Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Who do they think they are?

By ozone in Op-Ed
Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:49:10 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

I've just read the submission on the SDMI and other stories about copyright protection and I'm starting to feel the anger rising...

Why do we waste our time with the entertainment industry at all? They rip us off, they dictate terms and restrict what we can listen to.

We're like f**kin sheep, sitting around, accepting our fate - we think the existing entertainment industry is the only way, we can't do without them. Why? What do they provide? Let's see:
  • Distribution
  • Money
  • Promotion
Hmmm, so which of these can't we do with the 'Net?

I've been browsing around at IFilm recently... So far I've found comedies, shorts, full length films of far better content and higher quality than anything I've seen come out of the film industry recently - I mean 'Big Mommas house' - what a pile of shite! I paid for that and walked out after 10 minutes. I paid nothing for The Killer bean II, but it absolutely rules!

So now I've dealt with movies, what about radio? Those stupid, mind-numbing, inane adverts... I haven't got pimples, I've got car insurance, I don't want to know about the latest chart-topping mass-market girl/boy band. WTF, why do we put up with it? I now only listen to live 365. Any music you want. Free, with no breaks.

Please don't get me started on tv

So, what's wrong with us? Instead of wasting our time fighting these laws and technologies, what we should be looking at is how to rid ourselves of these companies that restrict us. Can someone tell me why can't I listen to RATM or Feeder on a radio station? Why can't I watch the movies that make me think? Why I have to put up with someone else's idea of what I should enjoy?

We need to Wake UP and realise that we've had so much propaganda spewed at us, we don't even see that it's all smoke and bullsh1t. We are the people that consume their product - we should be able to decide what it is we can and can't consume.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o IFilm
o The Killer bean II
o live 365
o Also by ozone

Display: Sort:
Who do they think they are? | 72 comments (71 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Well spoken! (2.31 / 16) (#2)
by caine on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:21:23 PM EST

If I've ever seen a rant, this is it! =) And not only that, it's good and right too. Todays large corporations are well aware that they can pull of basically anything without the majority of the consumers reacting. With the entertainment industry we have a chance to strike back. If other areas sees that consumers opinion DO make a diffrence and that they could loose their upperhand, perhaps they'll become a bit more consumerfriendly. One can hope anyway.


Strike could help this along. (4.00 / 4) (#19)
by erotus on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:50:49 AM EST

In case you don't know, the screen actors guild is scheduling a strike. Here is what Entertainment Tonight has said, "If a strike happens, Hollywood television and film production could shut down for months. Studio heads are rushing films into production. Oscar®-winning director Oliver Stone says he is feeling pressured to complete his next movie as quickly as possible..."

Now is the time to write the industry and tell them your opinion. The industry will be severely crippled should this strike take place. It could mean your normal fall TV programming won't be there and movie theaters empty. The industry is about to be hit very hard and maybe now they will take your opinions seriously. However, keep in mind their first interest will be pleasing the screen actors guild.

[ Parent ]
One thing they provide... (3.35 / 17) (#3)
by evilquaker on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:29:18 PM EST

... is a common experience. I don't watch TV, don't listen to the radio or any mainstream music, and don't go to the movies. This makes it pretty difficult at times to make small-talk with people I don't know, or even people I do. People like to have a common experience (e.g. Survivor, that Millionaire show, the Olympics, etc.) with which to have light discussions (i.e. not weighty subjects like the Middle East) with others. It's part of what makes us the social creatures that we are.

"Die, spork user! And burn in fiery torment!" -- Handy, the Handpuppet of Doom

Re: One thing they provide... (3.81 / 11) (#5)
by h0tr0d on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:37:49 PM EST

I have had this experience more than once. Not being an avid tv/movie watcher I often find myself outside of the social conversations that take place in any environment(party, work, etc.). I have also found that I enjoy it. Yes, there are times when I come home from work and the only thing that I can say to my wife is that the people I work with are freaking idiots because they can't hold an intelligent conversation about anything that they didn't see on the boob tube(and that doesn't take any intelligence!). However, I have also found that when I do find someone to have a decent conversation with the conversation is much better. Probably because of two reasons: 1) they are the same as I am and aren't victims of the entertainment empire and 2) neither of our minds are cluttered with the cr@p that is fed to the rest of society. This leaves much more room for important things. You know, like the economy, why tech companies suck, the homeless, etc.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.
[ Parent ]

and another... (none / 0) (#65)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 11:02:48 PM EST

In fact it's pretty much fun when you don't watch TV and you interpose yourself into a TV oriented conversation, because all you can say, really, is, "So! I don't happen to have ever watched this Seinfeld/Survivor/whatever show. Can you explain to me what's going on there?" Whereupon the person you so innocently ask starts to explain the events on the TV show as though they were coherent, as though they made some kind of sense. Of course they do not. TV shows, like all advertising, are only a highly sophisticated form of lying. And in the course of trying to tell you what is going on the speaker discovers in slow motion that the logic of the plot of the show he admires so well doesn't actually work at all. I'll admit it isn't very nice amusing yourself by stimulating and then watching consternation in others, but is is an awful lot of fun, and if you want to think as sloppily as a TV fan you could even rationalize it as a sort of salutary spanking.

...I come home from work and the only thing that I can say to my wife is that...

I'm married too, and my wife doesn't go off to work. I worked seventy hours last week. For the life of me I can't fundamentally make any sense out of what all I did there then. I begin to suspect that my splendidly clever wife, from not being subject to the systematic idiotization of regular paid work, is as much more sensible and intelligent than I, as I am more sensible than my TV addicted co-workers. I'd guess work has as sinister an effect as the decerebration that befalls nine out of ten TV fans. Can't be sure though, so far am I under its influence.

At least I managed to fight free of those God damned computers!

Sur veyin is the life for me!
Corn struction's where I'd rather be!
Swamp spreadin out so far an wide
F*ck the office, just gimme that suicide.

Yours WD "sunburned" K - WKiernan@concentric.net

"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.
[ Parent ]

Re: One thing they provide... (3.50 / 8) (#6)
by SIGFPE on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:49:39 PM EST

Interesting point!

I moved from the UK to the US 3 years ago but I don't watch TV. (OK - I watch a few minutes of CNN here and there, Star Trek every other week and the occasional PBS programme.) As a result I'm missing out on a big piece of American culture.

I had to go to traffic school the other day. Comedy traffic school! Every joke was about a TV show or personality. I didn't get any jokes. (OK, I now have to admit I have watched South Park a few times so I did have a vague idea what the RoShamBo joke was about!). I felt like someone who spoke a foreign language.

Fortunately my work colleagues don't seem to watch TV much either so I can communicate with them!
[ Parent ]
American culture is defined by TV. (2.87 / 8) (#7)
by your_desired_username on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 08:15:48 PM EST


Mainstream American culture is defined by the NAB and transmitted by TV, movies, and radio.

I almost never watch TV. I listen to the Americans I have lived around for 27 years, and often feel as if I am not one of them, despite having been born and raised in the US.

I feel this is a good thing. When someone says 'What did you think of seinfield' (my english lit 250 prof required us to read screenplays of that monstrosity), I get a kick out of saying 'I do not waste my time with such foolishness.'

As for smalltalk, well, that is a dynamicly typed pure OO programming language, which most Americans know nothing about.

[ Parent ]
Not for me (3.33 / 3) (#40)
by dabadab on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:01:55 AM EST

Well, I do not know, but I hardly watch TV - but neither my coworkers or friends do.
So, if one of us happens to see something, they do not suppose that everybody has seen it, but rather they present it in a "hey, I have seen this thing on TV, let me tell you" way.
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
It's about time! (3.33 / 18) (#4)
by h0tr0d on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 07:29:44 PM EST

I am so sick and tired of listening to everybody and their brother go off about the MPAA/RIAA/etc. and then turn around and buy 5 cd's, 3 DVD's, and go to 4 movies all in one weekend. How many times have we discussed the fact that the entertainment industry revolves around greed. So why not hit them where it counts. Yeah, I know, just me not buying CD's won't affect them at all. You're right, they won't even notice the loss of one consumer. However, if many band together and find something better to do with their lives than continue to feed the greed machine then we would all be better off.

I haven't bought a CD in about 3 years and have only been to three movies in the past three years (two of which were for my son). So, while I may not have completely abondoned the entertainment industry I have at least reduced my consumption of the utter cr@p that they produce. I just get so fed up with all of these people that constantly whine about the current situation yet spend thousands of dollars a year on the stuff. Get a back bone people. If you are really fed up with the way things are do something to change them. Complaining without taking action is simply a waste of good oxygen. So get off your lazy, pathetic arses and do something other than watch a movie this weekend. And no, you don't need that new CD/DVD, there are better things to do with life.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.

Re: It's about time! (4.00 / 6) (#16)
by Colonol_Panic on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:33:48 AM EST

Sitting around waiting for the masses to come to their senses is not going to work! Can't you see that American culture is defined by the entertainment industry? Sure, there are those that were never too impressed with it to begin with, and found it easy to do without. But we are nothing but freaks and weirdos. Do you really think that the other 98% of people in this country care at all if the RIAA/MPAA are being monopolistic and greedy? Such passive aggressive attempts to teach them a lesson will not work. We must be very proactive in fighting them. Write your congressman! In fact, you can use mp3.com's page here to look him up by your zipcode.
Here's my DeCSS mirror. Where's Yours?
[ Parent ]
You CAN have your cake and eat it too... (2.66 / 3) (#50)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:21:21 PM EST

(okay... that's a dumb-sounding cliche... WTF)

Do what I do.

If you're fortunate enought to live in the city itself, or even in Berkeley, you have access to a wonderful shop called Ameoba Records. It has a USED CD selection that puts the virgin megastore's NEW collection to shame.

(If you DON'T live in the city or Berkeley, just hop a BART... it's DEFINATELY worth the fare)

Ameoba has a very good selection of used DVDs as well.

Now, wether or not the RIAA's anti-fair-use-stooges, metallica, suceeds or fails is irrelevant. Because their anti-first-sale-stooge, garth brooks, FAILED, spectacularly and publicly, to destroy first sale rights.

So you can shop at Ameoba, and happily buy all the CDs and DVDs you want, and the RIAA/metallica and the MPAA will never see so much as a penny!!! (WooHoo!!!!)

Just look for the *YELLOW* tags.


Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

This approach is flawed. (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by h0tr0d on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:40:06 PM EST

While they may not be getting any money from me they are still getting it from those that had to buy it new in order for me to buy it used. While I agree that the masses just don't care how they're getting screwed (or are too dumb to do anything about it) my purchasing used items really doesn't help. It's up to me to educate those that I know that are the sheep of the entertainment industry. As Colonol_Panic said, "We must be very proactive in fighting them." This is the only way that we will ever be able to make a difference. I don't believe that buying used merchandise helps out one bit. The more business that the used resellers get the more they are inclined to support the industry and those that have fallen prey to it's tactics.

-- It appears that my spleeing chucker isn't working again.
[ Parent ]

How do you know where h0tr0d lives? (2.00 / 1) (#54)
by kallisti on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:48:31 PM EST

I searched the post several times, but didn't see any clues where it was posted from. Most people don't live near "the city" and have no idea what a BART is.

On the other hand, if you do live in Berkeley, you might also want to check out Rasputin right next door to Amoeba.

Don't forget the rest of the US, not to mention the world.

[ Parent ]

Okie, my bad.... (2.00 / 3) (#62)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 03:30:57 AM EST

>Most people don't live near "the city" and have no
>dea what a BART is. On the other hand, if you do live
>in Berkeley, you might also want to check out
>Rasputin right next door to Amoeba.

Okie.... my bad...

No offence was meant towards those of you who live in San Jose or Berkeley or Palo Alto or Cupertino or wherever by refering to San Francisco as "The City".

Granted that, population wise, San Jose is about as large as the city itself. But most people I know, even those who live in San Jose, still refer to San Francisco as "the city" and not "sanfran: or, bob forbid, frisco.

Perhaps it *IS* a bit cheavounistc(sp)... but it's just the way people talk... and I REALLY don't think any slight is meant toward San Jose or Berkeley or Palo Alto or Fremont or etc...

And, to be perfectly honest (and I'm REALLY not intentionally trying to offend anyone here), San Jose reminds me much more of a massive suburb from hell than any kind of city.

So, between the way ppl talk, and between the differences, between the "cities" themselves, I don't think it'r really out of line to refer to San Francisco as "the city".

But then, that's just my opinion... fell free to bitch me out if you REALLY think I'm unfairly neglecting San Jose, or Sunnyvale, or wherever.


Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

I don't know who they think they are but... (3.00 / 18) (#8)
by slashdotRulez on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 09:44:17 PM EST

...I know who you are.
A minority.

Joe Loser does not give a damn about this.
Joe Loser has no taste and a low IQ.
Joe Loser represents the majority of Americans.

Look around you. How many smart people do you see? How many morons?

Who's running the US?
Look at Bush. Does he strike you as intelligent?
How about Gore? He is more intelligent, but does he show it?
How about Clinton? Did you know he was a Rhodes scholar? Did he ever talk about it?

Need I go on...?

The Joe Loser trend. (4.57 / 7) (#25)
by erotus on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:50:45 AM EST

I have noticed a trend in society. Some high school students think it's cool to be dumb, not turn in homework, or be apathetic. The average Joe is spoonfed their entertainment, whether this is football or a daily sitcom. People have lost the ability to be creative and mindful. Marx once said "religion is an opium." Well, I believe that spectator sports, sitcoms, and soap operas have become the "new opium."

I see it every day here in TX. If the Cowboys lose, people are down and depressed. This is no longer entertainment, it is an opium, a dependency, a drug. Those of us who don't give a damn and go on as if nothing ever happened are criticized for not having a life or not being "with it". It seems to me that those who allow their emotions to be controlled by a game, I repeat, a GAME are the one's who are out of touch with reality. Soaps are not much better. I have seen soap opera addicted ladies throw parties when their favorite soap star gets married on the show. They actually have a wedding cake and talk about what could happen on the next episode.

If one looks at a classic bell curve, the space between 1 and -1 represent roughly 68% of a population. I would guess that this is the percentage of society that is spoonfed and doesnt entertain themselves mindfully. I hear so many people grumble about being bored and having nothing to do. "Oh," I say, "Is your TV broken?" "Did the game end early?" Surprising to most, I really don't care and I find it truly amazing that people actually let an outside influence determine their mood for the day. I rarely get bored and I sometimes wonder what is wrong with people who are bored constantly.

Maybe, there are not enough self-actualized people in today's world. The few who don't FOLLOW the mindless mainstream drone culture are a danger to society possibly. Maybe we care about real issues the government would rather have us not care about. Maybe it's because a mindless consumer driven society won't revolt when our freedoms are taken away because we will have lost the desire to do anything but placate ourselves with beer, football, and even more football. Those of you who are conspiracy theorists can ponder if the government is in on the mind numbing effect. Maybe it is, maybe it's not, however, I had a college professor who spoke of these very things.

In the end, I believe that maybe one day there will be an awakening of sorts. Maybe when people have lost enough of their individuality and freedom will they try to regain it. Will it be too late? As it stands now, Joe Loser, as you put it, does not care. He only cares about getting a paycheck, eating, watching TV, and sleeping. His kids are bored... so they watch TV and the cycle perpetuates. His wife is living such an uneventful life, she watches soaps so as to indulge in the fictional life of others. Luckily there some who will escape the mind numbing assimilation so prevelant in society. These escapees, if you will, are the people who are scientists, inventors, the founding fathers of our nation(Ameri-centric), and the people who drive society forward. Regardless, Joe Shmoe will continue to procreate and perpetuate mindless assimilation with the future inheritors of our boob tube culture.

[ Parent ]
And the most incredible part (2.50 / 2) (#47)
by error 404 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:29:26 AM EST

is how easy it is to escape.

You just have to make the slightest effort. Any effort at all to take your own life back will succeed.

I disagree on the soap opera wedding parties, though. You get together with other people and do things and talk, that's good. Even if the things are kind of stupid. What matters is getting together with people and doing things and talking. Not that the things be great or the talking profound.

Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
I'm afraid of Americans (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by Mr Z (The Z is silent) on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 03:50:42 PM EST

Congrats, you've just recapped David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans". (A good song, BTW. David Bowie rocks my world, because he's one of the few true artists out there.)


[ Parent ]
baaaaaaaaah. (2.18 / 11) (#9)
by Didel on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 10:25:08 PM EST

I buy CD's (I always have a CD, never listen to radio) because if I use Napster I feel guilty. I go to local concerts. I don't watch TV. I read books. Many people watch TV, don't read books, and support the friggin commercial bands. We (for the US citizens on K5) live in a capitalist society. buy in bulk. Yes it sucks. Don't support the RIAA, MPAA, or any other corporation you don't want too. Just say No.

