Eat your heart out, Peter Cushing.

i have no clue
by Morbus

Normally when I put out Devil Shat, I try to have some theme, some magical piece of cohesion which will lend greater understanding when taken as a whole. Unfortunately, with this issue, this is not the case.

No, instead, we have an article about the Blair Witch movie, which as John so correctly points out, is the talk of the sub cultural world. I suspect that soon after its very limited release this Friday, the movie will be whispered all over the major papers, and we'll see a much more prominent saturation... time will tell, of course, but it's definitely a movie to look out for.

Secondly, we have an article from the great Cameron Barrett, reprinted with permission. If you like his simple answer to a simply posed question, then you do yourself some good to check out the rest of his site (URL below).

Myself, having been inundated with the demands of a new secret project, can only satisfy an introduction's worth of space. Any more would eat into our precious ten minutes... and we definitely don't need that.

Good day and enjoy.

blair witch, bitch
by John Treacy

WARNING: This is an exaggeration of capitalism gone too far. A farce made of a farce. In this article, the current darling of "sub-culture", "The Blair Witch Project", is bashed. As well as the capitalist juggernaut "". If you are offended by such musings or have bought into hype at any time in your life, this article may be hazardous to your health.

People will buy anything. And I do mean anything. Worse still if something of actual merit comes along... not only will people buy it, but they'll pay ridiculous amounts of money for it. A recent search for "blair witch" on eBay produced some surprising results: An original poster for the film from the Sundance Film Festival fetches between 75 and 150 dollars. An advance poster for the film from regular venues fetches 30 to 50 dollars. Press kits fetch an astronomical amount and the film itself is... well, not really available. There were a limited number of videos pressed by the original creators for distribution at Sundance... this was the whole film, widescreen, and videocassette. At eBay, it fetched around 800 dollars, but there's a small problem. The film is regarded as a promotional item and according to eBay rulings, promo's are not to be made available for auction.

So while some... person bid 800 dollars for a Blair Witch video, they won't be receiving it any time soon as the auction was taken down. But there it was: remnants of the biggest waste of money since the Stealth Bomber. Someone bid EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS for a video. What could one buy for 800 dollars? A good movie camera to make their own horror movie. A vending machine (which would theoretically be able to recuperate the lost 800... in about 15 years). A mail order bride or two. The possibilities are endless... yet I settled on a raft. Yes, a trusty sea craft. Water bound adventure in the making. A raft would be a far more practical use of 800 dollars (you could probably get one for a lot less, but it sounds good). But how much more practical? I made this handy chart to help you out.

Method of transportation:
BW: No
Raft: Yes

Can brave "the rapids":
BW: No
Raft: Yes

Could provide countless hours of entertainment:
BW: Maybe
Raft: Yes

Could cause cranial damage:
BW: Not Really
Raft: Yes (especially oars)

Would often make you wonder: "Why the hell did I buy this?":
BW: No
Raft: Yes

Would often make you wonder: "Why the hell did I spend 800 dollars on this?":
BW: Definitely
Raft: Maybe

Needs rewinding after use:
BW: Yes
Raft: No

High Maintenance:
BW: No
Raft: Yes

Could get you in touch with the great out doors:
BW: Maybe (the movie is set in the woods)
Raft: Yes

Could be broken down for fire wood:
BW: Yes (but wouldn't burn very long/toxic)
Raft: Yes

More likely to be stolen:
BW: Yes
Raft: I can't foresee this happening...

The choice is clear. And the message is too. Left to our own devices, modern Americans are so brain washed by capitalist society that no other option is conceivable. eBay and other auctions aren't examples of 'alternate living' methods. It's the same shit we live in every day in a new easy-to-swallow form. It's nice to think that we are somehow saying "no" to the world by getting our stuff this way, but it still boils down to the two evils: "getting" and "stuff". Will we ever grow beyond this rat race? As I ponder what auctions to partake in when I get my pay check, my answer is resounding.

what keeps you up atnight?
by Cameron Barrett

What keeps me up at night?

