Good morning from the Wynn Encore in Vegas!
Yesterday, I received a call from my old friend and employee Warren Lieberfarb. I was completely taken by surprise as I hadn’t heard from him for a few years.
His ego had gotten so completely out of control after he was crowned the King of DVD that I really had no interest in talking to him or dealing with his bullshit.
It seems that Warren has a new venture in which a large bio-mechanical chip (about the size of a playing card) is inserted under the skin of your arm. Downloaded onto this chip is your entire library of movies, television shows, games and music (HD or standard def).
Using the (patent pending) LieberScanner 8000, this library can be transferred to any TV, PC or mobile device with a simple scan of the barcode on the chip in your arm.
Normally, I would have hung up on Warren right there (especially when he drones on and on about something as ridiculous as the LieberScanner 8000) but he mentioned that he was having a party in his suite at the Bellagio and I had nothing else to do last night (Terry Semel, the jerk, bailed on our dinner plans at the last minute for “something else he had to do”).
I arrived at Warren’s suite via a private solid gold elevator. He had quite a set up – similar to Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. High-tech hangers on and home video geeks stood around the outer lobby of his suite just hoping to get a glimpse of the great man. But only a privileged few (such as myself) were allowed inside.
Warren and I go back about 30 years to the beginnings of the home video boom. When the VHS cassette was first introduced, I hired Warren to go from house-to-house to sell Manka Bros. film titles from the trunk of his 1974 Datsun. He was so good at selling shitty copies of “Black Illiad” and “Mother Trucker” for $89.95 each that I offered him the chance to head up our new home video division – but he had already taken a job with Warners.
Things really fell apart between him and me when he was trying to get DVD off the ground and Manka Bros. was firmly in the DIVX camp (we still are today – though, reluctantly, we do offer our titles on DVD). We’re also still in the HD-DVD camp… Fuck Blu-ray!).
So… to continue… I entered the inner-sanctum of Warren’s suite to see him holding court in front of a 75-inch plasma screen. His right arm was exposed to show the giant chip embedded in his arm. Surrounding him was a group of slackjawed lapdog executives all salivating at the thought of this new technology and what it can do for them.
Now Warren doesn’t actually have the funding yet for this new idea, so for his demonstration he was using a child’s scanner from some Fisher-Price grocery store toy. He continued:
Warren Lieberfarb: … As the LieberScanner 8000 rolls over the barcode, my entire library is now transferred to every device in the room – the television, the computer, the iPhone, etc.
Nothing really happened when he clicked the scanner, but people were impressed nonetheless. It was only Lady Gaga that brought up any kind of criticism.
Warren Lieberfarb: Who the fuck are you? Are you wearing butterfly wings? And are they bleeding?
Lady Gaga: Just answer the question.
Warren Lieberfarb: The chip is implanted in your arm so that you always have your intellectual property with you. You won’t lose it if it’s sewn into your arm. And, when you want to buy more movies and music, just scan the item and it’s downloaded into the chip and charged to your credit card.
Lady Gaga: Why not just put everything on a small storage device and put it in your wallet or purse? This idea is so stupid.
Warren Lieberfarb: I want her out of here. Throw her off the roof and see if she can fly.
A couple of MBA-types who looked like they worked out, grabbed Lady Gaga by the wings and pulled her screaming out of the room.
I had seen enough and knew, like Strauss Zelnick’s recent rooftop salon, that I probably shouldn’t have come. I decided to leave without even saying hello to Warren. I’ll send him a fruit basket and wish him well on his new venture.
Tonight, I’ll be playing poker with Ben Silverman at the Palms. If I survive, I’ll write about it.