Oh No!! They’re Killing It!!

music industry

The big question I see over and over again regarding streaming music, is whether it’s going to‘kill’ the music industry.  Which I find rather funny for many reasons.

First off, at every juncture of change in the industry someone cries out with exasperation that the end is coming, as if a change in how we listen will actually have an effect on people’s desire to make music.  Sure, it might make it a less desirable road to go down for those more concerned about the money than the music, but as an art form there are always people who want to play, regardless of the compensation, and often those who care less about the compensation put out a better product.  Hell, with all the crap out there now, I’m completely for not paying them altogether and weeding out some of the garbage! Anyway, whether it was the advent of the 8 track, or tapes, or music videos, or CDs, or pirating, or streaming, there’s always been some asshole ready to start a revolution against it, and generally it’s the guy most likely to lose money from the changeover.  But make no mistake, how we listen has nothing to do with whether there will be anything to listen to, so it’s a baseless argument. And anyway, once the big wigs figure out a way to exploit it, it becomes just the next form of corporate run entertainment, and the whole controversy goes away until something else comes along to upset their stream of revenue and control.  It’s a cycle, and an obvious one.

Second, recorded music counts for only a part of any revenue that a musician can make with other forms of merchandizing, live shows, publicity appearances, and the use of content for commercial use rounding out an even bigger share.  Sure, back in the day if you sold your song for a Chevy commercial you were kind of selling out, but things have changed, and selling out is now simply selling.  There’s still plenty of money to be made, even if it doesn’t come from the sale of a physical playable item.  And the truth is, it’s always been this way, and it’s only the witch hunt by those not making money off it yet that allows for the argument to be so distorted.

Third, and maybe most importantly, musicians have been grossly overpaid in the last several decades, and people often forget that before recent times it was unheard of for someone to earn so much playing an instrument and singing a song.  It used to be about getting out there and playing, not producing one crappy single a year and hoping it goes viral.  Part of the issue is the simple basis for comparison which is horribly skewed giving musicians the fucked up belief that by going back to a more realistic pay standard they’re actually doing worse than they’re supposed to.  Let them work for their keep, why should they be different than the rest of us.

The fourth and final reason has to do with our culture in general.  We are a culture that loves drama, and over the top antics.  We want reasons to complain, to point out persecution.  So any chance to throw a shit fit is gladly taken up by the masses and debated like it means something.  For the same reason we’re war mongers, and bigots, and easily led into believing anything (rather than looking at history, or statistics, or facts in general), we’re a culture that wants a reason to complain.  And if our beloved music industry happens to be the target, than fuck it we’ll complain about it!  It doesn’t matter that the argument never made a damn bit of sense.

So to make my stance here perfectly clear, no, streaming music isn’t going to kill the music industry, if anything, it’ll save it from all the pirates (for which all these asshole musicians against it should be down on their knees in thanks that at least some revenue flow will come their way rather than NOTHING).  As a side note, every time Thom Yorke gets up there on his soap box bitching and complaining, not only do I want to hit him really hard over the head with a hammer or some kind of blunt object, but I can feel the aneurism about to explode in my own brain.  So, sorry to all the drama queens that want to get hysterical over something, but there isn’t any reason here.  Just pick a fucking service (Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Songza, Torch music, Grooveshark…) if you want one, plug the fuck in, and listen.  Because it’ll all still be around tomorrow.

Oh, I’ll Twerk Her!

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While the rest of America is up in arms over some dumb former child star turning into the newest pop slut, I say stick that ass out and twerk it a little more.  Why? Why do I not think it’s an atrocity of humanity? Well, for one thing, this is America. The one thing we’re pretty damn good at other than churning out legions of obese, semi-retarded carbon copies, is creating an array of slutty, generally half naked pop stars. Do we really have to have this conversation every time an awards show comes around? And do we have to act each time like it never happened before? Does anyone remember Madonna from the 80s? Or Britney about 10 years ago? Or the thousands of other wannabees waiting in line to skank out on TV when the camera turns in their direction? It’s MTV, it’s like the home for wayward girls. Every Disney sweetheart eventually grows up, and if they grow up within the realm of pop culture having their asses licked by the multitudes every day, they’re likely to end up the kind of raging whore to turn their ass to an auditorium full of people and shake it. We already know this shit, so let’s stop with this being surprised about the state of humanity crap! Besides, though it might not say much for the state of humanity, neither does our sky high murder rate, the massive amount of human trafficking that goes on, or the overall culture of complacency that’s led to an embarrassing amount of obesity, and a criminal lack of basic education, let alone anything useful.

