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July 25, 2005
Report: Crappy Music Actually Crappy

Here's a shocker..

You know how when you turn on the radio, you hear a bunch of un-listen-to-able garbage and wonder, "How could this possibly be a hit? Are my fellow countrypeople really so completely devoid of taste?"

Well, the reality is that they may not have inherently bad taste, but they sure do know how to follow a crowd.

New York attorney general and nemesis of corporate asshats everywhere Eliot Spitzer has investigated all the payola that goes into making a shitty song a hit and an untalented hack a star.

"Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600."

"Please be advised that in this week's Good Charlotte Top 40 Spin Increase of 61 we bought approximately 250 spins at a cost of $17K …"

foxnews.com

So feel a little bit better about the idiots around you. They have terrible taste in music, but it's not completely their fault.

Then again, it is.

Comments

Previous Comments

It's just human nature Anthony. Businesses study the psychological make-up of people so they can exploit it with a predictably lucrative canned response. It's actually quite smart. If only so much effort were put toward actually doing something that made a greater difference in people's lives, like encouraging them to not only form an authentic sense of being, but a productive one in the process. PBS does a pretty good job of it, but still not enough to sweeten the deal in as luring a form as big entertainment knows best.

Yeah, I guess if you think it's human nature to be duplicitous, deceitful and exploitative, which I suppose it is, in a sense; but it's not a part of human nature that should be encouraged or condoned.

I hear ya. That's why I think PBS does a good job, because it tries to be freely available, while still showing you the methods people practice to make money, or even just try bringing about progress in society. They'll expound on the very techniques businesses practice to make money, to truly educate the consumer of what goes on.

Being duplicitous, deceitful and exploitative is human nature, and I do feel it can be dicouraged, but only after one's been exposed to the education necessary to be able to spot it. Not to replicate it, but rather to figure out methods more humane that don't require people take such behavior as common principle.

I was actually originally thinking of Businesses making psychological that figure out the essence of human nature, so they can then figure out the more efficient way to exploit target audience, but you bring up a good point about human nature on the business side.

slight bit of correction:

I was actually originally thinking of Businesses making psychological studies that figure out the essence of human nature, so they can then figure out the more efficient way to exploit target audience, but you bring up a good point about human nature on the business side.

I don't understand how this payola scandal has anything to do with "studying the psychological makeup of people," or any other form of market research. It strikes me as just the opposite. Instead of conducting focus groups or gathering listener feedback to determine the song list, these Sony executives have decided to bribe DJs instead. The result is that, rather than having the kind of dreck that most people enjoy on the radio, we've got the kind of dreck that record executives want to sell. That's a big difference. In both cases, it's probably dreck, but at least the former is vaguely democratic. What's disturbing to me is not that the rest of the country isn't run this way. It's that the rest of the country IS. Lobbyists play the part of Sony - putting issues on the agenda that most people either don't care about or disagree with - while the legitimate will of the people is ignored.