(3.00 / 11) (#10)
by Funakoshi on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:22:53 PM EST

Nice rant and I agree. Movies just about all suck these days. I think the budget breaks down to 10% production and 90% marketing. They suck you in with some cool ass commercials and then laugh all the way to the bank while youre watching some no plot, bad acting, contrived piece of crap. As the poster points out there are alternatives to commercial media. The alternatives usually have more substance and are just plain better. I tend to listen to commercial free radio (88.9 KXLU Los Angeles, web page and live feed coming soon :) ) and is much better than the 9 or so songs they play repeatedly all day on say KROQ (a popular LA station). The net will ultimately change the way media is distributed, we are experiencing the death throes of the mainstream media.

w3rd (1.72 / 11) (#11)
by HypoLuxa on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:26:28 PM EST

ozone is my new favorite ranter! Stop buying. Stop watching. Stop listening. They media machine can't control your life if you don't let it.

I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
My issue with the RIAA. (3.60 / 15) (#12)
by Daverix on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 11:42:10 PM EST

During the past year or so, I have not purchased any CDs, or DVDs for that matter. Why?

Well for one thing, any music you want can be found online, and with the aid of a MP3 player or CD Recorder, there is no reason to buy CDs.

Is the RIAA wrong for wanting to stop the trading of music online? That's a tough question, on the one hand, it is technically "illegal", but on the otherhand, the record companies have been inflating the prices for CDs beyond any reasonable limit, how can we feel bad for them?

What put it over the edge for me was this. I work for an ISP around here that was setting up netcasting for a local High School radio station. Being a non-commercial station, they do not have an unlimited budget. The RIAA will not let any broadcast music over the internet, even if they have already paid licensing fees for standard broadcast. So they are getting hit twice with the fees.

Am I missing something here, wouldn't the RIAA WANT the stations to play the music, to improve the group's popularity? It used to be where the record companies would pay the stations to play music (The old "Payola" Scandal). This is getting ridiculous. It is not like the station is putting the songs up on Napster, they are streaming the signal.

Out of principal and practicality, I don't buy CDs. Would I if they were only 9.95 each? Perhaps I would find that more reasonable. Now, what was the point of this long post? If there is an organized "boycott" of the RIAA, will they change? Perhaps, but will they also use the statistics of less people buying CDs to support campaigns against Napster, Gnutella, or others?

What is the best way to affect a change in the RIAA? Perhaps doing away with the whole idea of record companies being in charge of music. With the growing popularity in online music, direct distribution of music right to the web could be the way to wipe out the monopolistic RIAA and other groups.

Perhaps in the future, we will see a completly different way of entertainment reaching the masses, one without the set rules and regulations that we see now days, with the crackdowns on things such a DeCSS (Now that's another rant all together). But that is a long way off, and our society has a long way to go.

I'm done now.

Re: My issue with the RIAA. (4.00 / 5) (#13)
by fluffy grue on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:04:32 AM EST

Lately I've been trying whatever I can to find decent music on mp3.com. There was a previous rant about it being hard to find good music on mp3.com, which I agree with, but I've still managed to find some good stuff on there. Many of the albums to buy there are well under $10, even after shipping (many of them are priced at the minimum price of $5.99, which becomes $8.50 after shipping even if that's the only one you're buying).

Now, there's a few things I don't like about mp3.com's album system. Although artists can have custom cover and liner art, the CD itself can only have a stock format, as can the traycard and the like. Some of that I understand (since they like to pimp themselves however they can), but the only reason they ever give for not allowing the artist to specify their own label is "because we said so." That and they don't allow clued-in artists to use higher than 128Kbit MP3s for their albums... for streaming and downloaded audio I can understand the 128kbit restriction, but when they use a 128kbit MP3 for printing an album, it just sounds like ass. (And it's not just to 'audiophiles' - even on my shitty-ass $20 speakers I can plainly tell the difference between 128kbit and 256kbit or VBR-encoded MP3s.)

Oh well. All that said, I still distribute my music through mp3.com for now because they're the least of a hassle to deal with, and give the artists a 50% cut of the album sale price (beat that, RIAA).

"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

They think there's one of us born every minute... (3.91 / 12) (#14)
by NUMEN on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:26:41 AM EST

I was able to buy 50 CD-Rs for $25 last week. Artists are lucky if they can get 50 cents per CD royalties. But CDs cost $16. The middlemen are raking in huge bucks from our gullibility. Right now there are many wonderful artists wanting to be heard without wanting to sell out. Yes, why not use the Web to do distribution, promotion, and reimbursement? Those are all networking and that's the whole point of the Net. Every week I show that I am willing to bag my own groceries if I can get my bunch of bananas for 25 cents a pound instead of 79. Would you be willing to pay an artist a dollar for a CD and use your own materials to avoid the fatcats in the middle? Yeah, I would. Bring it on.

Re: They think there's one of us born every minute (4.16 / 6) (#20)
by chuq_r on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:53:49 AM EST

Oh, and the entertainment industry isn't the only one that's bad about what they charge. The clothing industry is pretty horrible too. Most items (except, perhaps the most expensive of suits and dresses and such) carry at least a 1000% markup in most cases. Often more. Take for instance, the lowly t-shirt: plain t-shirt costs less than two dollars directly from the factory. Slap a cute logo on it (which, in bulk, only adds maybe another 50 cents to a dollar) and then re-sell it for $20-25.

And, I don't know about you, but the last time I was in a clothing store, some of the crap they try to sell now days is pure butt-ugly. But maybe it's just me...

The fact of the matter is that perceived worth and real value are often two very, very different things. Especially in such a consumer-oriented society as the American one. Everyone seems to do everything they possibly can to insert more dollars into their own pockets. Whether that means cutting from one end or the other (or both!) isn't a big concern when profit is your only motive.

Not that it's necessarily bad. It's just the way things work when they aren't tightly contolled by the government as in Socialism or Communism. But it's instructive to realize just what it is about the typical American psychology that will cause people to pay such inflated prices for things that really don't have any tangible worth.

I wouldn't trade living in America for very many things. I really rather like it here. And just because everyone else buys expensive clothes and pays too much for their CDs and movies doesn't mean that I have to as well. As the original ranter pointed out, there are a ton of ways to get your entertainment that don't cost very much at all -- if anything! And then there's always the shady ways of getting your entertainment... :)

[ Parent ]

Re: They think there's one of us born every minute (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by paranoidfish on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 05:31:02 AM EST

Oh, and the entertainment industry isn't the only one that's bad about what they charge. The clothing industry is pretty horrible too. Most items (except, perhaps the most expensive of suits and dresses and such) carry at least a 1000% markup in most cases. Often more. Take for instance, the lowly t-shirt: plain t-shirt costs less than two dollars directly from the factory. Slap a cute logo on it (which, in bulk, only adds maybe another 50 cents to a dollar) and then re-sell it for $20-25.

I used to work in a clothing store. It does not make the huge profits you suggest it does. Take GAP as an example. Sure it's sourcing those plain white T-Shirts for half the advertised factory outlet price and buying in bulk. But It costs money to maintain a worldwide distribution network. It costs money to rent a worldwide chain of stores. It costs money to pay several thousand staff. It costs money to market these products. It even costs money to source the cheap clothing. It costs money to move the money around. Every activity costs money.

I know that GAP and the like do generate massive profits, but to claim that they are making 24.50 on every T-shirt is an bit excessive.

(Oh, and as a side point, big business like entertainment and clothing creates employment for millions of people worldwide. Sure you can do without your DVD's, but can they do without their paycheck?)

[ Parent ]
Re: They think there's one of us born every minute (4.50 / 6) (#31)
by Bert Peers on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:27:33 AM EST

(Oh, and as a side point, big business like entertainment and clothing creates employment for millions of people worldwide. Sure you can do without your DVD's, but can they do without their paycheck?)
Ah, so now it's not the children but the employed we have to think of ? This is a bogus argument : if you are performing a job which has ultimately become pointless, then indeed, you don't deserve a paycheck and should quit doing it. Using the resulting unemployment as an argument to stop (r)evolution is just plain stupid. Here's an example; before the advent of electricity, streets were illuminated with candles (yes), lit at dusk by a group of city-hired people. Are you saying that we should have stopped the progress of using electricity in public areas because these guys would be unemployed ? Come on.

[ Parent ]
No need for big business (4.00 / 3) (#34)
by bugeyedbill on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 08:11:46 AM EST

(Oh, and as a side point, big business like entertainment and clothing creates employment for millions of people worldwide. Sure you can do without your DVD's, but can they do without their paycheck?)