Second, and maybe more importantly, what the fuck else is the little twat going to do? The last resort of the egotistical talentless, which is what makes up the majority of the pop scene, is to wear as little as possible and gyrate enough to hypnotize the masses into thinking that there’s something worth buying into.  Why is there some expectation that an untalented little whore is going to produce anything more than an erection? Maybe we should be more let down that this is what MTV, a cultural hotspot for new music (though they never play it anymore) deemed the best that we had to offer this year.  As far as those inbred idiots that think she has some kind of responsibility to her fans and therefore acted inappropriately, I say ‘fuck you’. Fucking take responsibility for yourselves and your own stupid kids. She might owe us some better music for giving her a stage to twerk on, but she doesn’t owe anyone any more than that. If parents are concerned about their children maybe they should think about how they’re raising them instead of trying to blame the latest pop tragedy for their bad behavior. This shit is everywhere, it’s not like Miley Cyrus invented being slutty.

The last point I want to make is that I like music. I appreciate real musicians who write songs and then get up there with instruments and play them.  I appreciate the general history and culture of music.  What I’m truly offended by is that this is considered real music for so many people. That we actually act like this is something worth praising and putting on a stage and paying money for. If anything, it should be filed under ‘entertainment’.  This is freak show quality at best, and I’ve seen far better in that department. When there’s an awards show called ‘Video Music Awards’ is it that much of an expectation that actual music might come into play, and that it’s not just going to be a lot of rehearsed dance moves and shock value antics? I’m not offended that some self centered little rich girl rubbed her crotch on stage with a big foam finger and shook her ass like she was getting paid for it, I’m offended that her act is literally what passes for music these days.

Debt Me, Baby

Capture

So I was reading some shitty article that claimed about half of Americans could dig themselves out of debt by following simple instructions on borrowing money, since, according to the article, exorbitant loans were the reason for this debt.  Now, granted, with the way loans are marketed, it’s easy to fall into the debt trap, and being more sensible when it comes to taking out such loans would obviously make sense, but I still found it to be a totally useless answer.  We’re in massive debt mostly for reasons that don’t even directly concern us.  Bad government decisions and tax laws, health care laws that often require massive payments to simply stay alive when ill, unlivable living wage salaries for minimum wage workers, and huge amounts of unemployment from the lack of jobs in general.  To top it off, since we aren’t educated about, well, anything, it makes it that much easier for all this to continue.  Even putting all that aside and assuming these atrocities of modern life are a given that can’t be changed, maybe targeting the reason for the loans is the better way of looking at it than the loans themselves.  Maybe we, as Americans, should stop buying shit.  If the average in-debt person used the money they spent on bullshit to actually take care of important things, then that would be a better start than finding a better way to finance the unnecessary car, the way-too-big house, the three different video game systems, the new phone every year, and the new wardrobe every season.  We have advertisements crammed down our throats everyday to get us to spend all our money on things we don’t need.  Then come in the horribly corrupt  loan companies that smile as they hand over more money for more shit that can’t be paid back.  Then come the even worse debt consolidators once we realize we’re totally shitfucked (but of course don’t want to give anything back).  And then bankruptcy.  Of course the goal isn’t to get Americans out of debt, it’s to continue the debt cycle so that every American can stay firmly rooted in debt, while paying off fees to these companies with any money that does come in without ever having enough at once to pay anything off.  The goal is to push consumerism on a population that very clearly from the statistics doesn’t need more useless crap or to live outside their means.  And then when we as a population are fighting to get our finances in order, there are shitty finance writers to write shitty articles blaming it all on our ability to take out loans correctly.  Not that these loan companies exist and operating in terrible ways, not that we should learn to be more financially responsible, and certainly not that our government does nothing but help along the process.  Just that we should know who to borrow from.  Why write the fucking article?  Why not write one that says all the stuff I mentioned above.  Maybe some useful information about how to lobby the government to change laws.  Maybe an exposé on the shitty tactics of loan and consolidation companies and how they target specific groups who they think will be too stupid to understand the concept of what they’re doing.  Maybe  budgeting tools to help from getting into this situation that explain how to spend money sensibly and target the spending habits that cause the biggest problems.  Maybe an article that explains that it was set up this way, and that it’s up to us to fight back against these horribly shitty tactics that keep us poor while filling our heads with the need for useless crap that we really don’t need at all.  Wouldn’t that be more helpful than some asshole telling us that we did a bad job of picking a loan company and that’s why we’re in debt??

