Friday, June 19, 2009

Share and Share Alike?

Hello once again, my fellow prisoners... today's WTF? moment in history is brought to you in part by none other than (drum roll, please) the record industry! Ah, yes, the good ole' record industry! This morning whilst perusing through the internets (sic) I happened to spot myself this interesting story this morning online at Yahoo! (actually, at the time of this republishing, the aforementioned link has been deleted into the annals of Yahoo history, and I don't mean browser history, if you acquire my drift, so I've taken the liberty of sharing a link which describes the bigger gist of what this here blog post is all about). Either way, I just couldn't bare to pass this up without first sharing my two cents worth... so here goes.

Apparently, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a mother of four had been fined $80,000 (plus tax?) for illegally downloading some tunes off of Kazaa. (I'm not even going to input a link to this site, because it has cost me problems in the past with viruses and whatnot...so do it at your own risk). This to be sounds like the end all be all to one's own personal right to privacy. I mean...how in the hell did they determine that she was the one responsible for this type of alleged activity? There has to be like thousands, maybe even millions of people that are downloading tunes off of some site or another, but they chose this poor woman, who's a mother of four, as a scapegoat to serve as a musical martyr. This to me is a fine example of what the evil empirical record label of a music industry represents on any given one of its better days...the ills and thrills of corporate capital greed. It's bad enough that they even went as far as attempting to settle the case for a measly, I don't know... $3,000 or $5,000?!? Sure, let me just dig into my other wallet, I'm sure I have a stack of Benjamins hidden away in a secret compartment somewhere! The article goes on to name a couple of artists that she purportedly shared songs of, via the use of illegal file-sharing, and whatever else have you. The artists included were none other Gloria Estefan, Sheryl Crow, Green Day, and Journey, just to name a few... which they did, either way; so I have no idea how many other artists were affected by this alleged free for all deal.

Doesn't anybody have the decency to put two and two together sometimes? Not everybody uses Kazaa; and the ones that do, use it at their own risk. But to crack down upon a mother of four just to musically crucify her as a means of serving an example of everyone who engages in the guilty pleasure of getting songs for free is just sick, in my opinion. So where do we go from here then? Do we summon up the ghost of Frank Zappa's Central Scrutinizer, just so we can finish enforcing all the laws that haven't been passed yet? You know, all the normal, day-to-day activities you may be performing that might one day end up affecting your parent's credit rating?!? Are they phucking serious here?!? Sure, I understand that a performer is entitled to reap the rewards of all the fine work they do as musical artists; that is...whatever's left awarded to them after the label and/or the management finishes corn holing them for everything their worth, but this here just doesn't really sit all too well with me, 'cause I figure if this can happen to her, it can happen to just about anybody...and deliberately at random! I wonder how all these aforementioned artists are feeling about this; as a matter of fact why doesn't someone bother to write them a letter (or an email) with the link to the story and ask them what's their take on it? Do they feel that this lady deserves what she got, just for being a fan that probably couldn't afford to buy the actual discs that the songs were on, just because she may be struggling to get by and trying to keep her family four children well fed and looked after and whatnot?

This is really sick and appalling here, folks. Not only are the big name artists; specifically the rock n' roll singers that already dancing upon our paycheck(s), as Beck sang in the self-deprecating opus Pay No Mind getting rich and fat off of our musical tastes, but now the industry that represents them is taking the liberty of milking their fans out of their money a little more. What I say is that maybe we ought to do the same to them, you know? Starting with all the bank financier's that caused the big economic collapse that we are all now facing in the midst of this recession. Hell---we can't even determine if what we're in is actually a recession or another Great Depression. Yes indeed, we are all in denial, which is one of the first steps that a recovering alcoholic must face. And to that I offer a toast! A toast to alcohol, for without it---there wouldn't be any honesty left in the world. I salute all ye corporate demons and pocket picking sycophants that have nothing else better to do than to steal from the poor and give to the rich. I applaud your merits for displaying the class that you show in dealing with a practice that is as common as say...a three loaf clover! (And my apologies for not being able to come up with something wittier here, but it's what I've got to work with, so bear with me, folks). And what's even more ironic here is that there's an industry based around rewritable CDs, blank tapes, and just about any other recording paraphernalia that you can think about, out there! Which would make this type of criminal behavior perfectly encouragable in a sense, wouldn't it?

Anyways, that about does it for my rant, slanted view, stance, take, spin, or whatever you want to call it...on this whole story. If you've got any of the artists mentioned above on any of your own MySpace profile's friends list, why not send them a message, or leave them a comment asking what their opinion is on the issue? Of course, don't tell them you heard it from me, 'cause the last thing I need is to get sued for insinuating a public spam campaign, if you can call raising awareness about this particular issue just that. Hey, there's an idea! Why not get all the artists together so they can raise funds for this woman to pay off her lawsuit? We can call it Jammiepalooza or Thomasfest, you know? Something like that! Yeah, that sounds reasonable. A concert to benefit the poor and disenfranchised that can't afford to buy their own music! Call me crazy, but we may just be on to something here! We can sell all the CDs to benefit Jammie's court case...and the rest of the profit will go towards paying off all the injured parties that are probably busying themselves with wine, women, and song as we speak, either way! So rock (opera) on there, fellas!

And finally, here's a nice little visual which I came across somewhere online, ages ago, which I thought would help illustrate the satirical point that I may be making here, a little more clearly...

Music Communism Image

And since I downloaded that image way back in the day, I guess the authorities will be looking for me as well, very shortly! Either way, I've taken the liberty of looking up just where that thing was from, and I found it on The Modern Humorist. You can click on the image or the link to access that site. I figure it's the least I can do to give back to the community...not like some industries that I know of that will not stop at nothing to milk every last penny out of us all, especially if we don't even deserve what's coming to us in the first place!

This has been P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII's other alias) reporting for the dissociated blog that is The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

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