The corporation is not your friend. It’s an inanimate entity that depends upon you for survival. You tell it what to do, not vice versa.
The veneration of companies, especially those in tech, came in the wake of the capitulation to corporations by musical acts in the nineties. You couldn’t believe in the pop stars, you could believe in Steve Jobs and Apple, back when he didn’t do any market research and told you what you wanted, as opposed to the “artists” on assembly lines trying to turn out songs akin to Camrys. Not a bad automobile, but hard to get excited about.
Then Napster eviscerated recording income and the music business rushed to the man, i.e. the corporations, to fund their endeavors, to make them rich. From privates to sponsorships, the goal was to get the man to pay, as if the man never extracted his price.
They call it a chilling effect. Corporations don’t want to be associated with anything controversial. So, inherently, if you were taking the money, you were blinking, even if it was subconsciously.
Now Live Nation is a public company itself. It’s no wonder it makes sponsorship deals with the man. But no one would come if there were not talent on stage. WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE SELLING?
Certainly not controversy, unless it’s related to sex and breaking the law. Music has been dumbed-down, just like the movies. Sure, there’s a business in superheroes, but there’s no NUTRITION!
And common wisdom tells us the public is fine with this, artists selling out, being fed pabulum.
And then comes Parkland.
In case you missed the news, Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted giving David Hogg crap about being rejected by four colleges. We can wonder about a person who attacks a minor publicly in this way. Is this the same mind-set that condones coal mining and fracking and everything with an environmental cost as long as the Republicans stay in power? Is this how low one team has gone? Where winning is everything and decency is nothing?
Looks like it.
And then David Hogg takes to Twitter and asks who Ingraham’s sponsors are. And then employs social media to get his followers to contact them and get them to abandon Ingraham.
AND THEY DO! JUST THAT FAST!
Now ultimately Ingraham apologizes, with some baloney about it being Holy Week, as if one needs an excuse to do the right thing, but the point here is David Hogg and his posse harnessed the power of corporations to THEIR benefit, not vice versa!
That’s what artists do. David Hogg is more of an artist than most of the acts in the Spotify Top Fifty.
An artist does what’s right, not what’s expedient.
An artist speaks from the heart, with his or her truth, believing the audience will resonate.
An artist is a leader, not a follower, he or she is always one step ahead of his fans.
We’re living the Arab Spring. Which is not surprising, that we’re seven years behind, after all this hogwash about the U.S. being the greatest country in the world the truth is we’re ignorant in so many ways, and we’ve let money rule us.
That’s what this is about, money. Believe me, otherwise Laura Ingraham wouldn’t back down. An artist is not beholden to money, especially today. He or she can utilize the digital tools to get their message out, and if it resonates, there is no limit to its acceptance, unlike Bill O’Reilly, who loses his platform and falls off the edge of the earth.
This is not about right or left, sure Ingraham was way out of line, and one has to ask why the right continues to punch below the belt, this is about the power of the individual, the power of right, the power to lead.
You go into uncharted territory. Based on a feeling. You ride the reaction. You make it up as you go.
That’s why we adhered to the acts of yore, we had no idea what they’d do next, NOW WE DO! Music is like baseball, the game remains the same, only the players change, whereas in art…the game needs to be constantly reinvented.
Everything’s up for grabs. And if you’re an artist know that money is secondary to message, and if the message is good enough there’s plenty of money.
Play from the heart. Don’t overcalculate. Turn on a dime. Harness the power of your adherents, use the man as a tool.
Like David Hogg.