House Of Cards-1-3

Power.

That’s what the artists used to have. That’s what they’re leaving on the table. It’s as if Napster was started by the Fortune 500, in order to divert artists from their true calling, delineating the human condition and wielding the sheer numbers of their audience to exact change.

In other words, if you don’t think kids stopped the war in Vietnam, if you don’t think they were aided in this process by musicians, then you’re purchasing the right wing canard that the sixties never happened.

I know, I know, I’m late to this series.

But that’s the Internet age. Wherein everything is thrown against the wall and very little sticks but that which does lasts forever.

In other words, if you’re all about the first week SoundScan numbers, the initial blitz of publicity, then you’re missing the point. Completely. You’re focusing on the here and now, and in the connected era, we’re only concerned with that which lasts.

My favorite part is when the twenty five year veteran congressman walks from the education bill he fathered because he just can’t handle the process. That’s the story of America, everybody wants the riches but nobody’s willing to do the work, the heavy lifting, that which makes you sweat and grunt when nobody’s paying attention. Yes, if you can’t get YouTube clicks for it, nobody wants to do it. But those winning tomorrow are building their resumes off the radar screen today, because nobody pays attention to you when you’re on the way up, only when you’ve hit the top of the totem pole.

Sure, money is power. But if you pursue it and it only…you end up with your bank or your corporation or your daddy’s business, paying lobbyists to ensure your future, when the real power lies with those who put up roadblocks in your way.

In other words, you can learn a lot about the game by watching “House Of Cards.” Just like Mike Ovitz educated his troops with Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War.” If you don’t study the game, you can never win. But Ovitz made a mistake, he tried to be bigger than he was, someone he was not groomed to be. Ovitz was an operator who specialized in extracting spoils from the manufacturers of entertainment. Put him in as number two on the other side of the aisle and not only does he fail, he’s forgotten. Because it’s not what’s in front of you that will kill you, but what’s behind. While you’re playing to your “fans,” everybody you screwed on the way up is out to get you, it’s the way of the game.

And “House Of Cards” is no “Sopranos.” It’s one-dimensional. It’s about the story of power, not nuance. Sure, there’s some evidence of the human condition, but really it’s a cold, hard look at the sausage factory. Almost too scary to watch. You think you want to screw Robin Wright, because you’ve seen her visage on TV, but she’s a cold-hearted bitch.

In the show that is. She’s a great actress. She can play vulnerable in “Forrest Gump” and heartless here.

But the truth is if you want to succeed you’ve got to be manipulative.

Unless you’re an artist. An artist floats above the fray. His manager and agent can make deals, but the artist must be above it. Because once you owe, you’re part of the game. And if it’s about winning and losing, you’re missing the point.

It’s about surviving.

That’s the difference between those who still have jobs in the music business and those who’ve been cast aside.

It’s a skill.

And it emanates from power.

And you think you know the game because you read the trade magazines.

You’ve got no idea.

P.S. Buzz. Don’t be afraid to shoot your wad all at once if what you’re proffering is a 10. There are almost no 10′s around.

P.P.S. As Kevin Spacey said, Netflix killed P2P with “House Of Cards.” With all of it available instantly, why bother to steal when Netflix is so damn cheap to begin with and if you really need to beat the system you can borrow a friend’s password.

P.P.P.S. We’re seeing a change in the nature of storytelling. Used to be TV series were strung over such a long period of time that it was hard to maintain continuity, and two hour movies were king. Now movies have sacrificed story for explosions and these new extended dramas are king. People are hungry for story. He who delivers it wins. That’s the power of entertainment.

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