights, because they fundamentally do not and cannot recognize them as rights. If they have power, this is how they will use it.

[EDIT] ...And of course nothing in the above is exclusive to Blue Tribe. Rights are, in fact, a spook. The vast majority of people will never respect them as anything more than a means to an end, and ends differ between tribes. As our values continue to diverge, the "Civil Rights" framework becomes increasingly unworkable.

It's helpful to note the ways in which consensus is formed. You wrote this up yourself, pulling together a dozen or so articles to attempt to generate context. When it goes the other way, that job is done by a professional class who are paid to do it and outnumber you, roughly speaking, 9 to 1. That means they can generate at least nine times as much context as you do, and even if that "context" is absolute garbage, it's still inescapably dominant. Naively, people look at that information and drift naturally to the easy conclusion, that the truth generally lies with the majority. This naïve base impression persists even in relatively sophisticated environments like this one; we triangulate based on our data, so controlling the data means controlling us, even here. The only possible response as an individual is epistemic closure: to refuse to update based on discredited sources. Not doing this means allowing yourself to have your dataset irreparably corrupted. Doing this means foreclosing any ability to conduct constructive object-level dialog with the outgroup.

I think that the "civil rights" approach degenerated decades ago. When I was thinking about it, the right is now basically whatever value you want to push, it is an excerpt of your holy book you want to impose on other people. I had this discussion about the program of leftist party in my country and I was called a bigot for opposing some trans related points in the program. Of course, because these are rights and we do not discuss them, rights are outside of political purview, you see?. Of course we also have climate rights, we have right to free shelter and healthcare including proposals for right to oral care. In such a case you are basically supposed to live in blue tribe version of sharia law, the only thing that is to be part of the political process is meaningless issues - such as if tax should be X or X+1 percent. The rest is not subject of discussion, it is all spoils for winners of culture war. Everything is political indeed, and at the same time nothing is.

Similarly to OP, I realize that this post is quite antagonistic in a sense, but I do not see any other way. I consciously decided to vote on culture war issues exactly for OPs reasons. I think that voting based on policies is becoming stupid in this polarized society. Otherwise you will exactly end up in situation that OP describes, an anarchotyranny where one side views your values as illegitimate and that is capable and willing to do anything to suppress them. It is fundamental clash of aesthetics above substance. In my political discussions I have better results pointing out that incompatibility:

You think that I am transphobe for criticizing program of your favorite party? Look, I don't care. Your words ring hollow to me, I could not care less because I do not share your aesthetics. To me it is analogous as if you criticize me for being uncouth pigeater who sins against muslim aesthetics. It is a category error, I do not care about it whatsoever - in fact I laugh in your face while eating greasy pork fried in lard, downing it with huge gulps of forbidden strong beer. What are you going to do about it?

I really do not know how to get out of this pickle.

When the arbitrary and unconstitutional "public health orders" for things like mask mandates and business closures started coming down, many argued that it was a slippery slope towards the Government making up any orders they felt like any time they felt like it and successfully enforcing them. Well, here's us starting to slide down that slope. Make up any rule you want, call it a "public health order", and just maybe it will stand and actually be enforced.

I really hope this doesn't stand, because it will only accelerate us towards a regime of government executives actually ruling by decree without regard to the Constitution. And what'll happen if a Red team executive in a Red state copies the pattern, maybe doing something like closing down all gay bars and other meeting places as a "public health order" to stop Monkeypox or Aids or something.

When the arbitrary and unconstitutional "public health orders" for things like mask mandates and business closures started coming down, many argued that it was a slippery slope towards the Government making up any orders they felt like any time they felt like it and successfully enforcing them.

It wasn't a slippery slope. It already was the Government making up any orders they felt like at any time they felt like and successfully enforcing them. There's no need to make a slippery slope argument when you've already hit the jagged spikes at the bottom.

It makes me wonder what the governor’s motivations are. I don’t know anything about New Mexico politics (besides the fact the the state is inexplicably left wing). This seems like a totally bizarre thing to do in an off election year for a politician who can’t possibly aspire to an office outside of New Mexico. I wonder if she is trying to get ahead of a scandal or something.