Sure. If everything was free. Maybe that's the real threat here - the fact that people are willing to work together to make something nice and give it away. I actually know very few people who work for love of money, most people work because they enjoy their work and they like being productive, and the money itself plays a part only because of the bills people have to pay. If those bills were gone, and people worked for production alone, there would be no need for those big businesses who always tell us how bad we need them because they 'employ' us.

[ Parent ]

For the love of it (4.00 / 2) (#51)
by chuq_r on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:26:29 PM EST

What you say strikes a chord with me. I do some work diagnosing and fixing of computers (Largely Windows boxes. 'Tis a pity, but needs must as the Devil drives for most people it seems.) for various referrals. It's not something that in and of itself I particularly enjoy to do, but I do love using and working with computers and I want everyone else to have a little of that same satisfaction. So people are flabbergasted when I don't charge them a dime for my time and at most only charge for the cost of parts I conveniently picked up at CompUSA for them. So far, all of them have insisted on paying me for my time anyway.

And it's not just computers. I know of many amateurs in other fields (carpentry, interior design, musicians, etc) who will do the same sorts of things for people for cheap or free (though they usually get payed more than they ask) just because they love doing what they do. Granted, it's not common by a long shot, but it does happen. A large part of the problem there is just that either people love chasing the dollar too much, or they just keep getting reinforced with the belief that you'll always hate your job and you should do it anyway so you can pay your bills. Not enough people love to do what they do for a job in this world. At least in America anyway.


[ Parent ]

re: No need for big business (none / 0) (#70)
by luethke on Mon Oct 16, 2000 at 06:34:20 AM EST

I don't agree completely with that statement. No, I am not in the search for the most money, but it does make a factor. Money is how much of a scarce product I can get. Do you honestly think something like intel or motorola would produce chips at the rate they do if there was no gain from it? How would the decision be made who would get the latest and greatest. Let's take the playstation 2 for example, only 500,000 units shipped, If it was free I would bet there would be more than 500,000 people wanting them (considering that at $300 there are more than that). Money in the classical sense may not be the currency, but some system of relative worth would have to emerge (all money is is a measurment of relative worth). Bartering of either my time/skill or item that I have that is rare would bevome the norm. Unfortunatly we would be back in a similar boat as now. Also who would do the menial jobs. I don't know about you but I have not known many people whose dream was to become a garbage collector, janitor, ar a myriad other jobs (not that those people are inferior, but I bet that job was not thier first choice). Those people do it because it gets them money. If it didn't what would be the incentive to do a job such as that? These are a handfull of reasons why societies that have tried to do this have failed (the only societies that are even remotely succesfull are very small, those jobs that no one want to do are shared among the group - image sharing trash pickup day with all the citizens of New York). The only way money will even be likely to go away is when the problem of scarcity is solved (ie something like star trek's replicators), and then it is skeptical that it will as my time is always finite, and therefore has a worth. In the end we need a system of relative worth - and given a large enough populace and consumers something similar to big business is inevitable.

[ Parent ]
Big profits and worldwide distribution networks (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by chuq_r on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:12:21 PM EST

I know clothing stores don't make big profits. I wasn't aware that I said anything of the sort. It was merely a lapse in judgement to not also say that there are a few to several middlemen (read: worldwide distribution networks) that every retail store goes through before they get the clothing and have to add their markup to make a still rather hefty profit a lot of times.

But the fact remains that there is still a 1000% markup on most clothing items no matter where the markup occurrs in the chain. I've got some experience in the clothing industry too, both at the manufacturer's end, and at the retailer's, and the profits are very big indeed because people don't buy clothes (usually) for functionality. They buy clothes because they look cool and help get them lots of sex. Well, maybe that's overstating. But only just a little. ;) But it's a fad commodity. No one really needs all the clothes that they buy. I mean, really; who needs 1.5 inch platform shoes and capri pants? Who really needs four pair of khakis? I don't see most of those people going and working in the Outback (except maybe that steak house) and wrangling dingoes.

And about your side point; I'm not even going to get into employment. That's a whole 'nother ball of wax, and what's more, I never said that I disliked that revenue model. I still pay $20 for a t-shirt, $30 for a DVD just like everyone else. I'm just telling it how it is.

[ Parent ]

capitalism will be replaced (5.00 / 3) (#36)
by speek on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 08:55:32 AM EST

Why do you think programmers prefer open-source software? Because people who don't use what they make don't do a good job of making it. Do you think the BackStreet boys really enjoy sitting down and listening to InSync (I don't know how it's spelled). I mean, other than to copy them :-) Do people who make clothes in a factory care how they come out, or how they look? Do movie executives care about the movie they make (I know, some do)? It comes down to this: quality is made by those who care, and you care more about something that's handmade by you, or that you are going to use yourself. That's why the open-source movement is so powerful. And it's entirely opposed to capitalism, because it ensures that nobody owns the means of production. Note, that doesn't make it communism.

The problem is, this only works when the means of production are very very cheap (as in software development). But, in striving for greater and greater profits, the capitalists are making production cheaper and cheaper, and they'll be replaced, industry by industry, by a newer model. First software, then music, movies, soon writing will follow. Eventually, even material goods will follow this course, because we will create machines that can fabricate things given instructions.

Unless, that is, we let these companies legislate more profit-protection acts.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Capitalism (4.50 / 2) (#58)
by bugeyedbill on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 05:48:44 PM EST

This is interesting. It is true that profit can only exist where a small number of people control the means of production. In fact the word 'capitalism' originated from socialists who used it to describe concentration of means of production in a few hands. Naturally, making a profit would be impossible if capital were evenly distributed, for one thing, there would be plenty of people who would produce for free for their own motivations (like in free software movement), and for another - if you subscribe to modern economic theory - competition created by availability of cheap capital would drive profits to 0, creating an economy based on production anyway.

I don't really see capitalism as a system that exists solely to make profit for those who presently control the means of production -it is a system of social order used to reinforce hierarchy in society - a token system whereby the number of tokens you hold determines your rank in that hierarchy. And of course, those who hold the most tokens will always see to it that the token system is maintained in their favor so that their rank is maintained. The only way they can do that is to ensure the means of production - which represents real wealth - are concentrated in their hands, otherwise the token system itself is utterly meaningless.

[ Parent ]

Has anybody ever stopped... (4.25 / 16) (#15)
by Miniluv on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:29:36 AM EST

...to think about what the major labels DO provide?

They are greedy, sure. They're not in favor of free music for everyone, sure. But why should they be?

The major function these record labels serve to the music listening community is scouting. Record labels invest an awful lot of money into each and every band they support, and they expect a return on investment. Not unreasonable of them if you ask me. Maybe they're not embracing technology the way we want them to, and maybe they are against spending that money and then giving the music away too, but who wouldn't be?

I don't think the industry will stay the same forever, Napster is making an impact, whether people like it or not. I for one do NOT support Napster, but not necessarily because of the copyright issue in providing illegal distribution channels. More that they are unwilling to work with artists who would like to retain control of their music.

Lars from Metallica tried to make this, and was shouted down as a glutton. Who here though is a member of their fan club? Who here has been allowed to bootleg one of their shows? They recognize the importance of their fans, they always have in fact. BUT they spent a lot of time, money and frustration on regaining control of the masters of their recordings, and for that effort shouldn't they have SOME say in how it's distributed?

I don't think mp3.com is the answer either, because they don't do much to promote a band whose music isn't already selling, unlike the record labels. Ultimately I think we're going to see a system of music distribution where bands are supported mostly by live shows and non-record label merchandise...oh wait, they already DO get the bulk of their money from that. Bands pay the rent by selling concert tickets and t-shirts. The record labels help them get those tickets sold, and those t-shirts desirable to wear. There will be a place for the record labels as long as there are bands willing to sign on them, and people willing to buy their records...and that will always exist. The media may change, but the system won't.

In the end, if you don't like the RIAA, tell your favorite bands. Encourage them to form their own labels, tell them you want to buy merchandise directly from them, let THEM know what you think. Do not expect a single band to listen if you won't spend a dime though. I know I sure as hell wouldn't.
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

Re: Has anybody ever stopped... (2.18 / 11) (#17)
by maketo on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:59:43 AM EST

Yes I have. And I have concluded that today's music has absolutely no quality, it is made against the same model, it is cheap, commercial and generally a far cry from the music even twenty or thirty years ago, but then again, it is a part of a broader devaluation of culture, mostly under the influence of the American "run off the mill" method that they so successfully shove into our faces. Look at any field of any human activity today - all the same.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
[ Parent ]
Re: Has anybody ever stopped... (2.66 / 6) (#21)
by FreshView on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:27:26 AM EST

Come on, man, don't start putting up your opinion as if it were the gospel truth. So you don't like today's music, big fucking deal. I like plenty of current artists, who are producing real, artistic, and often beautiful music.

