As I write this I am using an EVDO card and sitting on the floor in the hallway outside the CES press room, having been banished from that hallowed space for violating the “no food or beverages” rule when I was caught sneaking a sip of Cuervo from my flask. No worries since the press room is overcrowded and smells like ass. It’s the Europeans. The hallway is also crowded, butt to bellybutton, with filthy hacks crouched on the floor snarfing their horrible free lunches from paper plates. Oh, the humanity! I can barely look at the swill that’s being served to the hacks, let alone attempt to eat it. Anyway I am now on a starvation diet trying to kill the bastard parasite whose presence in my intestines has been confirmed. Not to get too graphic but put it this way — there has been a sighting.
I spent most of last night in the company of some Sony engineers from Japan playing blackjack at the Venetian. We were winning and the Sony dudes were drinking even harder than I was and celebrating the death of HD-DVD (everyone here says it’ s now officially dead) and raving about their new OLED 11-inch screen which sells for $2,500 in the States. Spielberg and Seinfeld have both put in requests personally via Howard Stringer and will be receiving units from the first shipment of 400 coming into the States. Occurs to me — a ridiculously overpriced and not entirely useful product that sells out because it looks cool and there’s lots of hype? Sounds perfect for us. I collected business cards from the Japanese some of whom said they might be willing to share information. Moshe is working on them today. The Japanese by the way claim to have loads of experience with parasites and said hot sake was the way to go and so at three in the morning I found myself downing a bottle of near-boiling sake while my companions cheered and cursed the devil inside me. Johnny-san, guaranteed you pass this evil being by morning, they told me. They lied.
Also joining Operation Tapeworm were Luz-Maria and her friend Margaret who arrived near dawn and suggested that instead of killing the parasite one should attempt to lure him out. Sweets were said to be the favored food of these beasts so an ice cream sundae was procured from room service and strategically positioned you-know-where. Luz-Maria and Margaret lit candles and knelt on either side of me chanting prayers in Spanish and waiting. Nothing. The bastard is too smart! He knows I’m after him. We gave up, finally, and smoked a joint and ate the sundae and the girls did their thing with the four-handed massage and we all agreed we could try again tonight. I need to get this thing out of me before I get back to San Francisco — as you know, Piers, my life partner, is incredibly squeamish. I want to spare him this horror.
What else? I slept my usual three hours, woke feeling Frank Booth, the parasite, stirring inside me. Immediately hoovered my breakfast — three fat lines — on my iPhone. Did you know the glass on that device is just perfect for this? Then shared a cab to the convention center with two dudes from Pioneer who were also incredibly excited about the demise of Toshiba’s HD-DVD, saying the whole industry has hated this stupid standards war and has been praying for someone to just put a knife in the heart of one of these things so we can all just move forward blah blah. Turns out Pioneer makes Blu-ray players for Sony. Who knew? Pioneer guys also were talking about Apple announcing these new products today and they were laughing saying Apple looks like a bunch of punk-ass bitches and who gives a shit about some new 8-core MacPro and a new server and does anyone actually buy Apple servers and who the fuck cares about Apple in general and sure last year the iPhone stole everyone’s thunder here but Apple is really starting to smoke its own Kool-Aid if they think the whole world is gonna stop turning every time Steve Jobs pops out a fart out there in Cupertino.
My takeaway? Announcing the products today was a profound mistake and makes us look insecure. And the whole thing about “We’re just so excited that we had to roll these out right away” is something not even the biggest frigtard in the world would swallow, let alone Apple fanboys. My sense is there’s been a sea change and that at some level people are just kind of sick of our bullshit and need us to shut the fuck up and start being nice again or at least stop looking people in the eye and straight-out lying to them. I mean if we’re going to lie then we should make an effort to dream up believable lies. We really have to stop treating customers like retards. Just my two cents on this.
On the way to the center, riding with the Pioneer guys, we saw a very sad-looking hooker, a girl no more than 25 but already wrecked by crack or crystal meth, sitting on a curb in a miniskirt outside a convenience store, eating an ice cream cone. We were sitting at a red light. She waved to us. I waved back. She threw me a kiss. I almost cried. Then the light turned green and we zoomed off to the show.