All Work and No Play

25 Sep

Reminiscent to what is said in the speech of Ewan Mcgregor’s character from “Trainspotting”, MMORPG players need to pick a class, pick a species, pick a weapon, pick skills to upgrade, pick your armor, and pick your allies. Gamers all over the world unite on a daily basis on games such as “World of Warcraft”, “Call of Duty”, and “City of Heroes” to use their skills determined by their character’s class to play one another and escape from reality. But what is reality, what does it entail for these gamers? Work, family, bills, so games offer a means to escape from all the mundane of the real world as they become someone else and step into the character’s shoes to utilize their talents and skills to advance in the digital world. In this world, particularly in games such as “Elder Scrolls III: Oblivion” and it’s expansion packs, gamers can have their characters start their own families and grow in a certain skill set to have it become their profession so they can make money. From all of this, it becomes easy to see that the game world and real world are slowly becoming one in terms of the person’s life.

All of this and more is noted in author Nick Yee’s article, “The Labor of Fun: How Video Games Blur the Boundaries of Work and Play.” Calling into question the habits and second lives of gamers, Yee notes “that video games are inherently work platforms that train us to become better workers.” Is this a valid observation of the gaming world? In games like “Star Wars: Galaxies”, yes, as Yee then goes on to point out that “pharmaceutical manufacturing is one of many possible career choices in the game” and that players can “operate a pharmaceutical manufacturing business for fun” (378-380). Essentially, gamers are unknowingly finding themselves developing and creating a separate profession and home life away from and in addition to their real life. Why do they do it then? My idea is that they feel a need to have more freedom in their life but they don’t want to give up the rules or restrictions of reality. This goes back to prove that while the worlds are separate and governed by their own rules, they are becoming harder to find distinction between.

Works Cited

Yee, Nick. “The Labor of Fun: How Video Games Blur the Boundaries of Work and

Play” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture.

Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ:

Prentice Hall, 2009. 377-82. Print.

MySpace, MyIdentity

25 Sep

For many teens, fitting in becomes the number one goal in their adolescent lives. In recent years, many teens have found themselves establishing themselves on SNS (Social Networking Sites) such as Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace through the usage of profiles that display their picture, biography, interests, and favorites. From a combination of all of these things, people viewing the profiles develop their own ideas about who that person really is and what they are really like. In high school, identity is important to and completely tied to social status, making what people decide to put on their profiles even more important to the average high school student. MySpace in particular has a higher means of determining a teenager’s identity in the eyes of their peers, mostly due to the features such as top friends, blog posts, profile songs, and the choice of layout and names on the profile.

Every generation has had an item or possession that determined whether or not in the eyes of peers if a person was cool. This generation, it is the online social network profile, as Donah Boyd writes “by early 2006, many considered participation on the key social network site, MySpace, essential to being seen as cool at school.” She then goes on to point out that “the rapid adoption of social network sites by teenagers in the United States and in many other countries around the world raises some important questions” such as “why do teenagers flock to these sites?” and “what are they expressing on them?” (423). The best answer that can be reached is to establish an identity of their own and to gain control of that identity and what aspects of it that people can see. As Boyd points out, “in conveying who we are to other people, we use our bodies to project information about ourselves. This is done through movement, clothes, speech, and facial expressions. What we put forward is our best effort at what we want to say about who we are” (431).

The reason I feel most teenagers escape to social network sites and away from reality and interpersonal communication face-to-face is that it becomes easier to assume an identity because no one can really identify who you are if you do not let them. That is, unless you refuse to let someone view your profile or engage in conversations with you, at a length of your choosing of course, then no one can truly tell what you are like. For adolescents, the desire to be and feel accepted is compounded by a need to change who you are to fit in and to hide or deny aspects of your personality that would otherwise alienate you from your peers. What this shows is that “to be cool on MySpace is part of the more general desire to be validated by one’s peers. Even though teens theoretically have the ability to behave differently online, the social hierarchies that regulate ‘coolness’ offline are also present online” (433). With this ability to categorize, MySpace makes this easier to group and classify someone based on their backgrounds on their profile, their interests, what they choose to look and dress like, the content of their blog posts, what their name is, and who they have as their top friends. Does this help with social skills? Somewhat, but it drives a further wedge between self-actualization and the ability to make oneself who they want to be, and what society decides is the ideal category for them.