Truth is, if we stopped buying useless shit, the people who would suffer the most are Walmart executives, and similar folks who should on principal of how they run their businesses and treat their employees be lined up and shot execution style.  We allow them to dictate our spending habits, and create this debt cycle, all to stay in the same miserable state with no hope for the future (and with the weird misunderstanding that what we physically have somehow dictates who or what we are).  And since we put more emphasis on having physical things, than expanding that mass of cells in our heads, we’re not brought up to question how any of it works.

In the end, I’m not even sure who I’m the most mad at.  Loan companies that take advantage of us like we’re little children at a kiddie porn festival; governing bodies that don’t do their job to protect their population from such vultures instead keeping us poor, stupid, and constantly strapped for cash; the people themselves for not seeing the bullshit around them and actively doing something about it instead choosing to complacently swallow it like the end of a long violent blow job; or the media elite who feel the need to write useless bullshit about the process while offering nothing helpful at all.

Here’s the answer guys, ready for it?: Pay attention to what goes on around you.  Be careful with how you spend your money.  And above all, never trust any loan officer, government official, or finance writer when it comes to doing these things.

Holy Pornblock Batman!

sex+ban+sign

The UK took a turn for the worst this week.  On Monday came the announcement by prime minister Dave Cameron that new blocks were to be universally instituted (start date not stated) to block all internet porn.  The only way to get around these proposed bans both on mobile phones and PC would be to call the specific provider and provide the necessary information to have access again, information that many people probably don’t want to provide, and not for any particularly bad reason.  Some of us value our privacy.  Though I understand the basic rationale for this plan, I find massive issues with the logic of it for the following reasons:

First, this is meant, supposedly, to protect children.  Forget the fact that anyone watching it (with the majority being adults, or ‘old enough’ kids in their teenage years) aren’t in real danger, and that the money that goes into all this could better be used on real law enforcement to prevent real crimes.  It also does absolutely nothing to block horribly violent content, which in my opinion, is a far greater issue.  Everyone will have sex.  No one’s trying to change that.  But the hope is that we won’t gun each other down.  Yet, somehow, this basic logic was completely lost on the British prime minister.  So instead of monitoring the content that is actually objectionable, he plans to block content that shows acts that are basic for the existence of all life.  In doing so, he does a fantastic job undoing recent progress in the general acceptance of sex in our communities, making it once again something to be spoken about quietly.  Forget the idea of open sexuality, not in Dave Cameron’s world!

Second, part of this was meant to stop kiddie porn.  Let me make this very clear: I love porn.  I do not love kiddie porn.  I am completely in favor of doing everything possible to keep kids from being exploited and abused.  That said, stopping guys from jacking off to whatever porn they like (generally NOT of the child variety) isn’t going to do it.  Once again, the money is much better spent going after actual pedophiles.  Treating the entire population like they’re criminals does nothing to prevent actual criminals.  He might as well just come out and say that he has no fucking clue what to do with the child exploitation problem, in which case, maybe someone who can do better at the job should have it.

Third, in our modern world of technology, a ban like this is useless.  Literally useless. And liable to cause more damage.  There already exist plenty of ways to get around such bans (hence how kiddie porn operates to begin with).  Maybe he should be worrying about the ‘dark internet’ where this content flows freely, and not the guys who aren’t trying to hide their shit.  We like our technology in this day and age.  Even simple minded folks like myself know enough to get at what we need, and when opposition stands in the way, it only means more energy will be spent coming up with alternatives.  In other words, by banning regular porn, and driving it into the underground, he lumps it together with the highly illegal content, and makes them operate together.  He just empowered the ‘dark internet’ even more with a law that any beginner computer user can get around anyway.

