Re: [rumori] the big problem with fun

From: Steev Hise (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 20:44:28 PST

Mon, 29 Jan 2001 found GASK writing:

>I think there was a grain of truth in my generalisation. As for your idea
>that the latest cd by britney spears might be used to subsidise more
>adventurous releases by lesser (experimental?) artists, that seems
>optimistic to say the least (and frankly the phrase "cloud cuckoo land"

of course the Big 5 don't purposely intend this, but it's
what happens because of the accounting realities. there are
certain artists that are the big surefire moneymakers, and
there are others that are risks. they are willing to throw
away money on the risks cuz they have the sure things, and
some of those risks will also pay off. most big labels
realize that they really dont know what the next big thing
will be, so they hedge their bets and put out a lot of stuff
and some it works out and makes them lots of money. the rest
is what they call "loss leader". Same with movies, books,
etc. (btw, there's a track on the new Lesser CD coming out
this spring on Matador called "Matador Records Tax
Deduction". In a way it's no joke at all.) Also, as lloyd
alluded to, there are some people working for some of these
companies that actually mean well and actually care
about more than profit (which is why the Lesser
CD is on Matador at all. unfortunately the well meaning guy
quit, which is why the CD is now only going to be on Matador
Europe. sigh.)

It's my opinion that we really do have a much wider variety
of mass culture available in some sense than say 50 years
ago, and this is at least partly because the culture trust
can afford more loss leader. those of us who happen to love
the loss leader material feel marginalized and slighted, but
the fact is you can get more of it more easily than ever,
even though it's still somewhat harder to get than the real
big hits. (Or maybe i'm just spoiled living in San

>Personally, i don't think this can be done, and we are therefore condemned
>to be forever on the wrong side of the law, but the right side of the moral

we've been through this before.
sometimes on my pessimistic days i feel similiarly,
but even then i think that this is no reason to not keep

>it may be more fun that way, too.

only if you enjoy outlaw status, and only if the constraints
are never really too tight on you. it's a peculiar luxury.
i'm trying to think of other "causes" where people would say
something like that, and i'm drawing a blank. except for the
misguided people i sometimes meet who are seemingly involved
with activism as some kind of therapy. (i ran across a
really confused teenaged PETA member recently that fit that

there are reasons to believe, though, that things can get
much worse than they've ever been in the field of
intellectual property. the constraints may get
very very tight, and in that case things will get less and
less "fun".

more on that in another post soon...


Steev Hise, Would-be World-Wide Web Wizard (WWWWW)
"Nothing is worth more than this day."

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