Charitably, people who don't care about guns or are anti-gun to start with sometimes might have seen a recent few high-profile incidents that Hit Close To Home and suddenly justified everything. This model's kinda the dark mirror to the "conservative is a liberal who's been mugged" deal: there's a lot of people who were once willing to live-and-let-live (or at least had better places to spend their political capital) who become true believers over some incident that made things too salient for them. The resulting policy proposals aren't always this hairbrained, but you're picking from a group that's by definition not considered the space at length in the past nor been heavily exposed to other people who have. Some people are people do really believe what they're doing.

But Grisham has been in this game for a while. The more cynical analysis is that she's term-limited (New Mexico governors can only serve two terms; her second ends in 2027) in a pretty Blue and increasingly blueing state (between Californian exodus, and the aftermath of the last decade worth of redistricting), and she's been working in (otherwise unemployable parts of) the .gov since 1992. There's three major career paths available where this sorta trial balloon is a major resume-burnisher even and maybe especially if it flops: either moving to federal politics, managing state-level politics, or going into the bureaucratic activism or non-technically-state-just-state-funded activist groups.

It's possible she's gunning for Lujan's seat -- he had a stroke last year, and while he's recovered might take it as a sign to retire -- or perhaps the VP slot for 2028. But more likely I'm thinking the last option. This is the sorta thing that absolutely blocks any chance of a cabinet-level position or other place requiring a senate confirmation, short of a wildly stacked Dem Senate, but it's an excellent advertisement for Acting whatevers or bigger names at think tanks or commentary positions, where this hugely visible commitment is useful to know who's likely to stay bought.

besides the fact the the state is inexplicably left wing

It got me to wondering, why is New Mexico more left wing than the surrounding states? I had two hypotheses: indigenous population and government employment.

Looking up indigenous population, New Mexico is third in the nation, at 10.86%. And looking up government employment, New Mexico is also third in the nation at 22.2%. The combination of the two seems initially compelling.

Looking at other states, however, seems to refute both hypotheses. In terms of both, Alaska trounces New Mexico, taking the top spot in both at 19.99% and 24.6% respectively despite being significantly less left-wing. I can buy that it's kinda sorta a special case. But at second place are Oklahoma at 13.2% and Wyoming at 24.1% respectively. (Oklahoma is 6th in government employees at 20.6% and Wyoming is 8th in indigenous population at 3.5%).

Curious if anyone has other explanations.

New Mexico/Colorado have always been kinda libertarian in a vaguely blue way(eg drugs and weird sex stuff and not too attached to guns). New Mexico is also super duper Hispanic.

Many of the government employees are military and fairly reddish, I don't think it's government employment.

All I know is back in the 2000s, people were complaining about all the Californians moving in. And the state moved from a Red, to a Purple, to a Blue state in the time following. I don't have any actual statistics on how many Californians moved to New Mexico, I just know that was a complaint people were making.

A lot of filming started to take place in New Mexico, the Albuquerque government began courting studios.

I mean instead of checking 1 by 1 you can plot and check for correlations

Harder to do on a phone, though, and I try not to open my computer on weekends. Maybe I'll do it at work on Monday.

I think that sounds very compelling, I would also add a little to the government employment aspect (especially with respect to large # of very well compensated scientists working at sandia and Los Alamos), is substantial, but who knows, the hard sciences are usually split more evenly.

New Mexico is a very urban state.

Urban is a bit underspecified, but some statistics about the urban population:

Arizona 89.3%

Colorado 86.0%

Nevada 94.1%

New Mexico 74.5%

Texas 83.7%

Utah 89.8%

NM is more urbanized than AK, OK, and WY though.

Is this using a system like the census where they define urban as an arbitrary density cutoff that includes things like small farming towns that are ruby red? That kinda undermines everything people mean when they say urban.

I mean, it's kinda justifiable for the census. Their data presumably have some hand in planning things like plumbing infrastructure, but it's really not helpful for a thread on the culture war where urban tends to imply blue tribe.

At least for Texas the vast majority of the population lives in definitely urban environments in a few major metros(DFW and Houston combined have just over half the state's population, add in San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso there's a supermajority), so I think the data is directionally correct.

How many of those residents would self-identify as "suburban" instead of "urban"?