The Cocteau Twins,
Nine Inch Nails,

The list is longer, but I don't really think this should turn into a debate about musical taste. Those are some examples of some recent artists and or bands who I believe have produced music of above-average quality, even when compared with the "great" bands of olde.

Don't let your own pretentiousness get in the way of reasonable thought. Of course most popular music is crap, it almost always has been, it probably always will be. No one's forcing you to listen to the radio. When I turn on the radio and I can't find any bands I like, I'm happy to be able to pop in a CD that I was able to pay too much for at a store to listen to an artist I do appreciate.

And if someone DOES happen to like popular music today, that makes their opinion on the issue no more or less valid than yours. You can argue that the RIAA over charges, or that the cost to the artist isn't worth the service they provide, but please, please don't bring up the whole "artist integrity" argument. It's pure opinion, and has no place in a rational debate.

[ Parent ]
Re: Popular music not being awful (2.00 / 6) (#24)
by Holloway on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:49:16 AM EST

I don't like people who are insecure and needy. They get on my nerves.

Which - now that I think of it - is the same reason I don't like most commercial/popular music.

I agree that this is wholy irrelevant though and is a matter of taste. Ani Difranco is really quite nice.

== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

re. (none / 0) (#66)
by ameoba on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 01:58:32 AM EST

Right... Ani, who claims to be against all the big evil corporations, yet still sells concert tix for $50+

[ Parent ]
:tcejbuS (none / 0) (#68)
by Holloway on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 12:27:21 PM EST

I'm rather libertarian, I guess, so her lefty songs about broader social issues are all arse. But songs about interpersonal schtuff, and frolics, are great. They make me smile.

Her early stuff was all pointless. And I paraphrase her first three albums: "hey mr white businessman, doncha know you're hurting the trees?"

I don't think she's a hypocrite though, and as you haven't proved otherwise I'll continue with that.

== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]

Nope... (2.71 / 7) (#39)
by maketo on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:50:43 AM EST

The artists you listed (and many others) just come and go, their music does not last or stay as music of before did. And when I say "before", I dont mean only twenty to thirty years ago. See, with the flood of artists in all fields of culture it is only necessary that many aspects of it get dissolved. Nowadays you have God knows how many "bestselling authors", everyone is "weird and innovative", many musicians are starting to twist their hands and legs on stage because they are "different". To me they just look like retards. I understand this is a matter of taste. But I also think that the current commercial model made culture the way it is. I also think art used to mean something to the people that made it, they were special in some way, geniouses, call it what you want. Now you have the unwashed trying themselves - fitting the general money making model. In general, artists that made timeless music (century or two ago) did not die rich. Same with artists only twenty to thirty years ago - compared to artists today you can consider them poor. Once money gets into the game - everything gets spoiled. Maybe if music were free only people that really have something to offer would play with it.
agents, bugs, nanites....see the connection?
[ Parent ]
WTF are you smoking? (2.83 / 6) (#45)
by FreshView on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:15:20 AM EST

Dude.. ONE of the bands I listed has been around for almost 20 years, the rest have been making music for about 10 years or so.... how the hell can they have a 30 year following when they've only been around for 10 years? You claim they have no staying power. What, do you have a fucking crystal ball? The music is good, and that's enough, it will be remembered.

Just because your taste isn't the same as mine doesn't mean you don't sound like a pretentious ass when you forecast dire fates for bands you know nothing about. If you don't think The Cocteau Twins, Radiohead, and Nine Inch Nails have made a mark on modern music that has changed music since they began, then obviously you either don't know who those bands are, or you haven't listened to music since they've come out. Moby, on the other hand may not last, and might not have had much of an effect, but it's enough that I find some of the music beautiful, and I want to listen to it.

[ Parent ]
Re: Has anybody ever stopped... (3.57 / 7) (#28)
by Nyarlathotep on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:44:48 AM EST

Scouting is just the fan side of the promotion problem.. and I think it's pretty clear that the industry is seriously fucked up when it comes to scouting and promotion.

Anyway, there are plenty of alternatives: on-line communities where people vote on the quality of songs, an artistic "academia" where famous artists run studieos which promote the less famous artists which they like, etc. Ultimatly, the record companies involvment in scouting and promotion is nothing but harmful to the fans and artists.

Regarding the financial support of the artists. There are many options for an intelegent artists to make money. Hell, there are some donation options where the artists dose not need to do anything. Actually, you could just add a "Go To URL" option to the mp3 players to launch a browser pointed at the bands web page. The advertising money would make it profitable to give away music, i.e. the artists would make money the same way the radio stgations make it.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Re: Has anybody ever stopped... (3.60 / 5) (#33)
by Yer Mom on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 07:41:31 AM EST

Actually, you could just add a "Go To URL" option to the mp3 players to launch a browser pointed at the bands web page.

How do you get the URL, though? Send the artist name to some central server? Then you have another Cuecat-style privacy argument brewing, where people complain that some central organisation knows what they're listening to.

Embed it in the ID3 tags? Then I can guarantee that there are people out there who will strip them out and replace them with links to their homepage/some porno and warez site/goatse.cx/whatever. Simple enough to run all your incoming MP3s through a script to do that before you stick them on Napster...

And all that assumes that your MP3 came from an "official" source in the first place. Download a random MP3 from Napster and take a look at the ID3 tags. You'll be lucky to get artist and track title, let alone year, genre and so on - most people don't bother setting these up when they rip. How many folk are going to go and look for the artist's page and embed the URL?

Smoke crack. Worship Satan. Admin Unix.
[ Parent ]
.. (3.00 / 2) (#69)
by Nyarlathotep on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 02:30:59 PM EST

I think it's pretty clear that the ID tags are the right place to put the link. Who cares if people strip the ID tag? The majority of individuals will not strip the ID tag since they might want a link to find the bands web page to get more songs or read the lyrics to the song.

Now, spammers stripping the ID tag is a much bigger problem, but _no_one_ execpt the spammers wants the ID tags replaced, so there is a lot that can be done. First, Napster could run a junkbuster like service where ID tags which pointed to spammer's web sites were not listed. Clearly, a clever spammer can get arround this by fixing their client to report the wrong ID tag to the Napster search engin, but Napster could just respond by making all their clients replace the ID tag of a downloaded mp3 with the reported ID tag. This would mean that Napster servers (and NOT end users) would be the only people who could spam in this fassion.

Anyway, it's absolutly trivial to stop end users who are spamming via ID tags. The question is how do you stop Napster. There are things that the bands can do to prevent/circumvent Napster from doing this (like include a message in the song which says "come check out more of DJ Joe's mp3s at www.djjoe.org.") It might even be illegal to strip the ID tag and redistribute the modified material (copyright infrengment or violation of the lissence agrement).

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Re: Has anybody ever stopped... (3.90 / 10) (#32)
by Bert Peers on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:40:59 AM EST

It is true that the majors could justify some of their expenses by pointing out the scouting they do. However, this becomes irrelevant if you realize that scouting in itself is just an extension of marketing. They are not looking for beautiful music, or extraordinary artists. They are looking for something that will sell, something that fits their "portfolio", something that they know how to market effectively, something that they can push.

It's telling that people have become so dependent on marketing, ie, letting others tell them what is good, that they would assume scouting to be an intrinsic part of music production and distribution. No, it isn't, mouth-by-mouth still suffices. Witness the various movies and records that have been pushed by marketing beyond belief, and failed miserably. Witness the totally unpromoted artists that came out of nowhere and became famous just by positive consumer momentum.

I know, in the end there's not much argument in this post, it's basically "I don't believe you" -- but that's probably because, as I'm out of the loop of TV/Radio/Magazines, I do rely on word of mouth to find out about new releases -- and it works. I get them from napster, and if they're really good and/or quality suffers from mp3, I see if I can get them on CD. Never in this process do I rely on marketing, hence the implied scouting cost of a CD should be inexistant in my purchase; I would have bought the CD anyway, even if it was home-burnt by the artist-without-a-deal himself.

