Yes, I hyped up old Paulie pretty good, but I am very pleased, relieved even to have a McCartney project worth crowing about. Deep down, I’m just a fan and wish the Beatles – a miraculous, once-in-a-lifetime convergence of artistic quality, personality, culture, timing, and the alignment of the stars – had never gone away. So when something Beatle-related comes along that lives up to the tradition – or even comes close – I want to partake of the dream one more time.
Jan Herman has a great post on the publicity machinery and how we – “the media” – are all cogs in the great wheel:
- the ABC-People collaboration is a nasty reminder just the same that a relentless publicity machine powers much if not all pop culture. Promotion campaigns for movies, celebrities, TV programs, music CDs, magazines and books have replaced legitimate taste and real preferences – choice has been reduced to bogus alternatives – to say nothing of actual news. In fact, publicity disguised as news – for that is People magazine’s stock in trade – undermines everything from pop culture to politics.
It’s not just the soft-news media or the feature sections of hard-news media. It’s a mass infection. It’s e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y.
And his “everybody” rightly includes himself and, um, me.
I was talking to a friend last night who publishes a newsletter for the Cleveland live arts and performance scene. He thinks we are being trained to stay in by the media and consume TV, DVDs, CDs, etc, etc rather than venture forth into the night to experience grass roots culture for ourselves. When we do go out, it is within very carefully defined boundaries of media-approved activities like movies, big-time sports, big-time concerts, mall shopping, or perhaps a well-hyped traveling Broadway musical.
In my life these days as a 40+, married, home-owning, father of three, I’m afraid he’s mostly right: though the “shadow” of our forays into quirky noncorporate shopping, subversive parties, art openings, small-scale concerts (at which I may even perform – horrors!) or various outdoor activites, makes the “light” of media-approved entertainment consumption tolerable.
I find I don’t much mind the “media machine” as long as I like the product, which I imagine is part of the hysteria at the record labels and movie studios over such “unauthorized” nonparticipation in system as file-sharing. Besides (ostensibly) draining revenue from the system, equally importantly, such behavior takes away control from the system.
I still like the new McCartney though – call me “Cog.”