Because there's a pretty big difference between the political behavior of suburbanites and urbanites.

From what I remember, there was an article from a while back about the majority of Texas identified as suburban. Let me see if I can dig it up.

Edit: Found it. I was thinking of an old 538 article from 2015. it's ~8 years old at this point, so the percentages could have swung a couple points, but I think the general point still stands.

It's mostly wasteland, so very desolate and unproductive outside cities. So it's urban in that sense, but only a tiny sliver of the geography is actually urban.

It's mostly wasteland, so very desolate and unproductive outside cities.

Or in other words, the state is just Australia in microcosm; political implications and all.

Interesting, because Oz is perhaps surprisingly more woke and lefty despite the "pioneer spirit" which would lean very much the opposite. But, I suppose, now that the vast majority are softies in the cities, it makes sense.

Could be she’s angling for a possible Vice President nomination. Correct-thinking Latina governor in a border state? You may recall when Susana Martinez, a former Republican governor of New Mexico, was a serious VP contender for Mitt Romney, and she spoke at one of the RNC national conventions one year.

As far as the state being ‘left wing’, it really isn’t. Not in the Vermont/Bernie Sanders/Portlandia way. New Mexico has for some time been a majority-minority state. American Indians make up 11 percent of the state’s population, the third highest in the United States after Alaska and Oklahoma. The median household income in 2021 was on the level with Alabama, making it 45th out of 50 in the United States. To put it bluntly, the modal New Mexican citizen is a poor, lowly educated Hispano-Indian who correctly perceives the Democratic Party as the party of handouts. The state is about as far away from the Gray Tribe, Bay Area rationalists and the Sanders socialists as can be!

Long term I think this might be a blessing in disguise. There’s really a mask-off moment here where the government never even pretended to be making or enforcing a new law. They didn’t bother with even a decent pretext for doing this. The governor simply declared a health emergency out of not much (the murder rate isn’t as bad as most major cities) and decided that carrying is illegal.

This is a case that everyone concerned with civil liberties can and will point to probably for a long time as the point where the mask slipped and the public got to see the full on truth that the government doesn’t actually believe in rights or at least not your rights. I don’t believe in conspiracy, however the last several years seem to have been a whole series of red pills in the sense that I don’t think anyone paying attention can deny just how far from the Republic (as defined by the Constitution) we’ve actually gone.

Inside Disney and internal corporate boardroom drama. Iger appointed Chapek as his successor but ended up decided coming back. It touches on the fight with Desantis, the prior generation deciding not to retire, internal power struggles, managing a business where no one has the skillset for all of the businesses (creative, running parks, international, finance, sports, launching a streaming business). About a 15-20 min. Iger seems more interested in the Desantis fight than Chapek who just wanted to play nice.

Disney's 2023 releases have been duds

Losses on some, profits on others. I don't see how a $100 million loss on a movie can cause a decline of market value in the tens of billion. mediocre movies cannot explain why the stock has fallen so much. Disney has always produced a lot of mediocre but expensive movies throughout its recent history [1], yet the stock has done so well , until 2022. The value is in the IP and other services, not so much box office. A movie that loses money at box office will still generate $ decades down the line through IP.


Disney's stock is losing value quickly because D+ isn't working and they have a big payment to buy out their Hulu partners rapidly approaching (and Hulu isn't doing hot either).

mediocre movies cannot explain why the stock has fallen so much.

To the extent this is correct, it is because you’re looking at the stock price through the wrong frame. The big rally into 2022 was due to Star Wars and Marvel climaxing at the same time in 2018-2019, followed by the pandemic fed-tech bubble. The 2019-2022 price level isn’t the baseline, it’s the outlier.

Disney has outperformed or tracked the S&P 500 as far back as it began trading. 2022-2023 is a huge outlier in terms of bad relative performance . from $200 to $80 in just a year vs spx almost having recovered its losses. i think you could be right that the stock may have simply gotten ahead of itself due to Star Wars and Marvel hype wearing off, combined with some costly unforced errors, changing sentiment, woke backlash, etc. .

As someone who was in the machine for a few years, you're correct in that the value is in the IP.

And they've trashed their IP.

