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Monthly ArchiveOctober 2007

Miscellaneous Travis Hite on 26 Oct 2007

Selected clips from “The Daily Show” posted by Viacom

You may remember the lawsuit that nearly brought down YouTube. Viacom threatened legal action against YouTube if they did not take down all content owned by Viacom. YouTube took giant strides to meet these needs, and today YouTube is a bastion of legality. In fact, they are going beyond content screening, and are now using Antipiracy Video Identification Software to ensure this problem never happens again.

It’s been a while, but Viacom has recently posted thousands of clips from The Daily Show on the website, easily navigable by time and content. It’s a strong move by Viacom, and shows they are willing to give users what they want. Of course, it’s chock full of advertisement, but the adverts are loaded into the back of the clips and are not as annoying as one might think.

To celebrate, I want to share with you my favorite Daily Show clip of all time. Jon Stewart is not known for having a dramatic flair, and he is not acting in this clip. If he is, he deserves…well, another Emmy. Still, his emotion in this video is pretty authentic. The clip features a very shaken Jon Stewart telling his audience why the show must go on, and what it means to him. It is extremely powerful, and a rare moment of total seriousness for the show. Perhaps it is due to this juxtaposition that every time I have ever watched this clip, I have been moved. His statements are just as powerful today as they were when I first saw it six years ago. This clip is the definition of what it means to be free. This includes the freedom to say what we want to say, and most importantly, the freedom to laugh about it.

Miscellaneous Travis Hite on 04 Oct 2007

David Banner on being fake


You may remember the article, I got 99 problems, but the elected officials presiding over the House Energy and Commerce Committee ain’t one that I published last week. In it one of the main quotes is provided by David Banner, who along with Master P spoke in defense of their medium. Rolling Stone did a follow-up interview with David, and found him to be in a rather chatty mood. He had five major complaints he wished to air, which are listed in this article. I’m not here to copy/paste the material of the interview, but I do want to focus in on a few of the more interesting points he made.

“One of my top three groups in the world is the Police. I love the old Police with Sting and the drummer holding the drum sticks the old-school drumline way … I happen to fall upon ‘Murder By Numbers.’ [Sings] ‘Murder by numbers, one, two, three … easy to learn as your A, B, Cs.’ He said in the song the best way to kill a man is put poison in his coffee. You look at ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger,’ that was a stalker song. Johnny Cash said he wanted to kill a man just for the sake of killing him. But that’s ‘art.’ So basically what you’re telling me is that [rap is] not art because we’re black.”

The statement starts out as being rather brilliant. He makes several juxtapositions to songs outside of his genre, showing he has respect for a wide variety of musical stylings. Then he goes in for the race card, and you can hear the collective intake from the audience. Granted, being from a certain demographic makes you filter information differently. However, this is not necessarily a racial issue. People take up arms against what they consider to be a loss of morals in entertainment regardless of race. Perhaps he’s forgetting the controversies over such artists as Elvis, The Beatles, Twisted Sister…the list can go on and on, and these artists conveyed their message to a predominantly white audience.

What is at the heart of this case is not the message, but the culture associated with it. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but this is an issue of whether art influences society, or whether society influences art. It is important for rappers and hip-hop artists to be true to themselves in order to sell to their audience. Fans can pick up on a fake in a second I can’t help but agree with him wholeheartedly on the issue of language in music when he says

“Why is it that if we talk about ‘Fuck tha Police,’ people concentrate on the ‘fuck’ and don’t concentrate on police brutality against young back men? […] That’s how we fucking talk. ‘Shit, man, fuck, man, fuck the police, man. Yo, what up, what’s going down in the ‘hood today, shit is fucked up where I’m from.’ “

What is important is not the words and imagery that constitute the song. What is important is the social value of the message. If we’re talking about an angry young man and a response to police brutality, statements like “I really don’t like what the police are doing and I think there should be a reform.” just aren’t socially relevant. Any artist worth his salt will tell you that you have to be authentic to deliver a message with real impact. What I’m trying to say here is, fuck that uppity bullshit. Keep it real.

Miscellaneous Travis Hite on 02 Oct 2007

You can’t steal what you can’t buy


Radiohead dropped what could be considered the biggest bombshell in some time. Now, releasing an album for free is nothing new. Heck, Harvey Danger already put out their album “Little by Little” for free via BitTorrent. Or, there is my personal favorite DIY speed punk band, Bomb The Music Industry!, which puts out ALL of its music for free. Even The Charlatans have announced they will be putting out their next album for free. The problem is, Harvey Danger fell off the map everywhere but Seattle after their smash hit “Flagpole Sitta”, everyone knows punk is dead, and nobody has heard of The Charlatans outside of the UK. It will take a radio darling to break the cycle, and show that the prediction of the end of the modern music label may come true. Enter Radiohead. The recording industry is preparing to crap itself.

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