ESTABLISHING SHOT of an outdoor sidewalk café near Foggy Bottom.

EXT. CAFÉ – WASHINGTON, D.C.
Intrepid Idea Engineer Christian has coffee with a management consultant friend. In Washington, it’s often humid. And the humidity isn’t just a climatological phenomenon; it’s a character in the town’s ongoing drama. In fact, it’s a character named Shirley.

CHRISTIAN
Wow. Shirley is intense today.

The consultant nods. They both sip their coffees. Then . . .

CONSULTANT
I think I’ve found a hole in your “old is the new new” theory.

CHRISTIAN
Impossible. The theory is bulletproof.

CONSULTANT
Not quite.

(lets Christian simmer in response)
Its Achilles heel is technology. Nobody wants what’s old in technology. Sure, hipsters may loiter outside A&F with faded green Atari t-shirts. But that’s fashion. Not tech. When it comes to actual technology, nobody wants to play video games on a vintage Atari. They want the latest wii. Technology is always just about the new. In fact, the market is so committed to the new that tech companies can guarantee obsolescence in their products, requiring that consumers buy new computers every other year. And consumers actually put up with it.

CHRISTIAN
You just sprayed my theory with cop-killer bullets. But it’s still alive and well. ‘Cause like I told you, it’s bulletproof. Even in the realm of technology.

CONSULTANT
Prove it.

CHRISTIAN
I intend to.

CONSULTANT
I bet you can’t.

CHRISTIAN
I bet I can.

(puts hand out)

Gentleman’s bet?

CONSULTANT
Sure.

They shake.

Christian closes his eyes, thinking. He takes a deep Zen breath, exhales, and opens his eyes.

CHRISTIAN
Ok. Here goes.

(beat)

The iPod.

CONSULTANT
What about it. People like it cuz it’s new. Music and media on a tiny flash drive.

CHRISTIAN
No. Slow down. Take the iPod, picture it in your imagination, and then describe to me its signature element—the thing that comes to mind when you think of its trademark component.

CONSULTANT
Um . . .

CHRISTIAN
Think about its ad campaign. All those billboards. What’s the part of the iPod that you mostly see?

CONSULTANT
The white earphones.

CHRISTIAN
More specifically, the white wires. Not even the ear buds. Wires. iPods are branded on wires. They aren’t Bluetooth or anything fancy. The original walkman had earphones with wires. Wires are old. And yet they were the centerpiece of the entire, famous ad campaign with folks in various states of boogie, hair tossing, cool color background, and white earphone wires front and center. A gazillion-dollar ad campaign wrapped around something as technologically primitive as earphones with wires.

CONSULTANT
Hmm. What’s the opposite of wireless . . . wireful?

CHRISTIAN
Let’s just assume it is. Wires on earphones are old. In the category of earphones, and even computer network connections, the trajectory of technology is to go wireless. But with the iPod, the opposite of wireless—wires—became the signature of what’s new. Old is the new new.

CONSULTANT
I get the point. You’re repeating yourself. What else you got.

CHRISTIAN
I think my example—the iPod—is a pretty devastating illustration of old is the new new, even for tech. So, technically, I could insist that our bet already has a winner, and he is me. But, out of sportsmanship, I’ll give you another example. I saw a book in a bookstore. It was called “A Lion Called Christian.” On the cover, it had an embossed medallion—you know, like the kind announcing a book prize or something—and it said “The Story Behind the YouTube® Sensation.”

CONSULTANT
YouTube is tech and it’s new.

CHRISTIAN
Yes, but books aren’t. Think about the trajectory here. There’s this story of two guys who raise a lion, and then the lion gets too big, so they release him in Africa. Years later, they go to Africa, and they are re-united with the lion in the wild, and someone films it. The lion not only remembers them, but loves them and hugs them. It’s actually pretty sweet. Even the spin-off version of the video that I watched—a version of the original YouTube video that someone re-cut as a kind of valentine that you can email to your sweetheart—has more than 11 million views. Just imagine what the original has.

(takes a sip of coffee)

Anyway, so you have this trajectory. From story, to film footage. And then to a new iteration—a video made for YouTube that becomes a sensation. So there we are, the story has slipped the surly bonds of low-tech media and hit this pinnacle of cutting-edge technology distribution—i.e., incarnation as a YouTube-ism that’s embeddable, emailable, viewable on iPhones, etc. Now, what’s the next iteration in this technological trajectory? What’s the new incarnation that comes after YouTube? A book. So the newest thing in this trajectory is actually a very old piece of technology. A book. A reprinted book, at that. And this book is working. It’s been on the bestseller list. Old is the new new.

CONSULTANT
I just think you like the book because it’s about a lion named Christian.

CHRISTIAN
Perhaps. I do fancy myself to be the possessor of many lion-like qualities. Regardless, pay up, sucker.

CONSULTANT
It was a gentleman’s bet. No money exchanges hands in a gentleman’s bet.

CHRISTIAN
I know. I just liked saying “pay up, sucker.”

END