Gillmor Gang: Old Brown Shoe

My favorite show right now is Succession, the fictionalization of the Murdoch family and its media empire. It’s relentlessly funny, as the patriarch and children vie for being the most reprehensible. It’s a big tie; each of the principals vacillates between nervous self-doubt and over the top belief that they are somehow close to omnipotent in the struggle for control of the family business. Characters from last season who seemed somewhat exaggerated are this year normalized in their interactions with the others. My favorite is one of the Culkins, who uses the Culkin look to explain how he interchangeably got the part. It reminds me of Bogart, who history remembers a star because there’s no way of prying his strength as an actor apart from the cumulative roles he played. Of all the gin joints….

These were the early catchphrases, before Bill Cosby and his Noah routine with God, and Bob Newhart’s phone conversations with himself. Buy the setup, buy the bit. Kubrick further compressed this in Dr. Strangelove with Peter Sellers’ “precious bodily fluids.” Then George Harrison in Hard Days Night: “She’s a drag, a well known drag…” George Martin had produced live albums with the Goons, and Richard Lester when he and Sellers directed the Goons’ short film. Now it was the two first Beatle films. Hard Days Night was black and white, the feel of the French New Wave with lightweight cameras and location photography seamlessly intertwined with Kubrick’s 2001 Space Opera. Each method informed the other. The onboard computer HAL in 2001 used the same laconic detached attitude (I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t do that) to reject his captive astronaut, that George Harrison did when threatened with losing the part he was ostensibly up for (I don’t care.) Each was a role reversal, as the Beatle took over from the arrogant adman whose office he’d wandered into, and the computer took over from his ostensible human boss. HAL is not sorry, and George really doesn’t care.

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but the other shoe dropped as Clubhouse released Replay. It doesn’t let you record private sessions, or even sessions visible only to those you’ve followed. Makes sense for promoting the people (called creators) who think their work should be preserved or post-produced as we do to add music and titles. I do care about these things, and suspect there are lots of others who do too. Catchphrases stick because the combination of rhythm and resignation (I don’t care) produces a calming effect. Many enjoy podcasts, but I prefer the serendipity of conversation to the mountain made out of a molehill. Streaming may replace podcasts as the government deems broadband an inalienable right. What’s left to determine is the economic model that incentivizes production.

By default, Clubhouse record is enabled if the session is public. Upon completion, each speaker’s profile adds a link to the room. If you are the host of the room, you can download an MP4 and post produce it, but my favorite is to share a link to a notification stream like Twitter or a newsletter. By clicking on the Listen To button, you can listen to the session and skip forward from speaker to speaker. So, three steps: start a room, share the conversation, and follow the thread as it forks over the social networking landscape. Low friction, ubiquitous tools and broadband, and the economic model of establishing trust in the fruits of collaboration. Not bad for a few good minutes in the gig/creator economy.

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The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, November 5, 2021.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

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