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Bono's new black uniform
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-01-06 10:34:32
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Guess what, the hint that the Chinese government’s efforts to control internet and what the Chinese people can access in the internet is something …acceptable and probably correct doesn’t belong to the national front leadership but to the …democrat and fighter for the human rights Bono; who obviously decided to accompany his dark shades with the black uniform. Of course his black suit will be especially tailored, he can afford it!

After Metallica and another couple of rock & roll megastars it was Bono’s turn to go after downloading and file sharing which makes you wander what’s comment between them. I mean what in common between Metallica, Madonna, U2 and Puff Daddy or whatever else his name is nowadays. Music is definitely out of question. Money, that’s it! It’s all about money Mr. Bono; Mr. Hypocrite defender of the poor and freedom of speech. I suppose what they are doing in Burma dear Bono, where there is no access at all to the internet is ideal for you! 

Downloading and file-sharing has definitely its bad and good edges and I have often written about them. But let’s go through the maim parts we keep forgetting. Downloading and file-sharing helps art. Internet has given access and a cheap sometimes without any cost (through blogs, video-sharing and file-sharing sites) the chance to young artists not only to promote their work but to show their work. For the ones who are involved in art they know that everything costs and the cost is pretty dear. From the print portfolio to the expenses of an exhibition, from a good book presentation to films and literature.

The other day I was reading about a South American man who did five minutes film, put it online and a months after he got a job in Hollywood. And he is not the only one, performers and composers started putting their work straight online more often and there are even known and famous pop groups that started putting their music online for free. Actually for promotion reasons most of the popular music groups put a couple of songs online before their album’s release just for promotion reason. Of course after they are complaining but …it’s all about marketing and sales.

When somebody reads the book Moby Dick there are not rights for the author, the author is long dead and there are no rights for anybody except the publishing company, so why not let everybody read the book and please don’t tell me that everybody has. The same applies to Mozart. For years if not for centuries classic music instead of right it has been a privilege. Why? Let everybody access, download, listens the “Magic Flute”.

Everybody would like to have access to a huge library and everybody would like to  have the music he or eshe loves and listen to it anytime they like. But they cannot. Why? The answer is simple, because they cannot afford it. Because there are many couples in Mr. Bono’s country that live with 700 Euros a month and the 26 Euros it takes to buy Mr. Bono’s CD is equal to a day’s food! So why keep all these people away and give art only to the ones who have money.

The bad edge? Yes there is a bad edge. When you don’t buy a film or a music part and you downloading there are people losing money and others losing their jobs. But here we are talking about the simple workers not the stars. It’s not Mr. Bono who is losing the job and he doesn’t lose anything from his profits since he has franchised his name and he makes money from different ways. But and I have wrote in the past an extensive article analyzing how it works with examples from somebody close to me who had a platinum record, a program with sometimes daily gigs and in the end of the year he found out that he  made 3,000 Euros all together. The rest gone to the company and the agent the company had forced him to hire. Out of the 26 Euros the actual artists, the people who are the reason to buy the damn CD don’t make more than …3 pennies! The rest goes to the record companies. And if Mr. Bono has any doubt he should ask George Michael who stopped recording because he had enough with the sharks of the discographic industry, Frankie goes to Hollywood who bankrupt and many others.

I think it was the Radiohead who gave by example the solution, they put all their songs online and the only thing they asked was if the people wanted, if they have the money to make a symbolic donation for their effects. No agents, no discographic companies, no marketing experts, no posters and tabloids. The experiment was absolutely successful to the point that more than 60% of the people who downloaded donated money, enough to cover what they thought a good outcome of an artistic work. You see people understand and they don’t need a Mr. Bono to tell them. And the musicians got paid and most likely jobs were created, real jobs and not parasitic like the ones the discographic or the film industry feed.

So obviously Mr. Bono when he says things like that serves the industry which according his own fundamentals he’s fighting but then again …power and money corrupt and Mr. Bono is trying his black uniform, the moustache in his case is optional since it doesn’t look ….cool nowadays to have a moustache.

By the way the involvement of people like Bono is causes like the return of Democracy in Burma or the African debt is very valuable and worth, the situation is so bad, so desperate so any help is worth but don’t think that he’s doing that without any personal profit and that comes to all of them who are “dedicated” to similar causes like Sting wit the rain forest and others. And it’s not only the immediate promotion they get and the new sales groups they access but just think, we all of them need to create a …organization with their name? Don’t you think that one organization made from Burma’s exiles and with Burma’s people who fight for the democracy in their country is enough and if the cause is more important, more worth than personal promotion then you add yourself as a simple soldier, Mr. Bono, Mr. Sting, Mr Whatever. But as I said before the situation in those places is so tragic than their salary is worth.

Apart of that Mr. Bono must remember that when you support human rights, when you support the right of everybody to access everything and especially culture and art then you don’t put your pocket on the way!

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