[ Parent ]

what they actually spend their money on (3.71 / 7) (#37)
by fantastic-cat on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:29:31 AM EST

Having worked in the record industry for 8 months before changing jobs (in disgust) I can now disclose that major record companies don't scout for artists, zero profit indies do. Meanwhile Management/production teams who are in bed with the bosses of the majors (because they used to work for them) push their product in to the shops and to the top of the chart, spending all the profits on shoving as much cocaine, rich food and champagne into their smug, bored, complacent faces whilst sitting in an overpriced hotel at some ridiculously meaningless backslapping award ceremony. The sooner they're out of a job the better. I'm sure the movie industry is no different.

And radiohead can fuck off too!

[ Parent ]

This ain't the NBA... (3.60 / 5) (#38)
by evilquaker on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 09:48:59 AM EST

The major function these record labels serve to the music listening community is scouting.

Scouting, my ass. Let me tell you a little story about a band in the mid-90s. They had a pretty popular sound, something along the lines of Pearl Jam, but more sinister at times. They signed a "letter of intent" (I forget the technical name for it) with a major label. The label then proceeded to tell them "This is what your new sound will be..."; to which they replied "Yeah, right it will, we're outta here"; to which the label replied "Well, you're not signing with any other label, because we've got you under an exclusive contract...". They never got a contract, and broke up a little while later.

Now, if the label had really been "scouting", there would have been no need to tell the band that their sound would have to change. No, the labels don't "scout" in the sense that they search for good bands and then sign them, they look for bands they can mold/exploit to sell records and make money off of, and throw away when they've served their purpose. You can complain about Napster and mp3.com not supporting the artists, but at least they give the artists creative control and the rights to their music, which the major labels often don't.

"Die, spork user! And burn in fiery torment!" -- Handy, the Handpuppet of Doom
[ Parent ]

Did anybody else enjoy Survivor? (2.75 / 8) (#18)
by cmpgn on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:49:57 AM EST

Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I found Survivor to be very enjoyable television. It was mass produced, it was designed to make money, and it often pandered to the lowest common denominator; but it was still enjoyable. It appealed far more to me than Big Brother, primarily because Survivor was a game: physical challenges, group psychology, and a setting that demanded cooperation while struggling for individual victory. The interactions between the contestants reminded me of Diplomacy. The last four "survivors" got to their position by forming a voting block, and the victor, Richard, was a vicious player. The next to last day, Richard told the audience (unbeknownst to the others) that he would be glad when Survivor was finished because it was tiring keeping track of the emotional states of the other players. For Richard, the entire show was a contest, and he manipulated his way to the top. I respect skill, and it was a pleasure to watch Richard's unfold.

Passive Resistance (2.87 / 8) (#22)
by FreshView on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:32:22 AM EST

If everyone here truly hates the movie/music industry (I don't, really, I'm sorry, they're where they are because the american public let them be, I can't blame them), the best thing to do is passive resistance.

Simply don't buy CDs, don't watch movies at the theatre or rent videos or DVDs or buy them, just download every sort of entertainment from the internet. It's breaking the law, sure, but if you truly don't agree with the law, and no one seems to be doing anything about it, then you have to take it down Ghandi style.

Re: Passive Resistance (2.25 / 4) (#26)
by squigly on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:52:52 AM EST

It doesn't work. Persuade every reader of k5, slashdot, anyone on the interent even to stop buying DVD's, and they might just notice. But thats not certain.

If you want to resist, make a noise. Right now I don't quite know how to do this, but once there's a good suggestion I'll try it. Right now, I'll consider creating a DeCSS site, but unless I can make sure that the MPAA will see it, it seems pointless.

People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
fighting technologies and laws (3.60 / 15) (#23)
by hany on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:38:34 AM EST

Instead of wasting our time fighting these laws and technologies ...

I just want to say that while I agree that current entertainment industry sucks and will cease to exist (hopefully soon) it is important to fight "these laws and technologies" ...

... because if we do not fight them, we can wake up one day and found it unable to watch that "The Killer bean II" because it is violating some "do not watch free movies" law or found it unable to listen this "live 365" because ISPs choose to suppoort this "brand new anti-free-broadcast super cool anti-privacy pay-for-every-packet newest generation TPC/IP".


radio stations (2.42 / 7) (#27)
by 0x00 on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:56:55 AM EST


They are absolutely terrible, I get sick of the DJs constantly repeating the radio station name after ever sentence "B105, brings you the latest greatest best hits of the 70s 80s, 90s, BBB105". I mean we are the consumer. WE KNOW WHAT RADIO STATION WE ARE LISTENING TOO. Do people really just scroll through the radio stations in such a trance that they cannot tell what radio station they are listening too. In Brisbane we have 3 main radio stations, MMM, B105 and JJJ. I only listen to JJJ because they are ad free. Both MMM and B105 find it necessary to repeat their name after.every.single.sentence. I find after listening to it at work (apparently the 'youth music' on JJJ isn't appropriate for the hold system) that it makes me feel almost physically ill. While I am ranting like a mad luntic I might aswell share my disgust for 80s music (few exceptions. ie. cure) I can't stand it. Gives me a headache. Should have been left in the 80s along with the hairdos.



Click here to find good music "Yes, I guess there are alot of clowns on comercial radio" </rant>

Re: radio stations (3.33 / 3) (#42)
by CrayDrygu on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:34:32 AM EST

"I get sick of the DJs constantly repeating the radio station name after ever sentence"

I'm pretty sure there's some sort of FCC regulation regarding that. I know that, at the very least, you're required to do a station ID once an hour. So why not just do one every time you break for commercials, eh? Especially considering most radio stations seem to play music in 40-minute chunks now.

[ Parent ]
Since were ranting (3.50 / 2) (#52)
by kallisti on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 01:32:38 PM EST

Why do rock stations hire the stupidest morons as DJs? Particularly during commute, which is the only time I generally listen to the radio. I have to put up with people who thought Chris Farley was high comedy, and any snickering reference to sex is hilarious. Honestly, I didn't think that crap was funny as a sophomore in high school, and I certainly don't want to hear it now.

OK, I feel better now. I generally oppose the "most people are dumb" assumption that I often hear, but the fact is, people do like these guys...

[ Parent ]

Why am I an Idiot? (none / 0) (#64)
by 0x00 on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 08:49:40 AM EST

I think radio stations should ask "Why am i an Idiot" more often. They certainly treat the listener like idiots. I don't know about your radio stations, but 2/3 treat the listener like he is a blue collar worker (gross generalisation here, but its not me, its the radio stations). They will talk to you like you it almost slang and drawl that is clearly not how they normally speak.

It also pisses me right off when they answer competition lines 4-5 minutes early only to repeat the competition rules to the the person on air and say 'Just call back in another 4 minutes, mate". Sure this is a good idea for the first time, try and get the listeners involved in broadcast, but not when you just have a radio DJ reading back the same phrase to the person on the phone which [s]he as been reading for the past hour telling people to phone in at X:XX.

I think i'm going to start listening to CDs only now. I just wish i could find that cd with traffic reports on it. Oh, there it is, with the repetive 'Its all conjested inbound' for the way to work and 'Its all conjested outbound' for the way home. Good bye radio DJs.


Damn, I think i just embarassed myself with that one, I guess I'm a clown.

[ Parent ]
Re: radio stations (none / 0) (#63)
by WWWWolf on Sat Oct 14, 2000 at 07:07:40 AM EST

They are absolutely terrible, I get sick of the DJs constantly repeating the radio station name after ever sentence "B105, brings you the latest greatest best hits of the 70s 80s, 90s, BBB105". I mean we are the consumer. WE KNOW WHAT RADIO STATION WE ARE LISTENING TOO.

No, we don't. Here, most of the local radio stations send, um, "light" music. Damn it if I know what station I've just tuned to if all of them are playing same "hits from the 00s"... Today, I'll need to listen to Radio Theater (Men From Ministry *can't* be missed =) and tuning to Ylen Ykkönen is easy - pick the only channel that plays classical music all the time =)

The only way to tell the channels apart is to listen to the programs. If it's boring and dry, it's the Ykkönen. If it's plain boring, it's Radio Suomi or maybe some local station. If it's informal, it's likely to be Radio Mafia. If it's informal and cheesy, it's Radio Nova (the only channel that constantly also mentions the channel name, like you said =)

And yes, I have a Sony Walkman, my primary radio source. No fancy channel memory there. =)

From the not-that-easy-to-tune country of Finland,

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but NO! (3.72 / 11) (#30)
by simonj on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 06:13:20 AM EST

I'm sorry, it's a good rant and all, but I can't agree. I resent the implication being made (by the comments, not the original post) that because I like "mainstream" movies and enjoy buying CD's, that I am somehow less intelligent, or less backboned, than the rest of you. I *like* some of the films that come out of Hollywood, I (gasp) *enjoy* watching TV. But don't you DARE question my intelligence, integrity or individuality for doing so.