The missing thing everyone tends to overlook is merchandising. Consumer Products was an extreme overperformer in Disney's catalog during the Marvel golden years and the first of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Add to the ocean of Frozen merchandise... Disney makes significant gains on both product and selling the license to produce product for their brands, backed by a minimum guarantee sales agreement. Their IP did so well that they basically bullied toy and product companies into accepting whatever terms they wanted in order for access to their properties.

This is why The Last Jedi was so significant for Disney. It was a movie where the demand for product basically imploded. Hasbro lost their ass on it, and due to the poor performance of that movie's products as well as the chaos of getting anything approved by Disney for that movie (and the increasingly short turnarounds for Marvel ones in time for movie releases), it basically heavily damaged Disney's relationship with a lot of the toy and product guys.

Bear in mind Consumer Products did so well that they merged it with Parks to try and hide the black hole of Parks spending, mostly driven by overspending on development of new attractions, construction and cost overruns in upkeep.

If your company's value is the value of your IP, the price going through the floor is indicative of how the company is doing at IP management. Faith in Disney's ability to effectively monetize the IPs they own is critically low.

That has been a problem with parks too. They build these (occasionally amazing) rides but they are so expensive, take so long to build, and actually don’t move many people.

Disney had an amazing ability to create truly interesting fun unique rides that moved a lot of people. Sure the ride was expensive but not that expensive.

Outside of some weird cases like airlines, the value of a stock is a function of expected future earnings. Shareholders may have been convinced in the past that there was potential in owning DIS. They are no longer so confident.

Disney may always have had duds, it's the cost of doing business in that industry. But I believe what the market has realized is that they have lost the ability to make the popular entertainment that makes the duds worth it. It's not a stroke of bad luck, it's skills shortage.

Marvel is winding down massively, Star Wars has been blown up for nothing, Pixar is way past it's prime, the parks aren't making much money and the political spats have tarnished the image of family friendliness that has always been a core part of Disney's strategy.

They bought so much they own all of classic pop culture and yet I'm left asking: who is going to care about Disney IP in ten years? Versus, say, Nintendo.

Wait, how do airline stocks work?

Airlines are banks. You read that right. Flying is both such a necessary service and so unprofitable that it slowly has become a subsidized activity of companies whose main business is actually controlling a currency in frequent flier miles which other, actual, banks will buy and integrate into the rest of the financial system.

Banks behave differently than other businesses because they're a peculiar kind of business that's allowed to print money and is so important to the economy there is an expectation that the State will bail them out of a crisis. And so it is with Airlines.

As Taleb point out in Black Swan such enterprises are in the business of hiding risk. The stock price then isn't properly understood as a bet on earnings (at least not for the most part), but as a bet on the solvency of the State and its willingness to enact a bailout in the next crisis. A bet on the solidity of the financial system and how much that particular part of it can act as a safe haven.

The key similarity is that neither industry has much in the way of moats. They tend to be too competitive as there is nothing to prevent new entrants from boosting supply.

I'm not following why airlines are like banks. When I think of a bank I think of a company that makes money either by lending money or by investing and providing other financial services. Airlines sell frequent flier miles to credit card companies who use them as an incentive to get customers to sign up which doesn't seem like the same thing. For example if a bank offers a free toaster to anyone who opens a savings account that doesn't make KitchenAid a bank. That seems analogous to how credit card companies use the airline miles they buy. I assume I'm missing something here.

I also don't get how their shareholders are betting on a bailout instead of their financials. For example, American Airlines got a bailout during Covid but their stock is still down to a third of what it was before the pandemic so it's not like the investors made out like bandits.

When I think of a bank I think of a company that makes money either by lending money or by investing and providing other financial services.

And this is indeed what Airlines do. They sell credit services and benefits directly and administer their own mini-financial system as a main activity.

Transportation is not just a secondary activity, it's actually a loss leader. They consistentlyt lose money on operating plane trips to the tune of a few cents per seat and the disclosures we got during covid's loan season show the loyalty programs are worth more than the total market capitalization of the airlines which implies the transportation sides of the business have negative value.

For example if a bank offers a free toaster to anyone who opens a savings account that doesn't make KitchenAid a bank.

But what if KitchenAid started selling free toaster vouchers to banks for more than their market price? What if financial instruments started getting valued in those vouchers? What if there was an exchange rate for different voucher types? What if this was the main way they make any money?

