We live in a such a different world these days and today I am feeling the sadness over this. Let me explain why.
I hate throwing things away but last week I went to the tip and got rid of a lot of my vinyl records. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. I kept the ones that mean something – Go West, INXS and Spandau Ballet – but the rest went to the tip. Whilst we were there I had a discussion with one of the chaps who worked there about going to parties with a pile of records having written our names on them. But these days we live in a ‘throw away’ society.
The value of anything is worth absolutely nothing. I blame many things for this and the technological world that we live in. Magazines, records, CDs, DVDs are all becoming obsolete. The value of things, including people, is now next to nothing. In a few years, writing with a pen and reading a book with pages will disappear along with all of the things that have gone before.
I believe that there are a number of things to blame. Let me explain.
The value of commissioning a human is worth next to nothing these days. There are lots of examples too. People are willing to do things for next to no, or zero, payment. Every one wants their 5 minutes of fame. Willing to do anything to get it. To some extent I blame reality TV for this. It has lead to people who have put no work in, expecting to get something back out again. People are so desperate to be recognised for being a singer/actor/writer/artist/blogger/whatever it might be that they will do things for free thus reducing the value of that particular market.
People who have worked diligently at their craft are working against people willing to do it for nothing and whilst you get what you pay for (which eventually, maybe, someone will realise!!) many people are willing to accept a ‘bargain basement’ deal which will lead to a sloppy OK job rather than a job done properly.
With the advent of things like Primark, Amazon and eBay it is all about quantity over quality. No one wants to pay anything much for, well, anything really. That is because no one earns a good wage because they are too busy pimping themselves out to get a next to nothing paid job in order to become famous!
YouTube, Spotify and Pledging sites
With YouTube and Spotify being free to access and listen in on, together with the news that the UK has relaxed it’s law on illegal downloads – mainly because it is just too big to police – music artists and authors alike are fighting a losing battle in earning a living.
I had a short chat with Peter Cox from Go West on Twitter this afternoon that really made me think. He was talking about the disappearance of Lewis Taylor and how he was trying to find some examples of his music. I suggested Spotify and he rightly responded that this is probably why Taylor has disappeared.
@VicWelton Probably one of the many reasons LT has disappeared..! Sad.
— Peter Cox (@peterjohncox) July 26, 2014
Many people are using sites such as Kickstarter and Pledge Music to help them to continue with their idea/career. Whilst some abuse the system and use it to ask for thousands of pounds to make a fan-boy film five minutes long. Funding for hobbyists with no industry credentials and NO fanbase!! A perfect example of this are the guys raising £5,000 for a TWO MINUTE TRAILER of Predator Dark Ages (Predator isn’t even their creation). Don’t get me wrong, I am all for people enjoying their hobbies but don’t expect other people to pay for them!
Others have used it for good and to continue with a career that society no longer supports due to the illegal downloads.
Peter Cox is a great example of this. In 2012 he set up an account on Pledgemusic to help him fund his next album. In return, people pledged various amounts of money in order to not only get a download of the album but also rewards in return – and good ones at that – such as a logo t-shirt, a name on the album credit and tickets to an exclusive gig (which Ross and I attended).
The only other way a music artist can make money these days is by touring…a lot!
Books and Authors
With the ‘free’ downloads available, writers and their craft are working against a limited return on all of their hard work. When Ross wrote a book with Bob ‘Hardcore’ Holly, The Hardcore Truth, it took vast amounts of effort. Months of skyping, typing, editing and re-drafting. Then liaising with the publishers, submitting photographs and then promoting. All for some people to decide to download the book illegally rather than make an honest, fair purchase. Ross and Bob have been very fortunate that most people have been respectful and bought the book but again it is an impossible situation to police fully because of the vastness of the internet.
These are just some of the reasons I believe that we live in a very needless society and that there are generations growing up who are seeing that hard work, dedication and commitment are of limited value when compared to avarice, ego and blind luck.
What do you think? Do you have any examples of our ‘throw away’ world?