It seems as though digital music sales have overtaken physical music sales for the first time.
CD sales are down 10 percent, and digital is reigning king. Not surprising, since the ease of finding music online is so readily available. It looks like the most popular non rock categories are punk and indie, and I know that’s a good thing for musicians….
The old guy in me misses the hunt. That’s something that a lot of kids and modern music shoppers will never know.
Growing up, I discovered punk rock at a very important time in my life. I was a new kid in a new school, in my previous one I was bullied and never welcome, coming into a new school, I had a new chance to be somebody else, but learned it was not going to be easy. Then I met a kid named Paul Nasty, he made me a tape one day, and the rest was history…
Punk rock was not easily attainable then. The internet wasn’t what it is now, basically a couple of message boards for Star Trek geeks and text based adventure games. When we wanted something we went hunting. This often involved travelling hours to Houston, Austin or San Antonio to a record store. I remember all their names. But I mostly remember the feeling I would get walking into these tiny cramped spaces crammed with records, zines, stickers, tshirts… my senses on overload as I actually tried to find the right music for the little money I had.
I have spent thousands of dollars over the years on music. My collection has grown into the thousands and I have tried to organize it before, but the feat was too great. Despite this, I still know every CD and record. I can tell you where I was when I got it, and if it’s older than a few years I can tell you what happened on the road trip I went to get it. My music holds certain memories for me. I can remember walking out of a store with a few new purchases in hand, and putting them on the CD player as we headed to the show that night. I remember listening intently to every track, proud of the fact that I had music I couldn’t find in my home town.
I remember the first album I bought online. It was actually Tom Wait’s last album that I had been looking for in various stores before I just gave up and bought it on itunes because music stores are just about obsolete and they don’t carry anything cool. I missed holding the album in my hand, and the artwork. I eventually bought the physical copy, but I just can’t seem to get into digital. I think the ease and convenience of digital has ruined things for people. I always appreciated the obstacles I had to go through to get my music, and the envy of other music lovers when I found something they didn’t. Now… for the right price we can all have the exact same music collection. There seems something wrong with that to me…
So today the big hullabaloo is that starting in Jan, Instagram is changing it’s terms and conditions. In particular…
“To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you:”
Of course, this probably would have gone unnoticed except that it just happened to go viral (must be a slow news day) and everyone from Wired to CNN posted news stories about the evil Instagram and Facebook empire.
Look man, we know it’s evil. We get it, I just wrote a post about it yesterday. Facebook and Instagram are in it for the money. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Just because some of you share your most intimate moments on these sites does not mean they care about you or your friends. You are a consumer, an ad clicker and a hit counter. I’m sure FB was laughing all the way to the bank on election night as you guys bickered among each other who had the best candidate, because it brought record traffic. Every major news event, tragedy, storm etc isn’t you guys and your “valuable” opinion. It’s your hit count and your logged in hours that makes them salivate, and their investors.
So knowing this, why should we be surprised when Instagram is bought out by FB and then pushed to make money? And why are we surprised when we know that if FB gets the rights to our privacy and info (oh yes.. and you agreed to it) why are we surprised when Instagram makes a similar claim.
It’s a free service to you. It’s free. It costs you nothing. Here’s a news flash. Nothing is free.
But it’s the same reason people complain when twitter is down, or FB gets a new timeline. People feel the need to complain. They will form petitions, they will make FB groups (ironically) they will share memes to show FB and instagram they ain’t playing around. Slacktivism goes another step.
In case you are wondering, FB and Instagram are posting blogs stating that “there is some misunderstanding” on how the terms are worded and they are working to change the wording to a simpler and easier to understand language… Simpler than English… since you know most of you already lost interest in this blog due to my use of words with multiple syllables. But what this means is they will probably backtrack and find another way to make their money off you. Somewhere. Somehow they will. In the meantime, post a meme and make sure to like my status or you don’t love America.
Get off my lawn.
This rant is nothing new.
I just remember that when I was a kid. It was different.
My dad always said, we should be something scary. My mom made all of our costumes. This was before I was old enough to know that something made from my mother’s hands was far cooler than the cheap plastic trashbag looking costumes the other kids with lazy moms got every year from a Woolworth store. I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the handmade embroidered “S” logo on my Superman costume she made, or the furry gloves and head piece of the werewolf she had on “back up” in case any of her three kids made a last minute change on her before trick or treat time.
My parents… were on the ball.
Halloween was a time of awesome hijinks and spooky costumes, scaring yourself silly with your friends and just for a moment, letting the animal inside run a little loose.
A Lot Has Changed In The Past Few Decades:
1) I blame parents: I guess we were just tougher stock back then. I just don’t know when people became such wimps. We always heard the stories of razorblades in candy and apples, but honestly, I don’t think I ever got one apple. Kids roamed the neighborhoods, and parents didn’t document it every step of the way with their cell phone videos.
The fountain of youth has been tainted. Somewhere, a generation of parents forgot that kids live for fun. And as parents, anything remotely smelling of fun should be banned, or at the very least monitored for everyone’s “protection”. You know the types, the kind that use hand sanitizer on everything and won’t let their kids play outside because the sun may give them skin cancer…
These parental units, take their kids trick or treating in a mall instead. A fucking indoor mall, totally killing the spirit of door to door adventure, they take them to church festivals, which have hated the day of Halloween more than any other organization and have invented their own family friendly (boring lifeless and pathetic) “fall fesitivals”. No my friend you will not find a skeleton here. (I don’t know why, we all have one… well some of you are missing spines but I digress)
If you are this kind of parent, you are doing a huge dis-service to your kid. Coddling and babying your child, is only giving him or her a false sense of security and entitlement. You have micro managed your kids to the point there is no freedom for them and when they do rebel, they will rebel hard and fast and not even know how or why. Soon you are wondering why you are being called into parent/teacher conferences because little Johnny has an attitude problem and you can’t figure out why he won’t do his homework, or worse yet, you can’t figure out why he is still on your couch years after getting that art history degree and can’t get a real job. (This worse case scenerio brought to you by Halloween)
2) I hate hipster d-bags and social media “nerds” who claim to love Halloween: Fuck. We get it. You love Halloween. You go and buy all the decorations on Nov 1 to save money and decorate year round. Yes we know, you love horror movies and wear spiderweb tights to look sexy. We get it. Tim Burton didn’t sell out to you. We know you call it a holiday when in reality it is not a nationally recognized holiday and if I bring that up, to correct you because I don’t want you to look foolish, you will scream and yell that I am just a boring old man who is bitter (and you’re right). But still you will spread glittery graphics and memes on facebook and tell everyone on twitter that you are the Halloweeniest person ever…
I like the idea of Halloween too… But you see. Unlike you, I don’t feel the need to express that. A friend of mine called me out online the other day, saying I have a problem with age. I guess I do. While I love horror movies and the macabre, every day truly is Halloween (like the Ministry song) I actually regret telling you to look up that song because I don’t want you D-bags making that your mantra.
3) Halloween was taken from the kids by force from the “Young Adults” of the world: We have overstepped our boundaries. I am not sure why. But most “adults” 18- 28 are trying to reclaim this lost youth. As a result what was once cool is now shit on and reimagined as a halloween costume. ANYTHING as long as it is slutty. This year, I was appalled to see “sexy Big Bird and sexy Ninja Turtle” costumes. There goes my youth, date raped by some shyster who swindled it out of Jim Henson and PBS. We are to blame, we let it happen. To make it worse, in the last few years, a lot of “tween” costumes have become slutty, thus lowering our already toilet standards and wondering why we blame the youth of America for our down hill slide when we never bothered to look into the mirror to take a good hard look at ourselves other than to take that new profile picture we hope will score some likes on social media. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a sexy french maid as much as the next guy, that is I when I’m in France, I have an open line of credit, the Eiffel Tower has already bored me and she has me tied up telling me how she hates Americans, but Halloween, well that’s different. I guess I’m just old fashioned in thinking that a woman with a big book is sexier than a woman with a big badonk. But hey that’s just me…
So what have we learned?
To me, every day is Halloween. I get up, dress in this daily costume to walk among you, smile at people I work with and pretend you guys aren’t killing my spirit.
Kids then dress up to be who they admire (Superheroes and cartoon characters)
And Young Adults dress up to show their true nature (sluts and D-bags)
There’s no candy here.. beat it..
Like the rest of you, I heard the news today about 4pm central time that rocked my news feed. I had been debating on starting to write again, but really wanted to wait for something important or to rile me up to make me write something that made me think… and rant.
