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November 14, 2013

The Lightbringer Has Come Not To Bring Light, But Chaos and Darkness

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota has a grim bit of non-advice:

So simply put, I don’t know what to advise anyone seeking health insurance as of this minute.

This reminds me of a book called Hit and Run, about the once-successful producing team of Jon Peters and Peter Guber.

Peter Guber, if I remember right, was something of a square, a business-oriented sort, who I think went to business school and such.

Jon Peters was the more mercurial of the pair. He was Barbara Streisand's former hairdresser, and, IIRC, lover, who then became a movie producer. (That's Hollywood for ya!)

But the book discussed Jon Peters' method. Peters, some of his colleagues believed, thrived on chaos. He made nonsensical changes last-minute, throwing off scripts, shooting schedules, and budgets. He would suddenly be committed to an oddball idea that no one had even heard before, nevermind agreed to include in the movie.

They speculated that Peters wasn't able to perform in a "normal" environment, where he would tend to feel marginalized by the more professional sorts of people.

He preferred chaos. And what some of his colleagues believed was this: When he created chaos, he was the Center of the Storm, and the only person who understood what the hell was going on, because he, after all, was causing all the problems. So creating chaos tended to put him in the central position of power on a set, because everyone would have to come to him to find out how to fix the problems.. that he himself had caused.

And by doing so, he created power for himself. On a "normal" sort of shoot, power flowed to the more centered, more predictable partner Guber, or the other more professionally-minded movie people; but on a chaotic set, power flowed to Peters, who worked well in a chaotic environment.

Or at least he wasn't as bothered by chaos as most people, and thus would appear to be calm and cool by comparison -- a rock in the storm. Again, the storm he created, but he would appear to be a fairly steady rock in that storm.*

I'm starting to wonder if No-Drama Obama shares this preference for chaos and upheaval with Jon Peters.

* Jon Peters wasn't entirely without some sparks of creativity. It was his idea to make the poster for the 1988 Batman contain no text or title, just the Batman logo and (I think) a release date. Which was credited at the time as being pretty innovative and grabby, and I think they were right to credit it as such.

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posted by Ace at 05:00 PM

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