Strzok

Defiant. Knowledgeable. Unrehearsed. Intense.

THAT’S A ROCK STAR!

I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on, whether you’re a Trumpster or not, one thing is clear, you weren’t gonna mess with Peter Strzok.

For far too long the government has been demonized. Taxes. Unions too. Inept people sucking at the tit of the American economy. The right has defined the debate, the left has remained silent, or played into the right’s trap. To the point where people believe government doesn’t work and all politicians are bad and the best idea is to put the government in a tub and drown it.

BUT I’M GLAD PETER STRZOK IS ON OUR SIDE!

This is the guy who captured the illegals. This is the guy who inspired “The Americans.” This is a patriot. This is someone who takes his job seriously. While you’re posting to Instagram, he’s saving your ability to do so. WHAT AN INSPIRATION!

That’s right, I grew up in the sixties, when government was good and you admired the G-Men, I remember buying a book about the Secret Service from the Arrow Book Club, we went to D.C. and marveled at the institutions.

And then Kennedy was shot and hope went out the window.

It hasn’t been the same since.

A worthless war, with too many innocent people killed.

Then a decade of licking our wounds.

And then, starting in the eighties, an endless dash for cash, you’ve got to unfetter the people, RIGHT? You’ve got to take the chains off the corporations, the job-creators, RIGHT? And those job-creators who just got such a big tax cut, who got to repatriate their foreign assets, did they create jobs? NO! They just gave the money back to stockholders, leaving the little man out.

The little man has been left out for far too long.

We venerate the techies, who contributed to this problem. Strzok was concerned about Russian interference in the election, geniuses like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg didn’t think it existed.

Thank god there was someone looking at the problem.

We venerate entertainers, whose goal is to become a corporation themselves, when they’re not sucking at the tit of companies, looking for sponsorships. It’s hard to believe in someone who flies private and gets paid by the man, ever hear of a CHILLING EFFECT?

Probably not, you didn’t go to law school, but you consider yourself an expert on the Constitution, after all, you hear about it on Fox News every night, the Founding Fathers, as if they could see the future when you couldn’t even see streaming when it was already HERE!

So Strzok is OFFENDED! You’re not gonna mess with him, he’s gonna PUSH BACK! DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES!

Two can play this game, not only Trump and his cronies.

This guy dedicates his life to the system and now they want to crap all over him?

NO WAY!

This is inspirational, he’s Tom Cruise in “Risky Business.”

Like every antihero in the movie business. American heroes.

Only they weren’t real, Strzok is.

And this game of GOTCHA!

He doesn’t deny he texted, like Trump denying stuff he says which is actually on tape. Rather he owns it. Because he’s HUMAN! We’re all imperfect, you and me especially. Sure, we make mistakes, we are not choirboys, toeing the line 24/7. And don’t we want these nuanced people? You’ve got to cross the line every once in a while to uncover where it’s actually located.

So this guy dedicated his life to the government. He believes in his job. Even though he can’t fly private and can’t sit in the front row. Even though he’s faceless. The work is enough. The penumbra is irrelevant.

But in America at large it’s all about the penumbra, the trappings, fame, the machine needs it, ever more so in this constant news cycle.

But then someone with character and backbone stands up after being picked upon and we experience a reset, we’re reminded what life is all about.

You’ve got to have principles.

You’ve got to believe in your work.

You’ve got to stand up for your beliefs, you can’t just be an obsequious hanger-on.

You’ve got to have character.

That’s right, America has a crisis of character.

And no one expected an FBI agent to point this out, re-center our attention, just by being himself.

We’re used to overprepared weasels who sit there like we’re all friends, like we all get along, when the truth is behind your back they’ll stab you.

With Strzok what you see is what you get.

And not only is that a relief, THAT’S INSPIRING!

P.S. If you’re one of the right wing idiots too dumb to cogitate, who responds with politics, you’re missing the point. That’s like saying you hate pop music so you can’t see the excellence in Adele. An educated person can distance themselves, analyze a situation, acknowledge greatness. But when it’s all about us versus them, it’s no different from the Hatfields and the McCoys. You laughed at them, I hope you’re laughing at yourself now.

Article 13 (And The So-Called Value Gap)

I’m against it.

That’s right, I could say I’m with the industry and have my inbox overflow, but that’s not how I feel.

You can’t hold back the future.

Enough with the “value gap.” The truth is songs are streamed more on Spotify than they are on YouTube these days. Furthermore, YouTube gives people a chance to sample new wares. Sure, I like to see musicians make more money, but the truth is MOST MUSICIANS DON’T DESERVE TO BE PAID!

Now I’ve got your attention.

We’ve entered a new era. Where it’s all about consumption. Anyone can make music, the cost is almost negligible, post it online and dun people to listen to it, BUT THEY DON’T!

