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Author Topic: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site  (Read 2249 times)

ancapagency

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Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« on: February 27, 2008, 11:59 AM NHFT »

OK folks, I've been agitating for a while for a shift to cultural activism as opposed to political activism.  I really believe that most political activism is a waste of time, especially as a cultural shift will bring the political goals to fruition as a matter of course--if we can just influence the culture first.

My basic idea with this has been that we need to play to our strengths, particularly as we are actually much more economically and technologically savvy than the politicians and bureaucrats are, and they will always have the advantage on the battleground of their choosing, where they make the rules and have the superior resources.

Thus, what I have been trying to sell folks within the Liberty Movement on is "Libertainment" as opposed to lectures and debates and political campaigns.  Simply stated, we need, for one example, a "Libertarian TV website."  Here's the basic sketch:

We have a website on which various folks post entertainment type shows with various levels of pro-liberty themes--from very subtle all the way to quite blatant.  Instead of having to tune in at a particular time, folks download the show when they want to watch it.  With RSS feeds and such, and considering the prevalence of TIVO and so forth these days, I think the model is sound.  Also, the idea is to make it "open source" and to NOT engage in copyright-type restrictions--encourage people to burn the shows to cd and dvd and share with their friends.  Pay for the whole thing with advertising, and maybe ad a donation link as well.  Burn a few cds or dvds yourself, and sell them at events for a buck or so a piece--whatever.  I'm sure folks can think of more ways to make money from this than I can.

Now, the idea is to rip off the TV networks for all the market research they've already done for us--they've told us what shows sell:  Game shows, Reality TV, Sit-Coms, Detective shows, Medical Dramas, Soap Operas, etc.  So we need to make Liberty oriented versions of these, edit in some ads, maybe sell some product placement, and so forth.  As we're working outside of the TV networks, and with non-union actors, writers, etc. we ought to be able to do these on quite a low budget.  Especially if we start with actors and writers who work for a percentage of the profit rather than big money up front.

So the ideas Ron Helwig and I were kicking around this morning are for Game Shows.  Specifically, picture something vaguely like Jeopardy, but with a pro-Liberty theme of some sort in the questions.  Now let's go a bit further--the studio is our firing range.  And instead of just choosing a category and $ amount, the contestants have to shoot the category header, and then the question square they want underneath it.  Obviously, prizes could be pretty small at the beginning--I'm thinking work on points rather than dollar amounts in the early shows, and offer prizes provided by sponsors, as well as Liberty-oriented prizes funded in a number of different ways--such as precious metals (maybe Liberty Dollars or Shire Silver), ammunition, shooting gear, FSP gear, Free Talk Live merchandise, etc.  I think y'all can see where we're going on this, and I'd love to hear your ideas.

Ron also suggested (as a later addition) a more sporty-type show along the lines of Ninja Warrior and American Gladiator and that sort of thing.  So perhaps someone out there with a fair piece of land might want to think in terms of some sort of extreme obstacle course...

I can go on for quite some time with ideas for various shows--of course, I'm not a talented fiction writer, and I doubt my ability to pull off anything like a decent script, so I'd like to see those of you who can make some efforts in this direction, if you are so inclined.  I have the basic ideas, if you need some inspiration, but y'all can probably come up with even better ones than I can. 

Also, re: the open source thing--I'm inclined to say on the site (especially for the game show idea) that if anyone would like to shoot their own episode of our show, we're willing to post it as long as it's done well and meets the same game rules for the most part. 

So begin the brainstorming!  And let me hear from folks who might be willing to work on "Liberty Trivia" (whatever we end up naming the damn thing eventually) with us. 
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Ron Helwig

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 12:14 PM NHFT »

Commercial idea:

Music is "waiting for the world to change" or whatever the song title is. John Mayer? Video is cops harassing/beating people (plenty of that available), bureaucrats stymieing progress, newspaper headlines of corruption, etc.

After 20 or so seconds of that, end the music and bad videos; continue with "Are you tired of waiting for the world to change? Come to the Free State of New Hampshire and make the world change."
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Porcupine_in_MA

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 12:20 PM NHFT »

I'm in.  I'll PM you with some thoughts.

Why not post your thoughts in this thread?
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ancapagency

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 01:14 PM NHFT »

Some more ideas for the "Libertrivia" show:

Perhaps each new round, the targets get smaller or some other manner of difficulty increase.

Also, during the phase in which the host usually intros the contestants, and covers the basic rules of the game, we can make it a point to always cover the four rules of firearms safety.

Maybe even add a "firearms training tip of the week" or something to be edited into the show.


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dalebert

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 01:42 PM NHFT »

Ron also suggested (as a later addition) a more sporty-type show along the lines of Ninja Warrior and American Gladiator and that sort of thing.  So perhaps someone out there with a fair piece of land might want to think in terms of some sort of extreme obstacle course...

Most Extreme Elimination Challenge!

