When I was five I used to trade baseball cards with the other kids in my area. I didn’t have the cash to buy the packages of cards. Most of my cards came from the back of cereal boxes. For a while Jello was putting baseball cards in their puddings. Trading those kind of cards put me in a lower trading class of kid.
When I was seven I discovered comics and surfing. We were kids. We didn’t have much money so we’d buy the comics we could and then go to the beach and swap them. I got to read the first “Spiderman” comic trading a “Jimmy Olsen” for it.
We’d look askance at kids who bought “Archie Comics” or Harvey comics like “Richie Rich”. We lived for super heroes punching out bad guys. We loved that Spiderman made jokes while he duked it out with the Rhino. Batman, even when stupid, was always cool. The Fantastic Four were a bit stuffy but the Thing was cool.
Sometimes, on the flat days, one of the real surfers would loan us his board so we could paddle around in the ocean and work on our moves, usually practice trying to stand on the board. He’d trade us the use of his board for a couple of comics so he could have something to read while he prayed for a set.
When I was nine we’d get together and trade records. 45’s, albums were something you got for Christmas. We lived on 45’s, on songs not concepts.
These record swapping parties were out first interactions with girls where the main point wasn’t to torment the girls to see how much they could take before they started crying.
We’d listen to the music. Dance tentatively. Swap the records for things we thought were cooler. Sometimes a trade would depend on the quality of the song on the flip side.
When VHS tapes came out movies were like 70 bucks a piece! We’d swap them with friends. Grabbing an obscure movie or TV show some guy taped off of late night TV in his hometown. Looking for westerns and monsters. Searching for cool.
Who knew that those happy days, those days of learning to interact with society, to appreciate a groups similarities and to cherish our differences would be considered criminal activities today.
You can’t buy anything anymore. You can only rent.
Some rich jerks afraid of the future passed some laws. Instead of socializing for real and learning you have to sit and do as you’re told. Government by the minority, the tiny minority, the “ruling class”.
You can’t own a record or a comic. You are only renting it and you’re not allowed to trade it or let more than three other people listen to it.
It makes sense if you’re rich and want to get richer and if you hate people. Albert Gonzalez lies to congress and okays torture behind their back. Nothing is going to happen to him. He gets to write columns and gets paid too much for them laughing about how he screwed us all over in the illusion of keeping us safe. Meanwhile Roger Clemens, a baseball player gets persecuted because some groupie he befriended swears he gave Clemens some shots. The full weight of the FBI and the Justice Department is committed to destroying his life.
Dick Cheney brags about using torture to lie to us and to to deceive us and Obama says we have to move on from having thousands of our kids slaughtered and murdered due to the actions of this guy. We have to forget all about that. Obama thinks that lowering our self esteem and having the rest of the world think we’re sleazy scum sucking cowards is trivial. What’s important is that we imprison and criminalize that kid sitting in his room who wants to make friends, who wants others to hear a song and see the same image in their heads that the song conjured in his.
It used to be that you were in a band. You made a record. You could get 45’s stamped out in lots of 500. With a two color self-designed label they cost you 300 bucks. You’d haul a box of the 45’s o your shows and get your girl friends to hawk them for a buck apiece. If you got lucky you’d sell twenty at a show.
Later you’d get CD’s stamped out. With the jewel case and art they’d run about $2.50 a piece to make. You’d smile at your girl friends and get them to sell them at your shows for $5.
Now, it used to be that the RIAA sold records for you. But the recording artists didn’t get paid. They got to perform shows and they got to keep the gate. The major labels loved this deal.
The record stores made about $2 a sale, the record jobber – the guy who put the records in the store got about $3.50 and the label got about $5.50. Sometimes the labels would pay the publishers, if the publishers were big enough to sue the labels.
The RIAA loved it. They fought hard to keep it that way.
Then came the internet and the world changed. For the better most of us would say.
I can see it being illegal if I downloaded a mess of songs and tried to sell them to you. I can even see file sharing services being questionable when somebody is making money. I mean the RIAA or some webmaster raking off cash, might be wrong.
These rich guys couldn’t be bothered to se the change in the world. They only saw threats to their mansions. About ten years ago Courtney Love wrote a brilliant piece telling how the RIAA screwed her and every other recording musician over. Steve Van Zandt has also come out strong about the abuse of musicians by the labels and the RIAA.
Radio Head and Nine Inch Nails are two bands who took the words to heart and were smart enough to see the world has changed and is changing.
So are a lot of other bands. They remember tape and they remember taping songs off the radio. They want their music heard. They want to touch people and to have their music move people. They want you to dance.
Up in the bar there’s a new link called jukebox. It’ll take you to a glitzy, funny (to me anyway) page where there are 40 songs that aren’t burdened with the little RIAA bug.
The tunes are all there because they need to be heard. There are some great tunes there. Mostly awesome, at least if you like the music I like . . . These aren’t my favorites, not all of them at least. The criteria was what I played the most often.
These are the bands of the past and of the future.
The porch is finished enough to be used. It looks good. My friend loves it which is all that matters.
I’ve been stove up. The pain is pretty horrible.
I use a simple scale. See the leukemia made me take chemo. Chemo gave me diabetes. The diabetes gave me neuropathic pain. For the past couple of years the pain has been pretty unremitting.
Death would hurt more. I can live with this pain. I have to remember that when I feel like giving up.
I’m up to 20 units of insulin. I looked it up. 20 units is about the average. I still have to increase the dosage. My blood sugars are still not under control. They gave me sugar pills. Big suckers they are, in case my dosage increase put me into a hypoglycemic coma. No where near any danger of that, at least not yet.
This is my friends last day of vacation. Memorial Day. She says its the best vacation she’s had in years. Usually she misses work but this time she’s dreading going back.
We’re going to the Chinese Buffet.
The foster dog is fitting in better. The only issue he really has, aside form his incredibly sloppy water drinking, is his constant play. Constant play is not a good thing. It sounds like it should be but he gets so cranked up he gets annoying, not just to people but even to the other dogs. Foster dog gets so wound up he’s nearly a threat. He’s a good dog though and is trying to understand.
Tonight is a coaching meeting. After the meeting we have to pick up my coaching kit. The tackling dummies, agility gear, first aid kit etc.
They don’t have a lock up at the practice field so we have to haul all this stuff around. On paper it sounds like a great kit though. That the kit includes an agility ladder and agility hurdles gives me a lot of cause for hope.
I hope my friend enjoys hr first ever coaches meeting. She’ll be there as an equal.