Greeting, imaginary readers. By popular request, I am going to attempt to do a post that doesn't feature any reviews. Haven't done one of those in a while so here we go.
First of all: I applaud the principle behind fair trade produce. It is a commendable initiative, that cannot be denied. However it has - through no fault of its own - become just another tool for the bourgeoisie to emphasise their superiority of the proletariat. I know what you're thinking: "alright Vladimir Ilyich, it can't be that bad." However I have often overheard conversations along the lines of:
"I only buy fair trade - I can't believe there are people out there who don't buy fair trade, I mean it is just disgusting."
Oh fuck you. When did we become so self-involved as a society? When did we lose our empathy? I actually know exactly when that happened but that is another post for another time. Does it really not occur to these people that some people simply cannot afford fair-trade-dolphin-friendly-environmentally-aware bread for £3.27 a slice? Maybe I am just making way too much of this but it seems to be indicative of a society unable to see beyond their own bubble of self-involvement.
Now something on the issue of piracy (that being copyright theft, rather than the swashbuckling kind). People who create commercial content have to accept that their content can be distributed illegally. There is no way around that. What is really needed to reduce piracy is distributors to have a much more open view to how their presentations can be viewed. In the case of films this means having a worldwide release that is the same for every region, and the ability to see the films at the cinema - for cheaper prices than now I might add - but also watch them streaming or download them for later. Download and stream would be cheaper - DRM is a sticky subject and I feel you would never get distributors on board without a very secure DRM method. And an open one too - if such a thing would be possible. If you give the consumer options and good value for money there would be very few people who would bother with illegal downloads. For a lot of people it is the only way of seeing certain films. For others it is the only economical way to see the huge number of films released every year. If cinema tickets were £5 and streams\downloads were £3 the amount of piracy would be dramatically reduced. We have gone some of the way - Curzon are now offering streaming viewing of some of the films playing at their cinemas.
"Why didn't I say anything until now?
So much is said without a sound."
- Local Natives - Sticky Thread
Just thought I would slap a great lyric in there.
During a slightly ridiculous conversation last night it occurred to me: is it possible that some people can have nothing they are passionate about? I would say that I am passionate about socialist politics. Capitalism is wrong - for me that is all there is to it. However I can also be moved by film, television or music. Surely everyone has the ability to be moved by something? Perhaps some people don't like to admit it, in our constantly-sarcastic everyone's-a-cynical-critic society people might not want to say that they love something - Lord knows love is scary. In the words of Morrissey: "it's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate - it takes strength to be gentle and kind". I find it hard to believe that there can be people who would think it silly to be moved to tears by a song, or to be filled with joy by a film.
Be brave - admit that you love something. Or someone - now wouldn't that be a great New Year's resolution?