I’ll put the important one first: a lengthy article on Dubai that frankly just turns my stomach, presenting both the dark underside and the artificially bright topside of that city. I presume not everybody in Dubai is like the Emiratis and expats quoted there, but that’s the image of Dubai I’ve seen marketed: a sunny playground for shopping and leisure, to be enjoyed by the wealthy — just don’t ask what’s propping it up.
The second one’s smaller, but closer to home: apprehension about Pixar’s latest, Up. Why the apprehension? Are they worried it will be a flop? No; in fact, everybody’s pretty much assuming it will be a critical and commercial success. But probably it won’t be as big of a hit as (say) Toy Story, and (perhaps more to the point) it doesn’t have all the merchandising opportunities of that film, and so nevermind that Pixar has yet to release a single film that could be termed a critical or commercial flop; some corners of the industry are worried that Pixar’s films aren’t as lucrative as they used to be, and this is a problem. Not that they aren’t profitable; they are. But that they aren’t always increasing in profits.
I find that outlook diseased. Here we have a rock-solid company that has, since its inception, turned out quality entertainment that also brings in a nice, healthy return on the investment of making it. But hits, it seems, aren’t enough; they must be mega-hits, and ever-growing in size, or Wall Street will flip out.
Can you say “unsustainable model”? I can.
Anyway. I’ve had those tabs open in my browser for a couple of days, but I decided not to rain on Easter Sunday with them, so you get them today. Enjoy. So to speak.