So what do I say to this?  Fuck it!  And fuck Dave Cameron!  If for nothing else than for being a giant fucking moron!  Only the guys with skeletons in their closet ban entry into the graveyard.  Maybe we should be taking a look at his hard drive!  And for the good people of England?  Well, there are plenty of proxy sites, VPNs, and browsers that can help.  I don’t know if the torch browser saw this coming when they added in their site unblocker, but the timing couldn’t have been better.  The idea that this could, or would, stop people from watching porn is so novice that it’s embarrassing.  It’s literally betting against the intelligence and drive of humanity ( I know, I know, I’m generally not a big believer in either of those things).

I don’t know what kind of crack that idiot was smoking when this idea came to mind, but if the two brain cells still working up there can get along for just a minute, maybe, just maybe, he’ll kill this idea before it actually takes off.

The Real Tragedy

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The US has been up in arms since the verdict in the George Zimmerman/Treyvon Martin case came out on July 13th leaving George Zimmerman a free man.  Violent eruptions have broken out in different cities across the country, it’s been all the rage on social media platforms, and celebrities have voiced their opinions in hope that their social status will change perception.  All in all it’s a real circus, and much like any circus, the ridiculousness of certain aspects abound.  First off is that it was made into a racial thing. I find this to be the funniest considering neither man was white.  I understand the desire to bring everything down to race in a country of people that require very simple, uniform facts when passing judgment in light of the major brain pain caused from rational thought.  But for it to get SO much press as a race issue is a joke, right?  To have riots over a Latino man not going to jail when killing a black man is kind of pushing it race-wise, isn’t it?  I mean, I don’t remember a whole lot of times in the history of our country when the treatment of Latinos was considered more than sub par, and generally it’s been akin to that of blacks.  They are compatriots in this struggle which makes the idea of this being a racial issue nothing but laughable…and sad at the same time considering how many people have bought into it, and how ready the black community was to jump on that bus despite the fact that it went completely against any level of common sense.

All that said, when it comes down to the case, and whether the guy should have gotten off, well, no, he shouldn’t have.  If it really comes down to whether Zimmerman should or shouldn’t have gotten out of his car, then yes he is guilty.  He had called the police.  They were on the way.  He was told not to follow the kid.  If he hadn’t followed him, how would this have happened?  Did Martin drag him out of his car?  Doubtful.  The fact that the sequence of events happened is because he defied police orders and got out of his car.  On top of that, he wasn’t watching a guy who seemed dangerous in that no weapon was in view.  He wasn’t seeing a crime being committed.  He was an overzealous guy who wanted to be a hero, and you know what overzealous guys who want to be heroes tend to do?  Instigate fights they can’t win, pull guns, maybe even fake their own injuries (hey, I’m not saying he did, just that he could have).  This is a guy whose temper made it to the level of arrest more than once.  I know guys like him, and I know what they’re capable of.  If they see the chance for the light of glory to shine on them, they take it.  The fact that he was a little bruised up didn’t give him the right to shoot a kid.  It just backs up that he obviously initiated something he couldn’t handle, and then pussied out and pulled a gun.  Maybe the gun was out the whole time and the scuffle was over that.  Though it’s hard for anyone to know how the altercation started, it wasn’t because George Zimmerman was waiting in his car!  The idea of self-defense doesn’t allow a person to attack another person (or threaten them) and then pull a deadly weapon when they realize they can’t win.  It’s for people who are actually under attack.  Who have someone after them.  It was meant for Treyvon Martin.  It’s not meant for people that start fights; and having scrapes on him doesn’t mean Zimmerman didn’t start it, just that he was dumb enough to start a fight with someone who could kick his ass.  And rightfully so!  Under the circumstances Zimmerman sounded like one of those guys who thinks he is the police just because he has a gun and does a neighborhood watch.  He’s the exact kind of overzealous guy to make a faulty judgment (or simply rely on the fact that the gun is in his holster and not the other guy’s.)  He followed down an unarmed kid to the point of an altercation, and then shot him.  Of course he should be in prison, but it has absolutely nothing to do with his race, or Martin’s.  It invalidates the point of the case to say such things.  He should be in jail because he willfully disobeyed orders and committed a crime.  And then tried to hide behind the very law intended for real victims.  That’s why he should go to jail.  We don’t need the black community making it their stand, we need the thinking community to.  The one that understands rationality, and the law, and the psychology of a man like Zimmerman.

