Writer Rich Woodall on the financialization of music catalogues and the future of the music economy - for listeners and artists and profiteers, and his new article Mass Hipgnosis for The Baffler.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
As founding and sole member of the Socialist Leisure Party, I’m always looking for a way out of working at dreary jobs or having to perform irksome tasks. Unfortunately, I have a work ethic, though not much of one. I have trained myself by now, in the third trimester of my life, to actually do a job when I have one. I discovered long ago that time passes more quickly when you’re engaged in an activity rather than avoiding one, but it’s taken me some time to actually put it into practice.
And then the pandemic comes along and I’m pretty much confined to quarters. And all that great self-motivating attitude goes out the window. I’m predisposed to staying away from people anyway, even on the best of days, even when I’m doing something I feel is wonderful onstage with a group of people I’m energized working with. So I easily slipped into the habit of cringing away from the fetid breath of my fellow denizens of the neighborhood, and the city, county, state, nation, and world.
Then the protests started. I have a probationary sentence from the Burbank Superior Court that prohibits me from having any run-ins with the law, so joining in with the current historic uprising is out for now. Then the Nazis got involved, but I’m prohibited from street fighting due to physical limitations I won’t get into. Then came the fires, and I happen to suffer from flammable off-gassing, so I can’t pitch in. Hurricanes blow, polluters are liberated, the final Norquistian nails are being hammered into democracy’s coffin as an election destined to be followed by some form of major civil conflict grows ever nearer, and on top of all of this I have hypertension, a bruised kidney, bipolar disorder, male pattern baldness, shortness of stature and temper, and fear of day-walking vampires. All of which is conducive to hiding from everything and gradually sliding into Miss Havisham-style decay.
So, how you guys doin’? That’s what I say to the group of coffee clubbers on Zoom every other day. And they all seem to be muddling along okay. The elderly socialist couple in New Zealand assures us that if we can make it to their farm we’ll all have a place to stay.
The two weeks just after David Graeber died, I felt I’d accomplished a good deal. I encapsulated the case for abolishing money, with the... read more