Home > Uncategorized > Playing Off Key: The Hobbit Schmoax

Playing Off Key: The Hobbit Schmoax

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

As the lights go down on the dreary, predictable final scene of Survivor: Hobbiton, who isn’t feeling a little bit cheapened by the whole affair?

It was in equal parts scam, sham and hoax.

It was a schmoax.

By visiting NZ and agreeing to lengthy meetings with the country’s Prime Minister and government officials, it is obvious that Warner Bros. never intended to walk.

Let me repeat: there is no way known such a visit, and such meetings, could have taken place if the outcome was even slightly in doubt.

Reputational considerations are paramount in these discussions, and Warners would never, ever have allowed bad news to flow from a strategy that involved meetings with leaders of sovereign governments, not to mention such extreme levels of national pride and sensitivity.

These are American film-makers, for christ’s sake, and the narrative arc in play was predictable even by their standards. Triumph was the only possible outcome.

What is less clear is who was in on the schmoax. A final reveal reel is needed.

Was this an elaborate plot to undermine unions and bolster the political Right? Were Key and Jackson in cahoots all along? Did the Warner suits just play along in return for an Antipodean jaunt? Or are they the master-villains here?

Who played whom, and in what order?

The answer is almost certainly none of the above. I never buy conspiracy theories because they always rely on non-existent levels of competence and superhuman discretion on the part of the alleged conspirators.

But, by the time Warners hopped on their plane at LAX, this deal was done and dusted. That much seems certain to me.

The casting of hapless Union officials as evildoers and the firing up of national sentiment was probably opportunistic rather than the product of deliberate strategy or conspiracy. But, by the end, it was cynical and fairly despicable nonetheless.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 27, 2010 at 20:18

    Phil every team player knows if you get in a good position it’s easy to do well for your team, and if you pick a poor position it will be easy for your opponent(s) to exploit you.
    The PM didn’t even have to try to score as the luvvies seemed hell bent on own goals.
    BUT let’s not pretend. The Employment Ministers in the Clark government pushed through a deal of ambiguous and complicated law; Margaret Wilson cheerfully opined that “judges will sort it out” so there are plenty of weaknesses to be fixed, this is just the squeakiest wheel.
    AND what real harm was done to Ms Kelly? It’s not like she and her mates were bashed or raped or killed off, more that they were persuaded to bend over with a sign saying “kick me”. There will be some teasing but there’s no real humiliation, no cause for changes in personnel in the CTU. Equity have been exposed as poorly organised, this won’t be a shock. If their registration process involves a web site as bloody awful as the new one we use to renew company registrations they have my sincere sympathy, it nearly drove me to tears of rage.
    Lastly Phil, really which of these Union officials will enjoy being described as hapless?
    If the incident restores some manners to negotiation that will be a bonus for all.
    Cheers, James

  1. October 27, 2010 at 21:27

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