The real magic here is in the fact they sell miles from their loyalty programs to other companies (like AA to Hertz) so they get the incentive benefits. These are sold at a markup, and the customer pays back the balance by flying. Given these miles are printed from nothing, they look very much like loans. Actually it's not quite from nothing, it's from the future expectation of the ability to fly, which is not really that different from the future expectation to redeem your money from a fractional reserve bank.

This makes the airline a sort of central bank of their own service backed currency that can, and does, adjust the value by controlling the supply and redeem rate. And importantly, this currency isn't taxed so it's possible to create weird tax free financial instruments using these, in a way that's really not dissimilar to how cryptocurrencies work today.

The real magic here is in the fact they sell miles from their loyalty programs to other companies (like AA to Hertz) so they get the incentive benefits. These are sold at a markup

I think that's a smart evolution of the business, although I wouldn't say there's any particular magic in this step either. This still falls under the universal logic of IOU issuance: anyone can issue their own IOUs (printed from nothing) and decide both what it takes to get one and what the redemption value will be.

I guess what moves it to feel more 'bank-like' is that the airlines take tracking accounts in their database very seriously, compared to less serious bearer punch-cards for free Subway sandwiches or whatever. And flights are more universally desirable, compared to more subjective businesses. Maybe I will use Hertz instead of Avis if it's giving me $X towards my next flight on my usual airline, but for some reason if they were partnered with Mcdonalds reward points, it would take a lot more than $X to move the needle.

They don't.

They bought so much they own all of classic pop culture and yet I'm left asking: who is going to care about Disney IP in ten years? Versus, say, Nintendo.

Basically this.

They burned a bunch of bridges and are now acting surprised at the lack of foot traffic, much like Anheuser Busch, one gets the impression that they didn't understand who their core market were.

I think it's a little different than AB. AB knew their market but they wanted a different one because their current market didn't comport with their political goals, and besides they didn't expect it to be around much longer with the fulfillment of those political goals. Disney thought they owned their market and it didn't matter what they put out, their market would accept it.

Can you really blame them? The Starwars/Marvel "consooom" crowd were pretty hardcore in their merch consoooming ways. I honestly didn't expect them to have a spine either, certainly didn't expect them to have enough spine to reject the new Trilogy and its merch.

There's an idea for a "so blackpilled you come out through the other side as whitepilled" effort post that's been bouncng around my head for a while, where these would be used as prominent supporting examples.

Lead by their theory of Cultural Hegemony progressives moved to capture the commanding heights of our culture, only to discover that power doesn't literally let you bend the world to your will. Provisional title: "Congratulations, you've won the crown! Now you have to wear it..."

I'd genuinely like to read that.

"Not understanding core market" is a long way from "small pr stunt goes wrong". I don't think management could have imagined it would have such a long and lasting impact as what it has become. In the past, a bad PR stunt would probably be forgotten as the news cycle changes and the old product line is discontinued (the Dylan Mulvaney cans were a one-off thing, not a product line), but social media keeps it alive in perpetuity. In 1996, McDonald's Arch Deluxe burger is a notable example of a major brand misreading a market, but it did not have a lasting impact like this has. Congrats, i guess, to Kid Rock for having more of an impact on a stock price than famous billionaire short sellers like Bill Ackman, Jim Chanos, Michael Burry etc. He should get a job at a hedge fund.

I don’t think it’s quite the same as the Arch Deluxe. There’s no real insult with the arch deluxe, it was a sandwich, and it didn’t taste good, but it didn’t cross any major lines. It didn’t offend your values, it didn’t call into question your masculinity, it didn’t celebrate things you hate. It was just a bad sandwich.

The Budlight thing was basically tying the brand to something that the main audience of Bud Light was opposed to — which is woke in general and gay/trans in particular. There’s also the issue of the perception that Bud Light is now not a man’s drink. I think especially in bars this was part of the deal. No man wanted to be seen drinking the tranny beer, and likely that will continue for quite some time.

"Not understanding core market" is a long way from "small pr stunt goes wrong".

Hard disagree. This isn't hyberole or an uncharitable strawman, Heinerscheid straight up said that "we don't want bud light to be the beer of frat-boys and rednecks anymore", and she succeeded.

