OTHER SUN VALLEY 2016 POSTS:
There’s somethin’ happenin’ here. What it is ain’t exactly clear…
Good afternoon from Sun Valley!
All of us who attend this bullshit fest year-after-year have been to Hell and back (in a non-burning show business way) many times – but, I have a feeling, nothing in our past has prepared us for what is about to come.
My daughter, Connie – who is 14 and also a prominent member on the Manka Bros. Board of Directors – has come to Sun Valley with me this year where she will be giving a keynote address on the Plural generation (or Generation Z or whatever else bullshit you want to call those brats).
As far as I can tell, and from my personal experience, this is a generation of aliens (not from foreign countries – but distant planets). I have no idea what the fuck they’re doing.
Anyway, I saw a part of her presentation on the way up here in the Manka jet in which she quotes Taylor Swift who said: “This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.”
“… And things will change.”
But seriously, haven’t things already changed enough for those little dweebs? If you were to tell me last year that videos of dorks playing games on YouTube would be watched by millions more idiots than saw our summer movie “Flaccid Trip,” I would have called you a moron.
I’m sure my friend Sumner Redstone would tell Ms. Swift in response: “Change this, mother fucker!”
But that’s not the attitude or tone Herb Allen has requested of us “in the old media” at this year’s conference.
Connie is too young to hang around the bar (my beloved Drankin’ Hole – officially the Duchin Lounge) with a bunch old white men so I probably won’t be seeing much of her this week. I told her to send me an email or contact my assistant if she plans on leaving the property for whatever reason.
After fighting Bob Iger and the Disney jet for a parking spot at the airport – I could see him screaming at us from behind a window as we pulled into our normal spot (I wouldn’t be surprised to hear our tires have been slashed when we return) – and then surviving a harrowing ride in a Google self-driving car – I finally made it to the Sun Valley Lodge.
I walked past the veal-like pen that they keep reporters in for this event – a few questions were screamed out at me but I had only one thing in mind “The Drankin’ Hole.” I hugged my daughter, handed her a list of the moguls to stay away from at all costs, and headed for the bar.
Finally, some good news. BIN TRAN HAS RETURNED!
“Bin Tran, you son of bitch!,” I shouted as I strolled in the bar.
“That’s right, my mother was a bitch. Ah, Mr. Khan Manka! So happy to see you!”
“You got your job back.”
“All thanks to you, Mr. Khan and your blog. I’m famous. I have Twitter account with followers. And the bartender last year, Gary, he got an actor job in ‘Avenue Q’ in Boise. So the Sun Valley Lodge called me and brought me back. Good thing, too, we were starting to eat the pets.”
“Well, you know what I’m after. Give me that goddamned best dirty martini on the planet.”
“How’s your brother, Vin, is he back, too.”
“No, he’s the black sheep now. Decided to become a dental hygienist, betray the whole family. Trans have been professional bartenders since before the French colonization… of Vietnam… that’s a long time ago. We don’t speak his name anymore.”
Bin placed that beautiful drink in front of me, I took a huge gulp and could finally relax.
“Things don’t change much around here.”
“Not true, we now have a Frogger game machine.”
I look over in the corner and sitting at old-fashioned arcade Frogger machine was Phillippe Dauman with a couple of empty glasses to the side.
“It’s PhilEEPE – don’t bother me, Khan, I’m busy!”
“You’re from Brooklyn! It’s Phillip.”
Bin Tran just shook his head. “Poor Mr. Phillip, just been playing Frogger and sucking down Gimlets all afternoon like there’s no tomorrow.”
“For him there is no tomorrow.”
Frogger is not a bad metaphor for Phillippe at this moment in his career.
After a couple moments of peaceful silence (with the exception of the occasional screaming and banging at the Frogger machine by Phillippe Dauman) the regular Sun Valley crowd started to filter in.
Sure, there are a few fresh tech faces, and a few Silicon Valley old faces, but it’s still the old media guard that runs this joint (myself, Bob Iger, Les Moonves, Jeff Bewkes, Rupert Murdoch, etc. etc. etc.) no matter what everyone else in the world says.