Fools Set On Fire

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in hermetically-sealed, sunlight-deprived hotel rooms this week. It hasn’t been all bad.

For starters, the freebie shampoo’s pretty good. Real nice, simple branding on the outside. Minty, fresh-smelling stuff in the inside. Kinda’ makes my scalp tingle.

I have two beds. That’s kinda’ fun. Yunno: one for eating on, another for sleeping on. No crumbs that way.

I’ve had room service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing spectacular, though the fresh fruit plate puts an East Coast fruit plate to shame. I’m talkin’ pineapple, people! And lots of it!They do a decent salmon salad. I’ve had that twice. And Sam Adams. In an ice bucket!

Points against, though, every time someone on the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel staff concludes a phone call thusly: “Delighted!”

Which is every time.

I’ve watched a few movies (not that The Network of Fun will pick up the tab on ’em). I watched “Children of Men” Wednesday night. Pretty good. Sorta’ bleek. I think I fell asleep for some of it. And last night I watched, “The Astronaut Farmer.” I love The Polish Brothers (the directors). They did “North Fork” and “Twin Falls Idaho.” This was kinda’ their mainstream, sell out flick. Still, it worked. Certainly more uplifting than “Children of Men.”

The Blossom Room at The Roosevelt Hotel? Where the OnHollywood confeence wrapped up last night? A whole lot darker than Renaissance #2026. Colder too. And those seats — man oh man! We’re talking painful. As in, been through a thousand wedding receptions painful. Won’t miss those.

The conference sure was interesting, though. We need to go to more of them. (Though they should probably send dudes who haven’t drank the digital Cool Aid.) Pretty academic, and super capitalist. But as long as I’m workin’ for The Man, valuable.

Thursday’s highlight was a panel of young people (mean age 25) called, “Is The IM Generation Really In Charge?”
My favorite observation came from a young trendspotter, Tristan Coopersmith (a ripe old thirty-year-old).

“This generation is not brand loyal,” she said. “They’re not a Coke or Pepsi generation. They grew up with 200 brand of water to choose from for God’s sake!”

I’ve already quoted her twice. I love the metaphor. Two-hundred choices for something essentially colorless, flavorless, and completely the same. What does that say for all the stuff that’s actually distinct from other stuff?

The last panel was the guys behind the insanely popular site, Funny Or Die — you know, the guys behind “The Landlord”. They did twenty-two million video streams in six days. It took YouTube six months to do that kind of traffic.

So it’s been an interesting week — fresh air, uncomfortable seats or not. It felt like going back to school for three days. Minus the keg parties and bong hits.