Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I'm sick.

It's ironic how the body chooses its moments to acquiesce. I was reading a terrific but terrifying article, imagining a post antibiotic world. (Another great find by the ever watchful Barry)

Do you know about this story?

It's like climate change all over again. Yes, while we are all kept distracted by cooking shows, or the headline news story is an Australian billionaire engaging in a street fight with an Australian millionaire, experts are setting fire to the red flag, trying desperately to gain our attention.

Antibiotic resistance is accelerating. Bugs are mutating more rapidly, becoming impervious to treatment. The experts are moving beyond planning disaster scenarios and actually speculating of a world where the current paradigm no longer applies, replaced with a great unknown. A world without antibiotics.

You're tough, you say. Not a problem, you say.

And then you read the story about a firefighter, who lived just before the advent of antibiotics and who died from an infection for which there was no salvation.

The cause? Scratching his face on a rose bush.


And in this midst of this 'Dr Google' fueled paranoia, my body ironically decided it was time to power down the immune system.

Congested. Unable to sleep. Feckless.

When morning came, my eyes stung from a night of staring at the inside of my eye lids. Eyes closed, but never asleep. Eventually, thankfully, I passed out.

But you can't fight biology. As soon as sunlight touches your eyes, no matter how far into the well of slumber you fell, your brain reboots.

So, there I was. A head full of marshmallow fluff, but a bit better rested. Seemed like as a good a time as any to catch up on emails.

The universe has a baffling synchronicity. I read about a post antibiotic world. I become sick. I sit down to read emails, and the predominant theme is responses to my thoughts on 'The Walking Dead', a post-viral apocalypse TV show.


And there was a particular reply that I thought was worth examining. A perspective that I was being an 'apologist' for piracy, and that AMC has the right to exploit the financial returns of the 'Walking Dead' in whatever way they choose. In Australia, or anywhere else.

A fair point.

However short sighted it may be. McDonald's have a right to charge $45 for a hamburger. How long would they remain in business?

Rights have nothing to do with it. The engagement with audiences is all about RELATIONSHIPS.

This is why we have had to work so hard to bring people back from piracy, to streaming services overseas, in the first place. Audiences have been mistreated. Overcharged for a trip to the cinema. Overcharged again for a small disk worth mere cents. Blocked from accessing online streaming services that they can see online but not subscribe to.

Is it any wonder the public have no loyalty to film as an art form? It's an abusive relationship, and the audience finally found a way out via piracy.

But thankfully, filmmakers and visual storytellers have learned the error of our ways. We are trying to woo audiences back, with convenience, reasonable pricing and great content.

But not in Australia.

In Australia, audiences are still being locked in cupboards. Forced to wait longer than everyone else. Pay more than audiences elsewhere for an identical digital file. Or forced to buy the premium version of an expensive payTV service, just so they can watch their favourite content STILL later than everyone else.

And why?

Because of powerful companies, lobbying to keep the direct to audience streaming services out of Australian homes. Fighting to retain their role as middle men between the audience and the content.

Am I missing something?

We need to think beyond this paradigm. How much longer should a middle man exist when I can get the content, directly, from the content maker? Why do they have a role at all?

Before you answer, remember that no middle-man intervenes without taking their cut, adding to the overall end price. And nothing irritates an audience more than having to pay a higher price, for exactly the same thing, for absolutely no reason.

It's quite simple. Just give audiences what they want. Now. I know that's not the current model, but since when did the parasite dictate the actions of the host?

Is that the character of the Australian media distribution landscape? One giant Ophiocordyceps?

We are moving into a post-paradigm world. Either we start illuminating that great unknown, thinking about what the world can look like when the models we know break down, or we can leave it to providence.

I want an alternative when antibiotics are no longer effective. I want a new model and engaged audiences when the current content distribution models are permanently disrupted by technology.

Because I want my post-paradigm apocalypse to remain where it belongs.

In the 'Walking Dead'.

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