Works Cited

Boyd, Donah. “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics

in Teenage Social Life.” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American

Popular Culture. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper

Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. 422-444. Print.

The Influence of the Social Networks

18 Sep

In 2004, a Harvard undergraduate named Mark Zuckerberg started what would become an overnight phenomenon in his college dorm room. Of course, this website would later go on to become the social network juggernaut, Facebook. A website that would make Zuckerberg famous and rich, but also form new ways of connecting with our social circles, particularly for students in college. On Facebook and other social networking sites like MySpace or YouTube, people have found newer and faster ways to share information. It is so useful to the point where people are motivated to become addicted to these websites, even when they are away from their computers by using their phones to check these websites. Facebook, more than any other website, is popular mostly due to the speed at which information is shared, the random amount of activities it contains (poking, joining groups, etc.), and the primal aspect of voyeurism.

As author Brett A. Bumgarner writes about how a study was conducted to test why people enjoyed watching television so much, I believe the same results could be applied to Facebook. These results being that they “were diversion, personal relationships, personal identity and surveillance needs”, with each result having its own description. Diversion for example, was described as “a need to escape or a need for emotional release” (411). So it could be said that the need to connect, to express oneself, and to do so without any ACTUAL social interactions could be the true reasons behind the mass usage of Facebook. In addition, the same variables make it easier for one to be spied upon and spy upon others using their profiles. Granted, privacy features have been added, but it still is easy to get around those things somehow. It could be said that Facebook is like the force in that it has a light and a dark side, and it binds us all together.

Works Cited

Bumgarner, Brett A. “You Have Been Poked: Exploring the Uses and Gratifications of

Facebook Among Emerging Adults.” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about

American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed.

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. 408-420. Print.

Define: Technophobia

18 Sep

As times change, so does the environment we live in and the tools we use as a society to survive. Some tend to change their ways and adapt to embrace these changes to social norms while others fight against it. Neil Postman belongs to the latter category, as can be seen in his article “The Judgment of Thamus.” Citing Greek philosophers such as Plato and psychologists like Freud, Postman makes a case for slowing of technological advancement, if not for its demise. Such technophobic statements and beliefs, I believe, can be a hindrance to our society and prevent breakthroughs. With all due respect to Postman, by remaining stagnant we would cease to develop as a race and would die out.

Although Postman makes a very compelling argument by displaying his ability to quote philosophers and psychologists, he never really expresses why technology is such a bad idea. The most prominent and compelling thing I could find from his work was that whether or not previous generations could accommodate their behaviors or way of life to the advancing technology as well as “that technology imperiously commanders our most important terminology. It redefines ‘freedom’, ‘truth’, ‘intelligence’, ‘fact’, ‘wisdom’, ‘memory’, ‘history’—all the words we live by” (367). My response to the first claim is that the new generation could provide instruction to the former, in spite of how annoying it may be to both parties, and that ways could be found to ease the transition and make it smoother. As for redefinition of values, is it necessarily a bad thing? Our values now are not what they were 50 years ago, and although some may consider that a bad thing as they belonged to that generation, I see it as just time passing and the cycle of life continuing. Ideas are maintained, civilizations rebuilt, technology is improved, and the last generation is forced to change while the new is born into it. Like it or not, it’s just how the world works and how it will continue to work for many more years.

Works Cited

Postman, Neil. “The Judgment of Thamus.” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about

American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed.

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. 363-375. Print.

Is Technology closing the gap between public and private?

18 Sep

In this day and age, technology is leaving our homes and is being carried with us no matter where we go. What was once something that could only be found in the home, like phones or computers, has now been made convenient and easy to carry around. With this advent of new technology comes the breaking down of the barriers that the lack of portable technology brought on our lives. As Robert Samuels notes in his article, “Breaking Down Borders: How Technology Transforms the Private and Public Realms”, people have begun to lose feel of where they are in the public realm due to the existence of cell phones and laptops and with that, different cultural and social values arise as well. Not only is technology changing the way we interact, but also how our behavior in private is shifting to being more public.