In short @ArjinFerman is more intelligent than you.

In short @ArjinFerman is more intelligent than you.

how is that even relevant. yet again HlynkaCG is able to break rules with impunity here and get endless warnings

In short @ArjinFerman is more intelligent than you.

Okay, really, what was the point of this comment?

The rest of your post was fine. "The other person is right and you're wrong." You can say that.

But you have a pattern, which you've been repeating for a long time now, of adding gratuitous little elbow shots that add absolutely nothing except antagonism. You're clearly doing it on purpose, and I don't exactly understand why. It does not fit at all with all your Grizzled Old NCO schtick in which you act like you're just trying to keep out the riff-raff (despite this no longer being your job) and point out the truths that us jannies won't acknowledge. No, this is purely you being a dick to people you don't like. Sometimes it feels like you're testing us, sometimes it just looks like you can't control yourself. Maybe it's a disgust reflex. Whatever. But you need to stop.

You still get more leeway than most people here because you have such a long history as a positive contributor, including AAQCs which you continue to generate. A lot of people who really hate you have been angry about this for a long time and keep demanding we ban you. I don't know when or if you will force us to do that, but giving people who have earned more community "credit" a longer leash is intentional and has always been our policy. That said, you have not earned infinite goodwill and do-overs, and if you keep testing us, eventually we'll have to say good-bye.

In light of multiple previous infractions of a very similar nature, I'm giving you a one-week ban this time.

Do you think they wanted their whole entire core market to stop drinking their beers?

Do you think they wanted their whole entire core market to stop drinking their beers?

If one takes Alissa Heinerscheid's statements at face value, yes that is exactly what the management of InBev wanted.

If you actually believe that then I don't know what to tell you

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It wasn't "a small PR stunt going wrong" it was "deliberately insulting the core demographic buying your product".

In 1996, McDonald's Arch Deluxe burger is a notable example of a major brand misreading a market, but it did not have a lasting impact like this has

Because they were bad products, not attacks on their core market.

yeah with the benefit of hindsight we can say it was an attack on a core market

Disagree - almost anyone with vague ideas about american culture would have been able to tell that it is a bad idea. Only single white college educated woman deep in the blue bubble that has drank the DEI cool aid wouldn't have known. Guess what type they had recently promoted as vice marketing director.

If you were in the marketing department at AB and someone said “hey, why not send a one-time promotional can to this influencer that she’ll only market to her (highly woke) progressive following and that our core audience will never even hear about?” what would you say to convince them of how badly things would go?

It’s not really predictable, tons of red-tribe-friendly corporations have done much more woke things than what AB did and still retain that entire audience. Red tribers still subscribe to Netflix, still watch Disney movies, beloved right-adjacent brands like Chick-fil-A went full DEI and other than some Twitter users nobody cared, the core oo-rah red tribe demographic sports league, the NFL, went full woke, even NASCAR went woke. None of them saw a major backlash that convinced them to backtrack (yes, there was Kaepernick, but the NFL is still ultra-woke).

Predicting that a promotional can of Bud Lite would set this off wasn’t obvious.

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I guess. but companies are always do weight/wacky promotions to generate 'buzz'. Think of Burger King's various weird promotions . The assumption is, a misfire will be forgotten and society will move on. But not this time. If I were a hedge fund manger, and then Kid Rock video just came out and I had to make a call if society would move on or it would have a lasting impact, I would be in the former camp. yeah I was wrong.

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You don't need the benefit of hindsight, the recording of the marketing exec will do just fine.

That's too much “Great Man of History” analysis. I think Disney was boned no matter what.

  • Huge amounts of Disney’s revenue came from linear commercial TV, which is dying, and big tentpole franchises like Marvel, which—no matter how brilliant of a creative team you hire—are going to get tired at some point.
  • They get plenty of cruise line and theme park revenue, but if you jack up the prices and/or degrade the service quality too much with nickel-and-diming with Fast Passes, demand shrinks.
  • It's incredibly hard to change the institutional culture of a company that is that big and that old.

