Primary season is off to a rocky start, but the Democrats have a lot of competition for awful launches
Political junkies went to bed Monday night with reports of delayed results out of the Iowa caucuses, expecting that the mess would be cleared up by morning.
Those expectations were sadly mistaken, and Tuesday morning came and went with no sign of an official delegate count forthcoming. Most sources are pointing to a faulty app developed for the Iowa Democratic Party by a shadowy organization known as...Shadow Inc, because our reality has been undergoing a writer's strike since 2016. Shadow Inc. is run by some alums from Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign—because we are never allowed to forget Hillary Clinton—and associated with the non-profit organization ACRONYM, which doesn't stand for anything (again, writers strike) but is committed to "building tech infrastructure for the progressive movement."
Intended to make result tabulation fast and simple, replacing the traditional phone-in system, the app was developed in just the past few months. The quick development time was apparently streamlined by just skipping over the debugging step to have it "ready" in time for its dramatic premier. As a result, the caucus process was soon overwhelmed by technical issues as party officials struggled with crashes and inconsistencies that left them with no choice but to rely on the old-fashioned tallying and the paper trail kept as a backup.
Meanwhile, multiple campaigns are already reporting their internal results—with Sanders in the lead and Buttigieg not far behind—and the world is largely moving on from the mess with little real consequence beyond the renewed and unifying awareness of the incompetent management within the Democratic Party—even President Trump came through with one of his rare correct takes.
When will the Democrats start blaming RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, instead of their own incompetence for the voting disa… https://t.co/6Lxb1hnROi— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1580826168.0
But it's worth keeping in mind that the Democrats are not alone in this. The history of disastrous failed launches is long and glorious, and these are but a few highlights.
This one isn't really fair. When Trump Mortgage launched in 2006, no one saw the 2008 housing crisis coming, so Trump can't be blamed for saying "the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come." Or for working with a man who grossly exaggerated his credentials...or for the fact that the business folded in August of 2007, a full year before the housing crisis kicked off. Ouch.
When Apple announced in 2017 that they were getting into the entertainment business, many people were confused. The company had always been quite protective of their squeaky-clean brand, famously restricting their app store to family-friendly software that often takes months to get approved. It wasn't clear how that business model could work for producing original creative works. When the service premiered in late 2019, it became clear that it didn't work. Reports of creative interference from Apple were rampant, and their offerings were lackluster next to Disney+'s lineup. It's unclear what will happen with Apple TV+ in the long run, but the fact that the executive in charge of programming resigned two weeks after launch is an indication of how well things have gone so far.
Okay, we get it. Trump Vodka was launched in 2005, with more predictions of wild success from Donald Trump, who claimed that the "Trump and Tonic" would be the most popular cocktail in the country. How he came to that conclusion is a mystery, considering he doesn't drink, but it turned out he was wrong, and the brand ceased production in the US in 2011.
MoviePass is the epitome of the "too good to be true" business model. The company had actually been around for years, offering different tiers of monthly subscriptions to see free movies. When the company was bought out in 2017, the new owners launched a massive rate cut, hoping to get as many people to sign up as possible. The plan worked, with the minor issue that all those new customers were actually using the service... When people found out they could see as many movies as they wanted for less than $10 a month, they went a bit crazy with it, leaving MoviePass on the hook for way more tickets than they anticipated. Apparently people like free things. The mounting prices and the box office failure of 2018's Gotti 2018's Gotti led to MoviePass's precipitous decline. It officially shuttered its operation in September of 2019.
"Trump: The Game"
Trump: The Game was an attempt to cash in on Donald Trump's reputation as a real estate billionaire with a board game in which you and your friends compete to be real estate billionaires. If that sounds too much like Monopoly, that's because you haven't heard that the rule book was twelve pages long. Milton Bradley marketed the game heavily leading up to its 1989 release, counting on the game to sell two million copies. The overly-complicated game instead sold just 800,000 copies before being discontinued. With the success of The Apprentice's first season in 2004, a revival was attempted, adding a firing mechanic. Mother Jones panned the game's "singular obsession with the rapid accumulation of wealth for the purpose of acquiring luxury real estate and firing people."
Surely though, these handful of launches are Donald Trump's only mistakes. There's no way a pattern of incompetence followed him through Trump University, the USFL, Trump Shuttle, Trump casinos, his presidency... Nope. No way.
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The Cocteau Twins' 1990 masterpiece is still the blueprint for dream pop.
For a band whose lyrics were famously difficult to make out most of the time, the Cocteau Twins left an indelible impact on the world of pop music.
The Scottish trio emerged in the 1980s as some of the most notable pioneers of dream pop, a subgenre of alternative rock defined by airy, sublime sonic textures. But it was their sixth album, Heaven or Las Vegas—which turns 30 today—that truly withstood the test of time, affirming the Cocteau Twins' status as perhaps the most important dream pop act of all time.
Now that Banksy's "Flower Thrower" trademark has been revoked, anyone can profit off his work.
This week anonymous street artist Banksy officially lost the European trademark to his "Flower Thrower" mural.
The guerrilla graffiti artist had engaged in a prolonged legal battle with the small greeting card company Full Colour Black—which was selling products featuring the image of a Palestinian man throwing a bouquet of flowers. But now a panel at the European Union Intellectual Property Office has announced their decision to revoke the artist's trademark on the grounds that he could not definitively prove himself to be the mural's creator.