I would be voted off Survivor immediately. I can’t start fires with leaves and sticks or catch trout with a spear. I drive to the store to buy Mountain Dew even though it’s less than a block from my house for God’s sake. Nature sucks. I leave the air conditioning on until October. Whatever. Call me a shitty person; I’ll sleep well tonight. Technology is my best friend, and I will continue buying anything that zealously molests natural habitats in a desperate effort to avoid exercise. But I’m finally starting to see the side effects of a life infused and enriched with the technological. Records and compact discs have been scrapped, by most, for downloading. This transition, in and of itself, does not bother me, but in this new musical world of instant gratification, sacrifices have been made---one sacrifice in particular which I cannot stand for.
Last week, I attended a little shindig---not a party but a venue to socialize with a dozen or so of my friends--and I immediately headed over to the computer to check out the music. The selection was sparse and mostly comprised of rap, but upon first glance, there were a few artists I could get behind: Tom Petty, The Steve Miller Band, and The Rolling Stones. After a careful weighing of my pros and cons, I decided to select The Steve Miller Band file only to find it contained neither “The Joker” or “Fly Like An Eagle.” It didn’t even include “Take The Money And Run.” Nope. There was only one song: “Blinded By The Light.” What the fuck?
In case you’re a developmentally disabled poon clown who accidentally stumbled upon this article while looking for Asian porn or the Hollister website, I’ll go ahead and explain why I was so offended by this. “Blinded By The Light” is a 1973 song written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. It was later covered, quite successfully, by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. It has absolutely nothing to do with The Steve Miller Band, except maybe that both bands were actively releasing music in the mid-70s; so, in essence, this classification is sort of like saying The Godfather is your favorite John Wayne film. Horrifying.
Maybe because I was performing a sociological experiment on ignorance but probably because I’m a goddamn glutton for punishment, I traipsed my way through the rest of this sad bastard’s iTunes. Apparently, The Rolling Stones recorded “Dream On”, Green Day wrote “Flagpole Sitta” and Boston rocked the hell out of “I Want You To Want Me.”
If you’re going to illegally download music, at least have the fucking decency to credit the proper band or artist. It takes no more than thirty seconds to head over to Wikipedia and type in the song you’re downloading. Is that really too much to ask? Douche Bags reprint my articles without consent on their blogs all the time; most of them at least have the decency to include an author byline. But even the ones who fail to credit me don’t attach another writer’s name to my work. Fix The Labels On Your iTunes--an article by J.K. Rowling.
I wish I could say this pestilence was limited to one clod’s ineptitude, but in the last year, I have been saddened by dozens of miserably mislabeled music libraries. “Paint It Black” has been credited to John Lennon, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” to Bon Jovi, even “Slow Ride” to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Get your shit together, people. I know a lot of people simply see other people’s music as their own property to use and abuse as they see fit, but this malarkey has to stop somewhere. What better place than here? What better time than now? Get to know the people you’re stealing from. Credit them with a proper byline. I’m sure the artists would be appreciative, and people like me might stop penning articles about what a misguided cocksucker you are.