Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Quite probably wrongheaded opinions 

Sorry to have been quiet for a while. I've had a birthday since the last entry so naturally there's been a lot of cleaning up to do after the week-long debauchery that marked the occasion. Top tip to save you from repeating my mistakes: don't cut the cake before the dancing girl bursts out. The good news is that Fifi Eloise is in a stable condition and the doctors assure us that the scarring should hardly be noticeable at all, even, amazingly, in her working clothes.

Interesting Radio 4 programme the other night on the whole "Illegal downloading is killing music" issue. Well, interesting but a little predictable: according to people who earn lots of money in high up jobs in record companies illegal downloading is A Bad Thing; according to people who don't want to spend 13 quid on an album (containing only a couple of tracks that they actually want) it is A Good Thing.

Difficult to feel very sorry for the record company executives although I suppose one can understand their Chicken Licken panic as their entire world begins to crumble around them. Still, fuck 'em if they can't see the bigger picture. Less power to marketing men, more to the artists; more artists gaining a respectable-sized audience, fewer becoming megalomaniacal megastars; more emphasis on public performance as a means of earning, with the cheap or free availability of the recordings online mainly serving as a way of promoting such performance... Almost certainly a naive and idealistic fantasy but let me dream for a while before the big boys find a way of regaining control. I really hope they don't though.

Actually, the attitudes of the big companies reminds me of that of fishermen as described by my marine biologist chum, Matt. Basically, faced with overwhelming evidence and logical argument that their industry cannot possibly continue as it has done in the past they put their hands over their ears and go "la la la" until you stop saying such horrid things.

Incidentally, George Michael has apparently claimed that he will henceforth be eschewing record companies' involvement in his work and releasing future work online for free (but suggesting that fans donate to favoured charities). He expects that in this way he may well end up releasing twice as much music as hitherto. This is the first persuasive argument against downloading that I've heard.

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