Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

This new musical economy is characterized by the consolidation of power around three mega-corporations - Universal, Warner and Sony - three behemoths sitting on an incredible bank of assets - the last 70 years of recorded music. We're reaching a point in our culture where the holders of IP are looking at the financial risks of trying to produce new intellectual property versus trying to monetize what they've already got and making the rational capitalist calculation that the latter is the smart way to go.

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.


Oct 19 2020
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

So, I wanna talk about 3rd generation class consciousness. I feel like the 1st generation harnessed a lot of unrest coming out of the 18th century. When that generalized but violent irritation with royalty, aristocracy, and capitalism met class analysis, you had rebellions all over Europe by the middle of the 19th century, the kindling that ignited the Decembrists and finally Lenin and Trotsky.

I would include Mao, Tito, Ho Chi Minh, the Communist Party in Kerala – and add to it the anti- colonialist reds in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. So, this is to say that we have still with us a lot of 1st generation attempts to address class inequality, albeit their primary instigators are no longer.

I’m lumping a lot into this 1st wave category. The three waves explanation is a taxonomy of convenience. No one will agree that there are three waves, or that they contain the phenomena I have crammed into them, but that’s fine. I have trimmed historical and conceptual clusters with Occam’s Razor and smashed them with Bozo’s Mallet to make of them an object capable of a certain brutish examination. But that’s okay. Quantum physicists do this to subatomic particles all the time, and everybody thinks they’re, like, super-geniuses.

The socialism in Western and Northern Europe has been hybridized with capitalism to various degrees, and with various degrees of success. In many ways it has led to improved lives for its working and middle classes, but its successes have diluted the urge for economic equality, and that dilution has allowed those societies to participate in contemporary global capitalism by claiming a lion’s share of the resources supposed to be held in common by the countries of the world, and those of the former colonies, who in turn suffer in attempting to appease the global market and finance, because that’s where the money is. In general, this hybrid socialism also allows abuses of various populations according to the interests of capital.

The 2nd wave of class consciousness was very much a product of the two World Wars, with growing workers’ power at the fore in capitalist countries. Unions, collectives, experiments with worker ownership were reactions to the underclasses’ refusal be among those made to live in desperation, especially when it had become so clear how much starvation... read more

Oct 15 2020
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the telltale fluid.

It’s worth saying: no one needs to feel bad about feeling good that Dump got the virus he convinced 40% of the country was a hoax. He denied it existed, he denied it was serious, he came out with all kinds of back-of-comic-book remedies for it, and he rarely if ever wore a mask. He disbanded the pandemic response protocols and the team put in place during the Obama presidency, like a spiteful preschooler, because everything vaguely attributable to Obama must be erased.
As many have pointed out, it is objectively funny that this particular loudmouth got the virus. It’s, to coin a phrase, hilarious. Just like it would be funny if he went around insisting he was impervious to fire and then spontaneously combusted. Just like if he’d kept insisting he was an expert juggler and then finally got a chance to demonstrate his juggling ability at Carnegie Hall, and he chose to juggle a fish bowl with a fish in it, a chain saw, and a stick of dynamite, and right off the bat he sent the fish bowl crashing to the stage, then the chain saw cut off one of his arms, then the dynamite blew up his upper torse and head, like, that’s how funny it is that Donald Dump has the virus right now. And if he’s on a ventilator, so much the funnier, and if he’s in a coma, even funnier, and if he dies, hilarious.

Did you see the lame-ass speech he gave with no makeup on? He looked like Grampa Munster with a nest of yellow fiberglass insulation on his head. He looked like one of those baked-apple shrunken heads Vincent Price used to advertise on TV. Incidentally, here in the text is a link to a website that harks back to those apple shrunken heads and teaches you how to make them: heads

Imagine being so insecure about how you stack up to a black man – and bear in mind no one else is actually comparing you to this black man, you’ve taken it upon yourself to set up this success contest, this battle of shallow achievement, literally inside your own sick mind – imagine setting up this contest – a contest which, even by your own shallow criteria, you are clearly losing – imagine having constructed such a giant public display of your own inadequacy and your own fear of that inadequacy, like a giant aquarium on display in Times Square... read more

Oct 6 2020