Pockets of Blue

musings of my mind

Month: January 2007

Guitar Tabs are EVIL

…or so says the gigantic music publishing conglomerate that is determined to stifle any musical inspiration in this country.  How?  Well, this link sums it up pretty well.  If you don’t know anything about guitar tabs, then check out the linked article before proceeding…

I must say that I only realized how bad the situation had become after doing a thorough search for Pearl Jam’s "Animal" guitar tab.  Four years ago I viewed the tab easily through my favorite tab search engine, Guitar Tab Universe, but tonight couldn’t find it anywhere.  That is, anywhere except Ultimate-Guitar.com, which didn’t include the solo (which happened to be exactly what I was looking for, the rest of the song is trivial).  It turns out that this site is one of a very few sites offering tablature for viewing these days.  Unfortunately a great internet democracy has turned into an authoritarian state where choice doesn’t exist and servers are located in Russia to avoid legal threats from entities such as the NMPA and MPA, who make peanuts (and always have) from selling overpriced guitar sheet music for mainstream artists.

The battle is much like the peer-to-peer file sharing battle of years past.  The RIAA and MPAA have largely won this battle [save the fantastic thepiratebay.org, located in Stockholm], but at what cost?  Conglomerate radio now spews a pathetic selection of mainstream crap to its audiences while record sales, well, haven’t really changed at all.  Several studies have proven this; simply do a Google search on "record sales" and see for yourself.  There is so little worthwhile music on mainstream radio that everyone with the least bit of musical knowledge turns elsewhere for creative inspiration.  This hurts everyone, and eventually, the music industry will feel it itself when the eventual backlash occurs.

This particular battle is an egregious trouncing of Amendment Number One.   A musician’s interpretation of a song is just that, an interpretation, and should be the sole property of the transcriber.  People shouldn’t be forced to buy published transcriptions of their favorite songs, especially when (in my case) such transcriptions don’t exist.

Politics quiz

Tonight I happened to stumble upon a really great politics quiz. It’s not all that thorough (or up to date) but does a good job of hitting the key issues. I like it because clicking on the question brings you to some background information where you can explore the topic more deeply.

According to the quiz I am a moderate liberal. No surprise there, really.

Try it yourself!

It’s Hip to be Liberal

I’ve been spending a decent amount of time on Facebook lately, sending messages, posting on people’s walls, stalk–errr, reading about people, etc.  One thing I’ve been noticing is people’s "political views."  There are eight selections for this category:

  • Very Liberal
  • Liberal
  • Moderate
  • Conservative
  • Very Conservative
  • Apathetic
  • Libertarian
  • Other

I’ll admit that most of my friends tend to lean to the left, but I can still count on my fingers the number of people who have put "Conservative" or "Very Conservative" in their profiles.  Even a lot of the people that I strongly couple with conservative ideology and frame of mind are "Moderate."  This intrigued me to compile some numbers: 

In the RIT network (this includes current students, alumni, staff and faculty with Facebook accounts) the political outlook is:


Innnnnteresting…this begs a number of questions:  Why are there so many "liberal" people?  There are only 102 people that are unabashedly conservative?  This at a tech school full of engineers and IT students!  This where most students’ idea of a good time on a friday night is sitting in their room playing World of Warcraft, drinking Mountain Dew, and locking themselves away from the outside world?

Politics in this country tends to be fairly evenly split between the Democrats and Republicans.  It has been like this for several decades, with the typical pendulum of partisan support gently swinging every decade or so.  Yet these numbers aren’t remotely close to balanced. 

"2008, here we come!" One might think on first glance.  But the problem is, just about everyone represented here is between the age of 18 and 24, and frankly, most of us should jump into that "Apathetic" column.  We don’t speak up, get involved, or even vote!

I believe that these numbers are just part of a trend.  After six years of bullying, fear-mongering, and outright lies, we’re pretty fed up with the man in charge and his administration.  As a nation we finally spoke up in November, and a whole lot of people (GOP’ers included, clearly) are disassociating themselves from the President.  It’s about time, but still, I think all this means is that right now, it’s  just hip to be liberal.


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