Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Post Titled: L'Park de Jurassic
Sometime in a recent post (which i am too tired to search for*) I mentioned that I thought the French had laws against the invasion of outside cultural influences, and then in TIME today, there was this:
"This is a country where promoting cultural influence has been national policy for centuries, where controversial philosophers and showy new museums are symbols of pride and patriotism. Moreover, France has led the charge for a "cultural exception" that would allow governments to keep out foreign entertainment products while subsidizing their own. French officials, who believe such protectionism is essential for saving cultural diversity from the Hollywood juggernaut, once condemned Steven Spielberg's 1993 Jurassic Park as a "threat to French identity.""

SO I wan't just being paranoid about their blatant paranoid afterall. Thought it might've been something my overloaded brain had cooked up. (and: It is important to my personal integrity for me to write: "No, I do NOT read TIME magazine in print OR online. Ever. ok. this was an accidental discovery.")

*Oh, wait, duh- it was that Denglisch ist Sprachmüll post from last week-

So, this sort of idea of a "threat" has always raised some questions in my mind, such as:
-if you have to create laws to protect culture, how natural is it that that culture is actually prominent and relevant in that time and place?
Granted, there is the sports example: sports are very popular, art and theatre are just kind-of popular, so for their survival (in Europe at least) money is set aside and the state supports the arts... but is that natural? Not really. Hmm. More like artificial. Grr- can of worms.

We went up for dinner to our neighbors Vikingur and Eva, both Icelanders, and we were discussing recent shifts in "the music industry" (if you can call it that):
"How do musicians make money now?"
"Touring? I think..."
"I mean everyone can just download their music or burn it for one another..."
"Well, yes, that in a way is tragic..." (I actually use Myspace and Youtube and band sites as an ersatz mp3 player now. If I want to listen to some music at work or while I am cooking, I just visit the bands Myspace page and let the 3 or 4 songs play on repeat. Works well, and there is no buying involved- but then again, I would support it if I could... favorites as of late: ZACH CONDON and THE BLOW
But see- there ya go, digital WOM right there, which brought me to the next point-
"Yet, a lot of people listen for free, but then it is also more democratic- when Ceas first sent me a link to Beirut's site in the Summer of 2006 I just listened to the 2-3 songs available for play almost endlessly, then -coincidentally- a month or so later Nancy had already uploaded/imported the burned cd of Gulag Orkestar her boyfriend had sent her so she gave it to me, and NK and I have burnt it for half a dozen people. Granted, Mr. Cordon has seen none of the money from us pirating his music, BUT we were probably responsable for bringing half a dozen people to the live show who wouldn't've been there otherwise, and I have blogged and told dozens of people about it- just because I think it is damn fine music- so it has a sort of organic WOM user-based marketing sceme and someday I will buy the new album, the Flying Club Cup- but it currently costs €17,99 or something crazy like that which I am just not willing to shell-out yet.
But same thing with the Dirty Projectors, who opened for Beirut when we saw them, same damn thing.
My point: Quality beaming from small acts has a chance. Why fight for the attention of record labels and then have them tweek and pimp your image, distort it )if you care about integrity) when you could just go throuh other channels now... and finally there is a rival to mass pop, right? Like, in the end highly popular acts like KanYe West are not going to get my money... but I can listen to him on his website as well if want. Hm...
Now if only art and publishing could have such a hopeful/smooth transition. We donät exactly hear of lawsuits against people who copy and save images and text to their computer or copying them to blogs- thus LOOKING at them or READING them for free, and there is no money involved in that at all-

Furthermore if you live in Berlin it is HIGHLY reccommended by Vikingur and Eva that you attend The Dorine Chaikin Institute before it closes on Saturday. On that note, I will steal their logo... which becomes an ad:


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