Monday, 19 January 2015

tinseltown or economies of scale

Looking through a gallery of creative, outlandish weapons—which were mostly theoretical and not battle-tested, including a massive aircraft-carrier whose landing strip was made of ice, bat-bombs and a so-called gay-bomb that was to pheromonially encourage soldiers to make love, not war, I was reminded how I was admonished that the actress and sex-symbol known as Marilyn Monroe was first discovered in 1945 while working in a drone assembly plant in Van Nuys, California.

This hobbyist factory for radio-controlled planes was purchased by an enterprising British actor and World War I fighting ace to produce re-purposed models for the US War Department. Although these planes were initially limited to target-practise, they did already possess all the modern hallmarks of that we think of as proper to drone warfare, with the ability to deliver a payload and conduct surveillance runs—however, graciously the technology was withheld for seventy years, and at least not made available to hobbyists until recently. Los Angeles was also of course an ideal place to be discovered, with the motion picture business established there since 1912, having gone West originally to escape the jurisdiction (or to at least be as geographically separated as possible) of Thomas A. Edison’s industry-breaking patents held on distribution, film, cameras and projectors—oftentimes independent productions being halted on the East Coast with litigation and thugs. Though a different studio-system took root in Hollywood as well, creativity was allowed to flourish with new ideas and fresh-faces allowed in.