Used to be you needed a major label. It was hard to get a deal, but if you did a good chunk of change was spent on recording and promoting you, you were known, you could have a career, even if you never had a hit, even if you never got on the radio. The label kept you in business and you had fans. Now…

No one cares about those acts. With so much music available, the middle artist is getting squeezed out. Not by Google, not by Spotify, but by the CONSUMER! The consumer doesn’t want to listen to your music.

The classic rock acts, the ones bitching five years ago, all their hits now have triple-digit million streams on Spotify, never mind Apple. Sure, they may have crappy legacy deals, but this is not the fault of the streaming service, they’re paying out in excess of fifty percent of the income, they’re cutting a better deal than the physical retailers of yore, and the label has no manufacturing and shipping costs, never mind returns. Such that if you hit, you’re making a fortune. Sure, it’s a winner-take-all world, but that reflects the rest of society, with everything available, people race to quality. Google and Amazon, are you gonna compete with them? It’s like being a nobody and bitching you’re not making the coin of Drake.

And…

The dirty little secret is the industry wants to kill the nooks and crannies, the gems. Napster surfaced all these cuts we never even knew existed. They’re on YouTube now. Hell, in a recent podcast Malcolm Gladwell tells you to go online and watch Sammy Davis, Jr.’s appearance at the 1972 GOP convention. If the music industry had its way, IT WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE!

Or you could be the inane publishing industry, which killed e-books so it could maintain its old numbers. Amazon wanted to push the industry into the future, GROW the business, with all titles under ten bucks. But NO! (Where is John Belushi when you need him?) Now e-books cost as much as, and sometimes even MORE, than physical. The book industry thinks it won, but it lost. Come on, people don’t want to feel ripped-off. This is how the music industry got into this situation to begin with, with one good track on a fifteen dollar CD. They thought they were ENTITLED to this money. Were buggy-whip manufacturers entitled?

And when rappers sampled old records rightsholders demanded such onerous payments that the hip-hop world gave up on sampling, and then switched to beats. Was this a good thing? I’m not sure, to a great degree melody is gone. I’m not saying that the creators shouldn’t have been paid, but when you try to shut down the present, you oftentimes cripple the future.

That’s right, it could get worse. Kinda like radio after Spitzer. Fearful of indie payments the major stations ONLY played major label material, neutering the decision. Put limits on outlets/distributors and ironically you’re gonna cripple the business, not sustain it.

You thought the music industry would have learned its lesson.

Everybody bitching about streaming…IT’S SAVING THE BUSINESS! Revenues are UP! Maybe not for you, but…bitching about Daniel Ek… Once again, streaming is the greatest thing for labels, FEWER COSTS!

Don’t hold back progress. Otherwise you’re living in France. Trying to protect your culture against globalization, when the truth is globalization is saving music. Not only is Spotify from Sweden, suddenly your music can be heard around the world at almost no cost and all profit. Spotify doesn’t say give us a discounted rate so we can start up in a new country, like the labels did with CDs, they’re paying the freight.

As for musicians lining up behind this bill…

Show me a musician who’s good with business, and I’ll show you a lousy musician.

You’ve got to let the river flow.

Funny how music is all about innovation, but the business is about bringing people into the past.

They said the internet would kill the incentive to make music.

Now there’s more music than ever before.

They said streaming would kill the business, now it’s the savior.

Files were death, now people are lamenting they’re fading.

I’m not saying to trust Google, but just that Google is subject to the same forces everybody else is, without a catalog to leverage its future. In tech, you’re only as good as what you’ve done lately. So you’ve got to continue to improve.

Netflix decimated television. Therefore, Rupert Murdoch is selling Fox assets. Shari Redstone wants to merge CBS with Viacom and sell the whole thing. They want to get out before it all crashes.

Luckily, in music, we’ve figured it out, we’re on an upswing. Not to mention the concert business which is burgeoning out of control. How are people going to hear all that music if not for the internet/streaming/YouTube, they certainly won’t go to a show if they can’t hear it. Today more acts can tour than ever before. Maybe not to millionaire status, but they can speak to their fans…

This is a money grab, pure and simple.

And YouTube is challenged on the handset anyway. It doesn’t translate. It’s a bad product. Which is why Spotify and Apple and Amazon are winning.

DON’T FIGHT THE LAST WAR!

Look ahead.

Things will work out, if you let them.

The future is coming, hold it back to your detriment.

Troy Carter-This Week’s Podcast

Yes, Global Head of Creator Services for Spotify.

But first, he was nobody.

You’ve got to listen to his story. Like reviewing a movie, I don’t want to give you the plot points, I want you to uncover them on your own.

