GEORGETOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA—I am writing from a gorgeous historic town, thick with Spanish moss and fishing boats. But the whole thing is tainted by the rancid smell carried in the warm Southern breeze that pervades the entire town.
Georgetown dates back to 1729. It was populated by people who obtained wealth from indigo and rice crops grown by enslaved African people. They displayed their wealth by getting their free labourers to build them mansions like Kaminski House Museum—Described on tours, with a rationalizing flourish and no irony, as “African-American craftsmanship.”
Slavery was their ticket to ride so with post-Civil War reconstruction (1865-1876) came a gradual decline in business. By the 1900s pulp and paper took over the town and in the 1940s International Paper built what was the biggest paper mill in the world in the centre of the town. Georgetown’s history became overshadowed by the reek of raw industrial processes.
The sulphur smell here nauseates me.
Much like the music industry and the RIAA. Their whole deal makes me want to puke. Since early music file sharing like Napster and its progeny, the reaction of the music industry has been dead wrong. Instead of transforming the architecture of their business, they went all litigious. Shortsighted. Stinky.
Last night Trent Reznor, lead of Nine Inch Nails, went solo and released out of the blue (well die-hard fans had hints) Ghosts, an instrumental collection. Nine tracks are downloadable for free immediately from his site and also on Pirate Bay. To hear the rest you can pay varying amounts depending on if you want high quality visuals and extras. Since the album is described as the “result of working from a very visual perspective” there is some incentive to step up and pay.
Trent Reznor describes Ghosts as possible only because of the current status of the music industry. In other words the industry as a floundering beast flapping its enormous empty maw at torrent users. Last year both Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead took first steps as brand name musicians toying with potential models to work with and not against consumer desire and the model of free music.
Music consumers think the music industry stinks. And musicians seem like the only ones creative and strong enough to make non-smelly change.