Sunday, August 14, 2005

An Unusual Design Flaw in the Sony DCR-DVD301 Handycam

Philip R. Wiser
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,
Sony Corporation of America
550 Madison Avenue
New York City, NY, 10022

Dear Mr. Wiser:

My name is David Malmsten and I'm the Manager of the Digital Camera counter at Samy's Cameras in Los Angeles. I'm writing to inform you of a persistent problem occurring with customers who have purchased the Sony DCR-DVD301 Handycam for which I can find no rational explanation. I'll start from the beginning.

On Friday, July 22nd, a customer who had recently purchased this model returned to the counter demanding a refund. I was called to help him, and I inquired what the dissatisfaction was, as this model is top-of-the-line and Sony is an excellent manufacturer. He was hesitant to describe the exact circumstances and asked that I look for myself, handing me the camera.
Looking at the LCD screen and pressing play, I saw what appeared to be excellent footage of a Bar Mitzvah, with a young man describing his feelings about the ceremony he had just completed. Suddenly, into the frame stumbles Courtney Love. Ms. Love, in case you’re unaware, is the widow of Kurt Cobain, a musician who fronted the band Nirvana.

'I'm so sober I could fucking puke!' she cries to the camera. Then, noticing the boy, she says belligerently 'Who the fuck are YOU?'
'I'm Mike,' the boy replies, terrified. 'This is my Bar Mitzvah.'
'Better be an open-bar—that would be a Mitzvah, Mikey.' Preening, she puckers to the camera, then turns back to him. 'So you're a man today, huh?' she says mockingly.
'Y-yes..' he stammers.
She then pulls her dress up over her head.
'So do you know what to do with one of these?'
Whether from forgetfulness or personal preference, Ms. Love has on this occasion neglected to put on underwear. That, or the underwear in question is reminiscent of a Commodores LP cover. Young Mike is so terrified at her display that he screams, as the camera disorients and cuts off.

I told the customer that this was a terribly unfortunate event, but that the Sony DCR-DVD301 certainly wasn't to blame. The customer requested that I continue to view the footage he had shot.

Pressing play, the recording resumed in a hospital delivery room. The expectant father can be heard urging his wife to push and to even out her strained breathing, when suddenly the doors swing open and we see Ms. Love again, sitting up on a gurney and using her IV stand to propel herself forward like an oar. 'Fuck you assholes!' she screams. The doctor calls for her removal, citing the sterile nature of the delivery room, but she ignores him. 'What are they giving you for pain?' she asks the mother, who responds with an agonized scream. 'Get a shot of the two of us kissing!' Ms. Love demands as she licks the mother’s face. 'Dave Grohl is a fucking fucker. Don’t let him take your baby’s money, ‘cause he will.' She turns to the camera 'Fuck you Dave, you fuckin’ fucker!' She holds up her middle finger and rotates her hand in a corkscrew motion, and laughs hollowly.

We hear the cries of a baby and the camera swings over to see the Doctor preparing to cut the umbilical cord.

'I missed the shot—my child’s entry into this world--because of that woman!' the customer protested. Again, however, I pointed out that I failed to see where the Sony DCR-DVD301 was in any way at fault.
'Whenever I turn the goddamn thing on, there she is. You try it!' So I did. I would not believe what happened next if I hadn't been there myself. I pointed the camera at him, hit 'record,' and nothing unusual happened.
'Just wait,' he said.
Suddenly behind him appeared Courtney Love.
'Here, camera camera camera,' she slurred as she weaved into frame. At first I didn't recognize her, as her features have altered considerably in the time since her prominence waned. Like Joan Rivers, she looks more and more like a burn victim who has used her face to clean a Cosmetics Counter.
'What did I tell you?' the customer demanded. He looked up at the ceiling. 'God, I take back anything bad I ever said about Yoko Ono!'
'Chill the fuck out,' Ms. Love admonished him, then resumed her play for the camera’s attention. 'Look at me..look at meeeee,' she pleaded. The customer turned angrily towards her.
'You give psychotic whores a bad name!!' he screamed. 'At least Nancy Spungeon had the courtesy to die!!'
'Oh, fuck you..SUCK MY TITS!!' she screamed as she tore her top open. She turned toward me, bleary-eyed. 'Dare me to blow a homeless guy?' she challenged.
I turned the camera off. She was suddenly nowhere to be seen.

I immediately began processing the customer's refund.

In the weeks since this event, we have had several returns of this model camera, all of them with the exact same complaint. She has intruded on a Wedding video, a Guatemalan family reunion, a video of an intensely personal nature shot by a former member of RATT, and most shockingly, footage of a 13-month old's first steps, where Ms. Love pushed the child carelessly into a coffee table to put herself before the lens. There is no rational explanation for any of this, except to say that Ms. Love is evidently drawn to this model camera like starving Nigerians to a Grain Truck. There is at least one instance of her appearing simultaneously in different parts of the city.

Of particular concern is her appearance at a College orientation event last week. When she materialized and demanded of attendees to say who she was, an older man said 'Jocelyn Wildenstein?' Ms. Love then broke a bottle of Pellegrino over the poor man's head, opening a gash that required a dozen stitches to close. I cannot say what Sony's legal liability might be if this event is tied into the ongoing phenomena I would hazard to guess it is a part of.

It is due to this and other concerns that I must inform you Samy's can no longer carry, sell or service the DCR-DVD301, and I urge you to initiate a recall before something tragic results.

David Malmsten
Manager, Digital Camera Dept.
Samy's Cameras, Los Angeles

Get this to Nicole Seligman in the General Counsel office; she has a growing file of this type of letter. I don’t know what the defect is in the product design, but the problem is endemic to the DCR-DVD301. Please re-state my concern that we are heading into class-action territory if this situation is not handled in some way ASAP.



Blogger Johnny Mainstream said...

Shit is jokes like a MOTHERFUCKER!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Digitalicat said...

Ha ha! Nice one. Very clever, Bachem. This kind of reminds me of an old Stephen King story. "Sun Dog," or something like that.

10:10 AM  
Blogger bess said...

Ok, the line about the dress is funny -reminds me of her lyric "Everytime that I look into the sun, angel dust and my dress just comes undone," but the bit of dialogue after ruins it (i.e. the lifting of the dress should be arbritary and purposeless).

Anyway, courtney has a charm to her even now. And her albums are really good.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Madame D said...

Yeah, for some reason we seem to be seeing Ms. Love all over now, clearly NOT complying with that whole sobriety thing...
Note to self-now is not the time to purchase any sort of video recording product. Lest this happen to others...

4:16 PM  
Blogger Saviour Onassis said...

Unfortunately, you have captured the very essence of Our Lady of Perpetual Narcissism. This poor diva has become her own worst enemy and a punchline to boot. Instead of producing a great body of work, she has floundered her opportunistic fame on cheap antics. Like Judy Garland, near the end, Love is a car crash we cannot pull our eyes from.

9:11 AM  
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