Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

The Major Label record companies have been struggling to find a new way to provide an old product. Part of the problem is, of course, that it's tough to sell something that everyone can get for free. The other thing that I keep hearing is that the major players have done a bad job of giving the people what they want. I think 2008 has been a pretty good (though not stellar) year for music, but I realize that my tastes run left of center. So, it left me wondering what is it that people really want? Is it the canned pop churned out by Timbaland's production factory? Is the it recycled metal of Hinder? The real answer is actually far more sinister than you might have thought.

Since Apple rolled out iTunes, the top three tracks sold are:

Jouney's Don't Stop Believing. 2 million sold.

Sweet Home Alabama. 1.46 sold.

Bohemiam Rhapsody 1.44 sold

At .99 each, that's almost $5,000,000.00 generated for these three songs. I think The People are pretty clear about what they want. Think about it. "Don't Stop Believing" is the number one most downloaded song in iTunes history. When was the last time you actually listened to this song? Shudder.

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Speaking of shudders...Yesterday I start to head up to the third floor of my office, and there at the foot of the stairs is a religious tract. I read it on my way up. Basically, it let me know that I'm either bound for heaven or hell. You see, I might be a nice guy doing good things in the world (petting puppies, picking up litter, holding doors open for people so they can enter the room first, etc.) but I'm bound for damnation because I was born into sin, and the wages of sin is death.

Fortunately, there's hope for me. If you don't know the path to salvation, send me your address and I'll forward over the pamphlet to you no questions asked.

After I got upstairs I found another tract on one of the file drawers. Wow. Someone's been a busy little creepy Christian.

A couple of weeks ago, Jen and I watched a documentary on HBO about organized religion and its effect on politics and America in general. It was done by an atheist woman, so the intent and content was pretty deliberate in my opinion, but it was still pretty well done. One of the things that struck home to me was a minister who basically said that Christians were the only group of people in the US that it is ok to discriminate against. They're made fun of in television. They're portrayed as bumbling and hypocritic. I felt a bit bad about that, because I've been known to laugh at some Christian bashing myself, and there was part of me that wondered why that was OK if making fun of race or sexual orientation isn't. I decided that I'd try to be less judgmental, and adopt a more "Whatever people find peace in is good enough for me" kind of attitude.

But the tract the other morning reminded me why some Christians can be fun to laugh at. It's the recruitment...that ideology that requires them to swell their ranks that sets them apart.

Would we really feel the same about other "protected classes" if they were really out there trying to get you not to just accept them as they are, but actually change your entire life to adopt their beliefs? What would you do if two gay men went door to door through your neighborhood inviting you to "Gay Classes" held Sunday Mornings or passed out flyers that were titled "Anal or Oral?" What if you went into the bathroom at your office and there was a note taped to the door telling you you should abandon all of your beliefs in a higher power or run the risk of wasting what little time you have left on Earth feeling guilty about looking at those naughty pictures when you were 15?

Tell me about it if I ask or seek out the information. Otherwise, be quiet and let me climb the stairs in peace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hilariously, you read the pamphlet. I would have torn it in half and thrown it away. Then sent a company wide email on religious freedom. Maybe throw in a comment about keeping Jeebus out of the workplace. Lol.

run -
run for the hills -
run -