Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Torture of the damned

Mother Jones published an interesting object, seen below.  It purports to be the music of the twist and the  screw: our tax dollars payed out for the most genteel of purposes. It reminded me of Gavin Bryars explanation for self-publishing, to keep control over his works so they wouldn't be performed in the then-pariah state of apartheid South Africa.  I can't imagine Rage Against the Machine - especially - being too happy about their inclusion on this list. Music, like any other form of torture, should be applied only to those who request it of you. Even though I, like most right-minded™ folks, believe that information wants to be free, I do think it is a somewhat naive misunderstanding of the value of author's rights, even moral rights, to think that it is all about BitTorrent-ing the latest episode of Project Runway. In fact, the greatest threat could be your government or the big bad corporations stealing your artistic handiwork to use for nefarious purposes, from the selling to unthinking consumers the means of their own destruction to the hired scourgers of our various Ministries of Justice, Peace and Defense using it to destroy some poor schmuck who happened to piss off the wrong tribal elder when the company fellows started doling out greenbacks for information. And I have some fear for my friend Frieder, whose performance previous to my opera this spring will be in Pakistan. Will his Pakistani visa's presence on his Old Europe passport land him a lengthy stay in a Navy brig, with cold iron manacles and cold iron door that even his most earnest magic cannot pass through, listening to the Barney Theme Song until he confesses to a host of misdeeds?
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