Romney And The Disconnect

Didn’t he know there was a camera there?

Forget the content of Mitt Romney’s remarks. What troubles me is he’s so out of the loop, technologically and socially, that he didn’t realize that anything you say outside of the privacy of your own bathroom, alone, in the dark, is no longer private, and will surface, if anybody truly cares what you have to say. Hell, did you read Xeni Jardin’s post on the Amanda Palmer kerfuffle today? Wherein she exhumes Steve Albini quotes…

“To put Steve Albini’s comments in context, this is the same man whose project ‘Run N**ger Run’ (redaction mine) released a track ‘Pray I Don’t Kill You F**got,’ and was quoted in Spin as saying he wanted to call Big Black’s second EP ‘Hey N**ger.’ He also once used the phrase ‘I don’t give two splats of an old negro junkie’s vomit’ and ‘The future belongs to the analog loyalists. Fuck digital.’ Doesn’t mean he’s wrong on the merits of his arguments, but Albini periodically makes provocative or offensive comments to provoke a response.”

Apparently there is some drama involving Amanda Palmer and the payment of backup musicians

Mm… I know this has got nothing to do with Mr. Albini’s point about whether backup musicians should be paid, but it certainly undercuts his character. And that’s all you’ve got these days, character and credibility.

Which is why Mitt Romney is enduring so much derision for refusing to make public his tax returns. What exactly is he hiding? In a Facebook/Twitter world where what someone had for lunch is now public knowledge.

Privacy is passe. Not completely. Teenagers realize drunken pics can hinder job prospects and therefore remove or refuse to post them. But then we’ve got a guy running for President who doesn’t know this?

That’s the disconnect we’re enduring in today’s society. Between the corporate titans and the great unwashed. The people with the money who believe they’ve got all the power and the citizens who might be close to broke but have technology at their fingertips, who can spread notice not only of their meager doings, but the faux pas of public figures.

I’m thinking we’re heading for a revolution, an Arab Spring. With so few with so much and so many with so little, the income gap is staggering and stultifying. You want to know why music sucks? Because you just can’t make enough money making it, all the bright people are in technology, or banking.

And despite protestations that the public is ignorant, that people have got no idea how the world works, never mind private equity, this is wrong, they do know how the world works. Especially today’s online/connected world.

And Mitt Romney does not. So many politicians do not. Even giant media corporations do not. They’re stunned when trolls and naysayers invade their domain. But that’s today’s game, where we may not be economically equal, but we’ve all got an equal voice.

Romney may have shot himself in the foot, but you should take a lesson from his behavior, all you wannabe public figures, especially musicians. It’s now hard to be duplicitous and get away with it. To be in bed with the Fortune 500 and your fans at the same time. If they’re beating up on Amanda Palmer for not paying volunteer musicians, just think if your profile was even higher!

You’ve got to be true to yourself.

That’s today’s game. Honesty is the best policy. And that happens when you play/get in the game. And you must.

Forget the celebrities apologizing constantly. Those are nitwits about to lose traction. The reason the Kardashians work is because we have contempt for them. Today it’s all about having a backbone, standing for something, standing up for it.

It’s now not only your music, but your complete identity.

This is how the labels got in a bind. Now even the lowliest wannabe knows the major label business model is theft…from its own acts. The labels think they can win the war by doubling down, saying they’re entitled to their big profits, that they know best. If you think that works in the connected world, you’re as stupid as Samsung, which took out NEWSPAPER ads saying their Galaxy S III was better than the iPhone 5 and then were excoriated online by truth-telling Apple fans. (

Kids don’t read the newspapers. That’s old school. You want to reach everybody, you do it online.

And everybody’s got a laptop and a cell phone. Soon everybody will have a smartphone. Hell, the hi-def video camera is built in and Mitt Romney believes he can get away with saying heinous, divisive things at a public meeting? How ignorant is he?

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