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Wednesday, January 26

America's Love Affair With Ho-Hum

Over the Christmas Holidays, there was a most annoying commercial on television. It was for this Jessica Simpson person singing holiday songs. I later found out after asking around that she is a bimbo from a reality show. (I didn't know what the hell her reason for being on tv was) It was most obvious that she was no singer. It was pure awful but she had all kinds of money backing her because that commercial was on a lot. You could tell that they must have punched in each line of those songs one by one and had to use the pitch knob to get the notes right. I also found out that her sister Ashlee is that other character who was booed off the SNL stage last year because her lip synch fucked up. Apparently she cannot sing either unless digitally controlled by an engineer. I saw that episode but I had no idea who she was either and was not impressed.

I could go into one of my Clearchannel rants here but I usually save those for my music yahoo groups for independent artists/musicians. But suffice it to say, Clearchannel is the reason for the crap that passes for talent these days. Corporations like that clearly benefited by the deregulation of the media. It also deregulated the talent.

When I was reading one of my local yahoo groups this morning for independent musicians, I came across this reminder that even talented people are so fucked in this country. A friend of mine (and she is tremendously talented and beautiful and her band puts on a show that would blow your socks off) wrote this:
I'm dredging it up again! At the airport, I noticed Ashlee Simpson on the cover of several huge women's magazines. I just got back from Italy. My mother in law passed away. It's very sad and my husband is devastated. But I'm not posting seeking condolences - thanks to those who have sent emails. I'm posting because in terms of music, this experience was life changing for me. I've decided Ashlee Simpson DOES "deserve" her "success." I think the whole SNL debaucle was planned. It was genius marketing thought up by brilliant people who understand the trends of the psyche, specifically, that mediocrity and the successful loser are concepts that people embrace in this day and age. In Italy, every other woman of every age looked like Ashlee Simpson... same hairstyle, same clothing, same look. I heard her songs being played inside stores as I walked past. She's huge.

I look at my own life of music. I see the opportunities I blew because I had "scruples". Maybe I just had fear of being perceived as a dickhead. It takes guts to not give a damn! I've been at it for so long. I'm a good songwriter, a good performer, a passable singer and flute player. But I'm not good at dealing with "the system". I'm not good at managing people and getting them to do what I want and need them to do. I'm not good at convincing others that my sh*t doesn't stink. Anyone who is good at these things definitely deserves any success they achieve as a result. Even if their only claim to fame is a good looks and youth. We're all going to get old. We're all going to lose our good looks. We're all going to end up a body in a box (or ashes in a box, depending on your beliefs). So what?

Unless one is pursuing a truly noble cause, something that directly contributes to the greater good, then what difference does it make if one finds success in a career working for someone who exploits other people or through exploiting their own good looks and mediocrity... or whatever?

So I'm not going to complain any more about dippy pop stars or talentless superstars or any other supposed injustices in the music business. There's no point. Especially when there are real injustices in the world that are life or death. And especially because there are people who see the value in getting the public addicted to worshipping celebrities, and there's nothing I can do about it.

On a good note, someone replied to her with this message of love. One of our local music reporters wrote that there is a petition to remove Ashlee Simpson from Geffen Records. heh. Here is part of the article:
Ever since the detuned diva shrieked her way through the Orange Bowl halftime show Jan. 4, an army of detractors has been assembling on the Internet. Leading the charge is an online petition at . More than 65,000 people have added their digital "signature" to a document that requests, simply, that Simpson "stop recording, touring, modeling and performing. We do not wish to see her again.
Ok so maybe not all people are taking this crap that passes for entertainment lying down. This petition is directed to Geffen Records, not Ashlee Simpson. It took an 18 year old New Yorker to get the ball rolling who won't stand for fascist media corporations dictating what we should or should not listen to.

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