Than this came along: “Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion”
That didn’t phase me until I read: “Episode 7 due out in 2015″
I remember the Marvel buyout. How everyone freaked out (including me) but y’know… Over the past few years, Marvel hasn’t lost their identity. As a matter of fact, the movies have been pretty good, and I’m still reading. Like the video suggests, Disney has let them keep their identity, so I am hoping that they do the same with Star Wars. My brother sent me a text that is sums up everything:
Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst
Yup. That’s about it…allow me to elaborate
WHY I LOVE STAR WARS
You see… Star Wars is life for me. It’s important and I love it. I’m not just a fan, I love it. I’m not a cos-player, I don’t own every toy or collectible that came out. I do not believe these are things that are needed to show my love for these films. My best childhood memory is watching Empire during a matinee and then my parent’s saying “stay seated” as the movie started over again. I remember waiting the three year wait to see what happened to Han, and instead of cowboys and indians, the kids outside played “Rescue Han from carbonite” as we all debated and schemed how the Alliance would save him. Then I remember the day, sometime after 3:30 in the afternoon (Laverne and Shirley was on) when the movie trailer hit the airwaves. My brother and I jumped and screamed for joy on the bed as we watched our little black and white television set in my parent’s room. I remember that wait more than any of them. It was important and it was also the last great thing of my childhood because after ROTJ, Star Wars only lived in my heart for many years. There were no VCR’s (we couldn’t afford one) and as I got older, my mother sold my toys in garage sales. But it lived on you see… in my heart.
It sounds silly to you I guess. I do not expect most people to understand. But I was a kid, living in a rural town which he hated and saw something that lifted me up and made me happy, I cannot put it into words. I have written about Star Wars so many times I have NEVER gotten it right. These movies shaped me. They made me a better person. They taught me to always save the princess (even if she didn’t think she needed it) to always stand up for myself no matter the odds, the Jedi way taught me more about being a good person than years of Catholic education, and here I am… Still looking to the stars. Still trying to take my shot. Still believing that one person can make a difference. I do not apologize for that. So while some may think it’s just a movie, and I am over reacting. Fine. You do not know what it means to me. You can’t ever know, and I am not saying you don’t have a right to not like SW, I’m saying that you can’t possibly hold it in the regard that I do. It is sacred to me. Sacred. I will demonstrate.
1) I don’t give two flying shits about Disney buying Lucasfilm. There. I said it. I don’t. They can make all the movies they want. Despite my momentary lapse in anger when I saw that Disney bought Lucasfilm (I’ll tell you why later)I was worried about Episode 7 and the rest of SW. But then I remembered my Star Wars.
My Star Wars is not tainted with Special Edition effects and bonus scenes. My Star Wars does not have Gungans and people who are starving on a lush green planet due to a blockade by the weakest droid soldiers in the system (I think Samsung made them). No… My Star Wars is pure. It is a farmboy and a scoundrel, a wookie and a crazy old wizard. It is a strong heroine who is strong for the sake of being awesome, not for political or gender reasons. It is a classic storytale in a future setting. It is perfect. It is the reason a kid in Kenedy Texas decides to race down the slope of the playground and skid with shorts on catching gravel in his knees and only then deduces it is because he did not use the force enough. It is my brother and I drawing on pieces of butcher paper in the back of my grandmother’s diner when we are about six or seven years old. It is when my siblings and I meet at the Star Wars museum for the first time when we are adults and embrace at the front of the door. No… you can make your movies. You can change them. You can sell them. But you cannot take my Star Wars away from me. My Star Wars is perfect and lives in the memory of my mind.
2) I am mad at George Lucas for selling. I know I know. Some of you are saying “Good, he won’t have anything to do with them.” But let me tell you something. You can be mad at George all you want, at least they were his. They were his to make and his to destroy. Now… they aren’t. This makes me mad and sad. Let me explain.
George invented this. He invested in it when no one believed in him. He became stinking rich. THIS is the ultimate American success story. America has lost it’s gumption. We lost our heroes. No one invents anything anymore. If you write a comic for Marvel, guess what… Marvel owns it. If a musician is not careful and signs a contract, their music becomes property of the label, if you invent something at your work, it becomes their intellectual property. That’s the whole reason Iron Man was written. It was an inventor in a corporate world. It’s all about keeping his invention and not surrendering it. George invented (and abused) his own creation. But it was his to do so.
Was George hurting for money? Nope. Were they foreclosing Skywalker Ranch? Nope. He just got rid of it. He says he wants to go and make his own movies now. I hope he does. I hope he takes his 4 billion dollars and makes those little movies that only 4 billion can make. But am I mad that someone would take his invention and give up? Yes. Yes I am.
3) I hate Mash ups and Memes and wish people would stop posting them. If you are doing this… I cannot stop you but let me tell you why I hate it. Remember that thing I said about Star Wars being sacred to me? I meant it. I revere it. I love it. I love collecting black and white photos of the set, and concept art for my walls, I love reading the extended universe and playing the video games. I love the pure Star Wars canon. What I hate is everything that cheapens it.
