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Elton John's Plan to Save Music: Shut Down the Internet

Elton John has some advice on how to deal with what he sees as a dearth of good music today: shut down the internet!

Eltonjohn"The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff. Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision. It’s just a means to an end. We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet. I mean, get out there — communicate. Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet. Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging. I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span. There’s too much technology available. I’m sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today. In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. Now you’re lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality. And there are more albums released each week now than there were then."

Elton John has been sober for a while now but that's a pipe dream if I've ever heard one.

In related news, social networking sites are being seen in a new UK study as the reason for the shift of power in the music industry away from record labels, as illegal downloading has reportedly hit a new high.

Said John Enser, head of music at Olswang, a law firm specializing in intellectual property rights: "The music industry needs to embrace new opportunities being generated by the increasing popularity of music on social networking sites. Surfing these sites and discovering new music is widespread with the latest generation of online consumers but the process of actually purchasing the music needs to be made easier to encourage sales and develop this new market."


"Gay" Blocked as Legitimate Surname at Facebook

The social networking website Facebook has reportedly blocked its users from entering the name "Gay" as a surname when registering for the popular site (at least in Australia), the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Tyson_gay"It's been revealed that the popular website - which boasts it has more than 30 million members from around the world - does not allow people with the common Anglo Saxon surname Gay to join, assuming it is not a legitimate name. After a story in New Zealand's Dominion Post about 30-year-old Rowena Gay, who was denied entry to site because of her last name, smh.com.au undertook a test and found a person with the last name Gay was indeed not allowed to join. 'Please enter a legitimate name,' the website stated during our attempt. And while the website refused Gay, it had no problem allowing us to join with the last name Hitler."

The paper talked with Australian lawmaker Duncan Gay about the issue: "That's a bit tough, it's pretty ordinary ... it bothers me to the extent that quite often when you give your name you get a twitter. People looking and smirking. This is a continuation of that. While it wasn't tough for me, particularly for my son going through school, with the name ... if they're removing Gay from [Facebook] it becomes a problem for my family. I'm not ruling out protesting vigorously about this."

Pictured, American sprinter Tyson Gay, who may also have a problem with it.

Facebook blocks Gay surname [sydney morning herald]
Gay? Facebook Says No. [same same]


Gay Pride in Second Life Makes Us Yearn for a Third Life

Altoids

Altoids is holding Gay Pride month at L-Word Island in the online virtual world of Second Life. According to AdRants, "events include a carnival, a date auction, gay prom and two massive parades that sync with the LA, New York and SF ones".

While the intention may have been celebratory, the result is more like direct marketing day on the island of misfit toys.

Altoids2

If the Flickr photostream of the events is any evidence, gay pride is wearing thin in virtual reality as well. Their parade (minus the stench, the drunks, the bare breasts, the dykes on bikes, the kettle corn, and the shirtlessness) lacks any kind of noticeable edge.

Altoids3

Except of course, for the hot girl-on-girl action.

Boy, looks like a lot of fun, doesn't it?


Study Reveals Men are Crotch-Watchers

Eye_trackingA new study on website design and eyetracking (where readers' eyes tend to travel when they are presented with text or images) reveals that men (and not specifically gay men) have a much greater inclination to check out the package than do women, based on their study of an image of baseball player George Brett:

"When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed. Coyne adds that this difference doesn’t just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site."


News Report from Jamaica Reveals Homophobic Mob

Two weeks ago I posted about an ugly situation in Jamaica where three gay men had been cornered in a St. Andrew pharmacy by an angry homophobic mob. When the men were led to the safety of patrol cars by police, they were stoned.

Here's a fuzzy news report which reveals the extent of the sick frenzy surrounding the incident.

KbmI pulled the video from a hateful Jamaican blog which advocated, among other things, that homosexuals should die. The blog, Killbattyman.blogspot.com had been tagged with a warning page and was apparently pulled offline by Google, which owns the Blogger hosting service, this morning. I was able to grab the address for this video before it went dark. The illustration here was the lovely logo of the site.

Before it was pulled, Google had placed an interstitial page in front of the site which read: "Some readers of this blog have contacted Google because they believe this blog's content is hateful. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog."

UK news outlet Pink News brought the site to the attention of the British Association of Chief Police Officers who immediately condemned the site, saying "ACPO condemn this completely. This is not the sort of thing we want anyone reading on the internet."

The site called for the death of high-profile gay men including designers Dolce & Gabbana and Outrage! UK activist Peter Tatchell. It also mocked the recent stoning of three Jamaican gay men by a homophobic mob outside a pharmacy in St. Andrew, as seen in the video above and in my recent post.

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Angry Homophobic Mob of 2,000 Attacks, Stones Gays in Jamaica [tr]


Peel Away!

PeelI came across a great new application for those of you who enjoy finding new music on the web. It's called Peel and it's basically a newsreader for mp3 blogs that integrates with iTunes. It has been ages since I found a music application this useful.

If there are music websites that you visit frequently (a few of my top hits are Arjan Writes, Fluxblog, and Stereogum) and they post mp3s on a regular basis, Peel is for you. It allows you to view the mp3s at a glance, preview them, and download them directly to iTunes if you like. It also allows you to flip between a preview screen of the mp3s and the actual site that they are on, so if there is text discussing the music, you can check it out.

I believe it's only available for Mac OSX. It's also a free download at the moment and you can't beat that.


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