Call me naive if you will but I never cease to enjoy doing things for people for FREE, gratis, no strings attached if you catch my meaning. Perhaps that is why I am flabbergasted by the greed of large corporations or so-called ‘stars’ when it comes to the almighty dollar. Have you ever noticed that you rarely see your favorite actor or music artist unless they are promoting their new movie or CD on Oprah, ‘Larry King Live’ , or patting themselves on the back at an awards show? Otherwise the rich and famous don’t want to be bothered with us ‘fans’ and they go to extreme lengths to protect their ‘privacy’ when it isn’t putting money in their pocket.
Ok, granted they need some semblance of privacy but they chose the public limelight to become celebrities. There is a tradeoff that goes with the territory and they can’t have it both ways. And there may be the odd one that will do a benefit show for ‘free’ but we are the saps who end up paying aren’t we? Haven’t you ever wondered why these so-called ‘stars’ aren’t donating out of their own pockets?
After all they are getting ‘free’ publicity out of the deal. Sure there may be the odd one that donates but they are the exception and not the rule. They justify their self-servingness by saying they are giving us their ‘free time’ and ‘talent’, and we buy into it because we are so happy to see our ‘idols’ in action. Isn’t that rather like the Pastor who preaches a sermon on tithing but doesn’t tithe himself because he (or she) is already in the service of God? And perhaps the reason the old farts seem to do more than their share of ‘free’ benefit shows is so they can grab a fleeting moment of their former glory or to promote their failed attempt at a comeback.
The same goes for the RIAA cartel and their group of thugs et al. When we are paying for their new Ferrari they are quite happy to put up with us, but try and download a duplicate of the same song you already purchased (i.e. that aging tape, album or CD collecting dust on your shelf) and they will sue you into oblivion. I know, I know, I’ve heard all the arguments so please spare me the gory details. What I’m talking about here is not what is right or wrong, legal or not so legal, but plain old fashioned greed. The people that I am talking about are the ones that have already made their money (if you want to talk about the up-and-coming wannabes you can check out my previous articles here).
As you can tell from my title I recently saw a Jerry Maguire rerun and it got me thinking. That line says it all – “Show me the Money”. Actors Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding (most excellently acted might I add) portray greed that is prevalent in the football industry. Late one night Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has an epiphany that the industry has shifted from relationship building to out and out greed and that it should return to its roots. He writes a mission statement and very quickly finds himself unemployed and in the very difficult position of having to put his money where his mouth is (so to speak). His only client Cuba Gooding learns that showing ‘heart’ on the field is more important than obsessing about his contract and in the end they both get their priorities right and are rewarded for their efforts. Hollywood and RIAA please take note.
In some ways I’m glad all this claptrap has come to a head because now the world can see what our ‘idols’ are truly made of. Perhaps we should remember that the next time we are considering plunking down our hard earned savings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-capitalist nor am I suggesting we should get music for free. It’s just that I get a little cheesed off when I see the hypocrisy of those that already have much wanting more and more, and trying to justify sicking their pit bull lawyers on us ‘fans’. I’ve been ill with the flu and perhaps that is why I am feeling so despondent. Call me cynical if you want but the whole thing really sickens me (no pun intended) so I think I’ll cheer myself up and play some tunes now.