From Philadelphia to Hollywood. With a lot of ups and downs in between. Making Gaga and losing Gaga. And so much more.

You’re gonna dig this. You’re gonna be wowed.

It’s the last podcast from the Music Media Summit in Santa Barbara.

Listen to Troy Carter on…

TuneIn

Apple

Google Play

Stitcher

Soundcloud

Overcast

Acast

Castbox

Guidance

BE AN INDIVIDUAL

Make a difference, have your own ideas, if your only goal is to get along you’ll be left behind.

GET AN EDUCATION

Mostly in school, but travel and summer stuff helps too. Kids should not be allowed to stay home and graze in front of the TV or computer all summer. It’s when you’re not in a school situation that you learn the most, about people, about life. Summer camp could be the happiest and most productive months of my life.

READ

Only a fraction of the front page of the newspaper appears in a half hour news program. Take your choice, NYT, WSJ or WaPo. Hopefully two, with the WSJ as one. The WSJ is a far cry from what it used to be, but it still represents the right wing view. You want to know how the other half thinks. And it’s not only newspapers. Magazines, blog posts… Be a generalist and a specialist. Know what’s going on in the world, but also dive deep in a certain area. You want to be able to have a conversation with anyone, which will garner respect, esteem and opportunities.

EXERCISE

For your brain more than your body. Exercise clears out the detritus holding you back, it evens you out, allows the inspiration to seep in. Find something you like to do and do that. Don’t think you have to go to the gym. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you won’t do it.

FINISH

No matter what it is. Most people can’t. If you do, you’ll go to the head of the class, believe me. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key. And it’s the little things that count, don’t delegate, do them.

LEARN HOW TO GET ALONG

But don’t do so at the price of your identity/personality. Groupthink is your enemy. And anyone with a brain and an opinion who expresses it will have haters, they go with the territory, they’re a badge of honor.

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

Don’t respond to the haters. Know that most kerfuffles end quickly. They want to drag you down, don’t let them.

KEEP LEARNING

Most people don’t, but those who do get ahead. A nurse practitioner I see at UCLA learns Spanish on his hour-long commute.

NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU

They’re too wrapped up in themselves. Our society is incredibly narcissistic.

DON’T OWE MONEY TO THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY

It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap, the interest is high and there’s always a day of reckoning. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Unless it’s food or shelter.

MARRY WELL

You don’t want someone to show off, you want someone who is fiscally responsible, listens to you/is compassionate, and will care for you when you get sick, which you will.

DON’T HAVE KIDS IF YOU’RE NOT GONNA SPEND TIME WITH THEM

They are not possessions, they are complicated individuals, if you don’t have time for them, don’t have them. However, we are just animals here to reproduce and there’s a lot of satisfaction in having children.

SEARCH FOR MEANING

Without it your life is worthless. Doesn’t matter if it pays or not, you’ve got to have something to live for.

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP

You’ll make mistakes, waste time, just dust yourself off and get back in the game.

FEEL FREE TO CRITICIZE

Despite the online bickering, too many people are afraid to have a viewpoint. Specialize in holding contrary opinions in your head simultaneously, the spoils go to those who can split the hairs, who can see the truth.

PLAY THE LONG GAME

That tattoo is gonna fade. Your body is gonna change. Do you want to ink yourself forever? If you do, go for it. But see the long term consequences. Today’s rebel is tomorrow’s complacent adult. If your goal is just to rebel at the system, the joke is on you.

EVERYONE FEELS INADEQUATE

Don’t beat yourself up.

GO TO THE DOCTOR

We’re fallible machines. You’re gonna break down, it’s just a matter of when. Don’t be too proud to see the doctor, especially for that which is not visible. Statins could save your life.

BEWARE OF THE TOUCHY-FEELY

There are false prophets and those who will lead you into the wilderness. The government is not out to get you, science is your friend. Funny how the educated follow junk science and the poor don’t. Beware of fad diets, beware of all health scams.

USE BIRTH CONTROL

To prevent pregnancy and disease. If you think it can’t happen to you, you’re wrong.

DON’T TAKE ILLEGAL DRUGS

Or overdo legal ones. No high is as good as real life. Self-medicating is a torturous road that can end in death, and believe me, you don’t want to die. Experiment at your peril. Drugs are not cool, despite what everybody tells you.

PRAY TO GOD BUT DON’T BELIEVE IN HIM

If your religion is cultural, if it keeps you part of a tight-knit group, great. If it tells you what to do and how to behave because some guy centuries ago laid it all down, ignore it or run.

YOUR DREAM WILL DIE

Just find another one.

LOVE KILLS

Have relationships, but know that bad ones can cripple you for life, and the only people who get over them quickly are those who are lying.

HELP YOUR BROTHER

It could be you next.