If you haven’t read the Tinseltown Travelogue series, you certainly are missing something. Part 3 has been posted and Patrick Courrielche with Adryana Cortez concludes with some hilarious and impressive pranksterism by a growing movement of Americans no longer willing to passively accept the open hostility of the American entertainment industry.
In an apparent response, U.S. moviegoers began shunning Movie City with its pocketbooks – with the Right turning away at a much higher clip. By 2016, domestic ticket sales have fallen by over 250,000,000 tickets per year from its 2002 high – a downward trend that started before the proliferation of social media, the third screen, or streaming services…and a decline that happened with an increase in population, quantities of movies made per year, and number of operating U.S. theaters.
If not for foreign box office and broadcast revenues, Hollywood would be 1/3 the size it is today.
That could have been it – a single-day, perfectly executed protest starring two products of Hollywood. But it wasn’t to be just a one-day soiree…it was scheduled to last the entire length of President Trump’s term. There are possibly only two people with the composure to keep a protest of that length civil. The Dalai Lama was busy. Shia LaBeouf wasn’t – and he was destined to show Hollywood the lengths to which some on the right are willing to go to seek revenge.
After Jaden kicked off the protest, Shia joined in, setting off the kind of media fanfare that we’ve all come to expect for anything anti-Trump. “Shia LaBeouf Launches Four-Year-Long Trump Protest Live Stream With Jaden Smith,” screamed a Variety headline. “Shia LaBeouf Kicks Off 4-Year Anti-Trump Live Stream,” added Deadline. Instead of just pointing out the usual “what if we did this to Obama on the day of his inauguration” hypocrisy, the opposition reacted more aggressively. In a matter of just twenty-four hours, Trump supporters from 4chan, the wildly (and sometimes perversely) politically incorrect online chatroom that gave birth to the infamous hacker group Anonymous, coopted the live stream and began triggering Shia so hard that by day five the confused actor was arrested for reportedly attacking a man that was his own supporter.
but that’s not all,
The anonymous users of 4chan, or “anons” as they call themselves, often operate like a mercenary intelligence agency – analyzing satellite imagery, audio, and various other online data sources to attack their targets…not unlike the characters from Mission Impossible. For kids that have both grown up on the Internet and learned to hate Hollywood right back – this activity is their version of escapism…replacing traditional TV shows and films. The anons took Shia’s new live stream as an invitation to capture the flag – and were determined to take it down and replace it at all costs…even if it meant breaking a few laws.
Hundreds of anons began the arduous task of analyzing the live stream for clues to its whereabouts. Within minutes they pulled up images of Shia at a diner in Greeneville, Tennessee just days before the feed went live. But their biggest hint came moments later. Contrails.