Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Only a company as fundamentally unhinged as AD Vision would plant an article about the need to "make friends" with their customers, and then allow the writer to preface the story with a typical aren't-anime-fans-insane-and-scary anecdote. The applicable phrase would seem to be "cognitive dissonance". You just don't "make friends" by implying that your target audience is delusional by telling a story about a member of that audience who is a literal STALKER. You don't! Well, not if you want to actually "make friends". Let's not even get into the whistling-past-the-graveyard inherent in letting said writer's editor title said article "It's... Profitmon!", when said company has famously and recently suffered a very public re-trenchment and financial setback. This isn't insider stuff, people. Everyone but the hypothetical reader of Fortune should have heard of this, if they've heard of ADV at all.

In the process, anime and manga firms have taken on forms very different from Hollywood studios or publishing houses.

Oh, so that'’s the way they'’re going to justify the industry'’s mortifyingly poor standards of professionalism, is it? The sloppy ineptitude and open hostility that "professional" companies like ADV display are a result of their "friend-making" strategy, and not the bastard child of the industry's penchant for hiring the youngest, dumbest, and most-related work-for-pennies-on-the-dollar slackasses they can find, is it then?

Look, any creative industry that specializes in fantasies is going to have to deal with those emotionally and mentally under-equipped people whom fantasy attracts - the ones who can'’t quite handle reality, and have decided to squat in your dreamcastles. What you do with those folks defines who you are. It's one thing to make fun of your peers, as a fellow occasional-wanderer-from-reality yourself. It's quite another to mock those from whom you're wringing your daily bread. Especially in a piece aimed at the money-men who will theoretically bail your half-insolvent ass out of whatever mess you'’re currently in, you ungrateful pack of jackasses.

As for the extended section talking about the industry's alleged toleration of fansubtitlers, I can't imagine why anyone involved thought it was a good idea for an article playing up ADV's strengths. For one thing, as I understand it, a company acknowledging that they're willing to tolerate infringements of their intellectual property are opening themselves up to losing that property in the American legal context. It's deeply stupid to talk about it in the press. It's a strategy that depends on insider knowledge and group mores, rather than legal protections. Even "open secrets" ought not to be published.

I suppose I ought to mention that they touch on The Con in passing, claiming that "scalpers" were selling "tickets" in the second page of the article. Thanks for that little bit of libel, Fortune! Hope the IRS doesn'’t get the idea that The Con sells "tickets", and decides to yank our 501(c)3 status based on that bit of ABSOLUTE FALSEHOOD! Not to mention this being the very first indication that there *were* scalpers that I've heard of... I'm inclined to *not* blame ADV for that particular failing. It has "stupid, lazy reporter" written all over it in letters of fire.

Update: see here for an example of the fannish bitchiness and utter rudeness characteristic of a certain caustic breed of fanboy, and how one line of ADV products are *TAILORMADE* to implicitly insult their own customers. It's kind of dodgy when fan-run conventions make "got soap?" jokes. No theoretically professional organization ought to do this sort of thing. It isn't playful, it's rude.

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