We live in a time of synergy. Synergy, is the eventual result in a digital society. When you check out my blog, there are advertisements that are created by keywords. My "Big Gay Hurricane" post often has ads next to it like "Meet gay singles" and "bibles half-off!"
I am going to run a little test. Poop. Wait, once was not enough. Poop. Poop. Poop. Are any of the ads for laxatives or herbal solutions to IBS?
This is how everything gets tied together, marketing, monetizing, creation and collaboration. It is good for the economy, good for marketers and research, good for corporations and the consumer. Bad for free expression, and since free expression is the foundation for artistry, potentially the death of art as we know it.
Part 1) The supply problem
The digital world has made creation so accessible, that expression can be done by anyone with a voice and an idea. Though I call this the supply problem, it is by no means a bad thing. The fact that we are all creating, writing, blogging and posting our videos on youtube is a beautiful thing, and has helped the progression of our society. Obama was certainly lifted by inspired young bloggers and film makers. We have seen hilarious referendums to NOM's anti-marriage campaign. And countless musicians who would never have been heard are spreading their music worldwide at the click of a button.
This is a beautiful thing, but in a world of economics, an abundance of supply creates a small monetary demand. Those hoping to make money from art have to prove themselves beyond the rest of our prolific generation. But, even still for these "cream of the crop" creators, life is going to become even more difficult because of the problem of marketability.
Low levels of offensive materials guaranteed!
Artists making concessions for cash is no new paradigm. The most revered renaissance artists worked for commission from royalty. All commercial art is successful commercially because it is, well, commercial. But artists have always been able to establish leverage based on their following and talent, once they were themselves proven. Now, because so many are clawing their way to a living wage, the concessions are becoming more and more apparent. We are relying on sponsors more and more each day to keep up with the global economy, and a reliance on third party supporters can mean our expression could be completely censored. And the more we rely on large chain stores like Walmart, the more power they have to make sure I do not stand up for unions healthcare and the like through my writing, speech and even music. (Luckily I am not, nor will ever rely on Walmart's entertainment section)
A voluntary end to free expression
Now that everybody has a stake in the creative process, a middle-class is forming, rather than the "starving artist" versus the "elite." In the past, the "starving artist" would be the one with nothing to lose, and hence total free reign over every subject. They didn't have to worry about editing a music video to be less offensive for sponsor sake, they could push the envelope as far as they wanted and in the end, this led to a more expression and enlightenment in art.
Now it seems like we are all competing to be voluntarily censored, to make that next month's rent payment. These people are not sell outs, they are modern day artists, bloggers, and musicians...people who are offering us something we love and need, but are struggling to continue doing it. So they take that commercial, they keep silent on Proposition 8, and do everything they can to stay afloat.
American Idol winners teach us one thing. Its the democratically selected, nationally marketable, Christian, pre-screened, family friendly ass that tends to win. And then their records flop because, who wants to listen to nationally marketable, pre-screened, family friendly music? It is socially digested, commercially broken down, passed through the media-machines viscera, and ends up poop.
poop poop poop. Wow, look at those ads!