I doubt the DeSantis thing or the board room drama doesn't really mean a damn thing, versus the economic and cultural flow that's adjusting to a giant surplus of entertainment that's available everywhere all the time whenever you want it. Post-scarcity entertainment killed the music industry long ago, and now it's time that everything else gets shanked too.

That article seems to be trying to retrospectively put the blame for Disney's current woes on Chapek. Well, Iger is back so tough luck, he gets to carry the can (the same way the president in office, whoever he may be, gets the blame for the economy going wrong/the credit for the economy going right even if that is down to what his predecessor did).

And it doesn't seem like Iger was that hands-off even during his 'retirement', so the current slump in the stock prices (and unhappy shareholders) is on his plate and he has to deal with it. Whatever the truth is, part of the problem seems to be a struggle with Kathleen Kennedy over Star Wars and how that entire franchise is flailing around. Parks are losing money due to lack of visitors, for whatever reason (probably because when money is tight, expensive holidays to theme parks that will cost $$$$ is something that gets cut out of family budgets). Movies are tanking, and I'd say part of that is simply down to audience fatigue - they just milked the MCU cow until it dried up. Same with streaming, which is another household expense that is likely to be cut in budget pinches. And they shot themselves in the foot pulling ESPN from the cable network who are putting the blame squarely on Disney for wanting too high a price. As several Youtube channels have pointed out, over the holiday weekend a lot of people sat down to watch the game or the tennis on their cable subscription, couldn't get it, and when they rang up to complain, were told Disney wanted to charge too much.

CNBC is owned, ultimately, by Comcast which has a two-thirds stake in Hulu with Disney holding the remaining third. They agreed that Disney would buy all the stakes in Hulu, so right now there's a lot of horse trading going on about getting Disney to pay what Comcast evaluates their stake is worth. I imagine this news story is part of all that - sure, Disney may be in trouble right now but that's not Iger's fault, so could you please not tank the stock price so we can get our money out of them before they go belly-up?

I don't think Disney is going to go belly-up, but I think there's going to be a lot of retrenchment before the books get balanced, and a lot of shows and movies given the green light or in consideration may be pulled.

I also think getting into the fight with DeSantis was just plain stupid; all the crowing online over how Disney was so big and so rich with such great lawyers that they'd force DeathSantis to crumble, because they were fighting on the right side of history for LGBTQ+ rights, was nonsense. Disney is in financial stormy waters right now, and posting photos online of guys in drag selling princess dresses to little girls is going to help convince a lot of people "Maybe we'll go to Universal Studios and Mario Land instead".

Post-scarcity entertainment killed the music industry long ago

Record labels have 10x’d their valuations from the nadir over a decade ago thanks to Spotify, and Taylor Swift’s next tour will gross $3.5bn in North America alone. The music industry is probably more profitable than ever, but the money shifted in part to touring and live stuff.

That actually has similarities to Disney. Disney owns the parks, which are the entertainment equivalent of a Taylor Swift tour (expensive and an experience participants save for and look forward to), and which are fantastically profitable.

The problem was (as others have said) that Iger spent tens of billions on TV and movie content at the exact time that was becoming less profitable and the ESPN cash cow was drying up.

How do record labels make money when every song I can think of is available from youtube for free? I don't understand why Spotify has revenue. Just download songs and put them on your phone? How hard is that?

I pay for spotify and when I find tracks I like I buy the flacs from the artists. I'm mostly paying Spotify for convenience (playing music I don't listen to for other people/events) and for access to the algorithm, which has found a lot of incredibly nice artists that fit my incredibly niche tastes.

Nearly all of those songs are on YouTube channels that send their ad revenue to the record companies.

Just download songs and put them on your phone? How hard is that?

I used to do this, and then I got a trial Spotify subscription and never went back - what they really sell is convenience. The value to me of my time and attention is greater than their fee.

Isn’t YouTube lower quality? Also for $10 a month the library that follows you everywhere, can be streamed or downloaded anywhere and has pretty much every song in the standard version directly available is pretty convenient.

Maybe so, especially if it's one of those youtube videos that was uploaded 13 years ago by the Peruvian fans of a Finnish band with some random anime stitched onto it... but that's part of the charm IMO!

  1. for many people "download songs and put them on your phone" is a hard challenge to overcome.

