The Weeklings: Solutions for Oncoming Political Darkness

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In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.

–Bertolt Brecht

I –and my fellow editors and compatriots at The Weeklings— share thoughts about awareness, resistance and, yes, the ceaseless need to create and proliferate art. My contribution is directly below; please follow the link to see the rest of the excellent pieces.

 

The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

This immortal quote, from the always-reliable and never irrelevant George Orwell, is as important today as it’s ever been. Never mind the very real macro concerns about the environment, civil liberties, and crucial social programs, we are already witnessing despicable—and, let’s face it, heretofore inconceivable—signs of impending trouble, on micro levels. Every spray-painted swastika, each threat (uttered aloud or under the cowardly cover of social media) and every implied or explicit appeal to censorship is a sign, a lone holler seeking imitation to serve as oxygen. Intolerance needs collaboration to sustain it, like a carcass feeding maggots. As such, many of the simple acts of personal and artistic expression we’ve been fortunate to take for granted (particularly as whites, most especially as white males) are now likely to be scrutinized, decried and, if possible, curtailed. It goes without saying that any American with a functioning moral compass will confront acts of aggression and intervene peacefully but without compunction. As writers, it’s incumbent upon us to bear witness and engender solidarity, by any means necessary. Creativity in the face of repression is always indispensable, but on a fundamental level, every gesture of ill-will and ignorance must be met with an urgent refusal to countenance it. Retreating into the relative safety of silence (or worse, apathy) is not an option.

In a peaceful age I might have written ornate or merely descriptive books, and might have remained almost unaware of my political loyalties.

Orwell, again. We’re finding ourselves in a time where we can rely on neither the press nor politicians to inform us or inspire the better angels of our nature. This is a degradation of the American experiment, but it need not be a tragedy. History seems intent on recycling its ugliest examples, and we owe those who sacrificed, then, and those among us, now, who are most vulnerable, to meet this challenge with dignity and resolve. During times of darkness, our best artists have dedicated their gifts, if not their lives, to exposing duplicity and promoting enlightenment. Imitation of their audacity, in the days to follow, will be the sincerest—and most vital—form of flattery.

Read the rest, HERE.

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Streaming Services: Savior or Disruption? (Revisited)

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Last week I had the opportunity to speak with good friend and industry veteran Jason Herskowitz (more about him HERE).
In my capacity as an industry analyst at the Consumer Electronics Association, I’ve followed the developments of this changing landscape –what I refer to as the democratization of content– with keen professional as well as personal interest.
Jay and I talked about these trends, with a focus on streamed services and whether or not they are saviors or disruptors of the music industry (spoiler alert: it’s a bit of both, but mostly the former, according to us).
Some key takeaways include the one indisputable fact that streaming services and innovation have permanently changed the music industry. As such, we tried to provide some historical perspective in order to better understand the present –and suggest what the future may hold. Some other takeaways include:
  • Recording and selling music doesn’t require studio time and a fleet of trucks and trains anymore. A laptop and Internet connection does the job much cheaper and easier.
  • What has happened to the music industry is similar to the innovations we have seen in traditional news and publishing. Bloggers and independent authors can find audiences and compete with big established players.
  • Social media makes everyone a Program Director.
Enjoy the video and let us know what you think via the comments section.
In terms of this topic and our conversation, the status is definitely “To be continued…”

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Streaming Services: Savior or Disruption?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with good friend and industry veteran Jason Herskowitz (more about him HERE).
In my capacity as an industry analyst at the Consumer Electronics Association, I’ve followed the developments of this changing landscape –what I refer to as the democratization of content– with keen professional as well as personal interest.
Jay and I talked about these trends, with a focus on streamed services and whether or not they are saviors or disruptors of the music industry (spoiler alert: it’s a bit of both, but mostly the former, according to us).
Some key takeaways include the one indisputable fact that streaming services and innovation have permanently changed the music industry. As such, we tried to provide some historical perspective in order to better understand the present –and suggest what the future may hold. Some other takeaways include:
  • Recording and selling music doesn’t require studio time and a fleet of trucks and trains anymore. A laptop and Internet connection does the job much cheaper and easier.
  • What has happened to the music industry is similar to the innovations we have seen in traditional news and publishing. Bloggers and independent authors can find audiences and compete with big established players.
  • Social media makes everyone a Program Director.
Enjoy the video and let us know what you think via the comments section.
In terms of this topic and our conversation, the status is definitely “To be continued…”

Share