Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Learn Something New Every Day

The other night I ran into my friend Greg from Dead Feather Moon and we got into a pretty intense conversation about the music industry, both on a local level and on a massive scale. Somehow in the conversation I mentioned that my TV is broken and so I've been addicted to programs available online, and he recommended a couple documentaries to watch free on HULU. I thought they were pretty cool so I wanted to pass them on. The first, Before the Music Dies (2007), takes a look at pop culture and juxtaposes the power of labels and radio conglomerates versus new ways of finding music. "Never have so few companies controlled so much of the music played on the radio and for sale at retail stores. At the same time, there are more bands and more ways to discover their music than ever." Steve Poltz makes an appearance in this one, too. The second, RiP! A Remix Manifesto,(2009) "explores the complexities of intellectual property in the era of peer-to-peer file sharing," specifically by using Girl Talk as a case study in copyright. Both films predate Spotify, have no mention of Pandora or Slacker or rdio or "the Cloud", but both are pretty interesting.

One underlying thread in both is how drastically the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Copyright Term Extension Act were really Congressional gifts to the major corporations holding massive lobbying power while as consumers got reamed financially and intellectually...the very thing Occupy Wall Street is standing against if you expand the reach beyond just the banks and the auto manufacturers.

The final film I've added here is Under Our Skin, a look at Lyme Disease. While seemingly unrelated, when you connect the dots and look at what our government allows to be trademarked and patented by Big Pharma, and how they're in cahoots with insurers to do everything they can to keep you sick and avoid paying your medical care, well, after you watch all three, I'd recommend going to watch the Muppets or you just might wanna jump off a bridge when you really think about how fucked we really are. Incidentally, my HULU queue now has almost 50 documentaries in it, so if you see me talking to myself on a street corner ranting conspiracy theories, you'll know why. All three films are embedded after the jump.

No comments: