The USS Quad Damage

On equality and music

Hearkening back to the past is not the same thing as talking about the future.

Remember those days? The days when you payed $30 for 10 odd songs and you didn't even know if any of em were any good?

In Jewish folklore, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, but left him after she refused to be subservient.

‘Why must I lie beneath you?’ she asked. 'I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.'

Today, women enjoy (to some degree) a fair degree of equality. For the purposes of this exercise, however, I’m going to say the tables have turned. Lilith is now on top, and Adam is lying there with an incredulous look on his face1.

Prince recently stated “the internet is dead”, among other things. He was specifically talking about selling his music on the internet. Everyone laughed, except this guy. This guy is obviously old, because he said something very much like Jewish folklore. He practically said “let me get on top of you”. Specifically, he said:

It became an underground hit, just having heard the recordings was a mark of credibility throughout the era. Word-of-mouth buzz, in an age before textmessages or social networks; when teenagers went Inter-Railing for a whole month WITHOUT MOBILE PHONES OR E-MAIL!!!, and civil protest was a rite of passage involving tear-gas and baton-charges (as opposed to Facebook groups and twibbons). Back when ‘the kids’ weren’t actually better behaved than their parents. There’s the insult, because what Prince is really saying, and what’s really pissing everyone off, is that being ‘on it’, musically, in an era where everyone’s desperately pleading for your attention, ain’t exactly the same as when you had to work a bit for your record collection.

Yeah that’s right. Remember those days? The days when you payed $30 for 10 odd songs and you didn’t even know if any of em were any good? The days when you would have to justify this shitty album by saying it has “historical value” or some shit? Where you spent even more money buying shitty music so you could claim to have a “collection”, and at least even though a bunch of it was crap, you could go “well at least it's complete”. Remember the days when artists were revered as gods? Where they would piss on you (sometimes literally), and you would be like “OH MY GOD HE JUST PEED ON ME I'M NEVER WASHING THIS SHIRT AGAIN”?

And guess what happened? Well, basically, now I can listen to what I want before I buy it, and if your album is shit, I don’t have to buy it. Even if it’s brilliant, I don’t really have to appreciate it. If I want to listen to it I can do it via YouTube. Worst case I can pay the 99c for the single song instead of shelling out for the entire crappy album. You can try an internet blackout, but guess what? The internet is going to win — no one is going out to a shop to buy your album any more, and it probably won’t be stocked anyway. Because you’re not the god any more, I am. Now I don’t have to sit there and buy all your shitty music for that one lucky song. Now the onus is on you to make a killer album and have me just shrug and think about buying it later some time. If I listen to it enough. You might still be Adam, but you’re my bitch now.

Just relax, turn around, and take my hand.

1 I fully understand there is still a discrepancy between the rights that women commonly enjoy and the rights that men enjoy, but it’s close enough that I can wave my hands and it’s all good. The discussion isn’t about women’s rights here anyway.