  2. many people prefer to listed to some prepared playlist rather than hand-curate and build music library

  3. for many people Spotify is cheap enough to round it to "free" - or at least considered cheaper than investing time into (1) and (2)

"when every song I can think of is available from youtube for free" - well, not every (the same goes for Spotify)

(Spotify is doomed to have no real profits, but that is a separate problem)

Shockingly most people browse without an adblocker. They couldn't figure out how to download a video if you put a gun to their head. Spotify, sells convenience and a clean conscience that you're not stealing from your favorite artist.

Convenience is an interesting factor here. People my (our?) generation had a vague sense of anxiety, that our kids are going to run circles around us with regards to technology the same way we did around our parents, only for it to turn out that growing up with "streamlined" software made them effectively technologically illiterate.

The parks are an important way to generate revenue, but they only work if new generations get the same buzz from high giving Mickey or walking through Radiator Springs. There are far less expensive alternatives and far better thrill rides at other parks.

I think Disney was boned no matter what.

I think Iger knew this and resigned at a strategically optimal time to avoid it being on his record. Most of Disney's problems start with decisions made in Iger's tenure. Lots of people dont understand how amazing,yet bonkers, the ESPN/Disney cable model was (still is). They made most of their money from non-customers. ESPN was $10-15 a month in carriage fees, and was included in most standard packages (Disney would through its weight around to ensure it was, and made it so cable companies that didn't play ball got squished). Now, ESPN is a hugely popular channel, for cable, but even so, most cable subscribers dont watch ESPN, or if they do, only do for a few games a year. Those people were paying $12/month to ESPN for years! They tried to double down on that by buying RSNs, which they thought they could do the same with, but Comcast, et al, had caught on and didn't let Disney force them to include $10 a month channels like NESN and YES be bought by every subscriber in Boston/NY respectively. And thus that move blew up in their face (while Rupert Murdoch laughed while swimming in his money pit).

Going to Disney world is still a very different experience compared to pretty much any entertainment platform.

They are better positioned compared to most entertainment platforms.

Which would be fine if that were all they did, but they have an entire media empire to feed. The theme parks make money, but not enough to subsidize the rest of the business.

Not only that, but the theme parks are tied to IP. And they’re screwing up the IPs appeal to the kinds of people who would choose Disney themed vacations. Soccer moms are the ones who want to take the kids to Disney or book a Disney cruise. But, this is no longer a guaranteed family friendly brand. They might not let their kids watch Disney, they’d be turned off by gay days at the park (which are pretty well known), and are not family friendly especially if you’re from a conservative part of the country or are religious,

  1. They should spin out sports. Not a core business.

  2. They should be content creators; not distributors. Hulu was a mistake. Disney+ was a big mistake.

  3. Focus on what makes you different. For them, it is classic IP entangled with some of the most unique family fun vacation spots. Focus on that (distributing the IP in movies and toys; use that IP to get people to vastly overpriced theme parks).

Disney+ was a big mistake.

Disney had to make an app. The nightmare scenario was Netflix eating the world, and using their audience control as leverage to take all the profits on any given production after it left theaters. Every studio needed an app as a backup play, so they all made them.

The big mistake was the streaming wars. For a decade, every media exec lost their minds and decided the only way to win was to bury their enemies in piles of content. But, as it turns out, there's just not that many competent people in Hollywood. No amount of money will call forth a writer into existence. If in a given year there's 10 good movies and 10 mediocre ones, then an executive mandate to produce 100 movies will... produce 10 good movies and 90 mediocre ones. Disney+ was full to the top with shitty exclusives and interminable Marvel miniseries that went nowhere and meant nothing.

That's fine, they said. We'll just keep going. Eventually our enemies will run out of money and give up. The stock market will always give us infinite amounts of money and interest rates will always be zero. (The Uber/Lyft playbook, or the explosion in scooter rental apps)

But what if the winner of the streaming wars is... nobody? Disney and Netflix are in trouble. Paramount physically cannot stop making Star Trek junk. Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video are side plays run by notoriously ruthless CEOs who will cut anchor the minute they stop being profitable. The studios have picked a moronic fight with both the unions and started a strike that has dragged on for more than a hundred days. What if they all go bankrupt, and Hollywood has to reboot from nothing?