Spurs fans who wear “Obi Wan Ginobli” Tshirts, Star Wars M&M characters, Darth Vader helmets with Mickey Mouse ears, memes that have Yoda marrying an ewok and producing a mogwai… This is not Star Wars. This is a cheap ploy to sell a shirt or product or even worse, to get a cheap laugh off of facebook. There is no redeemable value in this other than someone thinks it’s “cute” or “funny”.
I realize though, that I am a small minority. People will continue to shit on the genre I love and also claim to be a fan, but in reality posting something like this does not pay homage to Star Wars, it does not revere it. It cheapens it, it makes it something that others can toy and scar. It lets the mainstream grab a better hold on it eat it and shit it out. Then… we get things like Star Wars dancing video games and Pluto Kenobi.
4) I weep for the younger generation. There I said it. I’m sorry to those that see nothing wrong with this. I guess it is age. (so what, the name of the podcast is old man and bitter girl, so get used to it) It’s not because I think I am cooler than you (I am) it is because you will never “get” what I’m trying to say. Even if you do.
I am sad that kids will never get to see it like I did. I have a memory that cannot be taken away. I’m sorry they have to put up with bonus scenes and Han being honorable. I am sorry they will not have that anxious feeling of driving an hour and a half just to get to the nearest theater. I am sorry they will not have that awesome feeling of the greatest Christmas ever opening that original Falcon. They will have to make do with their Harry Potter books and their Pokeman. That’s fine, but for me, there was only one love that opened into others, that paved the way. They will not have that, and that is a little sad.
Star Wars is for the kids. It isn’t for sad old men like me. It did inspire me to create, to write stories, to write for pop culture websites, to get into punk rock, to become a musician, and even to make this podcast. I hope that it does the same for new generations. This is why, if any money grubbing soul feasting corporation will steal it, I am glad it is Disney, who will do whatever it has to to make a profit, (which hopefully means keeping it in the same spirit) I can only hope for the best, and pray for the worst.
I will never be that guy who claims Lucas ruined my childhood. I had an awesome childhood thanks to these movies. I am not the guy who hates things because I liked them first. I am the one who hates things who become ruined because the mainstream latches on to them and changes them. Every year, I deal with it happening. I see as comic conventions get worse every year (Dallas’ comic con last spring was crap and last weeks Wizard World Austin was the most expensive waste of money ever) Shows like “Arrow” are made and shoved down our throat, and great creators are pushed aside so Wizard World can put out “The Situations” comic book. THIS is what bugs me. We let it happen.
I hope that Disney does not take the bait. I hope that things still stay cool. I am the sucker who will still keep buying the ticket no matter what, so I guess they win anyway.
They win. You win. They all fucking win.
Hope for the best, expect the worst.
Get off my lawn.
Yeah yeah… you heard the news. Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong got mad and smashed a guitar onstage. Everyone online started freaking out and saying how “punk rock” he still is… blah blah. Even iHeart radio (who hosted the event) said it was “one of the most epic punk rock sets in recent memory”. Whatever. Now not shocking news or anything, but the band has apologized and sent their front man to rehab. But look man… you can call it whatever you want. An egotistical sad man who knows his new record is going to bomb, a guy who is mad he got cut short to appease Usher, or just another rich aging rock star who forgot his place in the world, but let’s not get it twisted… Green Day is not punk rock.
I take great offense to the idea they are.
Oh sure, they may have been at one time, when they were on Lookout! records, but even the band has distanced them selves from their own past citing how young they were when they wrote their “punk” songs. You will notice me using quotes around the word “punk”. I do that because you don’t have to play traditional “punk” music to still have the underground edge and attitude that people respect… but let’s face it… Green Day lost it all in the early 90′s make no mistake.
When you play the MGM Grand, when you are an MTV darling on their award shows, when you are played on iHeart radio for Pete’s sake… you can’t claim my DIY way of life.
Here’s a news flash GREEN DAY… and anyone else who thinks what they did is cool…
My life.. our life, is hard. It’s rough. Even as I type this, I face an uncertain employment future in 30 days, I’m living on a shoestring budget. My home has forgone luxuries like cable and XBox live so we can keep the wheels on the truck spinning and heading to other towns to spread our music message. It rarely pays for itself. I sometimes wonder why I do it. But let me say… that I can’t see us doing anything else.
So when a forty something aging one time cool singer who has made record companies millions of dollars throws a temper tantrum onstage and people call it punk, it makes me sick to my stomach. That’s not punk. There is no struggle in that. I think about my friends in bands who try to make a living on music, and how they would kill for a chance to play a show that big or a stage like that. All this guy did was break a guitar any of my friends wish they could afford. All I see, is a rich washed up drug addict who is a cliche. That’s not what we podcast about. That’s not what we promote.