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Bull, Locke, and McLeod

This week’s readings address the current issues the music industry, and music consumers, are grappling with.

I’m sure just about everyone can relate to Bull’s article on the iPod. I got my first iPod sophomore year of high school and I definitely used it to isolate myself and give off that “full engaged” impression when on the bus. I still remember how unbelievably distraught I would be if I forgot to charge my iPod or if it died on the way home. I’m not as attached to my iPod as I was before but when I have it with me in the subway it’s just as Bull writes, I am reclaiming my time. Between work and school and home life, the subway is a place where no one can contact me and I appreciate that seclusion for 2 hours out of my entire day. I also noticed that the days I don’t have my iPod, a lot more people approach me for directions. At first I thought this was because I looked like a seasoned New Yorker, but then I realized it’s because I’m probably one of few people not enclosed in their individual iPod bubbles. Bull refers to this as “gating,” which I think is an interesting concept, and it’s definitely changed some of our social norms.

Locke addresses music in the digital era. I think it’s so true that this generation’s mindset is “why would I pay 99 cents (or even 25 cents) for that if I can get it for free?” But there still are a lot of people who want to actually own their music, because it’s a way of forming and communicating their identity. The same someone’s iPod playlists says a lot about them, their mood, and even their life. But the issue of the devaluation of music is a difficult one to sort out. People have become so used to getting their music for free that it’s hard to convince them it’s worth paying for it. I think there has to be some compromise on all sides, but even before that, there has to be an acceptance and embrace of the fact that that times have changed, that CDs are soon to suffer the same fate as the cassette tape, and that a new system will have to be worked out. Locke’s 25 cent model seems to have potential.

Finally, Mcleod brings up another issue with no clear-cut answer: copyright laws versus creativity. With the Internet and easy to use programs, it’s possible for almost anyone to deconstruction and reinterpret music to create mash-ups. But according to current copyright law, which Mcleod deems outdated, this type of sampling is considered illegal. I think it’s difficult to control what people do with music, especially how they choose to interpret it. No law can make people accept music the way the artist intended it and I don’t think it’s right to limit the audience’s creative potential. We can’t have everything be a one-way medium, there has to be ways for people to interact and respond to the things they receive through media. It’s like the impact Internet had on television in the sense that people formed online communities to try to figure out what would happen on a show and voice their opinions about what they think should happen. I especially liked Mcleod’s point about how mash-ups blur lines between high and low culture as well as masculinity and femininity to disrupt taste hierarchies and gender ideologies. It serves as a reminder that those things are socially constructed and there’s nothing really concrete dividing high culture from low culture or masculinity from femininity.

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December 12th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

2 Responses to “Bull, Locke, and McLeod”

  1.   janki ahir Says:

    In exactly the same way as the Apartheid Afrikaaner government murdered black south Africans. They too are also murderers and they too should have been sent to Robben Island for life. These black people were murdered for thier beliefs.

  2.   Suresh Babu Gaddam Says:

    Suresh Babu Gaddam

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