Posts Tagged capitalism

Metal Musician Angry About State of Rock/Metal Music Industry

Come_at_me_bro

State of Rock/Metal Music Industry

A heavy metal musician armed with a computer and an Internet connection typed an astoundingly illuminating Facebook post on March 18, criticizing the rock/metal music business.

The rant, which is the 674,928th of its kind, was reportedly written when the musician was angry.

“His eyebrows were definitely furrowed and his teeth were bared,” said the Internet, 25, a professional time-killer. “He was typing so quickly and slamming the keyboard so hard I thought it sounded like the drumbeats to a Meshuggah song.”

In his post, the musician seemingly blamed the mechanics of Capitalism for the state of today’s rock/metal music business. Insectile sources perched outside the musician’s window and on his coffee mug confirmed that he used a capitalist contraption to publish his thoroughly original thoughts on a capitalist cyber social-networking platform.

“I vividly remember seeing a logo of a quarter-eaten apple on the curious white machine that he was typing on,” buzzed 15-days-old housefly, Buzz Darkmonth.

Buzzing with glee, Darkmonth added, “He was so engrossed in complaining to the very people he “don’t want to be ‘liked’ by” that he didn’t notice me pooping on his mug!”

The musician’s post contains many quotable one-liners that would not look out of place in a poorly written research paper. Exemplary lines include “The music business has sucked the life out of creativity,” “No one is encouraged to take risks, no one is encouraged to push the envelope, because it’s all about first week sales!” and “It’s about pointless radio play and how good your last tour went.”

But perhaps the highlight was the emotional conclusion that utilized the rhetorical technique of repetition to superb effect.

“I don’t get it!  You don’t care about music, and I don’t care about music, and I sit here wondering if this feeling is a result of the business itself, or is the business a result of our own apathy towards music…

I feel lost.

I feel alone.

Something has to change.

Someone has to stir the pot.

Something needs to come along and wake us up out of the slumber.”

According to the ghost of Martin Luther King Jr, former excessive user of the line “I have a dream,” the musician’s repeated use of “I don’t,” “I feel,” and “Something” is enigmatic and inspiring.

“Were I born in the late ‘60s instead of the late ‘20s, I could have been this guy,” King’s spirit said in a booming voice. However, when he saw the musician’s headful of healthy, wavy black hair, jealousy flickered in his translucent eyes and he vanished in a cloud of ethereal smoke.

It is now expected that the musician will not gain an ounce of sympathy from the cyber masses.

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Requiem For A Dumb Idea

Every once and a while the free market really gets it right.  Dippin’ Dots, the mothball shaped ice cream that took America by storm back in the 1990s, has finally, mercifully filed for bankruptcy.  The fact that 2,000 of these stands exist today is a shaming blight upon the wooly, pock marked face of consumer capitalism.  I am not much of a dancer, but I need to admit that I actually leaped out of my seat and did a fair Michael Flatley impression when I heard that this frozen pox was nearing eradication.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of having been around me when walking by a Dippin’ Dots stand has been subjected to a mile-a-minute tirade about how “the rat poison of the future should be grinded into the dust of the past” (as I told my wife on our second date).  I actually got in a shouting match with a Dippin’ Dots franchise owner in Poughkeepsie, New York that ended with me nearly getting maced by a mall cop.

What bares further investigation is surely not the uselessness of the product, for who among us can actually defend such swill, but my disposition on the matter.   With famine, war, pestilence and torture all more obvious candidates for my vitriol, what really rankles me is the existence of these pellets of shame.

To be fair, I can’t even be certain I’ve ever eaten the things.  They actually might be quite good.  There is just something about them that makes my internal organs weep.  I feel insulted by their very existence.

I’m certainly not harboring some deep dissatisfaction with the concept of frozen desserts.  I could ingest nothing but ice cream, Italian ices and Sno Cones from now until when my first social security check comes in and be perfectly content.  It’s not like I had to be hospitalized with an ice cream headache for three weeks or got hit by a Good Humor van when I was 11 and have some odd physical aversion to this sort of thing.  I practically sweat gelato.

After almost four decades of being offered a shameful array of stuff that I could not find a use for in a million lifetimes, I think this may be the Dot that broke the camels back.  How many Sham-Wows, how many Pillow Pets, how many steel-belted, titanium, rust-proofed, icy cold scams can a man endure before he reached the point of feeling genuine, hot-blooded scorn?  Every time one of these asinine businesses get started in the name of The American Dream, a little part of me dies.

