June 13, 2014
by Paul Blest
One of my favorite things to read on the Internet on a daily basis is the Self Defense Family Tumblr.
Awhile back, I posted something about elitism in the underground music scene. Someone (they know who the fuck they are ;) Got rather defensive about my bringing up cassette tapes. But I get it, I really do. A cassette tape will sell, and bands need money on the road.
To be clear, I am on the side of musicians out there playing shows and making music. None the less, there are politics to “scenes” that I have grown more loathsome of year by year. This article about fans not wanting to pay fair price for music and being entitled is a good example of the sort of self sabotage I have always disliked. Success is the enemy.
When I was a teenager, most scene people acted like there was a clear battle line between underground and mainstream. Those jokes about people who name drop bands you have never heard of to sound cool exist for a reason. The reason is that such people actually exist. I have met more then I ever cared to. “If it is popular, then I am not special for liking it” seems to be the mentality. And you see the echos of this anti-mainstream mentality in branding people that want to make a modest profit of their merch so they can have gas money as “following the corporate model”. They are trying to use half baked notions of ideology to screw over bands so they save a few dollars on an LP. Self serving and hypocritical. SUPPORT MUSIC YOU ENTITLED FUCKS!
(Side note: this is part of the reason I am not an anarchism. Most self-styled anarchists I have encountered are the last sort of people I would want to be in an anarchic society with. People can be self serving to the point of sabotaging others. Case in Point: See Article above)
Returning to the issue of the self-sabotaging (or should I say fan sabotaging) of underground music, people who do not understand that recording music and touring cost money and therefor complain about the price of shows and merch are not living in reality. They are living in their own self-serving fantasy land.
"But Peter! I saw this documentary on the internet about a resource economy where everything is free, so I think everything should be free. Only evil corporate scum make money!"
I have a rope, and a beam in my basement you can swing from. Your ideological vision of a utopia is not the reality we live in. Deal with it. Or go torrent the new Katie Perry album if you want free music. Don’t want to support Punk music? Then don’t complain when it withers and dies.
(PS: Quick ideology lesson - putting your own interests above others = basis of capitalism. Mutual support and solidarity = leftist [allegedly the values of punk rock]. As the article points out, these entitled fans are clearly on the side of capitalism, no matter what ideological smoke screens about ‘true punk’ they put up.)