The New Fame

In this economy, nothing is what it was. And that’s bad news for the once-famous. Celebrity has changed. Thanks in no small part to the plethora of channels/movies/sites, the machinery of fame suffers from the media’s general state of dilution: there are too many sources pushing too many vapid “products” into a system that continues to expand.

Even athletes are losing ground. As business declines, endorsements are being withdrawn. You’ll be seeing less of Tiger Woods. And this year’s Olympic champions, despite record audiences and name recognition, are finding few companies interested in using their images. It’s a new world.

The narcissistic shallowness that is Hollywood will not respond well to being ignored. But the fact is, as things get worse, who cares about most of the pathetic tripe emanating from the movie and television industry?

I’ve said for more than ten years that the media giants are doomed. They played games with their accounting by constantly growing, masking their debt and overhead. Now, as the auto industry, which accounts for some 25% of ad revenues on television, pulls back, the media’s naked butts are showing.

Not that any of this is going to change the brothel-like affair Louisiana continues to have with the film and television industry. Consider this: if the State of Louisiana is willing to pay a percentage of the film business’ bill based on budget and impact, why can’t it do the same for music? Using the methodology of the film tax credit system, the state ought to be putting up millions to support our multibillion dollar music industry. Instead it continues to do nothing for music.

The silence from our tiny world of music writers and publishers is inexcusable.

Not that Louisiana can buy fame for our musicians. Fame will never be the same. But, the state shouldn’t be so in love with only one component of the media. Louisiana should love its music even more than it loves film.


2 responses

  1. I’m sorry that it took the death of your friend to bring me to this blog. I want to say, first, that I found that news to be worthy of a formal investigation, a sickening thing. Prison suicides have been the source of human rights campaigns and lawsuits galore, and are inexcusable–administrators should be held accountable for such.

    Secondly, I like your blog. It serves a purpose, is a great niche. It’s not just more punditry. Keep up the great work.

  2. Thanks, Ray. I try hard to do good work. I continue to be part of the public service system and am constantly battling to make it more efficient and responsible. It’s not easy and I’m not getting rich doing it. And I am deeply disheartened by the lack of press regarding the demise of the LMC, particularly by the one publisher who frequently and unfairly attacked, criticized and lied about our work. Musicians are always the last ones paid and the first ones asked to help. Having spent most of my life in that business, I have no choice but to speak my mind about the ongoing misuse and downright abuse of our amazing musical legacy. And I, too, am sorry it took Cayne’s death to bring people to this site. She once told me something that I have repeated many times and will until I have no breath: “You know, I was sitting in a bar with no live music one day and I realized something. When you’re in a bar, and there’s no live music, you’re just an aging barfly.” Priceless!

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