Tuesday, January 7, 2020

We’re The Stars Now | Lefsetz Letter

That’s right, the hoi polloi, the supposed flyover people, the peanut gallery…WE RULE!

And we have contempt for you if you step out of your lane. We may even have contempt for you if you stay in your lane!

That’s what the billionaire backlash is all about.

Stoking the starmaker machinery
Behind the popular song

No one is a free man in Paris anymore. Everybody’s findable. Just like you! Jeffrey Katzenberg used to say if you don’t bother to come in on Saturday, don’t even think about coming in on Sunday, at least that’s the legend. Today, if you don’t answer your e-mail on the weekend, if you don’t get back to people right away, you’re gonna lose your job. That’s what separates today’s winners from the losers. Those willing to work 24/7 and those who are not.

Oh, don’t give me all this wellness crap. That’s just liberal b.s. to deal with future shock. This is the world we live in and we like it! We like the adrenaline hit of our phones buzzing, that means someone cares about us, someone needs us, WE’RE IMPORTANT!

So right now they’re televising the Golden Globes. I remember when movie stars were heroes, larger than life. Now they’re just actors, propped up by a hype-industrial complex that believes nothing has changed…you know, you hire a publicist to get you into the paper and you’ve got gravitas. Only today you don’t. Because stars aren’t made in the papers. As for the print ones, ask the reporters, they’re all on Twitter, not wanting to miss a beat.

So there used to be idolmakers. They even made a movie about it. You find someone, even if they’re two-dimensional, without talent, and you turn them into a star, you’ve got all the relationships, you push the button and it happens, at least often enough. But now terrestrial radio is calcified, stars are made on streaming services, the traditional outlets come last. And hell, even Ricky Gervais made a joke about the power of Netflix…yup, I caught that in the news online…do you really think I’m going to sit through all those commercials?

Of course there are young nitwits looking up to pop stars. But that’s also why the pop stars have gotten so young. Billie Eilish is their contemporary, not Zach de la Rocha. The young ‘uns aren’t into the oldsters and the oldsters…they don’t know what the hell is up.

So if you raise your head above the fray, if you think you’re important…

You’re gonna be knocked down.

If you haven’t experienced this, you’re just not popular enough. That’s right, save the planet, create world peace, there are still gonna be haters online giving you grief. They’ve got power, they’ve got a microphone, they want you to know if they just got off their asses, they could do it too. And some of them do! Which is why we’re inundated with entertainment product online. Remember when the usual suspects bitched that piracy would ruin creativity, that no one would bother to create if they couldn’t get paid? Turns out creativity abhors a vacuum. While the oldsters were bitching about recorded music payments the rappers were giving it away for free online and they’re now the ones getting paid on streaming services, proving once again if you don’t go with the flow, it buries you.

Pete Buttigieg? Getting money from the fat cats? Money can’t buy you love. We all believe we’re entitled to access, that we’re in this together, and if you leave us outside…either we don’t care about you or you’re gonna pay the price. There was an article in the L.A. “Times” about crashing the Golden Globes. Why? Who cares?

It’s kinda like the movie industry doesn’t understand we live in an on demand economy, and unless we can have it when we want it, we probably don’t need it. I saw “Marriage Story” because it was on Netflix. The rest of the Oscar contenders? Do you expect me to waste that much time, to drive to the theatre, park, endure the trailers and the talk just to see a flick that’s probably not that great anyway?

Yup, that’s the movie industry, they want to get rid of Rotten Tomatoes! They think it’s unfair! Believe me, the public loves it, I live by it, I check the ratings before I watch anything, I don’t want to waste my time, I don’t want to be duped.

We all know everything. Yup, we’re privy to the same information as the fat cats. And if the fat cats want to pull one over on us, we rebel. Which is why the stars with the most dedicated fan bases are those on the so-called periphery, jam bands, Americana, they’re accessible to their audience, they don’t talk down to them.

So what happens now?

Ratings for awards shows continue to tank. Hell, it’s easier just to go online and look up who won rather than endure hours of b.s.

But the truth is all network TV, all real-time TV, is in a bind. That’s just not how we live our lives anymore.

And it affects all media.

Despite raising e-book prices to the point they’re oftentimes more expensive than hard copies, the truth is e-books are burgeoning at libraries! Just think, you don’t have to even leave your home! You look up what’s available online and you get it immediately, or queue up for when it becomes available. And the publishers are pissed! They’re changing the terms libraries acquire these books at. Then again, they could have gone along with Amazon to begin with, and priced e-books so low people wouldn’t bother with the library. If you try and protect your old turf…you lose.

Make America Great Again?

Only by embracing the future. Globalization. People of color.

We’re not going backwards baby. You’re addicted to your cheap flat screen. Hell, manufacturing is going down in the U.S., despite Trump saying he’s going to bring it back.

It’s like we’re in a giant high school!

And the real stars of the young are not the people they’re fed by the machine, but those who make it all on their lonesome, online. Yup, the YouTube stars, the influencers…they’re seen as more real, they’re accessible.

Sure, the stars of yore still have pull, that’s the essence of classic rock.

But they don’t make ’em like that anymore. The classic rock stars benefited from the scarcity of product. You were addicted to the radio and you could only buy a few albums. Today? It’s a smorgasbord of product, everyone’s sampling and if they don’t like something they don’t play it until they do, they move on!

This is what populism is about. A reaction to the libs who think they know better.

This is what Bernie and Elizabeth are about. They appeal to the young and those left out. And the establishment hates it! The establishment likes to maintain control!

Give the Republicans credit, they rallied around Trump after he won, it’s the only way they could maintain power. Yup, it’s positively tribal out there, but it’s not only Democrat and Republican, it’s metal and the rest of the genres. Sure, people graze…but chances are you haven’t listened to a metal record in years. It’s not the metal of yesterday, you need a secret decoder ring to understand it, and that’s just the way that tribe likes it.

So you can build it…

But they may not come.

You may triumph…

And then immediately lose.

Today, if you’re not in it for the long haul, don’t even bother, just get a straight job and stay out of entertainment. The road is harder than ever. Despite everybody being able to play at little or no cost, it’s nearly impossible to gain adherents, i.e. fans. But if you pay your dues and treat your audience right you can gain a living.

Look at the Coachella lineup. The reason most of these acts are not stars is because there’s not room for them in today’s landscape, and there are so many other options. There can only be a few people we all know. Then again, other than Billie Eilish, who in truth has been in development for years, who else has broken through in the past year? Drake, the rest of today’s stars…they made it years ago. And every year is different, change is rampant. And chances are if you’re not down in the niche, you’ve got no idea what’s happening in it.

That’s another feature of the modern era, you can’t get a hold on everything…you can barely get a hold on anything! It’s all about your own little life, baby. You’re the star of your own movie. Literally! Posting on Instagram and YouTube!

Every year the landscape flattens more. And if you want to jump genres, from one success to another? Good luck! People resent you using your money and relationships to try and do this. That’s what people have against Bloomberg, irrelevant of his beliefs, they feel manipulated!

And the only way to be a true star today is to maintain your credibility…don’t blow with the wind, don’t play for dictators, don’t change your beliefs willy-nilly. People still need people to believe in, but today you’ve got to have a CV, and you must not leave your channel and tell us you know better, BECAUSE YOU DON’T!

[from https://ift.tt/2k9aO1A]

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