Friday, March 11, 2011

A Breadwinner of a Post

Here begins the newest, most amazing musing from The Loudest Fan. Bow appropriately:

It seems my self-promotion is already paying-off. Thanks to all of my new followers. YOU'VE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

Now, to get angry.

I want to continue talking about both human entitlement and "selling out." SO I WILL. Tough titties to all those hoping for me to change the subject up a bit. I'm writing more frequently now. Isn't that enough for you people? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? [cue Joaquin Phoenix's pouty-face]

Art (all creative content, for that matter) absolutely should and must be free. By free, I mean openly available to all. At least, to me. No question about it. Creative content that is not openly available to all/me lacks accountability, for which I am the ultimate judge, above all others. For creative content to have any value, it must be accountable for whatever it accomplishes, which in itself is entirely dependent upon its audiences and their ability to access it. I'm saying nothing new here.

In a perfect universe, creators create and... that's it. Creators create. Unfortunately, this universe is drastically imperfect, solely because it contains life besides mine. Life is imperfection, imperfection is life. Once again, nothing new (BE PATIENT). So, creators create, but must also live. For them, life is not only an imperfect process of providing for themselves, but providing for their creations as well, be they paintings, movies, books, blogs, children, etc. No creation is free in the sense of being uninhibited in its development and nurture. Life stands in the way, most every step of said way, unless you know how to kick it in its stupid face. Where creation transcends into art is in the artist's mastery of manipulation (i.e. face-kicking), turning that inhibition of life (be it a monetary limit, a cultural pressure, a time constraint, what have you) against itself to ensure the creation's nourishment even further. Lemons into lemonade. More accurately, water into lemonade, once the lemons drop from the tree and hit you on the head. Limeade is better, though.

So, why do we as a culture hold so much against a creator who embraces commodification (patent pending on that word), be it via sales or with advertising? Artistic integrity? That's only compromised if it's compromised. Even something as invasive as product placement can be manipulated by a skilled artist to contribute artistically to the work- satire is usually the easiest way to do so ("The Colbert Report" and Talladega Nights come to mind), but that's hardly appropriate outside of comedy (BECAUSE I SAID SO, DAMNIT), and I'd kill to see someone effectively pull it off straight. Does that mean I'll end up murdering someone when I finally get around to watching "Mad Men" (from what I hear, I'm gonna end up loving that Don Draper)? Possibly.

So, who has the right to decry a band that charges for a song download? To bemoan internet videos for having commercials (especially when more and more advertisers are finding value in using genuinely creative talent, as Old Spice did with Tim & Eric!)? And if your complaint is that those come from broken institutions ("the band doesn't see that money, it goes right to the record company"), then who the Hell are you to place the responsibility on the creators to develop and run the alternative, rhetorical reader? It's not enough that they have to be the ones creating in spite of everything, but now they have to set up and maintain an infrastructure to get voluntary (read: not guaranteed) support from you?

Let's start wrapping this up. Now, I'm not saying that the "download now, pay later" method championed in that one Minecraft article (you know the one- one of YOU is bound to post it in the comments field) is a bad one. I am saying that if that's the mode we want, which makes us the patrons, and which contributes to the creators consistently and fairly, then we need to be the ones to set it up and get it working, not the people who already work so hard for us. Record companies weren't started by bands (the good, non-exploitative labels are now, but that shouldn't have been their responsibility). Publishing houses weren't started by authors. SO QUIT BEING SO DAMN LAZY IF YOU DESERVE TO BE ENTERTAINED SO MUCH. You get it started, or you fix what's here (mandated salary caps for all artistic distribution execs/higher minimum contract rates for talent? Hooray socialism! Yay unions!). If not, then buy the freaking song and watch the damn commercial, jerk.


  1. Haters gonna hate.

    Honestly? Enough people abide the system that I am perfectly content with my "free" material.

    The point you don't address well here is that we also have to weigh our ability to afford with our ability to obtain on our need to be entertained.

    It's human nature that if we expect no punishment for something fortuitous that we will do it. Integrity is laudible, but not for me.

    Also, you present us with a "vote with your dollar" approach. Support what you like and there will be more of it. However, I am one person and big business effectively reminds people that one person will never make a change. Furthermore, big business does this by simply existing.

    That said, support local musicians that you like, they need it. =3

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  3. Being "content" (really, exploitative without regret) and claiming entitlement (I DESERVE this or that, in spite of the artist) are different phenomena. That "need to be entertained" and what the passive tense in that suggests, however, is related to entitlement. My point is that art should be free by virtue of art, not by virtue of people's needs for it. So affordability doesn't really come into play. That's part of the whole "imperfection of life" bit. It's a sad fact that creation costs, thus so must consumption. Overall, my point is that it's unfair to demand of the artist that he not only create, but that he does so in such a way that you get it for free/affordable, and that he be entirely responsible for getting it to you in that way, and that he accepts little in return on pain of "compromising artistic integrity." That's so much to ask of someone who sets out primarily to master just the creating part, and I'm asking why we feel we deserve to ask that much while doing little or nothing to help out.

  4. I kind of see the whole "art should be free" sentiment as oddly similar to insults. Sure, we can say it and own it about ourselves, but who are you to do so? I can call my friend a moron for doing something dumb because I am accountable for it, but who are you to do that when you don't understand what he went through? I can say, "Everyone should be able to see my work," but who the Hell are you to say, "I get to see your work because I (or anyone else, for that matter) said so" ?

  5. I'm perfectly familiar with TINSTAAFL and that it even applies in the art world. I did pay attention in Economics. However, I don't necessarily feel so much entitled as it is available to me. In some cases, finding less common media even becomes a challenge. It is feasible, allowable, and commendable when artists make sure they get their cut, but it's just as feasible, allowable, and commendable (in my eyes) when someone exploits the system to get what they want.

    The system is also stacked against the poor. I grew up most of my live close to impoverishment. Can you really blame me for developing a taste in downloading music when I couldn't afford an album?

    It is wrong to profit off other people though. Bootleggers who do it for money are the worst in my opinion.

  6. Then, simply put, I'm not talking about you. Like I said, the affordability issue isn't what I'm addressing (thus the "If not" and what that refers to that conditions my "buy the freaking song"). If the system is stacked against the poor, then the system needs to be fixed or compromise must be made. Fine. Just don't demand it of the artist. He can't fix it, certainly not alone. Any effort he does make is all the more credit to him as a person, but there is only so much he can do. Putting the responsibility of the quick-fix patchwork for the problem on the artist (make your content free, don't sell-out) and expecting him to deliver on that, no matter what, is wrong.

    So, as long as you don't begrudge the artist for making money (especially complaining about commercials and ads, which does allow for affordability), we cool.

  7. I think ~Fabi said it best at the top...

    Hatters gonna hate...

  8. the way i support the arts is Ipay to go see a band , and buy the cd there usually more of the money finds its way to there pockets then the corporations. and if a band says to pirate there music i shall.

  9. I'm a bad person. I do not pay for much anymore.

  10. I download almost all of my music, and am not ashamed of it.

    It is also unfortunately my firm belief that in this day and age, the popularity of an artist has much more to do with how heavily they're promoted, rather than how talented they are.

    As such, doesn't this mean that it's a GOOD thing that the record companies get most of our money, not the artist? They're the ones doing most of the work, after all. A lot of popular artists don't even do their own songwriting anyway.

    Of course, I'm still too cheap to give my money to these hardworking record company employees, when I can just get the music for free.

  11. Music is music and should be free of charge; infact I think if music was free of charge, more bands would become more popular, increasing revenue selling products and/or concert tickets.

  12. I now regret bringing up downloading, because it seems too many people are latching onto that, which is a shame.

  13. it is a sign of humility. of course, any sign of humility that is emitted on purpose is also a sign of the very opposite

  14. Thankyou for your protips! The "download now, pay later" method did not work for me however. Ill try again. Thanks for the article!

  15. I agree with DivineJerry, the music "model" these days has become something like this.

    Release free music online, build fanbase, and then tour all over selling tickets for live shows.

  16. I agree with steweneweduk. Music is no longer about art, just money.

  17. i dont get the "art should be free" is there something im missing?.

  18. Nah, artists deserve to get paid. Followed!

  19. have a lot on your mind...makes my brain hurt.


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