MXC

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Kat Kanning

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 01:58 PM NHFT »

Cool, I like the idea.
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jcchriste

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 02:58 PM NHFT »

I'd been considering something similar in my head for a while

One problem is getting people to watch it, or even know that its there to watch. Getting word around might be difficult, and getting people to be interested in watching after they know may also be difficult. One of the problems with spreading libertarianism or any freedom philosophy is that you end up spending a lot of time preaching to the choir. I've found that with discussing politics, Democrats get mad at me for not hating rich people and stop listening (for example). YouTube may be a good opportunity here.

The other is the advertising money, which may not be a big issue. Its hard to get advertisers for something new, a company doesn't want to advertise in something that doesn't have any eyeballs to see the advertisements yet. If you could link it to FSP and Free Talk live and overlap the audience, then you may be able to sell advertisers on that.


It may also be worth considering expanding the idea to other mediums. Music for example, might be a good one, since people will listen to music regardless of the lyrics, as long as the music is good. Once they are listening to it, then they start to pay attention to the lyrics, and "Mr Tax Man please stop stealing" sneaks into their head.


Just my .02 FRNs
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ancapagency

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 04:53 PM NHFT »

I'd been considering something similar in my head for a while

Good!  So I'm gonna see some ideas from you, right?  And you might even participate in the production of something if the site starts up, right?   :)

Quote
One problem is getting people to watch it, or even know that its there to watch. Getting word around might be difficult, and getting people to be interested in watching after they know may also be difficult. One of the problems with spreading libertarianism or any freedom philosophy is that you end up spending a lot of time preaching to the choir. I've found that with discussing politics, Democrats get mad at me for not hating rich people and stop listening (for example). YouTube may be a good opportunity here.

That's precisely why we should do this--we don't want to waste our time preaching.  The idea is to offer something entertaining that will plant the seeds, and maybe get a few people to start looking at the educational/political/news related items, perhaps even eventually the philosophy.  If we make it entertaining, and available, folks will watch it, and share it with their friends.  Some shows the "choir" will enjoy, but which are also entertaining for those who've never even heard of the Liberty Movement before.  I wouldn't be averse to cross-posting a few episodes on YouTube just for the purpose of drawing folks to the site.  Website promotion isn't a problem for our crowd--we've got folks who know how to pull in the traffic.  Again, if we provide an entertaining product, the promotion will take care of itself.  And there's all sorts of things we can do to jump start the traffic.

Quote
The other is the advertising money, which may not be a big issue. Its hard to get advertisers for something new, a company doesn't want to advertise in something that doesn't have any eyeballs to see the advertisements yet. If you could link it to FSP and Free Talk live and overlap the audience, then you may be able to sell advertisers on that.

Obviously, I will begin my search for sponsors and advertisers amongst the Liberty Movement.  And, assuming we can pull this in for as low a budget as I suspect, we don't even need that many advertisers.  This will prove the concept and business model, which will make it easier to sell ads and find sponsors.


Quote
It may also be worth considering expanding the idea to other mediums. Music for example, might be a good one, since people will listen to music regardless of the lyrics, as long as the music is good. Once they are listening to it, then they start to pay attention to the lyrics, and "Mr Tax Man please stop stealing" sneaks into their head.


I have no problem with that--I think it's a great idea.  We need to attack all genres in the culture war.  I have no musical or artistic ability of any sort.  I can provide the basic ideas, but I need folks who do have the talent and skill to produce the real product.  We need pro-Liberty music of all genres.  Pro-Liberty books of all genres.  Movies, "TV" shows, theater productions (Phil is already working on that for us, but I'm sure he'd like some assistance and/or competition), paintings, photography, sculpture, everything.  Art and entertainment reach people more easily and more effectively than all the reasoned debate and logical education and political activism combined.  If you can produce pro-Liberty music, excellent!  And if you make a good product, I'd be inclined to offer it on the "Libertainment" site (I don't expect that to be the name--it's the working designator until someone with talent comes up with something better) if you're willing to allow us to share it. 
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ancapagency

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 05:14 PM NHFT »

Here are a few ideas I'd like to see expanded into something for this sort of site:

1)  Detective show-- some sort of pro-Liberty detective (or agency) that solves crimes without resorting to initiated aggression, government intervention (pardon the redundancy), and so forth.  The "bad guys" can be both regular bad guys as well as government type bad guys (e.g. corrupt cops and bureaucrats and politicians). 

2) Soap Opera -- (this one is Ron Helwig's idea) set in perhaps a suburb of DC, you've got the lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, etc. and their children, and then you've got some pro-Liberty types who happen to live in the same area with their children.  The pro-Liberty types are homeschoolers and such, and you can play up the interactions between the children of both groups to appeal to the younger crowd.  Make the anti-Liberty types everything from outright evil to just sort of creepy and sleazy.  Ron mentioned something along the lines of the Homeschooled kids discussing some assignments regarding Locke's Second Treatise, while the Gov't school kids stand around going "what?"