All aforementioned technologies in addition to websites such as Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, and Twitter are leading us to one conclusion: there is no such thing as secrecy or anonymity anymore. In the article, Samuels supports this by writing about how one day he noticed people behaving as if they were in private while in the café’ of a Borders. These people included “a man sitting at a table, the sports section of the L.A. Times spread out in front of him, a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin to one side, his cell phone close at hand on the other side” and a young woman in her twenties “wagging” her foot back and forth and humming to the music on her ipod. If nothing else, this should show that with portable technology it becomes easier to lose oneself to the world around them and act like we are still in our offices, homes, or any other personal space. This can be seen even greater with another patron of the café as she has “her laptop computer open on the table” and her conversation on her cell “getting all her attention—and of course, the attention of everyone around her” (359-60). Her conversation being about canceling a job interview so that she can attend a trip to Vegas with her friend under the pretense of a doctor’s appointment.

We see how this can be a dangerous thing, this transition to the public hemisphere, in that you need to be aware of what information you give out to the world around you. In the last situation, imagine someone who knew the girl from company she was supposed to give the job interview was there and heard about her lie. It would have damaged her chances of getting the position. Easier access may make our lives easier, but can also make things more embarrassing in the case of the girl with her ipod all the way up, or risky. As a cautionary tale, it would be wise to keep work and play separate as much as possible and to be mindful and aware of your surroundings.

Works Cited

Samuels, Robert. “Breaking Down Borders: How Technology Transforms the Private and           Public Realms.” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular               Culture. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle                   River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. 259-262. Print.

Giving this generation a bad “rap”

11 Sep

Since the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Hip Hop has been the voice of a generation lost to urban decay and moral ruin. Initially envisioned as a way for the repressed youth culture of the African-American community to voice their displeasure in their social standing and in this country. With this movement and change in status quo came new dress, slang, and stereotypes that never seem to stereotype a generation of young African-Americans. It is through these stereotypes that many young African-Americans find themselves unable to make their own place in the world or earn an education as they are immediately pigeon-holed into being a “hoodlum” based on their appearance when in fact they are anything but what the music gives off in perception. The point is that just because someone looks like a typical person you’d see in rap videos, there is no reason to believe that they are just another person comfortable being a walking cliché’.

In her article, “The Miseducation of Hip-Hop”, writer Evelyn Jamilah gives voice to a generation feeling scorned by the genre as they are stereotyped and categorized based on their preference of style choices. One such student, Jason Hinmon, a senior at the University of Delaware feels that his professors “didn’t know how to deal” with him and figured he “was some hip-hop hoodlum who wasn’t interested in being a good student” (245). Two of Jason’s classmates, freshman Kholiswa Laird and junior Davren Noble, also have differing views on the style choices of the hip-hop generation. Laird views it as a “stupid reason” to dress like that because she feels “a lot of them feel like they’re selling out if they wear proper clothes.” On the other hand, Noble sees it as “just keepin it real” and believes that “if somebody wants to hire me but they don’t like my braids, then either of two things will happen: they’ll just have to get over it or I just won’t get the job” (250). Keeping in mind that it is a culture and that those who follow it or a member of it wish to dress in an imitable way, I feel there should be some discretion to what situations (like job interviews) that they should dress in this fashion.

However, I also feel that it is sill wrong to stereotype someone based on how they dress, act, or what music they listen to. This not only applies to the youthful hip-hop culture, but also to “emos”, “goths”, or any other ridiculous stereotypes. While music has a way of speaking out to other people and connecting them, as can style and lifestyle choices, it is wrong to classify someone based on those standards. Rather, professors like Jason’s should make an effort to get to know him as a person or as a student more than just a caricature. Then again, I suppose it is always easier to classify than to identify, isn’t it?

Works Cited

Jamilah, Evelyn. “The Miseducation of Hip-Hop.” Common Culture: Reading and

Writing about American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael

Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice

Hall, 2009. 244-252. Print.

Hip Hop-A Key to Understand Other Races?

