Where is all of your money?

December 30, 2008

It is true – the rich are getting rich and the poor are falling into greater poverty. This, however, is no fault of the government. Guess who is to blame.

Us.

That’s right, you and me. After all, who goes to see expensive concerts? Who continues to pay overpriced movie tickets? Who pays an arm and a leg for season tickets to athletic events? It’s not the government, it’s the consumers.

There is also a terrible misconception in this country that it’s always the government’s responsibility to fix our problems. I challenge that thinking – keep in mind the government is responsible for most of our problems. This topic however will be reserved for a future rant.

In a small survey I did with some close friends, here’s how our money usage is spent.

  • A little less than a third spent in taxes
  • A little more than a third spent in bills including shelter
  • A little less than a third spent in “entertainment” and food.

Ok, so let’s take a closer look at the “entertainment” section. For most Americans that means
movies, compact disks of some kind (DVD/CD), concerts, comedians, restaurants, etc.

If I go and see a mainstream artist in concert (depending on my income and the quality of the seat I paid for) I just gave this already ridiculously rich person MORE of my hard earned cash. In my specific example, a good seat at a mainstream concert probably cost me %10-%15 of my disposable income (the money left over after bills/taxes/etc). Sure, I might like the artist, but do I REALLY need to give them that much of my money?

The answer is no. Anyone who complains that we don’t tax the rich enough but goes supports these rich people with their personal funds are hypocrites. How ridiculous is it to say “Ok, I’ll give you my hard earned money” and then come tax season say “Hey, give that back to us!”

Music is a classic example – see my previous blog by clicking here.  I talk about MIDI files and how mainstream musicians do not deserve our love or money.  Music is an industry where one attractive person has a good to wonderful singing voice… that’s it.  They have entire staffs of people to write their lyrics, write their songs, and technology to make these processes flawless.  The technology utilized in concerts is dishonest and contrived.  The end result is this: Consumers think they are supporting an artist.  The fact is that every dollar spent in that artist’s name is a waste.  The artist (who is already rich) didn’t do nearly the amount of work that you did for that money.  Remember how hard you worked for that $75 concert ticket?  Say the concert had 3,000 attendees.  That artist just raised $225000 and did little to no work whatsoever.  Come on folks – our money is worth more than that.  I’d rather not have to remind people about impoverished people in our country and other parts of the world; I’ll save that for another post.

The bottom line here is this:  If you feel like athletes are overpaid and more money should be spent on cancer research, then don’t go to sporting events and donate more money for cancer research.  If you think the money in the pockets of the Hollywood types would be better spent in the pockets of those in poverty, don’t go to Hollywood films.

I understand as well as anyone else the value of entertainment.  We’ve all been brainwashed into thinking we can only get entertainment from big companies.  THAT IS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS.  You like sports?  How about PLAYING them with your family or friends?  You like movies?  Hit up the independent movie theater or local film festival.  Remember Memento? Pans Labyrinth? These were at one point film festival movies that were so successful they were mass produced.  Independent films are great – do not believe the stereotype fed to you by the big studios leading you to believe that anything that does not come from them is crap.  Remember Speed Racer?  Pearl Harbor?  Superman Returns?  Valentine?  These were studio pictures and they were TERRIBLE!  How about music – do you really need to go to a concert and hear music (that is probably pre-recorded) when you already have the Mp3 files and/or the radio?  How about the local coffee shop that features talented folks in your community – don’t they need your support more than the mega-artists?  The answer is obviously YES!  Again, it is propaganda that only the big guns are talented.  At least the local kid who is getting NO CORPORATE HELP probably wrote his or her own songs for goodness sake.  We should definitely be supporting them and I’m telling you the music is just as good.  I’ve been to local coffee shops and small venues and I know it can be just as good.

In conclusion, think about this.  If you think the rich in America are too rich, you’ve got to stop supporting them.  WE are the reason they are getting richer and richer.  No matter poor we get – even if we can barley support ourselves, we STILL give these ultra rich people MORE of our money.  We’ve got to wake up.

The only thing more terrifying than being exposed to 5,000 ads a day (which we are) is realizing that IT IS WORKING.

Just think about it… and remember, people are dying of thirst in other parts of the world.

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http://davidmay.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/why-celebrities-dont-deserve-our-love-or-money-part-1-of-many/

http://davidmay.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/where-is-all-of-our-money/

-dm

Another Shady Apple Add

December 13, 2008

Apple released an add that describes the process of holding up the phone to a radio, and the iPhone will tell you “what song is playing, and where to get it.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hny-G-0nUBM

Then they say “That’s the iPhone.  Solving life’s dilemmas, one app at a time.” which implies that when you don’t know what song is on the radio, Apple will come in and save the day.

This is a CLASSIC example of Apple deceiving the public and what is worse, people are believing it.  Ladies and gentlemen, what I am about to say may shock you.  THIS SOFTWARE HAS BEEN AVAILABLE FOR YEARS.  You can get it on an iPhone?  So what.  You could have had music discovery software on your Verizon Chocolate a long time ago, and I know people who did.

Apple did not invent this software just like they did not invent the smart-phone.  Shazam works on the Google Android and a number of other phones.  Don’t believe me?  Check out their website: http://www.shazam.com/music/web/home.html

History of Shazam: http://www.shazam.com/music/web/pages/background.html

Apple has always been crafty about their adds.  I can’t say they are lying – they are not.  Shazam does work on the iPhone.  However, they make it sound like they invented it.  That’s dishonest and irresponsible and someone needs to hold these pirates accountable.

Don’t be brainwashed.

Think before you buy.

Think before you buy.

This is a spin-off of my personal blog. I’ve decided this topic necessitates it’s own blog. Here’s the basic idea:

We are exposed to over 5,000 a day – what’s even more frightening is that it’s working. No matter how little money we have in our lives, we STILL give money to the super rich every day. Sometimes it’s paying for an overpriced movie ticket. Other times it’s going to an athletic event or concert for a mega-artist. Meanwhile the things that truly matter in life are falling to the wayside. Consider this.

If you like football – play football with your family as opposed to giving more money to the ultra rich athletes.

If you like music – go to the local coffee shop or a concert for an artist who is not already rich.

If you like movies – support the local community theatre, local film festival, or independent theatre.

There is a misconception out there that the best entertainment comes from the big companies. Take a look at my previous post.  It lists studio films and independent films – I’m sure after reading it you’ll give independent films much more credit.  Don’t let the studios brainwash you.  The same applies to the music industry as well – overall, the mega-artists ARE NOT THE MOST TALENTED MUSICIANS – they are simply hotter.

This blog is designed to remind you that YOU are valuable.  YOU are an important contribution to this world and you have an obligation to see that in your neighbors as well.  It’s vital to our sanity, and to our souls that we stop idolizing studio-backed talent.