I am categorically opposed to anything Monsanto touches. I just hope people don’t start to believe the BS that this “US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance” starts to spew out, conveniently timed to begin just before their government subsidies are set to expire. This is grassroots as guise for Big Ag. Stop selling us misinformation.
a.k.a Does something need authenticity to have inherent worth?
It’s come forth that the sultry Lana Del Rey, who has taken the internet by storm this month, may in fact only be a creation (or rather, manipulation) or the record industry. Another chapter in the trite tale of the pretty young thing (Lizze Grant) with a pretty young voice being hyper-sexualized, rebranded and matched up with a legion of producers and PR people to catapult her into instant stardom.
The problem I have with this is that I really like her songs. Her look. And the whole lo-fi apathetic “gangster Nancy Sinatra” thing she has going on.
I approve of the image her handlers have put out. It’s cool, it’s current, it’s provocative. It’s undeniable that they did a stellar rebranding job. But because she is not “authentic,” is the value of her music diminished? Or is the problem here that she was launched on youtube, the poor man’s stage, and not MTV, where we expect all artists to be carefully cultivated creations?
Is Lana Del Rey is the embodiment “Music is Product” instead of “Music as Art”? And did she make a fatal mistake trying to appeal to a demo that idolizes the guise of authenticity?
The majority of music the industry currently produces is carefully designed to appeal to consumers, and they have been very successful selling it. So I think we can agree that music as product has some sort of place in society. But how much “authenticity” does a musician need to be considered an artist? And does art always trump product? What if the mastermind(s) behind the product is the true artist? Does that make the product art?
There’s been a lot of hype lately about authenticity, but I think most people would be hard pressed to find anything that is truly authentic, and not just branded (or self-branded) as “authentic.”
Experts have suggested that in order to find success, all people must now think of themselves as a “brand” and use social media to communicate that brand. However, once you start thinking about yourself as a brand, you lose pure authenticity, because you’re focused on the external rather than the internal. You start to craft a super-saturated version of yourself to make a statement.
Overall, I think that making “authenticity” the sole critereon for worthiness is pretty much BS. But, as is evident from this post, I have a lot of remaining moral questions about the relationship between art and product.
Whatever the answers are, I still think Lana Del Rey is pretty rad, and I can’t stop listening to Blue Jeans. I’m sold.
“Remember the first rule of global warming. The way it unfolds is really “global weirding.” The weather gets weird: the hots get hotter; the wets wetter; and the dries get drier. This is not a hoax.”—Is It Weird Enough Yet? - NYTimes.com
This op-ed by David Brooks about the inability of America’s young adults to define moral dilemmas or comment on the meaning of life is the most disturbing thing I’ve read in a while.
In a nutshell, without tight-knit communities, religion, or social structures, young people are left to believe that the right thing to do is whatever makes them feel good. There is no bigger picture for them.
Wondering about game play mechanics within various religions...
Ignited by a Jewish studies class last night that talked about personal good and bad angels created for various sins and mitzvahs that fight each other. (I imagine an epic battle being played out somewhere for my soul…kind of like “300.”)
This seems like the ultimate “gamification,” which according to wikipedia, “strives to encourage… desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring…”
Ha. Limited resources about this online, but Quora is pretty helpful… going to explore some more and report back on my findings.