If the little Chamber of Commerce member in your mind has started to spew rhetorical vomit about how having 67 thousand different brands of oatmeal is good for the economy and, thus, America, tell him that while this stuff may be good if your goal is to create a society who’s members all have amassed personal debt in excess of the Gross National Product of Peru it might not be the best use of their time and collective brain power.

I’m a communist, you say.  Fine!  At least Lenin never had to sit through toothpaste commercials.  If what passes for communism in America is being ill-disposed to living in a 24 hour a day flea market that has been approved by 9 out of 10 dentists, then sign me up.

Truthfully, my real anger is at the feeling of having to participate in the market at nearly all moments.  Sure, I could go sit up on a mountaintop and breathe fresh air all day, but most people’s lives put them face-to-face with The Never Ending Hustle.  In The Great Gatsby, the billboard of Dr. TJ Eckleburg was a façade that hid a part of the soulless, desolate valley of ashes.  The billboards of today merely serve the purpose of hiding more billboards.

I can’t get five steps away from my door without some hackneyed inducement to participate in the ever-glorious marketplace of individual freedom.  Sometimes they are gentle, sometimes they are rough, sometimes they play on my nerves, sometimes they tug on my heartstrings, but the pull is interminable.

Sure, I don’t have to buy whatever this or that company is selling, but I do have to make an effort to tune it out.  Constantly.  And while that effort is minimal, the collective weight of it has worn me down.  After all, you can be crushed under the weight of a hundred tons of feathers just as you can be crushed under a hundred tons of lead.

At some point along the line, a very real feeling of insurmountable weariness has crept into my mind.  Like when you are trying to fall asleep and different vague, unconnected noises continue to awaken you right when you have become completely calm.  Eventually, you can be annoyed into the belief that peace and calm are impossible.

I blame you Dippin’ Dots, because getting my arms around a problem this big and pervasive doesn’t seem feasible.  I’ve forgotten how to take to the streets and I don’t know the mailing address of my duly elected state representative.  I only know the language of futility and those types of words don’t move mountains.  I might not be able stop the endless flow of sugar-coated avarice that flows unabated though our collective veins but I sure know how to smile when the axe of the free market lands squarely on the neck of a hated foe.

Thanks to good old-fashioned American knowhow and the virtues of commerce, I can be assured that five even uglier heads will sprout up where there once was only one.  That problem, however, is for another day.  Tonight when I lay my head down on a pillow, I can rest easy knowing that at least one stupid idea is being vanquished from our world.  Sometimes, that’s enough.

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Watching The Defective

The following conversation took place recently in a mental hospital on the planet Klorg located in the Rumach Galaxy 20,000,000 west of Arcturus.  The patient, Wsghk Z Weryhi, was locked in a padded cell and sedated for his own safety approximately one week ago.  His family brought him in claiming that he disappeared for a day and reemerged exhibiting signs of severe dementia.  We now join an interview between himself and the esteemed Doctor zZefgh W KorgabS already in progress.

(Editors note:  The conversation was conducted in KlorgeanRW, a dialect common in the Southern Provinces of Klorg.  The language and concepts have been adapted so that it can be understood by the primarily English speaking audience of The Tyranny of Tradition)

Dr. KorgabS:  So, I want to go back to what you were saying earlier, about this America you claimed to have visited…

Weryhi:  Doctor, I am sure that I was there.  I snuck into the interstellar dock at the community center and set it for random coordinates.  It took me to America.

Dr. KorgabS:  Okay, so, let’s talk about this America.  I want to make sure I understand what you are telling me.  Please describe this whole, what did they call it, (consulting his notes)…ah yes, this “free market” idea that many of these Americans believe.

Weryhi:  Sure….some of them believe that this system of economics that they have, they call it capitalism, is essentially perfect.  They think that if they all do as they wish and accumulate as many resources as they can, everything will work out for the best for those that make what they like to call “good decisions”.  Basically, some of them actually believe that selfishness is a good quality that is the best thing for the community.

Dr. KorgabS:  (with a perplexed look on his face)  Okay….now Wsghk, you can understand why I’d think this sounds a bit odd, right?

