Sunday, March 30, 2008

MUSIC: Stuff White People Like - #93 Music Piracy

This is from the blog, Stuff White People Like, a funny blog that I suggest everyone check out! - OlderMusicGeek

#93 Music Piracy
March 30, 2008 by clander

White people have always been renowned for having ridiculously large music collections. So when file sharing gave white people a chance to acquire all the music they ever wanted, it felt as though it was an earned right and not a privilege.

When (not if) you see a white male with a full iPod, ask him if all of his music is legal. If he does not immediately launch into a diatribe about his right to pirate music, you might have to nudge him a bit by saying “do you think that’s right?” The response will be immediate and uniform.

He will likely rattle off statistics about how most musicians don’t make any money from albums, it all comes from touring and merchandise. So by attending shows, he is able to support the musicians while simultaneously striking a blow against multinational corporations. He will proceed to walk you through the process of how record labels are set up to reward the corporation and fundamentally rob the artist of their rights, royalties and creativity. Prepare to hear the name Steve Albini a lot.

Advanced white people will also talk about how their constant downloading of music makes them an expert who can properly recommend bands to friends and co-workers, thus increasing revenues and exposure. So in fact, their “illegal” activities are the new lifeblood of the industry.

When they have finished talking, you must choose your next words wisely. It is considered rude to point out the simple fact that they are still getting music for free. Instead you should say: “Wow, I never thought of it like that. You know a lot about the music industry. What bands are you listening to right now? Who is good?”

This sentence serves two functions: it helps to reassure the white person that they are your local “music expert,” something they prize. Also, it lets them feel as though they have convinced you that their activities are part of a greater social cause and not simple piracy.

If you bring up this issue with white person who says “nah bro, I don’t give a shit, Dave Matthews has enough money as it is.” You are likely dealing with wrong kind of white person.

In the even more rare situation where someone says “it’s all paid for, and it’s all transferred from vinyl.” You have found an expert level white person and must treat the situation carefully.

Because of the availability of music online, a very strict social hierarchy has been created within white culture whereby someone with a large MP3 collection is considered “normal,” a large CD collection is considered to be “better,” and a person with a large vinyl collection is recognized as “elite.”

These elite white people abhor the fact that music piracy has made their B-sides, live performances, and bootlegs available to the masses. Their entire life’s work has been stripped of it’s rarity in terms of both object and sound on the record. The best thing you can say to them is: “vinyl still sounds better.”

However, it is recommended that you do not let this conversation drag much longer. If you let them continue talking to you they are likely to spend hours talking to you about bands you’ve never heard of and providing you with a weekly mix CD of rarities that you do not want.

Posted in Activities, Culture | 98 Comments »

Some of the more interesting comments... - OlderMusicGeek

Gustavo Arellano on March 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm
Great blog, but Mexicans made music piracy socially acceptable long before the Internet could only support MIDI. Indeed, lore has it that copies of Edison’s “Mary Has a Little Lamb” were on the streets of Mexico City before his tinfoil could cool.
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David Diego Rodriguez on March 30, 2008 at 5:55 pm
Hey, Gustavo, I bought your book, ¡Ask a Mexican!, and I lend it out to everyone I know so that they don’t have to buy it! :) But that’s not bootlegging, right?
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Ana on March 30, 2008 at 6:02 pm
There’s a weekly tiangi mercado in Oaxaca city that’s unreal. In addition to the expected collections of narcocorridos, Juan Gabriel, Led Zeppelin, and Jean Claude Van Damme, some stands have selections of CDs and DVDs that would rival any white person’s favorite college town record store or art house cinema. Another one would qualify as the best classical music store I’ve ever seen.

For whatever reason I rarely saw American expats shopping there, but most are older than the white people this blog is about. They buy all their food at the Soriana, Gigante is just a little too Mexican.
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lguerrrr on March 30, 2008 at 3:54 pm
Well, it is true that Mexicans are more likely to be into piracy (also Chinese, Russians and all non-white people). What makes illegal downloading of mp3s unique is that it has crossed over to what white people like. White people are known for their respect of property rights. The fact that they are willing to forgo this in the name of music is remarkable.
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asad123 on March 30, 2008 at 3:54 pm
Mix CD’s are sooooo 1998.
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demirep on March 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm
However, mixtapes never go out of style.
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deesigner on March 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm
umm… where does one find this so called “free” music?

(For research sake of course……..)
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Gustavo Arellano on March 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm
White people respect property rights, lguerrrr? You obviously never heard of Manifest Destiny.
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Chantal on March 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm
but it’s true..vinyl DOES sound better.
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Amy on March 30, 2008 at 4:30 pm
Rock on! I never realized I could be considered elite, but the thousands of CDs and hundreds of vintage vinyl attest otherwise. (I always thought I was just a music nerd.)

This blog is the bomb.
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teeveebee on March 30, 2008 at 4:46 pm
What’s vinyl?
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OlderMusicGeek on March 30, 2008 at 7:24 pm
i fear for the day when they start asking what’s a cd!

god, i’m getting old!
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Reid on March 30, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Don’t forget that everyone’s taste in music is proudly self-considered to be “eclectic”, even if it merely includes both country AND western.
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Cato on March 30, 2008 at 5:31 pm
You’re close, but not quite there…
It’s not just “vinyl still sounds better”

it’s “analog recording with tube amplifiers/preamps gives you the most accurate recreation of the natural sound”

– this brings you into the rarefied world of not just vinyl, but direct to disc vinyl recordings and the serious audiophile world of finding (and often rebuilding) tube (as opposed to transistor) amplifiers. That’s elite!
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MONO is the Great White Hope on March 30, 2008 at 6:19 pm
Vinyl is cool if you like snap, crackle, pop with your tunes. Many’s the time I’d break out a bowl of the old Rice Krispies and munch while jamming on my MP3 player just for old time’s sake.

But anyone that says the sound quality of vinyl, the virtues of analog notwithstanding, is superior to CD is just nuts.

I’m talking about mass produced LPs & 45s. It was not uncommon to see bits of lint or paper embedded in the record. Surface blemishes that were visual to the naked eye were very common and blemishes that manifest themselves to your ear on the very first needle drop were par for the course.

Most true audiophiles I know got the record onto tape– preferably reel-to-reel– first time out of the album sleeve.
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God, this was ME before cd's and mp3's! - OlderMusicGeek

Will Entrekin on March 30, 2008 at 6:43 pm
“providing you with a weekly mix CD of rarities that you do not want.”
Oh, but who doesn’t want that?
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whitekidfromwhiteplains on March 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm
White people like moby
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OlderMusicGeek cringes at this remark. :)

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