Very true (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by QuantumAbyss on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:38:59 AM EST

I agree. I have a number of friends who are like that: "What, you watch TV?! You're a mind-controlled idiot!"

I don't watch a lot of TV (and I think that is probably a good thing). But it is just as unintelligent to only watch/listen to non-mainstream media as only to mainstream media. Sometimes hollywood does produce something that is good (and I am guessing that most of those people who are saying they don't watch mainstream stuff really do, they're just afraid to admit it).

Lately the problem that I've had is that I really don't want to support the companies / associations behind much of the mainstream film/music/TV/media. So I've been trying to find places to get good music that hasn't been bought out yet, like IUMA. But let's face it, people need money, and you don't get a lot of money unless you do sell out. I can respect groups that I think sound good, but have signed with major labels. Besides, maybe they can help to work to change the system from the inside out.

Finally, the whole "boy group" thing. Well, that is just bad music and we all know it. Nobody except for those pimply little teenage girls think much of them, and they know it. So who cares? I'm more concerned about the economic system that makes it so that these associations can take so much of the industry over and be left without any real competition. Sure, the computer savvy can just download someone else's music. Sure, the culture savvy can find independant artists at clubs and stuff. But when I turn on the radio I can only find the big-time corporate music. But that all ties into the lack of independant radio, and that is a whole other issue... (Why Is NPR Fighting Public Radio, RealAudio)

Science is not the pursuit of truth, it is the quest for better approximations to a perception of reality.
- QA
[ Parent ]
Re: Very True (3.50 / 2) (#48)
by topeka on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 12:57:11 PM EST

I think waht needs to be considered here is not that watching tv, movies or listening to radio is *evil*.

There is content in these mediums. A lot of it is of a very low quality, but on occasion a gem slips through. I have enjoyed television. I have enjoyed movies and (very rarely commercial radio).

The problem occurs not when people use these mediums, but when these mediums become their only sources of information. When they start forming opinions and casting political votes bassed soley on heavily commercialized mediums.

When people start to believe that the only form of entertainment is six-flags theme park, or disney world, or, they goto to Vegas to see the eifel tower instead of paris, the nation's discourse degrades and its politics suffer.

IMHO, in order to constitute oneself in an ethical, knowledgable way, a person must be constantly skeptical -- seeking information from as many sources as possible, constantly forming and reforming opinions as new information becomes available.

Good things can be found on tv, or in the movies (I have many favorites). But they can also be found in books, independent music and film, as well as public radio and pacifica radio.

The existance of television and movies is not the problem. Afterall, it takes a large amount of capital to produce a lot of movies and tv (not all) so there will always be large corporations invovled.

The problem lies in the fact that these corporations are trying to gain a monolpoly of all media. To remove our ability to be skeptical and seek information. If they succeed, we will no longer be able to reform our opinions, our memory will be written once -- by billboards, commercials shallow plot lines.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but NO! (2.50 / 2) (#44)
by jbuchana on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:41:26 AM EST

I (mostly) cut out telecision about ten years ago, and I cut out radio when the last local station that I (marginaly) liked switched to kid music about a year ago, but I have to say that simonj is right, *some* mainstream movies are worth watching.

Big Mama's house sucked badly though. I have to agree with that. :-)

Jim Buchanan
[ Parent ]
Out. (2.71 / 7) (#35)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 08:24:41 AM EST

I have mostly gotten out. I *don't* watch TV (how the *hell* can anyone submit to the prime time mind control?) I *don't* listen to the radio. >50% The movies I do see are independent. Music, however, is an interesting problem.

farq will not be coming back
There are alternatives (3.50 / 4) (#41)
by brandtpfundak on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 10:06:21 AM EST

As a three year veteran of the college music scene, there are a ton of fabulous bands out there that have very little exposure but who have dedicated followings. A nice comprehensive list of these bands and labels can be found here:


While this is not a complete list, it's a good place to start. The great thing about these bands and labels is that the RIAA doesn't see dime one of profits these bands make off their music. And while these bands will never make millions of dollars to waste on some poorly thought of internet start up, the money isn't why they make the music. They actually LIKE making music. It's a truly novel concept.


[ Parent ]

So instead... (2.14 / 7) (#46)
by atrodo on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:19:02 AM EST

...You sit around the internet all day? You goto the other site and K5? And you know there is FAR less propagada on the net then on other media. (Note for the sarcastic impaired, that last sentance was sarcasm.) Believe it or not, what you have just written was propaganda. Boosting one's own ideas and trying to promote it as the truth. There is so much of it today on the net you could cut it with a knife. Comparativly, the rest of the media doesn't have nearly as much propaganda, they just can't do it.

So, then what do you suppose we do? Rebuke the media's propaganda and live off the net? So let's go onto the net, download all out illegal music and movies? Well, guess what, people need that money to survive. Without that money that you just took from them, they have no job! These people arn't out there just doing it for fun like the independent people (I've never check, it's just a bet), they are doing it because a) they want to and b) They Get Payed! And not only the people that are directly involved, but also the people behind the scenes also need to get payed. All of the secreaties, gophers, sound-techies, light-techies, and everyother 2bit role. Think about it. If you don't like it, don't get it. If you think it's priced too much, then don't get it. But don't steal it and say "Oh, they don't care, they are fat and rich" and now out of a job if this trend continues. I had this same argument with a friend because she had just gotten on a broad-band access network (collage) and is downloading a giant amount of mpeg and mp3s, and i am willing to bet computer games soon too. My life long dream was to program. Not only that, but program entertainment. So i reminded her "Remember, people like me will someday be lossing money from people like you." She went on to say that if i liked it so much, i should do it for free, and right now i do open source/free stuff. But if i'm going to produce a program that i intend to spend a lot of time on, i would really like to get payed for it. Why? Because getting payed for what you love todo is better then just about anything.

Yes, some stuff out there is utterly bad, but some of it is utterly good! Look at The Matrix. They took a diffrant route then most movie producers, they added an intregate plot line! Why do you think that Final Fantasy is such a popular series? Because the people at Square are experts at plot lines. Why was B5 such a great show? The plot line! Why did survivor have so many watchers? The Lord above only knows. You can debate it all you want, but indivduals arn't stuipd. Crowds are stuipd, and until you can defy the established and be orginal, you are destened to become as stuipd as the crowd.

-Jon Gentle(atrodo@geocities.com)
(please ignore the near randomness of this, it's all there, just not straight. Also please note this is a reply more towards the posts below then the article)

You know why this is so frustrating to most of us? (3.00 / 4) (#55)
by GreenCrackBaby on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 02:05:58 PM EST

Have you ever had a dream where a bad-ass(tm) monster is about to tear you to shreds, and you find you can't move? You just stand there waiting as this monster comes closer. That's exactly what's happening with the music industry, with the movie industry, with the courts, etc. We all know how bad this can be -- we can see our freedoms being sacrificed in the name of corporate profit -- and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it! Oh, I realize that people have come up with all sorts of ideas to try to stop what's happening: lobby groups, boycotts, DOS attacks, etc. The simple fact is there is nothing that you or I can do that will be effective! Why do I say this? Simple -- you and everyone else out there are already getting raped by every corporatation in existance. Insurance companies are allowed to pratice distrimination and no one bats an eye. Drug companies are killing people with their pricing schemes and those who are able just sigh and pay $300 per pill. Oil companies will soon be killing people with their price-fixing schemes and everyone complains bitterly as they fill up their car. Banks, auto makers, airlines, gov't, etc -- they're all raping you. Our society has already turned into corporate sheep. Bitching about the music industry is like a man about to die complaining about a splinter.

I'm in limbo (4.20 / 5) (#57)
by DeepDarkSky on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 04:20:56 PM EST

Having read all the different arguments and seeing the merit of them all and agreeing and disagreeing with them all simultaneously, I came to one conclusion - I'm an amoral, indecisive, fencesitter, a relativist. I figure I get that out of the way before anyone accuse me of those things.

The rant itself, a good rant, can be seen as the same as the rest of the reactions these days against RIAA, MPAA, big media corporations, etc., by people who are more technically saavy and are in the somewhat loosely formed idealistic circles that we find on K5 and Slashdot (no, I'm not going to refer to them as the 'other site'). But that's my point of view of course.

