Wednesday, April 19, 2006
When I were a lad, your allegiance to a DJ was based on him (or her)
acting as a proxy for your tastes, haunting places you could not get
to and bringing you what was new, fresh and great.
Nowadays, massively overpaid talking celebrities are given a playlist
generated by a committee, the access to whom is limited by a murky
world of gatekeepers and those with the tools to gain access. Hence,
even in the supposedly egalitarian world of the internet, a back-
bedroom overnight sensation more often than not turns out to have a
label, a PR or at worst a brother who works in the BBC.
So I was touched today to get a an email from one of my new-found
Stalag Luft Ideal Home chums, pointing me at the paper-clip story
(which I had coincidentally already picked up on) and suggesting that
we need a similar 'gimmick'.
Sadly, while I can only agree, I had to opine that the problem is not
so much the gimmick, but rather the mechanism to get it circulated
virally in sufficient numbers, and within a short enough time, that
the next level of hired, connected fixer could persuade the media to
Little, if anything these days gets in the major print or broadcast
organs without a shove. And if you have enough money, you can make
even the most despicable of entities look innocent and part of the
'people's voice'. It's why we long ago gave up on music contests.
This was brought to mind by a piece in the Mail on Sunday a few weeks
ago (yes, I'm still catching up on my reading, along with my blog)
about advertisers who pose as young girls on chatrooms. Apparently
agents working for multinationals are using these avenues to pop in a
covert message or two hundred thousand.
So... what's new? It's sad, but inevitable. And the only real scandal
is the way so many play along, with unchecked quotes, gushingly
endorsed awards ceremonies and the like, based on such rigged nonsense.
Which is why we are not above asking a few loyal Junkketeers to
mention our name when they're on their forums.
I need a filing system for my blogs. And a search function. I'm sure
it exists. And equally sure I can't afford one.
So I'll just have to allude vaguely to a blog or two 'a while ago',
inspired by a piece by MRW editor Paul, citing a major national
paper's policy of never admitting they were wrong. I was not in
favour of this approach.
So it was interesting to stumble across a small section in this
Sunday's Times, entitled 'Red Letter Days Limited', when it should
have been 'How we totally cocked up a story big time a hurt a bunch
of innocent folk by being sloppy and now arrogant'.
I couldn't find it on the online section (surprise) to quote, but
basically they have admitted that when they wrote the week previously
that said company's sales 'had collapsed' and it was failing, it is
in fact 'performing well'.
No I remember reading that original piece and thinking 'give that a
miss, then'. I'm not sure the correction I saw comes close to
repairing the damage done.