Weryhi:  Believe me, I had the same response.  One of them told me about this fellow named Adam Smith who said an “invisible hand” runs things and allows people acting only in their best interest to be protected.  The invisible hand makes everything work out.  Or, that’s what the fellow in the bowtie told me.

Dr. KorgabS:  An…invisible hand???

Weryhi:  Yes.

Dr. KorgabS looks down at his information tablets trying not to look concerned and moves on to the next subject

Dr. KorgabS:  And….this democracy idea that most of them talk about.

Weryhi:  Yes!  It was a fascinating thing.  From time to time they actually pick the people who make the most important decisions.  It sounds like a great idea, but what they do with it is bizarre.  Once they’ve picked these “politicians”, many of these people turn around and blame them for everything that goes wrong in their lives.  Even though they were the ones who picked them in the first place!  Then, if the politicians do what they want them to, they pick them again and start blaming them the minute these folks are elected.  It’s amazing!  They seem to take no responsibility for the choices they make!

Dr. KorgabS:  Yes, you seem to talk a lot about how they blame each other.

Weryhi:  One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.  One very small section of the population controls most of the resources.  Most of them struggle while a few of them have more than they need.  Yet, many of the Americans blame those who have very little of the resources for making “bad decisions” and ruining things for the group.  Every once in a while, a few of the people with a lot of resources blame other people with a lot of resources, but they don’t really try to change anything.

Dr.  KorgabS:  Do these Americans blame any one else?

Weryhi:  They blame EVERYONE!  That’s all they do.  They blame people who don’t live in America.  They blame people who come to America.  They blame people who have new ideas.  They blame people who don’t do what they want them to.  They have entire television channels dedicated to blame.

Dr. KorgabS:  Fascinating.  Is anyone ever above blame?

Weryhi:  Well, they like to make up stories about these people they call The Founding Fathers.  Apparently, they understood everything and rarely had bad ideas.  The funny part is they use these made up stories to justify all sorts of bizarre actions.  These people seem to have almost limitless imaginations!

Dr. KorgabS:  This is truly amazing.

Weryhi:  Isn’t it.  Some of them believe that this invisible all powerful being, that they have a bunch of different names for, controls everything and tells them what to do.

Dr. KorgabS:  (incredulous) An invisible, all-powerful being that…tells them what to do?  Sounds like that invisible hand thing.

Weryhi:  Yes!!!!  This invisible being idea is so strange.  If things go well for them, they say he did it.  When things are going badly, many of them don’t change anything about their lives, they just close their eyes and pretend to talk to this being.  Apparently, they think this invisible being has some great plan that they are all a part of.  If they disobey the voice in their head, they fear that after they die they will be set on fire for the rest of time.

Dr. KorgabS:  Simply amazing.  And many of them believe all of this?

Weryhi:  Here’s the weirdest part….not only do they believe it, they are proud of it.  Incredibly proud of all of these strange ideas.  They wave flags and have parades to celebrate them.  Without a trace of irony, these people act as if they have found the greatest set of ideas ever created.  They are so impressed with these ideas they are willing to go to war and commit querby so that people will act more like them.  (editors note:  there is no English equivalent to the word querby.  It means something like killing or harming based entirely on a delusion.  It is the worst possible act in Klorgian society.  No one there has committed querby in the past 20 years)

Dr. KorgabS:  They commit QUERBY and are proud of it!!!!  I simply cannot believe that.

Weryhi:  If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t either.

Dr. KorgabS:  (standing up and leaving the room) You understand that this sounds pretty far fetched?

Weryhi:  I know, I know.  But I saw it with my own three eyes.

Dr. KorgabS: We will be in to check on you and talk more later.  Until then, try not to think about that place.

Weryhi:  I’ll try, Doctor.  Thanks for listening.

20 minutes later in Doctor KorgabS office.  KorgabS sits at a desk discussing the interview with his colleague and friend Doctor QwB

Dr. KorgabS:  He seemed so convinced.  The details are incredible.  I have never worked with a patient with such detailed delusions.

Dr. QwB:  It all sounds so crazy.  I mean, the part about the interstellar space travel is quite possible, but this America he described sounds ridiculous.  Does he know it can’t possibly be real?

Dr. KorgabS:  No, I don’t think he does.  It’s so sad.  I’ve never met a sicker being in my entire life.

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