Last, but certainly not least, one of the reasons this is so big in the media, is because the media has made it big in the media.  While the US perpetrates horrible crimes on other countries, allows their own citizens to die of health problems that would be perfectly preventable with decent health care, markets the lowest level of food to bring on these health problems, and in pretty much every other way rapes their citizens, we’re arguing about this.  It’s about as helpful as arguing about abortion.  It incites rage in people, makes them choose sides, makes them hate each other, and does all this while more important things that actually effect all of us, are going on.  I feel awful for Treyvon Martin and his family.  If I had some asshole following me around at the age of 17 they would’ve seen some questionable behavior, but nothing that warranted a gunshot.  He was a kid.  Zimmerman wasn’t.  Zimmerman was a guy who had been arrested for violent crimes and then given a gun.  He is an example of a bigger issue that we aren’t even talking about.  But none of this, NONE OF THIS, should be inciting the kind of hatred and animosity it has within our country.  And the real tragedy here is the inability of the American people to understand when they’re being hogtied by their leaders, and manipulated.  Plenty of very important newsworthy things happen that never make it to the news because they aren’t allowed to.  When something blows up like this it’s because there’s promotion for it.  We should be asking ourselves not whether the verdict was fair, but what’s going on now that we should be paying attention to instead.

You May Enter…

Ah, they did it again!  Not only can I download pretty much anything I want off the net from TV shows to hardcore porn, but I can access any goddamn site I want, anywhere in the world!  Sure, I’d be far more excited if I wasn’t living in the US, but you just never know when a tool like this can come in handy.  Weird Uzbekistan porn site?  Entered!  Online gambling?  Gotta try it out, but it should work!  With the ability to pick the country to be unblocked, anything is accessible.  Try it out!  It’s kind of fun to change your country with the click of a button (and without paying a dime).  I don’t think the older versions have it, but if you download the latest version at http://www.torchbrowser.com you’ll have the ability to transport yourself elsewhere (well, at least as far as the internet is concerned.)  In the fight for free content worldwide, the team at torch browser took another giant step forward with this built in VPN extension.  And gave a major ‘fuck you’ to anyone who restricts their content because of location.

holatorch

Congratulations To The New Fat-Ass Kings

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Who’d have thought that Mexico could overtake the US in anything other than border jumping and bean growing?  Well, it seems our neighbors to the south have stolen a much coveted title.  Yes my fellow Americans (and by ‘Americans’ I mean the state dwellers), we are no longer the fattest nation.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking ‘I just rode the subway today and I’m pretty damn sure that we’re still the fattest country’, but oh no, that designation now belongs to our browner skinned friends below the border.  Apparently all those chalupas have been paying off in recent years turning Mexico into one of the most malnourished of the developed countries, while simultaneously making it the fattest.  What this means is that fat parents raise horribly unhealthy children who are badly malnourished because of the lack of decent food they eat, cramming their faces with processed crap that has absolutely no nutritional value.  These kids then balloon out, and turn into fat adults to continue the cycle until they die of some kind of easily preventable cardiovascular disease.  What do I say to this?  Let ’em die!  It’s the same I say for the disgustingly fat and disgustingly complacent Americans above the border.  If you can’t get your shit together enough as a parent to absorb the small amount of information needed to lead a healthy lifestyle for the sake of your children, then sit back, eat your McDonald’s (or tacos), get your diabetes, and die!  And do it quickly.  Save the rest of us the cost of your medical bills.  If you’re so far gone that you allow yourself to get physically ill because you can’t control your diet, even though the fat rolls covering your body are a great indication and constant reminder that something is horribly wrong, then why should those of us who don’t eat like my dog have to pay for it?  Just die already.  Eat that final hamburger, choke back that final taco, and when your heart gives out, just die.  No hospitals or emergency care for you, amigo, you already signed off on the release form when you let yourself triple to the size of a normal human being.  Let the waves of your heart attack wash over you like a spring rain, cleansing you of your disgusting, horrible, meaningless existence, and die!

So today I send out my own personal congratulations to Mexico.  You did it guys!  You proved that poor educational systems are not just a US issue, and that the mass marketing of horribly unhealthy food for the financial gain of a few billionaires who are probably in perfectly good health, is a problem that any country is susceptible to.  I raise this fried chicken leg to you, my fat-ass friends, and say ‘kudos’ to the new kings of complacency.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/news/america-fattest-obese-un-144341236.html