Sunday, June 28, 2020

Country Masks | Lefsetz Letter

This is a call to action.

Musicians are the most influential people in the world. Check the social media stats. It’s time for them to use this influence for good.

Forget the so-called social media “influencers,” that’s a different thing, that’s about whoring yourself out to corporations as you set yourself on fire for attention, the musicians are selling their identities, their credibility, and we can argue all day long that musician credibility is at a low point, but compared to those empowered in the government, these players and singers and rappers look like seers.

Old people are staying home. Not all of them, but check the statistics, many are afraid to go to restaurants. But many are part of the Fox News disinformation network. Read Margaret Sullivan’s article in the WaPo today:

The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously

Three studies have now concluded that Fox News caused its viewers to not take the coronavirus seriously to their detriment. I don’t care if you don’t believe it, my point is to ignore these people for now, right wing oldsters, if they can be reached at all, it’ll be through their progeny, the young, who hang on every word of the rappers.

Last night “A Hard Day’s Night” was on television. It reminded me of how we all instantly started to grow our hair long, bought guitars to play along, to try and become rock stars. That’s how influential musicians are. Which is why so many youngsters aspire to be rappers. They want to be like these acts.

As for country… That’s the music of many conservatives, red states, those who believe that they should be free to not don masks. The funny thing is too many country acts are not free. They’re afraid of being Dixie-Chicked. But in an era where there’s no more “Dixie,” does this old paradigm really apply, if all the country acts join together with one message, especially when even country artists rap?

And heavy metal. Lamb of God and other acts you may not be aware of are very influential, and they have red-leaning fans. As does the still relevant, amazingly so, Insane Clown Posse.


The music industry told everybody to put a black square on their social media feeds. What did that accomplish? NOTHING! If anything, it clogged up the channel when important messages needed to be distributed.

So, every musician, everybody in the Spotify Top 50, everybody with an audience, everybody ever paid for playing, must now take a picture of themselves in a mask and post it to Instagram, the most influential social media site, where young people live, with a caption telling people to WEAR THEIR F***ING MASKS!

Maybe we should leave the swear word in. Illustrating how important this concept is. Or maybe we can come up with a better tagline. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully at this point. Should it have the word “mask” in it, is “cover” okay?

But musicians must do it.

Check the web, musicians are SELLING masks, UMG is even behind it, but there’s not a concerted effort to tell people to wear them. Unfortunately this is today’s music business, money first, but that must change.

And the effort cannot be led by the Grammys. That outfit has no credibility.

But do you remember the launch of Tidal? The service failed, but the press conference got a ton of attention, it’s still seared in my brain, because of the confluence of superstars from all different genres.

One other thing… Musicians must wear their masks 24/7 in public. Yup, this cannot be about telling people to vote when you’ve never voted yourself. This cannot be about telling people to stop doing drugs when you’re still getting high. This is about walking the walk.

Furthermore, there should be a concomitant campaign to shame those musicians who are not wearing masks. Same deal with members of the public. This is social media shaming with a BENEFIT!

Bottom line, masks reduce transmission by 90%. Or in that neighborhood. Let’s not argue numbers, the point is wearing a mask is altruistic if you’ve got Covid-19 and you’re wearing a mask, the odds of transmitting the virus are very low, like those hairdressers who wore masks but infected none of their clients.

Once again, if you want to argue with me, I’m not listening to you. You’re either on the bus or off. That’s the spirit of the sixties. You’re with us or against us. And the wheels of justice move slowly, which is why it’s going to take a long time to see if the Black Lives Matter protests will have a serious effect, but if everybody in America wore a mask we’d see Covid-19 infections decrease immediately, to a de minimis level. This is not complicated, it’s just that the disinformation network is causing people not to mask-up (maybe that’s the name of the campaign).

July 4th is around the corner. If you think everybody is gonna stay home, you don’t realize infections jumped after Memorial Day weekend.

And the odds of getting infected outside are lower, but not infinitesimal. And after you’re at the beach…you’re gonna go inside to stream movies and… The holiday weekend will be an incubator for infection.

But not if everybody wears a mask.

Sure, young people tend not to die when infected (although some do!), but they are the ones moving about this country freely. Even worse is asymptomatic people. Who infect zillions without knowing it!

This has to be a concerted campaign. Leaving politics and the government out. They’ve forgotten about us, it’s time for us to lead.

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It spread like wildfire, most people were not even knowledgeable as to the disease it was raising money for, but they wanted in on the action.

People will want in on the action.

Maybe there’s a song. A very simple one. That can be cut in all genres, just like Shania Twain released multiple versions of her songs years ago. Maybe we should bring back Mutt Lange to do it. He knows a hit. Force him to work quickly, normally anathema to him.

Or a certified hitmaker like Pharrell. Even better, Max Martin. He may be a Swede, but he lives in Los Angeles.

And then these tracks can be pushed on TikTok, instead of the drivel the companies are now seeding. Get the public to make videos of this mask-wearing song.

And maybe even have a contest. Where you get access to your favorite hitmaker.

But oftentimes today participation is its own reward.

This is not hard, it’s damn easy.

And it will make a huge difference.

Start posting to Instagram TODAY!

P.S. This is the best illustration of the benefit of masking up I’ve seen: Click it and spread it.


P.P.S. Music is both serious and irreverent. Keep these concepts in mind when you post. Blandness is anathema.

P.P.P.S. Do we need an organization, or can this just happen spontaneously? I don’t know. But if there is an organization, it must be one run by musicians. No big business filters in-between.

P.P.P.P.S. I’ve got no problem with enlisting corporations. All those companies dying to attach themselves to the credibility of musicians. They’ve got the money, they advertise, they love a cause. And right now, corporations are feeling their oats, standing up to Facebook and hitting Zuck where it hurts, his pocketbook. These corporations would love to align with this.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Like Covid-19, this program can explode exponentially. Because people want to be part of the pack, they want to believe in something, they want to DO something. Our goal is to get everybody wearing a mask next weekend. At the pool, on the lake, in the backyard, in the house, this must be cool. And if media doesn’t pick up on the effort by itself, we’ll employ the high-priced music PR people to do this for free. No money is changing hands here, this is not about the Benjamins, but LIFE! It’s a matter of life and death, don’t you forget it.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Either post and wear the damn mask or get out of the way. Look yourself in the mirror, do something for somebody else for a change. Forget about money, let’s all unite as Americans for the sake of Americans, is that such a hard concept to fathom?


No comments: