Vulture: Are you ever concerned that the hunt for clues overshadows the music?
Trent Reznor: Certainly with Year Zero it did. We went crazy with that album, building a world and telling a story that was mainly meant to provide context for the music. And what happened was that far more attention was paid to what the world was and how that got revealed than was paid to the music. If anyone actually bothered to fucking listen, Year Zero was a good fucking album. I’m not saying every album should be something that invites people down a rabbit hole. I’m just saying I care about context.


VR/AR is ad-tech. Everything built in studios (except for experimental projects from independent artists) is advertising something. That empathy stuff? That’s advertising for nonprofits. But mostly VR is advertising itself. While MTV was advertising musicians, the scale and creative freedom meant that it launched careers for people like Michel Gondry, Antoine Fuqua, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, etc. A band from a town like Louisville or Tampa could get in touch with a local filmmaker and collaborate on a project and hope that 120 Minutes picks it up. There were entry points like that. And the audience was eager to see something experimental. But a VR audience is primed to have something like a rollercoaster experience, rather than an encounter with the unexpected. The same slimy shapeshifter entrepreneurs that could just as well build martech or chatbots went and colonized the VR space because they have a built in excuse that it took film “fifty years before Orson Wells.” Imagine that. A blank check and a deadline in fifty years.

No one wants to get inside some sweaty uncomfortable headset unless they are going to be rewarded with something at least as good as music videos were in 1984. But who is ushering in talent rather than hype? VR is starting as an institutional and commercial monster rather than scaling into institutional power. It’s like if the art market came before art.



OK, I have to reblog this again because it popped into my head that the reason I love this so much is that Cleavon Little had no idea this line was coming. 

And that should be enough on its own, that his reaction is totally genuine.

But I also love how Gene Wilder is watching him. Like, he’s so excited to see how Little will react. And when Little laughs, it feeds his fucking soul. You can see it in his eyes. 

I love this scene.