Following the illusion of movement, this is probably the greatest trick of cinema crafted at this scale: studios hiding their own corporate villainy by casting corporations as villains. The films preach a form of mom-and-pop anti-modernism while peddling just the opposite. Promoted as a crossover event between Warner Bros. and the HBO Max streaming service, even A New Legacy’s marketing attempts to frame media consolidation, the vertical and horizontal integration of platforms, as a virtue.
This helps explain why much-touted proposals to plant millions of trees to suck up carbon and ameliorate the climate crisis are encountering skepticism; they won’t work if conditions on Earth don’t allow for forests to reproduce and thrive.
Dr. Luke’s apparent comeback cements the idea that “cancel culture,” when it comes to mainstream music, is more of a theoretical concept than an actual system that enforces norms and values. Name almost any musician who at some point inspired thunderstorms of outrage, whether for allegedly committing violence or saying slurs, and their career likely ended up surviving because of the catchiness of their songs.
As remote working continues to gain acceptance, it's only a matter of time before these New Age conquistadores spread to other New Worlds. This time, though, what draws them is not gold or land, but the lure of high-speed internet.