The internet’s given us tons of cool shit. Now, for the first time since I spent musch of my young life scrawling obscene graffiti onto the wings of backpoll warblers before they migrated across the Atlantic I can quite casually call a 12 year old in Arkansas a ‘faggot’ to wonderfully exorcise my dangerously incompetent belief in what freedom of speech is. Jamie in Arkansas can even call me a ‘faggot’ back, if he could catch a backpoll warbler to save his life and I was doing something as irredemably faggy as attempting to capture the flag in Call of Duty 6 armed with only a M1903. What the fuck are you doing, Jamie?! Quit being such a faggot!
It’s also given every person on Earth ability to hear from a previously unimaginable variety of voices and perspectives. If you ever hear somebody say that ‘people are offended too much these days’, what they actually mean is that their killer joke about a black lesbian picking the seeds out of her watermelon used to do gangbusters when the only people who ever heard them tell it were horrible white men. Now, women, gay people and other ethnicities are hearing it. They don’t like it. Because it’s offensive. And they’re the people being offended. Don’t blame the internet because suddenly people can hear how gross you are.
Oh! And porn! Do you even know how hard it used to be to see someone else naked when I was young? First, they would have to be from a family close enough to yours to attend similar society gatherings. Then you would have to work out where exactly you would need to be standing in the ballroom to ensure you’d be 2-4 feet in front of your chosen victim’s face when the Charleston kicked in. Even after all that, nudity receivers would only be chosen among those who managed to kick their feet out the quickest and at the greatest length. Now though? You just type anything into Bing.
No, honestly, look: I type ‘anything’ into Bing
First page of results?
A little further down?
What’s the point of even trying any more? I now tell every woman I meet, as soon as we’re introduced, that there really is little to no point in attempting to expose themselves to me. I make it clear before they’ve introduced themselves that I could very easily find a pair of boobs not at all dissimilar to her’s through a simple internet search, and I could probably get a good look at her biff as well, if I was that way inclined. Many women quickly understand my position, and don’t bother speaking to me again from that point.
One unfortunate byproduct of this unprecedented access to everything in the world (boob-based or otherwise) is that it has made us horrendously entitled. I remember when finding a way to get something for free involved a bit of effort, an admirable embezzler’s spirit, and a real sense of accomplishment. Even then, you weren’t even sure if your MP3 of All Night Long wasn’t the Kids Bop version or just a bizarrely hidden dose of child pornography until you’d finished the 17 hours it’d take to download. It was unusual, it took steel and resolve, it was special. Now, we all feel we deserve music for free.
Perhaps we still idolise, revere and respect artists to the same degree I did when I was a kid. Perhaps. We have, though, as a culture unanimously decreed that they don’t deserve to be paid any money. No, all the money deserves to go to Apple, or Spotify, or Amazon, or YouTube. We don’t give any sort of shit about the people actually making the music that we love, and only want to give money to whichever company allows us to listen to this music for free with the least amount of effort on our part.
It was actually YouTube’s shameful lack of money it would share with the people actually producing the videos that allowed it to become bigger than Jesus that inspired Jack Conte to create Patreon. Conte was seeing around $50 a month from his 150’000 subscribers on YouTube, so created a way of people to simply pay money to help the creators that they love to continue making the stuff that they love. The ‘Best way for artists and creators to get sustainable income’. Some artists ask for monthly fees that cover exclusive access and content, other simply request the money so that they can continue to exist as an artist. Which is great. It may soon become the only way art survives.
Jherek Bischoff, for example, invites 400 of his Patreon subscribers to provide vocals to the opening track here, Celebration. I’m not one of those subscribers, or even a member of Patreon at all, because I’m still at the level of income where I can’t really guarantee that I’ll have any money for sure, month to month. I choose instead to honour the continued genius of Jherek Bischoff by buying every single thing he releases onto BandCamp. Yes, that again. That’s why this album doesn’t really exist: it’s the wonderful ‘Quartet for Delores’ two track EP covering Cranberries songs that Amanda Palmer released to mourn to passing of Delores O’Riordan earlier in the year, plus five fantastic tracks that Jherek released throughout the year. So, this album is kinda co-produced by me. But I’m not going to ask for any money for it. Go to Bischoff’s BandCamp or Patreon page. Start paying for stuff you love, people.
The soundtrack to a play. All in German. Yeah, I prefer my album
As for Amanda Palmer: