Friday, April 13, 2012

The Logical Song is a Supertramp of Silencio : "Another One Bites the Dust" (But don't quote me on that, and don't sue me either!)

Another You(?)Tube video down, this time for copyright infringement. This one is irrecoverable, I have no backup copy on any of my currently existing videos. Oh, and when I say down, I mean deleted - gone. Another Wild Woman Song-Dance jigamathing bites the dust. You Tube is shooting down my videos slowly - one by one they fall. It's like Duck Hunt, except it's Jess Hunt. Picture the little Jess Heads being thrown onto the screen and then exploding. If someone handed you the orange plastic gun, would you pop one at 'er? I wonder which of the colorful variety of Jess' will survive as they fly in the air, wings splayed and hysterical, in an unfair sky. Is it really a fair GAME when the DUCK isn't aware that it is about to be hunted? That's not a game at all, that's a massacre. No warning whatsoever. Just take 'em down, clear the field.

God I loathe hunters. They sit, hiding themselves in their cheap camouflage, just waiting for some clueless duck going about her duck business to do what's natural to her - FLY - and then, BOOM, BANG, she's down. For what? For the entertainment of some power hungry human with a gun. Get rid of guns, let humans try to engage in their "sport" with a bow and arrow. At least the playing field will be a little less atrociously unbalanced. Give the ducks a gun and give the humans an arrow and maybe, just maybe, it will be a fair fight. Youtube, like the landowners, set up the game - they know all the rules, they hold all the cards, they invite you to play in a gameworld that they own and know. They sell the land to the hunters. And the hunters never fail - they always come. As for the ducks, they never fail - they always show up, too. The field is very enticing. Peaceful looking. The field looks like freedom. A place to soar. Ah, my little ducklings, you're merely players with a disadvantage. All the world's a stage, you know the bit. When they want you out, Duckie, you're out. Maybe to you it feels like existence. Maybe to you, your life feels like your life - but you're just in THEIR matrix.

The busted video that was at least, in part, MINE/ME/DUCK was titled "Classroom Management: Let's Get Undressed in SCHOOL: Supertramp Logical Song Video." The claimant was Evergreen Social Media Associates. I'm up against The Associates. Actually, I'm not up - I'm down. I'm down and (soon to be) out. Someone with REAL legal knowledge and not just philosophical drivel (I'm saturated in it), please fill me in on the legalities of what I am or am not and should or should not be doing, because I am clueless. If I own a CD of a song that is owned by someone else, and I do my own dance to that song and record myself doing a dance/act/performance to that song - who owns my dance to their song that I played from my CD? They own both their song and my dance because I danced on their song? We can't coexist peacefully? We can't play off of one another? I bought the CD to play and dance to - why does it become a problem to play and dance to the music they sold me when I publicize the act? If I can do it on a side street, why not on Youtube?

I'm getting hives on my right breast over this. If I scratch it and make a video to YOUR song, will you take my scratching to your song away or will you let me scratch away? I guess "they" (Evergreen Media, not Medea!) didn't like what -I- did with their song. I liked my bum shaking play on the classroom. The irony is that the Logical Song by Supertramp is, in content, so much in opposition to the kind of authoritarian classroom management practices that are being utilized by the Social Media Associates that represent the musicians. Supertramp probably wouldn't give two flying (!) ducks/fucks about my ironic dance to their ironic song - and they would totally get the irony of this scenario. Plus, my uncle, Tom Walsh, was a drummer for Supertramp back in the day (yeah, I'll pull out my one connection to Hollywood at this convenient moment...). But the problem is that artists, like Supertramp, somehow get themselves OWNED by record companies. What's it like to be OWNED, recording artists? How does it feel to be OWNED by a label and to know you had to SELL yourself and kinda sorta become a label in order to get your music out there? There is a monopoly on existing, isn't there. If you want to get into the BUSINESS and benefit from it, then you need to work "with" the business. But you don't ever really get to work "with" the business. You get worked by it. And you get owned. And maybe if you're lucky, you get enough freedom to be somewhat authentic.

I think artists like Fiona Apple and the Dixie Chicks have faced this issue - getting pissed when they realized that they sold themselves and that they are "owned." That's how I feel. Owned. By Youtube. By the Powers that Be. By heteronormativity and imperialism in which there are BIG guys and little guys. Guys! In which there is US and THEM. In which there is Youtube In which there are LABELS/artists and OWNERS. In which there is a DOMINATOR and a SUBJUGATED. Check out Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine:" in it she rebels against the LABEL, the ownership, the censorship. I think it's a powerful album. Brilliant. Fine-tuned anger. Anger with a cause. Anger for Good, Anger for Change. Intellectual empowerment.

The power dynamics of the entertainment industry are way beyond my comprehension. The little that I have glimpsed over the past few months reminds me of a film that my wife watched often at the beginning of our relationship: "Mullholand Drive." When I first watched the film with her, when I was eighteen, I thought it was just about the worst movie I had ever seen (second only to "Very Bad Things" (<--- what I consider cinematic Ipecac) and "Angel Heart" - whose detestability I still stand by...god that movie made me feel sick to my stomach and consumed by a giant hole of black bile. I will not watch it again. My wife liked the images of the fans and elevators - the black and white imagery - throughout the film. She fell asleep while we were watching it together. I could not sleep all night, and I felt physically ill and resentful at her for 1. liking the movie, 2. urging me to watch it, and 3. falling asleep and leaving me to spend the night with pure evil without her. Of course, I was young so you might blame it on that. And my poor Sandy, I punished her so much with my anger and whining over the experience that she has never watched it again. I told her I would be happy to burn the DVD - that's how strongly I felt about it. I bet you're curious now, to go and watch it, but don't blame me if you feel your soul is damaged somehow by virtue of the viewing!!! I remember one of Sandy's selling points: Lisa Bonet. Naked. I didn't even know who Lisa Bonet was. The Cosby Show. Oh God. Why did I have to see the bloody sex scene. Why? Why?)

Okay, deep breath. Back to the bloodbath that is my You Tube channel. Back to the blood bath that is the legal system, that is the entertainment industry, that is humanity. "Mullholand Drive," despite my initial disgust with it, is actually a very clever film about the entertainment industry - Old Hollywood/New Hollywood - Domination. Upon seeing it a third time (a few years ago), I was quite intrigued by it. Silencio! The world of the entertainment industry is a political world of domination and submission. It's an absurdist circus. Mindlessness is preferable. Mindnumbing will work. Minderasure is even better. Can you call that ART? Yes, it is art. Much of it is controlled art, but that's still art. Sometimes something rebellious slips through the cracks (or manages by some twist of fate to not get its body exploded by hunters). That's my hope in continuing to create whatever it is I create: to slip through the cracks and be ALLOWED to remain (to peacefully coexist).

Now, to the legalities, if I own "their" CD, don't I own the right to play their song wherever and however I want to play it? Why can I not just cite the source of my accompaniment and have that be enough? If I read a book, it is legal for me to quote and paraphrase its contents as long as I cite my source, correct? Why can the same not be true of a song used for an art piece on Youtube? Legal ass(istance). I need music for my work, but I cannot write my own - trust me: I tried, and it sucked. I guess I'll begin the next segment of my Youtube existence doing Silent Films...yeah, right. Even when you cannot help but remain in obscurity, the anusfaces will find and destroy you in the name of staking their territory. Isn't it ironic - copyright infringement punishment executed on the bare behind of a video involving the theme of corporal punishment. I think Youtube engages in its fair share of corporal punishment practices - maybe it's just part of the fair uses terms and conditions. Youtube is really the go between between the chastising agent and the chastised.

If I bend over and give Youtube my hairy behind, will Youtube consider it fair and ethical and original to do so? Will Youtube let my bum belong to me or will it make it its own or will it delete it. I'll let someone else use my bum as long as they cite its source. That sounds fair and legal. Shouldn't fair and legal be one and the same? Oh, I'm such an idealist, so help me God. I guess the answer lies in the question. I have no power if I have to ask. When you are doing something experimental, it's hard to know where it will fall, how it will be classified, what will become of it. I guess that's the risk I take. The risk I take is that my whole Youtube account may, one day, be deleted out of nowhere because of some nonsensical rule or legality. In that case, I will have to start from scratch (!). When that happens, remind me about the scratching idea. I'll just use Youtube as my scratching post. Meeeee-ow. Ah, well, "tomorrow is another day" (FROM "GONE WITH THE WIND!!!!")...I'm going to get through this and when it's all over I'll never be hungry agaaaaaain (ENCORE: FROM "GONE WITH THE WIND!!!!")...sue me, sue me, what can ya do me (FROM "GUYS AND DOLLS")...

(FINAL BOW = to be deleted by POWer of court order)

A bit of old wisdom from one of the spinsters living in me: (Quote) Cite yer sources, ye unrelenting sorceress or yer sources will cite yer source for yeh an' ye'll be out er luck whin ya can' fin' yer sources in yer source. (End quote)

For "real" though, I guess I'll take a lesson from this (for future reference, young DUCKSELF): create without a soundtrack or be your own soundtrack. And always CITE YOUR SOURCES as you would always cite your sorceresses.

I apologize ahead of time for how awful my videos will likely sound from now on...

As for Lesley Gore: "You don't own me, I'm not just one of your many toys, You don't own me, don't say I can't go with other boys"

I surrender. Tonight Someone/Something OWNED me. I wasn't careful enough (= life story?) and I got an edumacation. Do I need to cite someone to use that non-word?

The dust, it was bitten. Or was it bit? I guess I really got an edumacation!

Whaaaaatever. I'm spent! The illusion of freedom alludes me. Why can't I just go back to fifth grade, when I was wearing curlers to school, playing the part of Diana Ross in the Supremes for my "research" projects and acting out Angela Lansbury's roles in scenes from obscure films, like "Samson and Delilah," for my homeroom class. Back when I was ignorant and the joy of my life was not an infringement on someone's copyright ownership. Bleh. Meh. Meow.


MetalGuruMessiah said...

WOW! Just stumbled across this blog....and had to make a quick comment re: Supertramp video being pulled.

I am in awe of the analogies you used to describe the issues involving an artists songs, and other works of art created from those songs. I create music vids for fun and have been utterly amazed that the obvious solution to all this concern has been so slow to become realized as the ultimate equitable companies should not only allow, but ENCOURAGE others to create new art from the songs and then make some $$$ off each view that that art receives. It's not a new concept, many tout it as the obvious, but it still somehow has not been fully accepted and utilized and some companies continue to attempt to block the works in the case in point.

I've also had a Supertramp song pulled by these Evergreen people (whoever they represent...not the music label since it had elected to allow the song to play and place ads)....(also received the only strike against my account EVER...wonderful way to alienate your greatest fans, btw!)....a nice vid I'd made for "Just A Normal Day". It was getting quite a few hits and some nice comments from people who had never heard the song before, and might never have had it not been for this particular video being where it was. Just as in the case of your song, it can only ultimately be a positive thing for Supertramp to remain visible and maybe make a few new fans and sell a few songs when people clicked on the links next to the song for a purchase. I mean they sure as hell aren't going to sell many songs as they slowly fade into obscurity are they?

ANyway, not much time to write, sorry for the ramble, but I really, REALLY love your post!

Take care!

Jess Mason McFadden said...

Hi Jon,

Thank you for your response. I enjoyed reading your comments. And I think your solution makes perfect sense. Sense doesn't matter much, I suppose, at this point.

I have never heard of "Just A Normal Day," and I'm sorry that's it has been pulled and I won't be able to check it out!

I'm all for a good, intelligent and creative ramble. I ramble every day. Thank you for joining in the ramblings.


Anonymous said...

I put up four Supertramp solo covers without being troubled in any way. Yesterday I remixed my own version of Bloody Well Right - a Rick Davies song - and dubbed it "Bloody Well Right (Remix)". Today I was informed that YT pulled it down because of claims made by "Evergreen Social Media Associates". I guess, if I had included the "cover" in the title, that wouldn't have happened. After all there are thousands of Supertramp covers. But what's the matter? I'm trying to get people to LISTEN to the music and BUY the albums - by including a reference to the original album and release date! Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson should make a unite appeal that they are NOT the ones behind this.