3)  Medical Drama -- doctors and other health professionals working to help people in spite of gov't interference.  Maybe they work at a private charity hospital or clinic, or some program (perhaps even something along the idea of "Doctors without Borders" if you want to get really wild) in which they have to fight their way around the government to help people.

4) Law Drama -- Perhaps a lawyer (or a group like the Institute for Justice) who fights for people who've been screwed over by the government--both by corrupt cops and so forth planting evidence, as well as via simple red tape and so forth.

5)  "Black Market Good Guys" -- I've heard folks talking about "Weeds" and such, but I've never seen it.  But perhaps a show in which the guys engaged in underground commerce are the good guys, and the cops and bureaucrats are the bad guys.

That's just off the top of my head.  When you start getting into science fiction shows, there are loads of things you can do.  Long term, if things happen to take off well and you start getting a bigger budget to work with, you can even look at doing adaptations of L. Neil Smith books and such--he'd probably love to give permission if he thought it had a chance and would be done right. 
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picaro

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 05:15 PM NHFT »

Rock on.   I'm glad you're keeping the focus on entertainment.   Amuse people and they'll like you.  Bore people and they will hate you.

A show like Penn & Teller's Bullshit is self-admitted propaganda -- and it turns a lot of people off.   Terry Goodkind has put libertarian/Objectivist ideas in his Sword of Truth fantasy series... but he has attracted a lot of hate by being too concerned with dogma -- and not succeeding at good storytelling.

South Park is all over the place ideologically, but it is good at injecting libertarian ideas into the mix.

Making libertarian ideas explicit is not always necessary.  Read The Little House on the Prairie books to children.  The value placed on self-reliance is incredible.  (It is no coincidence that Rose Wilder Lane was a freedom activist.)
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picaro

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2008, 05:24 PM NHFT »

Perhaps emulating some of the low-budget web based shows (like Chad Vader) would be helpful. 

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jcchriste

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2008, 06:18 PM NHFT »


Good!  So I'm gonna see some ideas from you, right?  And you might even participate in the production of something if the site starts up, right?   :)
 

Of Course, as much as I can.

Another idea: If possible we might want to work in NH (even if just as a setting) just to promote FSP subtly and give NH's reputation a bit of a nudge.

Stand-up comedians might be an easy libertainment, since production is cheap (you just need a guy and a camera), and honestly, how hard is the government to make fun of? Given how popular political satire is (even when not very well done) I can't imagine government-targeted contumely would be any less popular.

a seed for a "TV" show idea: I'm thinking a near-future sort of premise, in the way that 1984 is near future. Post-FSP, Post Government-Conquest of NH and extermination of FSP, you could easily do an action-drama of the few (or one) remaining Shire Rats, and can easily work in themes such as why gun rights are important (since the government attacked NH), Privacy rights, etc. Think of it as a FSP version of V for Vendetta.




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ancapagency

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2008, 08:44 PM NHFT »

Not bad!  Send me the script when it's done :)

As much as I dislike committees, sometimes it may be useful for creative work.  I have a few short story ideas I've been meaning to write.  Originally, they were supposed to be part of a novel, but I can't pull that off well enough.  So the new idea is to establish the "Universe" and then write my few short stories in that universe, then open it up to other folks who would like to add some stories as well.

This could be possible for the show idea--maybe some folks might like to collaborate, and pull some ideas together, revise and extend, play around with it some, and produce an overall plot outline, and perhaps even a few scripts.

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Pat K

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2008, 02:15 AM NHFT »

The  hooker/ detective/ rocket scientist, who discovers
energy from the hot air, generated by senators, congressman
and libertarians  bull shitting on and on.     
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dalebert

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Re: Liberty-oriented Entertainment site
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2008, 07:49 AM NHFT »

We could always get it started by just compiling good Libertarian media from YouTube in one place and categorizing it. It would be a nice one-stop shopping place for people looking for existing Libertarian media. Once it's there, we can allow anyone to contribute to it, with the assumption that a lot of FSPers would in fact do just that. I still need to do my short film that pokes fun at the IRS.

Here are some channels on YouTube done by regular people that have taken off in popularity all because they had really good ideas and put it together well. None of it seems to have high production values. It's not particularly libertarian,but maybe it will give people ideas for making really entertaining stuph.

Barats and Bereta:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=WdNSafBdLZk

Jon LaJolie:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=YZavLoi_Et8

Roccigiovanniberrini:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=2A8Mx7XGKs8

Frezned:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=o1xUpjc2paQ

And a few of my favorites from these channels:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvltzwkUEEA[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpBDqtUEWcM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEtbAzemyQ8[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjUtfUOMSzI[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVT0SIp8e8M[/youtube]

Here are some great liberty vlogs (video logs), basically just people talking about liberty subjects. These are surprisingly popular in terms of subscribers. I tend to subscribe to these as I find them so it might also be good to have a section, a kind of video forum, where we compile vlogs like these.

LibertyIsNotGiven:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=7GhnxHzYFY8

Luke12000:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=TGnaztG9vIs

brainpolice2:
http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?s=xf6pZL1UENQ
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