Information Society vs. VH1

Kurt told me about this a while ago, but I hadn't read his full write-up of it until now. Wow, isn't TV awesome? VH1 has this horrid show where they go harass former members of 80s bands and try to browbeat them into doing a reunion show for free. They tried that with Information Society, and it... didn't go well:

InSoc vs. TV!

What irritated me throughout this process, but especially when they intruded into my company's building, was that they seemed to be walking in this cloud of unreality about the true nature of what was going on. Somehow they just seemed to think that once everyone realized that "it's for TV! it's for TV!", that suddenly no one would really mind the disruption and lack of respect for real people doing real work to create real content. As though they were just above the hum-drum reality of real people leading real lives, and that they were exempt from all social constraints because it's FOR TV! It offended me. If they wanted to do this, they could have told the truth up front, they could have made a damned appointment, they could have cleared it with my company's management. And god, they lured Paul to Burbank from Topanga telling him they were going to give him WORK! OMG! He has two kids to support, ferchrissakes. Paul didn't seem too upset by it, but I felt outraged for him.
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19 Responses:

  1. zonereyrie says:

    Yeah, I read that a while back. It sounds like all the TV people involved were scum with massively over-inflated self-images. *Of course* everyone would want to be part of it! Yeah, right.

  2. jcterminal says:

    this is awesome. thanks!

  3. dfb says:

    Wait 'till it's the '20s, and the webcasters at cnet start trying to reassemble the original engineering teams from famous software projects for one last all-nighter.

  4. ciphergoth says:

    Kurt: Surely you know that this is not how contracts to perform concerts are arranged. (People who know me know that yes, I really would say something exactly like that.)

    Heh. I don't have any difficulty believing him, because this sounds like just the sort of thing I would say...

  5. nosrialleon says:

    Years ago I worked on a ferry. It's mid-summer in southern California, and we would all wear big straw hats to cut down on the serious sun damage from working outside all day. MTV decided to do some ridiculous beach city promotion and chose Newport Beach as one of their locations to spotlight. One of their alleged "personalities" wanted to borrow a coworker's hat for a segment, and when he was refused said "but... YOUR HAT will be on TV!!!!"

    Nedless to say, he still did not get to use the hat.

  6. wire_on_fire says:

    ...when I read Kurt's writings and your writings, JWZ, I start to wonder if its just the common results of being a geek-celeb, or if you two were seperated at birth.

    • Oh man. I'd have loved to be a fly on the wall when a VH1 TV crew busted into jwz's office. I mean, except for the part where I get splashed by blood.

    • otterley says:

      Or, you can just chalk it up to basic common sense. Media people are irritants, whether or not you've achieved some sort of notoriety. Ever been stuck in traffic caused by a news van?

      • wire_on_fire says:

        See, it's not necessarily the whole media-people-suck attitude. It's the basic way that jwz and kurt both express themselves when they are ticked off.

  7. spoonyfork says:

    I was a fan on Information Society back in the day. I can't stand VH1 or MTV. While the reading of Kurt's account makes the production company Evolution USA look like an ass, Kurt himself comes across as an ass as well. Reading between the lines it looks like he was leading them on for a reason that isn't quite apparent. If no means no, then why bother even discussing it with them? If Kurt truly didn't care about the "project" from minute one he wouldn't have been so upset over how it was developed and how it was portrayed. "Be camera-ready" indeed. I'm glad he didn't do it. I don't want any more nails in the coffin of my youth.

    Best part of article:
    ... start a stealth website about the show's production offices and team, tracking their movements, and finally telling them that Led Zeppelin are getting back together, and they can scoop it... only they arrive to find out that we're doing a show about them. Post all the video to the internet.

    • phreddiva says:

      While the reading of Kurt's account makes the production company Evolution USA look like an ass, Kurt himself comes across as an ass as well. Reading between the lines it looks like he was leading them on for a reason that isn't quite apparent. If no means no, then why bother even discussing it with them? If Kurt truly didn't care about the "project" from minute one he wouldn't have been so upset over how it was developed and how it was portrayed.

      If you knew Kurt, his response wouldn't come as a surprise to you at all. It's how he communicates.

  8. bifrosty2k says:

    I've always wondered what happened behind the scenes for these damn things, and I had often suspected things like this would happen.

    So one of them offers to pay me. I pointed out that since I didn't want to do it, my price would be higher than I'm worth, and that when they multiply that by 4, it would just break their budget. The guy points out that he's only extending this offer to ME, and not the other bandmembers.

    Thats just fucking typical, I would've called them every bad fucking name I could think of till I was blue in the face. What a bunch of douches.

  9. lherrera says:

    Gotta love scholar righteous anger.