FDA rebukes noted vampire Peter Thiel

Beware of Using Young People's Blood to Halt Aging:

"There is no proven clinical benefit of infusion of plasma from young donors to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent these conditions, and there are risks associated with the use of any plasma product," the FDA said in a statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Peter Marks, head of the agency's biologics center.

The idea of infusing young blood to fight aging has attracted technology entrepreneurs like billionaire Peter Thiel. [...]

"We're concerned that some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies," Gottlieb and Marks said. "Such treatments have no proven clinical benefits for the uses for which these clinics are advertising them, and are potentially harmful."

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we need a new restaurant manager. Again.

Well, our restaurant manager rage-quit again. This one only lasted two weeks. The last one lasted five!

Both of these guys had extensive experience actually running restaurants, and sounded like they knew what they were doing. And then both of them basically said: "The restaurant has this list of problems (that you explicitly told me about before you hired me). You should probably fix those, bye!"

I mean, no joke, in the interviews we would say, repeatedly, "We're not looking to hire someone who's going to say to us, 'You should have more checklists!' We're looking to hire someone who, as the manager, is going to make those checklists, and make sure they are followed." Both of them said, "Absolutely, I'm your guy!" Then a couple weeks later, "You should get some checklists, good luck with that!"

Double-you tee fuck.

This is so frustrating, because we know there are problems -- money-losing problems -- with our restaurant, and the solution to literally every one of those problems begins with, "Step 1: Hire a competent manager". Right now restaurant management is being spread between three or four people who all have other full time jobs here, jobs which are also critical.

Anyway, here's here's our Craigslist ad. Help, help.


Today in Youtube's joke of a fair-use appeal process

Every few days, my robots generate a compilation video of DNA Lounge's upcoming shows, comprised of a ~20 second clip from a music video by each of the upcoming bands, like so. It gets uploaded to our various social media accounts.

Currently, three of the bands we have booked are apparently wholly-owned subsidiaries of multinational media conglomerates who would prefer that we not promote their live concerts.

So my morning ritual for the last couple of weeks has been to paste this into the Youtube copyright claim dispute form:

DNA Lounge is a concert venue. This video contains extremely brief clips from videos of bands who are booked to perform live at this venue in the coming weeks.

These bands are putting on live shows on our stage. We are using these videos to get people to show up and pay money to the bands who made them.

This is literally why music videos were invented.

This is the seventh time I have submitted this same dispute, with no response. Apparently your robots are going to do this every single time I post a video. That's fabulous.

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Teletype Model 33

Turn the sound on! Though I was hoping that it would overstrike so much that it cut through the paper.

Actually <STRIKE> should do that. To your screen.

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Today in Hot Superyacht Probs

The Lonely Life of a Yacht Influencer

"Nah, I'm nobody you'd know," he assured me. "I'm here to take some pictures and post some video stories of the yacht, which a brokerage group is trying to sell. The watch is a loaner from a friend. I wear it, take a picture of my wrist and tag his company on my Instagram account. It's just a small part of the hustle."

The yacht hustle, I soon learned, was the all-consuming passion of Jimenez's life. He went from a guy who took Instagram pictures, always head-on yacht shots run through one of the generic filters, to a guy that yacht brokers paid to stay on their yachts in order to mention that said yachts were docked in a port and available for sale or charter. He was helicoptered from yacht to yacht, and slept in the smallest guest cabins. [...]

For Jimenez, Instagram is essentially a money tree that must be fertilized and harvested as much as possible before its popularity wanes. As another side hustle, he "plants" subsidiary yacht accounts, accounts with soundalike names and images, and uses cross-promotion from his primary account to grow them until they're large enough to sell to yacht brokers or manufacturers. "I build them up and then sell them off, and my client gets a ready-made account that has real followers and legitimate engagement," he told me. "I started focusing on that when I realized that this wasn't just a 'life of the party' job, that pushing social media is something you do all day and all night long.

"I fire off these posts while I'm sitting around on the yacht, when things are very slow. I'm not in this for the fun of it, I'm not posting silly stuff. I basically do sponsored advertisements that follow a set format. I watch Instagram like a hawk to see if anything is hampering the growth of these other accounts, and to see if I'm continuing to get the activity I need on my primary posts."

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Happy Third Birthday, Priscilla Stratton!

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Another week, another round of bounces

Apparently godaddy has started blacklisting me. (That's rich.) Do any of you know an actual human with the ability to fix this? To the surprise of nobody, their "this is not spam" URL goes unread and un-acknowledged.

host smtp.secureserver.net[] said: 552 5.2.0 tlRzg1a4wUChi - tlRzg1a4wUChitlS0gcjFz This message has been rejected due to content judged to be spam by the internet community IB212 - If you feel this is in error, please submit a request using the following page. <https://checkspam.secureserver.net/?sid=tlRzg1a4wUChi&mid=tlRzg1a4wUChitlS0gcjFz>

Incident IDs 38224588 and 38278974, for what that's worth, which is apparently nothing.

If you've stopped receiving DNA Lounge announcements or order confirmations, thank your ISP, I guess.

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Recent movies and TV

Taking a shot at writing up these reviews more often than once a year. Current technique: scribbling these down on my phone as I'm watching them instead of only obsessively playing Threes.

Future Man: They spent almost the entirety of the most recent season doing a Mad Max pastiche with almost no time travel in it, and I was totally not here for that. BUT the last episode snuck in so much fantastic time travel humor that it almost made up for the rest -- why wasn't that episode the whole season??

Deadly Class: I'm on the fence about this. On the plus side, I love shows set in historic San Francisco; the characters, though clichés, are charming clichés; the music is good. On the minus side: OMG clichés; they are doing nothing to make this organization or its mission make any damned sense. We're talking "less sense and less exposition than John Wick" and that's not a high bar.

Sex Education: Virgin teen becomes freelance sex therapist. Antics ensue. Much dong. It's pretty hilarious.

Russian Doll: First of all, it was bold to release it on Groundhog Day! I loved it, but apparently I'm a sucker for Groundhog Day movies. And I am happy that Groundhog Day has become a genre: Happy Death Day, Before I Fall, About Time, Groundhog Troopers or whatever it was called...

Anyway, I normally I can't get in to shows where I dislike all of the characters, and nearly everyone in this show was a deeply unpleasant person -- the lighter on the retractable keychain might be the most irritating affection of any character ever -- but I really liked this show and even rooted for them. Especially all of the cosmological theories that she kept throwing out while trying to work out why it was happening: "New theory! You're me!" And the REDACTED being used as a clock was nice.

Some review called it "the most New York show ever" but I think it might be the most New York hating show ever. Whoever wrote this has spent time at some absolutely intolerable parties.

Prospect: This was excellent. It felt like a small story set in the Firefly universe. Prospectors and double-crosses and missing the last train out. The tech looked very Nostromo and the MacGuffins were not over-explained.

Destination Wedding: This is the greatest. Keanu and Winona just snark at each other the whole time. Literally nobody else has a line. It is just so full of bitterness and bile, it's like if Hal Hartley or David Mamet made Before Sunrise. I loved it completely.

Replicas: Oh Keanu. Why. Things were going so well. Why. Why. Why did you make this.

Summer '03: A teen coming-of-age-disaster movie. It's cute and funny.

Juliet, Naked: A woman starts having a thing with a washed-up rock star who is idolized by her soon-to-be-ex boyfriend. It's a rom-com in the vein of Nick and Nora or High Fidelity, except the people are older and even more sad and bitter.

The New Romantic: A girl decides to be a "sugar baby" for an older guy and eventually realizes, hey, this guy's not really boyfriend material and is kind of a piece of shit. It was decent. Also, love is dead.

Double Indemnity (1944): A great "let's do a murder" noir. The plan seems really solid. Spoiler: it doesn't work out.

Don't Bother to Knock (1952): A Marilyn Monroe movie I'd never heard of. Damn, this is dark! Without spoiling it, I enjoyed how they messed with your assumptions about who the villain was going to be.

Lifechanger: A story about an obligate bodysnatcher. It has first person narration, and yet the protagonist is a murderous stalker, which was an interesting choice.

Mandy: The fuck did I just watch? It was stylish but there was nothing there.

Overlord: Nazi zombies. Yawn. Was this written by a bot? I'm going with yes.

Prince of Darkness (1987): This movie still rules. This is such an excellent example of taking goofy Christian mythology, and goofy quantum physics theories, and even a hint of time travel, green vomit, and Alice Cooper as a creepy homeless zombie dude, and managing to put it all together in a way where the audience says, "With you so far, do go on." Bravo. "I've got a message for you. And you're not going to like it..."

Mortal Engines: Rarely have I heard worse dialog or more pathetic technobabble. What a nonsensical, hackneyed piece of shit. Even the effects didn't keep my attention for five whole minutes through the entire movie. This is exactly the kind of movie where you might be saying, "Ok, but the effects were good" but, no. Just no. I had to go and rewatch Howl's Moving Castle just to get the bad taste out of my mouth. (Howl's Moving Castle is still excellent, BTW.)

Tales from Earthsea: A Ghibli movie that I somehow hadn't heard of. I don't remember anything about the Earthsea books, besides liking them as a child. This was ok.

Monster Party: A fun locked-room twist on a family of psychos (subclass "millionaire" rather than "hillbilly"). I liked the "we are recovering addicts" aspect of it. Not to be confused with Murder Party, which was also fun.

The Nun: Honestly, I only watched this because I saw someone do a really good Halloween costume of it. It was forgettable, but it has some good scares and makeup. I gather it is set in some "Amityville" timeline? Is that the same as the Fast and Furious timeline? It must be. It also must be as loose a connection as the Hellraiser timeline.

Into the Dark: This is an anthology series, and mostly it's garbage. It's odd how each of the episodes seems interesting for about 10 minutes and then becomes completely hateful and annoying. The Body was ok (but too long). The Pooka was particularly bad. The "trapped in an elevator" one started out ok then reminded me, oh wait, there's literally only one story to tell about being trapped in an elevator. Then they told that one.