This was a question asked in Po Bronson's new book, "Nudist on the Late Shift and Other True Tales of Silicon Valley." Nudist is a wonderfully eclectic read of a book, full of Silicon Valley culture, societal influences, and stories, all told first-hand by a long-time industry insider. If you read only one book this year, you should read this one. Twice.

As a new media professional, I am well aware of the new economy being ushered in by the Internet and high technology. With Silicon Valley as its breeding grounds, the new media industry is turning the old media conglomerates into silly-putty, flubbering and flustering their way into expensive e-commerces web sites and new media land grabs (paying millions for established new media players).

I hear stories about programmers and developers being offered ludicrous amounts of money, in order to keep them on a project and see it to fruitition. I hear about 23-year old CEOs selling their two-year old Internet companies for millions (or even billions) of dollars. I hear about long-term established players like Microsoft shopping around Silicon Valley for startups that may allow them to extend their monopolies even further. And of course, I hear about how the Internet is going to change the way we live, the way we communicate, and the way we work. For me, it couldn't have come at a better time.

I'm young, I'm single, and I have an need for achievement that parallels many of the people who have been migrating west to Silicon Valley since 1994. For us, Silicon Valley is a place of fairytale magic that can make all your dreams come true. Gone are the years of climbing the corporate ladder so your ideas, your thoughts, and your vision will be taken seriously. Gone are the years of ass-kissing, the bad Christmas parties, and the house in the suburbs with an SUV in the drive. In place of this, is a new breed of company that welcomes out-of-the-box thinkers, high achievers, and workers willing to burn the midnight oil as long as their ideas are put into motion. It's no longer about money. It's no longer about stock options (although, those help). It's no longer about making the corporate boss happy by showing up for the 9-5 daily grind.

Like other people my age, I am seeking the career choice that will allow me to leave my mark on the world, that will allow me to voice an opinion or an idea and actually have it listened to. I am a dreamer, and I have "big ideas" just like everyone else in the new media industry. It does me no good to slave away in the bowels of an American corporation, doing my part tangled in an amazingly complex system of corporate politics, overpaid consultants, and clueless executives who are still nervously looking behind them because this "Internet thing" snuck up on them and bit them on the ass far too quickly.

If I were looking for a job where all I had to do is show up to work on time every day, get the job done, go home, and collect a paycheck every two weeks, then the typical American corporation would be my dream come true. But, that's not what I am looking for. I want to work for a company where the management recognizes my talent, my ideas, and my opinions, and acts upon them with true vigor. I want my years of industry experience to be recognized and for my knowledge and work ethic to lead me to the top of a company, not how good I can kiss ass or play the office politics game.

The fact that to get something done in a corporation even requires office politics is a good indicator of how flawed the system is. Ideally, the good ideas should float to the top. Ideally, the point-haired bosses should be working in the mail room. Why is it that any jerk with a Harvard M.B.A. who doesn't understand the Internet economy or the new media culture is listened to by the executive morons, while every cube-farm dweller is hopping up and down and shouting at the top of their lungs that what the Harvard M.B.A. is proposing is going to do more harm to the company than good?

In 1851, John Soule, an Indiana newspaperman wrote these famous words: "Go west, young man." (This quote is often wrongfully attributed to Horace Greeley, the founder of The New York Tribune, who requested this quote to be on his epitaph. While both men said it, Soule was the first by eight years.) Hundreds and thousands of people took this advice, packed up everything they owned and headed west, to the land of opportunity: California. A hundred and fifty years later, this advice is again being heeded by a new generation of people, this time packing computers and software instead of gunpowder and supplies.

Like our ancestors, we have dreams about what we can accomplish in California. Like our ancestors, there is a mountain of money to be made, and fame to be had. With a little hard work, we too can fulfill our dreams and satisfy our need to achieve. When John Soule said "Go west, young man" I had no idea he was speaking to me.

And that, my friends, is what keeps me up at night.

© 1999 Cameron Barrett. All Rights Reserved.

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will you answer me, is the blair witch project, just a movie or is it = real documentation about some witch. my email is sincerely curtis

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Devil Shat Fifty Four was released on 07/15/99. Last updated: 07/15/99.