While I enjoy George Will's writings, I find myself usually not agreeing with him on a range of topics. Here's one that I love. On the Sunday gab-fest This Week with George Stephanopoulos, her proposed Will's Law, when it came to the Feds using our dough to bail out Bear Stearns and the like.
Will's Law is simple:
"no company, such as JPMorgan now, or BearStearns, that is getting substantial subvention from the federal government shall be allowed to pay any of its executives more than the GS-15, that’s $124,000. That would stop the run to Washington."
Something funky has been going on with the feed for this blog. I noticed that for some reason (still not sure what) I wasn't receiving any update in Google Reader since March 22. I checked things out and re-synced the FeedBurner feed and then re-subscribed and things seem to be flowing again.
So, if you're subscribed in a feed reader of some sort or the other, you might want to re-subscribe (at least I hope you'd want to :). Here's a link to the feed.
Also leave a comment if you're not seeing the feed. Maybe something will help me track down the issue. I'd appreciate the help.
Arrogance is the ultimate in shortsightedness. It is also the ultimate in unoriginal thought. The blogging/twittering/friendfeeding/ world is navel gazing again. This time the lint that is getting pulled out is all about the lack of original thought in blogging as opposed to linking and piling on and page view hunting, and on and on and on....
First, there hasn't been much original thought in any sphere of human endeavor that involves writing in a long, long time. And the trends and patterns are just the same. The only difference is the method of sharing the stories. Heck, I'm not sure what history will look on more kindly, oral communication and its ways of morphing an original idea, or blogging, and twittering, and etc... and its way of linking and changing a story. At least with blogging, etc... some of the time the original source gets credit.
And this whole social graph, networking thing? About as new as talking to your neighbors at the post office, or at the market, or over the mastodon kill, or over the just about anything. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the world is smaller because of the Intertubes but no matter the size of the pub the suds still flow the same way.
Oh, and the characters that populate this ongoing play that the Internet is just another scene in? You could pick them out of a Greek tragedy by Euripides, or a Roman comedy by Plautus. The characters remain the same, the actors just change. Shakespeare did. But that was back in the days before perpetual copyright.
When you view the world from behind your nose it is tough to look behind you and see that you're looking at what others have already seen. And the bald spot on the back of your noggin is just part of the view.
Location, location, location. Let's hope that's not the case here.
A great article in the Richmond Times Dispatch about private donations and the arts in the Commonwealth, at a time where we are seeing state cutbacks. This article focuses on the Richmond area, and it makes me wonder why we don't see a similar climate here in the Northern Shenandoah Valley region when it comes to supporting what the arts bring to our region.
Our production of Romeo and Juliet, which completed its run last night, is a typical example. Cast with mostly local teens, alongside a few professionals, the show was a splendid success with audiences, but we have very little luck finding donors to support these sort of efforts. Even we tell them the great success stories.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be talking a bit more about this struggle on Wicked Stage, as we move forward to our season opening in June. We've got to change the conversation in our area in a big way if we are going to continue, and I hope the folks who understand the importance of the arts in our area will lend us an ear, and some support.
Now the TSA has responded saying that they are sorry and will change the rules. Now all those with pierced body parts have to do is submit to a visual inspection of the offending metal objects.
I once worked with a designer who had piercings before piercings were popular and in some pretty, ahem, interesting places. I'm sure he would have no problem with a visual inspection. But I'm just wondering about this whole episode. Surely someone somewhere has passed through a security scan with this sort of thing before. And this is the first time we've had an issue of it? Intriguing.
Newsweek proclaims a "new" Super Tuesday ahead. Give me a break.
I'm not sure how I feel about all the talk about giving the US Treasury more power. On one hand we do need some system to keep the thieves and greedy buggers from crashing things down around us as they steal our money. On the other hand, there are times I just say "let her burn."
So, you guys have come up with the idea of charging any Internet consumer a $5 a month tax as a way of paying for all those inflated damages you claim the music industry suffers because of piracy. You've realized that you can't stop the damage and you don't want to surrender, you've got to fight. I don't doubt that you do suffer some losses, but we all know rhetoric when we see it, but that's another topic for another day.
Lots of folks are screaming that this is extortion, racketeering, unabashed greed, or desperation. And of course there are those who look at what you are proposing as labeling everyone as guilty and to hell with the innocent. But maybe we need to look at this a different way.
The way I see it Edgar is this. My contribution of $5 a month (or $60 a year) sort of makes me (and everyone else) like a shareholder in your business. By buying into your racket I'm saying I believe in you. You're not only going to protect the world from music piracy, you're going to rejuvenate the business. I am going to reap the benefits of my little monthly investment in your business.
You will make good and damn sure that we actually have some folks making some real music worth my while out there. I'll gladly continue to pay for it, (I always do) if it is good stuff. But lately, you've seen a steep decline in revenue from me in the past, because your industry kinda thought it was about something other than music and lost its way. Let's be honest, with few exceptions, nothing that is being released these days is really that good or worth the price of admission. So, you're going to fix that, right?
Oh, and the majority of that $5 a month is going to go the artists, right? I doubt very seriously you're even remotely thinking of spending that $20 billion a year windfall on anything other than giving it to the artists. That's true, right?
And speaking of the artists, I see this as a real boon to them, assuming you do the right thing. Think of the savings you guys can reap by using this windfall to get rid of all those lawyers. That's even more money back to the artists, right?
And it doesn't stop there. Imagine all the bribes, er... excuse me, lobbying fees you'll save. You won't have to keep paying for the help of guys like this in government anymore, right?
But, you know Edgar, you shouldn't stop there. Let's do as the Canadians want to do and add a tax on devices as well. And, you know, let's add a tax on every guitar, piano, clarinet, tuba, pair of castanets, and spoon that is sold. I mean somewhere, somebody is going to pick up a pair of spoons at a family gathering and play some tune for those assembled. You might has well get the money up front on that one, too, don't cha think?
Oh, and by the way. I'm guessing that the prices of music will also drop, since you already add some to the bottom line to help protect against piracy. Another good call, right?
And I'm sure the computer manufacturers and software houses will be happy when you get rid of all that silly DRM nonsense that is forcing them to implement software that gums up every machine. I'm right on that one too, yes?
I can see this really taking off in a big way. I mean you could even go so far as demanding that hospitals charge parents when every new child is born, because you know that some parent somewhere is going to sing some song to their new infant that should be paid for. Let's charge them all and that way you've got your bases covered. And besides the way the Insurance industry works, no one will ever know the difference.How's that for an idea?
And don't forget the back end. Funeral homes. Yes. There is another good idea. We all know that once you get this going, somebody is going to get away with not paying you at some point in his/her life. So, let's tack a little onto the cost of each funeral or cremation, so we an catch them on the way out the door. Smart thinking?
It just goes on and on and on. I mean the way I look at it, my little $5 a month investment in your business and my reputation as a thief, (forget that innocent until proven guilty thing) should really help out and not just with your bottom line, but with life in general.