Episode 4 was pretty good, though: New Year, New You is on the theme of, "Instagram Influencers are awful, awful people". It was not terribly predictable and had a great ending. I like that "Instagram Hate" is a genre now. That has a future. See also A Simple Favor, Ingrid Goes West.

Patient Seven: An anthology where a doctor talks to some evil patients. Some of the stories were good but all were mercifully brief: only about ten minutes each. The framing story was well acted, but didn't make a whole lot of sense in the end. Oddly, one was a repeat: The Body was the same story as in Into the Dark! It was done much better here (proving that Into the Dark took ten minutes of story and stretched it to 90.)

After my last trip to Disneyland, it occurred to me that I barely remembered a bunch of the movies that the rides are based on, so I spun through a few of them:

Mary Poppins: I'm pretty sure that somehow I never saw this movie at all, and wow, it's pretty great! And it has a decidedly anticapitalist bent. Enough to make me wonder if Walt was secretly a Red. (Yes, I am aware of the revisionism of Saving Mr. Banks.) (No, I haven't seen the sequel yet.)

Peter Pan: Daaaaaaamn this is racist. Every character except Tink is a horrible person, and she's a pretty nasty piece of work, too.

Sleeping Beauty / Snow White: Why do these two movies have exactly the same plot? What the fuck are the dwarves? No wonder I get the Evil Queen and Maleficent confused all the time. These movies are Pretty but Not Good.

Pinocchio: I would say that mostly this is just unnecessarily long. (See what I did there. Yeah but it's true.)

The Gong Show: (2017) I love all incarnations of The Gong Show unrepentantly. This revival came out a year and a half ago but I've been making my way through it slowly, like gum stuck to my headboard or an everlasting gobstopper, because I don't want it to end.

Now let me be clear: the acts are great! However, the weird-assed mutant that Mike Meyers is playing as the host is intolerable, and the judges mostly aren't that funny -- but they are, at least, not overly mean. And that's an important feature in a Gong Show judge. It's too easy to just go mean.


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DNA Lounge: Wherein Goldenvoice's dismantling of San Francisco's local music industry continues apace.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with someone who works security at Slim's. He said something to the effect of, "Goldenvoice is terrible, but our contract with them is only for another year or two, so maybe after that things will go back to normal." I didn't have the heart to say to him, "How's that going to happen when you no longer have a booking or promotions department? They fired everybody!"

Slim's, Great American Music Hall Workers Axed as Goldenvoice Expands:

A year after Slim's and the Great American Music Hall inked a booking agreement with corporate promoter Goldenvoice, [publicist Tanya] Pinkerton, [...] manager Dana Smith and promoter Tracey Buck were also laid off. Goldenvoice, Pinkerton was told by email, already had concert listings covered. [...]

The layoffs came one year after Slim's and GAMH, for years considered two of the city's flagship independent venues, outsourced booking to Goldenvoice, the Coachella promoter that, like competitor Live Nation, has dramatically expanded in the Bay Area. [...] With Slim's and GAMH, Goldenvoice now runs concert promotions at every level -- from a small club to a large festival -- in the Bay Area. [...]

AEG, Goldenvoice's parent company, is owned by Philip Anschutz, a multibillionaire conservative philanthropist with an anti-LGBTQ record. Corporate saturation of the local concert market is also detrimental, critics say, to a healthy local scene of independent venues and promoters, as well as local bands and fans.

Jamie Zawinski, the owner of Slim's neighbor DNA Lounge, is among the local music industry figures sounding the alarm about Goldenvoice and Live Nation. In response to the Slim's and GAMH partnership, he wrote a widely shared blog post arguing that the companies' expansive concert and ticketing holdings are monopolistic and "bad for our culture as a whole." [...]

Since Goldenvoice took over the calendars, venue management left its SoMa office. Anthony Bedard, the junior talent buyer and longtime Hemlock Tavern booker, was let go early last year. The most recent layoffs, according to Pinkerton, reflect Goldenvoice's regional workers taking on more promotions and marketing duties for the venues.

I feel it's worth re-emphasizing this quote from early last year:

[Danny Bell, a Goldenvoice talent-buyer] declined to comment on the details. But he said little to assuage concerns that the company won't continue Bedard's curatorial vision, or that it'll neglect local music. "SF is a great music town. With any strong local music scene, there's a lot of great local acts," Bell said. "Is it a priority? It's tough to say. I think it just naturally happens. I know that we came on up here with one goal -- to do cool shit."

As I said at the time,

That last paragraph is particularly telling. Here's how I read it: The question put to the Goldenvoice rep is, "Now that you control the music industry in this town, what are you going to do to preserve the music culture that was here before you bought your way in?" And their answer is, "Hey, that's your problem, not ours." \_(ツ)_/

It's the Gordon Gecko model of concert promotion: if at any moment, a thing is worth more money by cutting it up and selling it off for parts, do that. Then move on to raze the next thing.

Please contribute to the DNA Lounge Patreon so that we don't end up being the next venue tossed into the mass grave where SF's music scene used to be.

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Files? Those are for old people, right?


[My kid] explained MP3s to a friend as "like printing off an internet article, so you can keep it around, because some people like that, I guess."

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