04 Sep

Music in all of its forms is a vital part of society, culture, youth, and of life. It has a way of transcending time and bridging gaps between age, gender, time, and can be relevant to anyone who can connect with the meaning or message of the song. But can it truly allow for understanding or education of the problems of other races? That is what author Rachel E. Sullivan of the Journal of Black Studies hopes to find out in her study on the role of Hip Hop in “racial identification even as its audience grows in size and racial diversity” (229). In light of politician’s critique and disgust at hip hop music and its lyrics that demean women and promote violence, hip hop was seemingly watered down into a form of music that now relays messages about materialism and arrogance. Has this change allowed it to be more universal and more accessible to other races or has lack of a political message left hip-hop without meaning?

To test her theory, Sullivan passed out a survey to teenagers of African-American, White, Latino, and other ethnicities with questions such as “’Rap is a truthful reflection of society,’ ‘I find myself wearing clothes similar to rappers,’ and ‘I find myself using words or phrases similar to rappers’” (234). Of the 54 who took the survey, only 3 didn’t respond and the group consisted of “twenty-one Blacks, seventeen Whites, seven Latinos, and six who marked other categories.” In addition, “Nineteen of the respondents were girls and thirty two were boys, and the mean age of respondents was sixteen years old” (235). Overall it seemed that hip-hop was a big interest to those who took the survey and a majority of those who took it and responded with strong agreement to all of the above statements were African-American with only a few agreements coming from Whites and Latinos. Additionally, when asked to name their three favorite rappers, only a few Whites could respond.

In my opinion, this tells mostly two things: that the majority of the audience for hip-hop and its culture is African-American and Latino, due to the fact that Whites are unable to relate to the struggles of either minority group or their cultures fully. Sullivan theorizes “many whites who listen to rap may be motivated by curiosity” and that curiosity is satisfied “without ever having face-to-face contact or interpersonal relationships with any African Americans, so rap can be a way for Whites to vicariously learn about African Americans” (238). I can’t help but agree with her to a degree because there are certain Whites out there that grew up in mostly white towns or cities that had little diversity and are curious but uncomfortable with dealing with the culture shock. This is not the best way to experience the culture as “it may perpetuate prejudices, particularly the view that African Americans are materialistic and hedonistic, which could inadvertently promote stereotypes more than it dismantles them” (239).

So is hip-hop good or bad for inter-racial relations? I feel that is a very narrow-minded way of looking at the genre. I feel it is what it is, that is simply entertainment and should not be taken very seriously. Rap has lost some of the political message it once had in the late 80’s-early 90’s, and has now become another genre that is now pumping out manufactured music every month it seems. For every 2Pac or Biggie Smalls we now have another Soulja Boy or BOB, another one-hit wonder. Therefore, it would seem that most of the music has now become just fictional and soulless and shouldn’t be taken seriously. So as a racial gap, I feel that it fails and falls short, as it doesn’t represent anymore the aspirations, upbringing, or struggles of the people as it once did. My solution: talk it out and figure it out.

Works Cited

Sullivan, Rachel E. “Rap and Race: It’s Got a Nice Beat, But What About the Message?” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael

Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice

Hall, 2009. 229-240. Print.

The fading beat of the Hip Hop Industry

30 Aug

LL Cool J, Run DMC, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Eazy-E: what do all of these men have in common? They are all hip hop legends that earned praise from their fan bases by speaking about the hard truths of life, maintaining positive anticipation and buzz about their music, and spitting rhymes on par with that of a Shakespearean actor. They were entertainers and lyrical geniuses that released hit after hit in their day, but what about our day? Like most other music these days, hip hop seems to be geared towards a very narrow audience as well as being more about hot trends, names on the record, and making the sure the songs themselves are wrapped in a nice little package. Simply put, the fact that too many people try their hand at it, how hip hop as lost its sense of humor, and the fact that music is so hard to sample or produce due to copyright have contributed to the death of the hip hop industry in some way, shape, or form.

