There’s a piece of writing that I find so funny that when I’ve tried reading it out loud a dozen or so times – almost always to an audience of students – I can’t get through the whole thing without bursting into laughter.
This work was written by Ian Frazier and was published for the first time. New Yorker in 1990 and later as part of Frazier’s short humor collection of the same name. This article is written as an opening statement from Wile E. Coyote’s attorney, Harold Schoff, in Mr. Coyote’s lawsuit against the Acme Corporation, alleging that Acme products repeatedly failed to assist Mr. Coyote in his pursuit of the Roadrunner. Failures that caused “bodily harm” to Mr. Coyote, including:
1. Severe burning of the hair on the head, neck and nose.
2. Sooty discoloration.
3. The left ear is broken at the stem, causing the ear to shake and shake in the aftershock.
4. Complete or partial burning of the whiskers causes curling, fraying and ash dispersion.
5. Radical enlargement of the eyes due to burning of the eyebrows and eyelids.
The deadpan tone of the opening statement compared to the absurdity of Wile E. Coyote’s plight kills me every time. I giggled thinking about it.
Imagine my excitement when I learned that the track’s live-action and animation-combining film adaptation (“Coyote vs. Acme”), from Looney Toon Studios, had been completed and received positive pre-release feedback.
Imagine my disappointment when it was announced that Looney Toons’ parent company, Warner Bros., would shelve the film to claim a $30 million tax deduction, as they had done twice before on “Batgirl” and “Scoob.” ! Holiday Fairy.”
We’re talking about a fully completed movie starring John Cena and Will Forte that Warner Bros. will effectively keep from audiences permanently.
This is completely legal.
It shouldn’t be. It seems utterly foolish to have a system where it makes more money to create and embed entertainment than to share it with audiences.
Two possible alternatives come to my mind. A book I borrowed from the publishing house. If you’re the author of a book that a publisher decides to take out of print and cease distribution – a situation I’m unfortunately quite familiar with – the rights revert back to the author to do with as they see fit. In my case this makes no sense, but at least in theory I can resell the rights or decide on the printing and distribution of a book on my own.
The other way is based on the idea that what the public pays for, the public gets to share. Given that the $30 million tax credit comes from our collective bottom line, movies like this that are shelved by studios should—at least in theory—make it. – moving into public space.
“Coyote vs. There is a happy ending in the “Acme” case; The public approval prompted Warner Bros. to reverse course and sell the film’s distribution rights to other companies; This means we can probably see results.
But this is a gap that needs to be closed so that creators who don’t have that much support behind them don’t see the hard work of artists and crew undermined by a studio looking for a quick profit.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro has vowed to begin hearings on the issue, saying the practice is akin to burning down a building for insurance money.
I hope the hearings will be swift and fair, and let us protect people’s rights over such interests.
John Warner is the author of “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Requirements.”
Book recommendations from Biblioracle
John Warner tells you what you should read, based on the last five books you’ve read.
1. “Praesidium: Shadows in the Wind (Book One)” by McKinley Aspen
2. “Thinking: Shadows in the Wind (Book Two)” by McKinley Aspen
3. “Like Lions” By Brian Panowich
4. “We Are Saved by Hope” By Jenny Lowe
5. “Eternal Nicholas” by Kim Conrey
—Patricia F., Addison, IL
I think Jasper Fforde’s “The Eyre Affair” has the right mix of fun, fantasy, and mystery to keep Patricia intrigued.
1. “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver
2. “Woman in the Lake” by Raymond Chandler
3. “The Adventure of Strange Protocols” By Nicholas Meyer
4. “Stranger in the Lifeboat” By Mitch Albom
5. “Muse” By Brittany Cavallaro
—Sharon K., Indian Head Park, IL
I would recommend Laura Lippman’s Chandleresque novel “The Woman at the Lake,” which is set in 1960s Baltimore, reverses Chandler’s premise, and has a very similar title.
1. “We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland” By Fintan O’Toole
2. “The Myth of America: Historians Address the Biggest Myths and Lies About Our Past” Edited by Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer.
3. “The World According to Garp” by John Irving
4. “I Have Some Questions for You” By Rebecca Makkai
5. “Holiday Land” By John Hodgman
-Sean G., Highwood, IL
For Sean, I recommend a sarcastic and humorous novel about human weaknesses: “The Sports Writer” by Richard Ford.
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