Saturday, May 26, 2012

J Dilla's Record Collection and the Economics of Music

Earlier this week I had an opportunity to have a small chat with Scotty Hagen of UHF Records who lucked out and came across a good chunk of J Dilla's Record Collection while purchasing an old storage facility. In addition to the records he found TONS of beat tapes and unreleased recordings made before Dilla's passing. After this hit the net, the internet went apeshit angry about this for a reason I cannot begin to understand, especially because the folks at UHF did every single thing RIGHT in this situation. What better way to let Dilla's legacy live on than to spread his love to fans of his music?

The most hilarious response I heard was that these records should be in a museum, you know the vintage record museum we all visit to stare at records someone else owned 30 years ago, apparently attendance is booming.

UHF ended up in contact with Dilla's mother and returned the beat tapes to her, which clearly shows he isn't in the "fuck them, give me money camp" because those tapes were worth more than the entire record collection combined. The outrage persisted though as people were FURIOUS someone was selling A DEAD GUY'S old albums.

What I came to realize from this situation is that the music industry is the most dysfunctional business from top to bottom that I've seen (and this includes consumers). It's beyond obvious that the remnants of major labels are clueless, bands are so focused on the "art" they don't realize how much they get fucked financially to increase exposure and fans are the first to cry sell out when something doesn't fit their ideal of artistic integrity. This isn't even touching on the evil that is the RIAA or unlistenable terrestrial radio.

It's interesting that in this day of digital music ubiquity, the most honest and well meaning people at any level of the food chain, are those at your local mom & pop record store.

If you want to do real good, download a bunch of Dilla's music and donate money to the Ma Dukes fund to help pay off Dilla's huge medical expenses left after his death, or go to UHF Music and support a business that does what a business is supposed to do, serve it's customers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Male Manifesto

Whenever I read articles like this or this about the "downfall of men" it makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Being a man in 2012 is sort of shitty, but saying that apparently isn't politically correct so any time someone starts to say this, they are immediately shut down. Don't get me wrong, men have had it great for centuries upon centuries, so maybe it's the inevitable Darwinian shift among our species.

I believe the starting point for this "issue" is the massive feminization of curriculum in schools that has occurred in the past 20 to 30 years. As a young child I remember having no male teachers, I did not have my first one until 7th grade which is sort of shocking. Now the demographics of teaching have always skewed female but the curriculum shift went from a focus on the basics to a focus on making learning "fun" rather than strictly teaching necessary material. This works for some people, but for others like myself it put me off from learning for almost a DECADE. Rather than solving math problems, answering questions and writing essays, we were cutting and pasting pictures off magazines onto poster board and conducted hour long interactive exercises to confirm a simple easy-to-understand point. Either way the moment when learning division became learning a complicated song instead of learning the meaning behind it, that is the second we failed. There is also the fact that this leads to consensus building when problem solving is necessary, sometimes this works but often times it leads to wasted time and effort while providing those with stupid arguments validity.

The other main issue about education is the reduction of content taught that would actively appeal to guys. Oftentimes in the classroom opinions of students are treated equally as facts to encourage openness and respect while having a discussion. This usually results in a long, arduous and unnecessary discussion that bores many of the male students in the classroom who are thinking "just move the fuck along". If this happens once in a while it's fine because that is how the world works, but when it happens daily in multiple classes it is VERY easy to see why young male students get burned out so easily.

It didn't take me long to figure out to pass many classes taught by women, all that was necessary was thoughtfulness and being open minded. Needless to say I always fared much better with male teachers who did not care about anything but the knowledge retained. Is one more right than the other? Not really, but there are advantages to each that each gender possesses, unfortunately the male aspects are disappearing.

There is more than education to this; and the declining marriage rates which are seen as a problem to many are common sense to most men my age. Why would we want to get married and have kids? What benefit is there when the current system is set up for us to fail no matter which way we go? Divorce laws, child support laws and sexual harassment laws (while all good meaning and necessary at the time) have shown us plenty of examples of why marriage is a poor investment in our future. I would much rather be alone for the rest of my life being responsible only for myself.

Another issue worth mentioning is the absolute confusion that exists when it comes to hitting on a girl, what was once something cut and dry is now a clusterfuck. Men are so concerned with not offending, not seeming creepy and not getting in trouble for harassment that we choose to instead say nothing to protect ourselves.

Throughout my life I have been told by virtually everyone to "follow my dreams", "find your passion" and "be yourself" which I have come to realize over time is not only absolute bullshit, but it is in fact harmful to the future of young people. Whenever I make TRUTHFUL statements contradicting these, immediately I am negative and a pessimist (something that people apparently don't like being around). This leads to someone getting older and not having a passion, having unrealistic dreams or not knowing how to communicate properly in society. They end up lost and apathetic, questioning the meaning behind everything they were taught seeking truth. It would be interesting to see the happiness level of the "successful" women that are always mentioned in the same breath with modern men, because I would venture to say they are just as unhappy and disillusioned as the male gender. The main difference is that the system is currently set up for women to succeed.

Women and men are different, so it's time we stop comparing them constantly and instead clearly identify each gender's strengths and weaknesses (something that has already been done) to ensure proper development without blatant focus on one.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Churches and religious organizations are the only businesses in America that can get get away without paying proper taxes.

It is also well known that donations to a religious organization can be written off as a charity.

Donating money to a church is not charity, it is not close to charity and the fact we let people get away with this is ridiculous. These churches pay nothing or next to nothing and expect to be given complete freedom in what they say and how they act (which is fine, if they paid their part). ALL religious institutions are businesses and market themselves to the public, therefore they should be forced to pay their part in taxes.

Whenever folks talk about how Mitt Romney is just a rich greedy asshole someone will defend him by stating his charitable constitutions. These charitable constitutions were to the Mormon Church, which isn't exactly into helping the poor and less fortunate with that money....instead they use it to fund "missions" to spread their idea of made up nonsense to others, in essence an Advertising Plan.

This also goes to the Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and any other religion that feels it's okay to accept money to promote your businesses but not pay their part. It's about time we stop giving these greedy con-men a pass for taking advantage of people who are more likely to believe in nonsense.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Religion is holding us back from success

People who know me know that I am extremely tolerant of what people believe, but also that I'm intolerant of Religion. Personal spiritual beliefs are just that and I have no statement on that, I do however find Religion to be a manipulative waste of time that is hurting humanity more than helping it. So I figured it would be prudent to discuss some reasons I hate Religion.

1. Donating money to your church IS NOT CHARITY!

2. In America if you are a Religion you are tax free. All religions should be taxed, not taxing their income is wrong and leads to financial shadiness.

3. Religious beliefs spread ridiculous, baseless "knowledge" about homosexuality, fornication and a bunch of other things that we are free to do.

4. People get mad when you bash their religion (note: ALL religions deserve to be bashed), as if you are bashing the person instead of their irrational belief pattern.

5. The three main worldwide religions are extremely sexist.

6. Many religious folks feel that their politics and religion should always go hand-in-hand, you don't have to be religious to see this is a terrible idea.

7. Because of Religion there are still ridiculous "blue laws", laws against atheists and agnostics holding office, anti-gay legislation among other prohibitions of personal freedom.

8. The acceptance of the supernatural has forced me to listen to tons of unproven stories about "spirits" and "ghosts" from otherwise smart people. It's a drag having to tell someone they are positive they saw something that didn't exist.