What I am saying is that it is popular in the circle of people who are reading this rant to bash RIAA and MPAA and denounce the big greedy corporations. Why? Perhaps, as one poster pointed out, we are (as we love to think) the intellectual technical elite and not the mindless mass of sheep that is the rest of America/world. Is there any truth to that? I suppose, but pretty presumptious, I think.

RIAA and MPAA and big corporations - good or bad? Neither. Both. It depends on your perspective of course. I would like to think that the world is not simple as that. Without these companies, would the world be a better place? Maybe, but I think it's likely not going to be the case. Ignoring that if not them, then someone else would do the same (let's assume no big corporate entity like RIAA or MPAA exist). I think there would be chaos. Popular culture, as low-brow as it is, aiming for the lowest common denominator, is very important. The society, the people, the masses, it's a very complex system, and it would be foolish for us to pick out one little thing and think that we understand the problem and how to solve it. Popular culture aims to synchronize people like language. As someone pointed out, it's important to have common experience, because otherwise, it is difficult to relate. If your friends and the circle that you associate with watch a lot of TV and don't do much of anything else, and you are the opposite, you would have a more difficult time relating to those people. It's also the same reason why fraternities have hazing rituals.

Popular culture has it's place, and it is up to the mass media corporations to serve it up. We, as individuals, have the freedom to choose participate or opt-out. I personally have watched very little TV in the last 3-4 years (mostly because I don't have cable and I like watching channels like Food Network, Discovery, TLC, etc.) I wish I can watch more TV, but quite frankly, I don't have the time now either (the Internet has taken over. I sit and read all the time).

Now, I am involved in a different sort of popular culture - K5 and Slashdot. And please do not tell me that they are not popular culture - the only way they are not is if they are not successful and no one visits. The very popularity of Slashdot is the very reason that (I think) the quality of posts have gone down. It is lowering of the bar by the masses. You can't stop the power of the masses.

There are other reasons why I think that the whole thing is not simple. Economic reasons being one of them. Whether middlemen or record label execs or stochholders are getting most of the money is irrelevant - they move money. Money is what we use to live and survive. People's energy (artists, musicians, actors, anybody) is harvested, leverage, condensed into money, transferred, hoarded, exchanged, so that all of our lives go on. That the RIAA and MPAA hoard, spend, overcharge and exploit is not surprising. They necessarily do so to survive (as entities). All corporate entities are necessarily, though not consciously greedy and selfish. They follow rules and regulations that make them that way. They want to survive and get more energy (money) than they spend, just like a real organism does. It's not necessarily any individual's fault. If you worked at a company, you want the company to do well so you can do well. You and your co-workers do everything you can to ensure that, and in the process, the law of masses will dictate that the collective will do things that is out of any individual's control. So it is with these large entities. You say they are evil? Well, sure, if survival instincts should be considered evil.

Should something be done about all of this? Sure, if you think so. But I think that it's already happening. The Internet is facilitating the mobilization of the power of the masses. Disconnected individuals are weaker and easier to bend to the will of those with power. Well connected individuals form a mass that is difficult to stop and the collective consciousness will ultimately dictate the outcome.

Gee, I wish I have more time to gather and organize my thoughts. This was just a lot of rambling. But I think I'm trying to say is, geez, you guys sure get worked up a lot over these things.

We're shocking ourselves (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by Steeltoe on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:05:11 PM EST

...at least that's what I sometimes feel we're doing. As a "well connected organism", as you put it, we're shocking ourselves into action. All these discussions are part of that.

So basically, life is what it is. You can participate in what you like, and try to stay out of what you don't like. However, don't be fooled you can change the entire script yourself.

Maybe we're just too used to dreaming, or playing computer games into accepting that the world is what it is? Namely, something we don't control entirely.

- Steeltoe
Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
Well said (1.00 / 2) (#59)
by {ice}blueplazma on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 07:33:44 PM EST

I fell inclined to agree. I listen to online radio all the time. I love live 365 cause you can listen to whatever you want whenever you want. The entertainment industry isn't the sumpreme ruler. I am fairly sick and tired of this. I have to say though, some online radio sucks.

"Denise, I've been begging you for the kind of love that Donny and Smitty have, but you won't let me do it, not even once!"
--Jimmy Fallon
Turning sideways to reality. (3.25 / 4) (#61)
by static on Fri Oct 13, 2000 at 11:18:53 PM EST

I think you've gone off half-cocked.

The "Entertainment Industry" is bigger than the RIAA and the record company moguls who haven't yet learnt that money simply calls to more money. There are artists who successfully work the system to produce and release quality entertainment. There are quality performers who love their work and get paid handsomely for it. There are hardware manufacturers who want to please the public and would deliberately piss off the record companies if they thought they could get away with it.

There was a decent SDMI article posted in the queue about how the Hack SDMI contest had all of the watermarks broken - despite the boycott. I wanted to see that discussion here on K5 because I willingly partake of what the "entertainment industry" provides and something like this is important to me.

Yes, I buy DVDs - but I deliberately purchased a region-switching player. Yes, I buy CDs - of music I like (in 11 years, my average purchase rate is one a month). But I will also occasionally copy music off friends if I want to have it (either onto MiniDisc or CD-R). And I watch very little TV; most of it is pre-recorded or I've taped it. Most of what I currently have taped is a cult series!

I do decide what I consume as entertainment. I am very selective. I saw the trailer for "Big Momma's House" and am surprised you thought it worth seeing if you walked out after 10 minutes. I wouldn't have gone to it in the first place. OTOH, I did spend some effort finding "The Wings of Honneamise" on the big screen recently. And It Was Very Good.

The "entertainment industry" you rail against is just one part of the whole, albeit a noxious, ugly part. We already know this. I didn't want another rant about it.


Exaaaaactly. (none / 0) (#67)
by acestus on Sun Oct 15, 2000 at 12:03:12 PM EST


The entertainment industry cannot be simply and wholly equated with the people whose chief interest is making money. Without the "entertainment industry" we would not have most of the good entertainment we can get at the cinema, television, or record store.

The idea that an artist could, through electronic 'free' propagation, promote and distribute himself is not an entirely meritless one. However, remember that there is still no really good way to 'sell' electronic art. Further, the artist has better things to do. One that comes to mind immediately is 'create art.' They need an agent to perform these promoting tasks. When an agent becomes good at what they do, they might start juggling more than one client. A few agents might band together to help each other out and increase effectiveness. We might call this group of agents a "production company." Then, we're back to having an "entertainment industry."

Sure, there's a lot of low-quality material being produced (and devoured!) And, sure, there are plenty of greedy sleazebags at the top. (Region-encoded DVDs, while economically understandable, are still questionable.) In the end, though, entertainment needs the professionals. Without them... it's just a local scene.

This is not an exit.
[ Parent ]
Do you mean "consume" or "produce?& (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by Precious Roy on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 10:47:42 AM EST

We are the people that consume their product - we should be able to decide what it is we can and can't consume.

I decide what I consume every day. I decide when I turn the radio dial because I'd rather listen to the show featuring local bands on one station than another 5-boy-band clone on another.

I decide when I change the channel on the TV from another vapid sitcom dealing with whiny twentysomethings to something at least intelligently funny.

I decide when I go to the movie theater and put down my $7.50 to see a real horror movie like The Exorcist instead of another teen slasher flick.

It sounds like you're wanting to change what these companies actually produce. That's a much tricker proposition.

Can someone tell me why can't I listen to RATM or Feeder on a radio station?

Sure (for the US at least). The FCC has regulations about how much, and what kinds of profanity, can be broadcast over the radio. I love RATM too, but I HATE listening to them on the radio because the songs are so heavily censored. Take "Killing In The Name." Radio stations have to cut off the last 30 seconds of that song just to get it on the air.

mean 'Big Mommas house' - what a pile of shite! I paid for that and walked out after 10 minutes.

And that's your own damn fault. There's no excuse for going to a movie these days and not having a fairly decent idea of what's in it. Reviews/synopses/etc. come out on the net days, sometimes even WEEKS before the film hits theaters. And if a movie isn't screened for critics, wait a week after it comes out for the (probably bad) reviews.

Note to self (none / 0) (#72)
by Precious Roy on Tue Oct 17, 2000 at 10:55:52 AM EST

Actually use the preview button to avoid nonsensical subject headers.

[ Parent ]
Who do they think they are? | 72 comments (71 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!