Lessons from the Woods

Which of these scenarios sounds more appealing to you:
A close knit but wacky family living in the woods who love nature and hunting and share their goofy hijinks with the world;
An intolerant, bigoted group of extremely wealthy people who have amassed many thousands of acres which they use as a private game farm where they can enthusiastically slaughter animals because God gave them the right to do so?
It doesn’t take long to figure out which of those images an entertainment company would prefer (and I can only hope most people would too… which is of course what worries them).
The current hoopla over the suspension of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson mostly stems from the fact that Duck Dynasty, as most people know it, doesn’t really exist. It’s a manufactured product. And the company that owns that product has taken action against an employee who acted contrary to the interests of the product owners by making public statements that they believe will tarnish the image.
The boys prior to the show
When art meets commerce the rules change. And when you are compensated for the use of your art you take on certain responsibilities in exchange for that compensation. It isn’t about what’s fair, nor is it an infringement of anyone’s rights because you can always refuse to participate (as in “no, you can’t replace my turtle with a walrus”) – but if you decide to take the money you need to acknowledge what comes along with it. 
As the saying goes “The devil always arrives carrying cash”.

TV Time

We always have pads of paper and pen sitting on the coffee table (and every counter, nightstand, desk and more) and they get a lot of use in our house. One thing I can never resist is writing down memorable lines from whatever we happen to be watching on the tube (that’s the beauty of On Demand, you can rerun it a few times). Here, in no particular order, are a few that have some relationship to our creative world…
“It turns into ‘just say your lines and then get off the stage’. It’s kinda sad.” – Dustin Hoffman on the reality of art as a business
“I didn’t have what they needed today, but I’m not done by any means.” – a rejected contestant on The Voice
“If you’re looking where everybody else is looking then you’re looking in the wrong place.” – Mark Cuban on Shark Tank
“She wants to know all the secrets in the How To Be Successful handbook, but sadly that book does not exist.” – Adam Levine on The Voice
“They are not right. They are exactly as I wanted them, but they’re not… it.” – Peggy on Mad Men about some design ideas
“The old business models are irrelevant. You need to find your place in this new market.” – a record producer on the series Nashville
“It’s not OK to just assume that everybody knows the right thing to do, because they don’t.” – from a CBS Good Morning story on internet plagiarism
“She is fitting into a pair of shoes that people have seen worn before.” – Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) on The Voice about lack of originality
“Fashion will always be about balancing art and commerce.”
– Michael Kors on Project Runway
“If ten people insist you’re a horse, it’s time to buy a saddle.”
– Jack Rosenblum
“No deal is always better than a bad deal.” – Mark Cuban on Shark Tank
“I had no way of knowing that there was madness in what I was doing.” – Sidney Poitier on becoming an actor without any experience
“Luck is only important as far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.” – what Frank Sinatra said about luck
“You’ve got to look at how our business is now – you need to get visibility to make it and that’s really hard to come by.”  – from The Voice
“Whenever you feel you are pushing it (the design) into a place it doesn’t want to be, then pull back.”  -Tim Gund on pushing the envelope (Project Runway)
“There are two kinds of products – those that are revolutionary, and those that are like other things out there.” – Lori Greiner on Shark Tank
“I didn’t make the rules, I just know them.” – a music producer on Chasing Nashville about the importance of image
“Everybody who walks into the Shark Tank is fully committed – but that’s not enough by itself.” – Mark Cuban
“Creative is not a science. It’s about design AND telling stories.” 
– from The Pitch 
Now, who said there’s never anything good on television?