In the new age of internet blogging, ideas and opinions are shared as are what skills or talents someone possesses through sites such as Facebook, Youtube, and Myspace. These sites and others have lead J-Zone, a poster on a rap site, to declare that following a comment from the rapper Nas about the life-span of the hip hop business, “The high profile artists get some attention, and everybody else gets ordered in ones and twos, if that” as well as how “Great records go unnoticed. Rap is now a disposable art.” Following this train of thought, J-Zone then goes on to say, “When rap stopped being fun, I knew we were in big trouble. Not too many people are doin’ music for fun anymore.” Another thing killing the industry is that copyright laws on these sites has gotten to where “interpolating one line of Jingle Bells in your song can get you sued and you can’t post a remix for promotional and listening purposes only…you can see the music and legal industries have officially declared war on rap as a kneed jerk reaction to their own failues” (256-257, 259).

Looking at J-Zone’s assertions and argument, it becomes apparent that hip hop isn’t dead yet, but it is losing it’s heartbeat. These days it seems that rap lyrics for example, are mostly about money, sex, women, violence, or power. A lack of originality isn’t just confined to the hip hop industry, this is true, but rappers these days just seem to be going through the motions of what will make them the most money rather than what truly sounds good. As J-Zone says in his article “5 Things That Killed Hip-Hop”, there are artists out there that are just that, artists, and continue to experiment and produce true music. As an example of both sides, the trash and the true, I’d like to focus on Kanye West and Eminem.

Eminem is someone who continues to produce amazing and powerful lyrics that resonate with themes such as addiction and pulling oneself out from the darkness and has actually lived through those things. He also isn’t afraid to make fun of himself, or others for that matter as can be seen primarily on his albums “The Eminem Show” and “Relapse”. Kanye on the other hand has an enormous ego and his songs are a majority of the time centered on what was mentioned earlier (women, power, sex, and money). Both artists are manifestations of and represent both sides of the hip-hop coin. Eminem represents the old school style of hip-hop in that his music is less about beats and more about lyrical content and connection with the audience, whereas Kanye is about attempting to (and failing) at making political statements and doing what he needs to do to satisfy his ego. No disrespect to Mr. West, but if more people were like Eminem and weren’t in the industry for money or for feeding their ego, the hip-hop industry would stand a chance. Now, it appears that auto-tune, generic beats, and the fact that anyone can be discovered with little or no talent (read: Soulja Boy), hip-hop’s beat is growing faint.

Works Cited

J-Zone. “5 Things That Killed Hip-Hop”. Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. 253-261. Print.

Vinyl Vs. CD

27 Aug

Clashing with what is considered mainstream or a part of the mass culture, rebellion if you will, has been a part of the youth culture for many years. Since James Dean brooded his way through “Rebel Without a Cause”, the spirit of teen rebellion or youthful dissonance has carried on in different ways. This article focuses on the attempt to stray from the transition from music recorded on vinyl records to digital means such as MP3 or Compact Discs. The reasoning behind not switching varies from remaining true to what is considered “true music” before corporate manufacturing, money reasons, and design of the discs, as well as rarity of numerous compilations. But there may be another factor that isn’t taken into account, one that takes into consideration the predecessors of bands that we listen to on a daily basis being inspired by the realness of musical artists of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s and the grittiness of their recording technologies.

This is a fact not only highlighted in the recording style but, as writer David Hayes points out, the popular culture relying on the past to produce the future. By this I mean that modern audiences rely on, to a degree, the past films and music to appreciate the more contemporary. Hayes mentions the Austin Powers movies and how to understand the structure, characters, and humor that audiences need to familiarize themselves with “late-‘60s British spy films” and “blaxploitation” movies such as “Shaft” (292). Another well-illustrated example is how films like “High Fidelity” bring in the interest from today’s younger audience by associating vinyl with “an opportunity for youth to assert their independence from parents”, or even as a “prelude to sex” (293). With both ideas being very appealing to teens, it is easy to see along with previously stated reasons, why vinyl is a format that is still finding legs with younger crowds.

To this very day, certain music stores such as Hot Topic or Half Price Books sell vinyl versions of singles or of entire albums. At both stores, you will find numerous people on a daily basis skimming the racks to find hidden or valuable additions to any record collection. This brings back the question: why vinyl and not digital formats? Well, the short answer, the financial one, would be that modern day customers are somewhat frugal with their money and decide to continue with the cheapest format or even the format that they already have in their homes or ones that were passed down to them from previous generations. The real answer, I believe, is that the quality of the sound was slightly better than when it is converted to digital, it is a more real sound than what we are accustomed to.

Today, most musical artists compromise their music with auto-tune or digital modifications in order to make sure they sound better. In the golden age of rock and roll, the sound was dirty in addition to fast paced, and was completely imperfect. If you don’t believe me, pop open and put down a vinyl copy of The Ramones’ debut album and play the same tracks alongside digital versions from itunes or compact discs. You’ll find out that the sound from vinyl sounds more authentic as opposed to today where even after multiple takes, the sound editors will do whatever they can to modify the sound best to appeal to a wider mainstream audience. The realness of bands like the Ramones is what inspired many punk and rock acts of today such as Green Day to take to the stage and to honor their predecessors, it would be wise to follow in their footsteps and engage in recording their own sound in an authentic way. As the old saying goes, “the past becomes prologue” as we must look into our past and see what works best in order to bring the present to where it should be.

Works Cited

Hayes, David. “‘Take Those Old Records Off the Shelf’: Youth adn Music Consumption in the Postmodern Age” Common Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009. 288-308. Print.

Thoughts on John Seabrook’s “The Money Note: Can the Record Business Be Saved?”

25 Aug

In every business, especially those that contain a medium that shapes our culture on a timeless yet everyday basis, it becomes imperative to deliver the product to the demands of the customers. The tragedy is that sometimes in the interest of making the almighty dollar, business executives extract the soul; it’s meaning, of the medium and takes away from the impact that can be had on people. This can be said with an extreme certainty about the music industry as in recent years, it has become a priority to make record sales higher, to market to ever-changing tastes, and keep up with the current trends of the day. As a part of this process, quality is lost in the search for greater quantity and maintaining a kinetic pace to evolve with the times in both medium and product. In his article originally published in the New Yorker magazine, The Money Note: Can the Record Business Be Saved?, writer John Seabrook describes the emergence of a new artist named Cherie and in turn how it continues the music industry’s method of producing cheap products in order to turn a profit, thus losing sight of the quality of musical acts in favor of flavor of the month trends.

A big motivation for this desire to bring in huge revenue is as Seabrook puts it is “that their corporate owners would use the cash generated by monster hits to pay for other parts of their operations, and the companies would be able to survive their stiffs, thanks to their corporate backing” (269). As a part of this corporate machine, Jason Flom, a record man for Atlantic Records and his interviews and interactions with Seabrook provide the backbone for this article as Flom builds up his latest discover, an 18-year-old Italian Jewish singer named Cherie’ and the marketing around her. Like Whitney Houston and Celine Dion before her, Cherie’s specialty is a “belter” or “as they say in the business—one of those singers who doesn’t hold back” (265). Through the marketing and recording sessions being built up around Cherie, Seabrook takes the reader through the process of creating a commercial act in the midst of music piracy rising and online downloadable content on the rise with record sales falling. With the need “to get rid of the lottery mentality” of not only selling music, but also discovering and signing talent, can the record industry survive?

As a music buyer, I continue to have my doubts as to whether record executives truly have any idea what their customers want anymore as well as if the mainstream audiences have become so used to the garbage that is produced and put on the radio currently that they take what they can get in terms of entertainment. Granted, not all record companies and executives are greedy and some actually desire to make good music as well as to make a return on their profits, those men and women are far and few between. Music has mostly lost the appeal of being an art form artists have become “acts” as Flom illustrates by telling Seabrook “The nice thing about Cherie is she’s portable, she’ll go places and do stuff if we think she should do it” (272). This input from executives in the end results in watered down products and radios being clogged with soulless corporate pop music. To answer Seabrook’s question in my best attempt, I believe it is possible to save the record and music industries if less input from the executives is taken and artists are signed for their talent and not for how easily they can be marketed.

Works Cited

Seabrook, John. “The Money Note: Can the Record Business Be Saved?” Common

Culture: Reading and Writing about American Popular Culture. Ed. Michael

Petracca and Madeleine Sorapure. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice

Hall, 2009. 263-87. Print.

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