Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hidden Reason Obama Will Win

Even if not perfectly politically aligned with a particular voter, Obama presents several factors with which McCain cannot compete, the largest being "sex appeal". Despite the fact, most will not consciously admit that such a thing could possibly be a motivator for their vote for such an important office, psychologically, it is unavoidable and powerful.

A recent article in The Nation said, "Barack and Michelle Obama channel some of the style of the current early-'60s revival--sleeveless sheaths and chunky pearls, Ocean's 11 and Mad Men--without the alienation. America, they say, you can be cool and sexy again, "back!" and swinging, but secure this time. Those "excesses" of the '60s that Barack mentioned, those family fractures across the demographic board, they can all be resolved through hot married love."

Clearly, this is reflective of a deep attraction that many Americans share. Much like some of Hollywood's top stars, it is the kind of sex appeal that crosses many borders, both geographically and psychologically. Obama is old enough that young men don't feel threatened. He is young enough that old men can admire his virility and obtain a vicarious thrill. And because he is married to an attractive woman and he expresses a clear sense of family values and religiosity, even moderate Christians have no basis for accusations of sexual opportunism, while the right wing can find nothing true over which to judge him, at least of a sexual nature. As for women, gay and bisexual men (even those who simply fantasize), Obama's attraction is self-evident.

The fact he is black, it goes without saying, but I will say it, conjures certain stereotypes that cannot possibly hurt. He sizes up in every category, at least in the voter's imagination.

All of this reasoning stands firm even without considering his opponent. However, McCain couldn't possibly be in a worse position to compete with these factors. McCain's only sex appeal is his wife, and that certainly makes most voters wonder why a beautiful women like Cindy, would favor him sexually. He is a walking poster child for Viagra, which is probably why he shied away from questions given him earlier about Viagra versus birth control. No doubt he has lost the sexual stamina he might have had as a young man. This perception of impotence inevitably parallels a sense of political impotence. Just add to that, McCain's numerous "senior moments", and it is no wonder. The same would never be suggested about Obama.

America seems to secretly admire virility in its politicians, while outwardly condemning it. There seems to be no other explanation for the incredible support Clinton enjoyed while he was otherwise being impeached for his poor sexual judgment. Deep down, most people understand naughty urges , because almost everyone has had them. Europeans are more comfortable with a conscious recognition of this, but Americans at least still pretend to disdain sex while simply doing it or fantasizing about it while watching various entertainers.

Politicians, unlike other entertainers, are highly sexual beings. Anyone who has ever worked on a political campaign can tell you about the sexual attraction to power. When we add to the power, objectively powerful bases, Obama's physicality, intellect, smile, generally gentle yet bold demeanor and his race; it is no wonder many people feel a tingle that may cloud their other political motivations.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Considerable Sounds: Changes

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By DC Music Editor Benjamin New

Brian Eno

Music is many things to many people, what it is not- is static. It lives and evolves. And like the music itself, the means through which it is distributed are also in flux and perhaps never more so.

And what is change? (besides being a political slogan adapted by every single candidate).

Change, as a positive notion, is a continuity of sincere effort to release and let go of inefficient thought patterns from the past. Change is the agency of transformations and of growth. Some of us
change as a result of "seeing the light". Others change only when "feeling the heat".

In this article we see a little bit of both types of incentives for change. Some visionary, and some reactionary. Yet one thing is certain, change is inevitable. Change or die; and even then, the body in the ground will change.

Now here is a gentleman who knows a thing or two
about changes...

David Bowie's performance on A&E's Live By Request

Back in that bleak midwinter, the January of our discontent if you will, the social music service known as announced that it would be launching something called the Artist Royalty Program that allows artists to reap royalties each time one of their songs is played through the site's ad-supported streaming music feature or Web radio. (They just have to upload their music first.) This is good news particularly for independent artists. As the music industry struggles to
find a relevant model that embraces the technological and economic realities of the last quarter century, this method (Championed in the UK by We7, a download service founded by Peter Gabriel) is emerging as viable.

On Wednesday July 9th, announced that the Artist Royalty Program has launched and that over 450,000 tracks have been uploaded in tangency with it. In a press release the day of the launch co-founder Martin Stiksel said of independent artists, "We're leveling the playing field by offering them the same opportunities as established bands to make money from their music. The young musician making music in a bedroom studio has the same chance as the latest major label signing to use to build an audience and get rewarded".

Rupert Murdoch
Politically savvy artists should take note that is an alternative to using MySpace as a promotional hub. (MySpace has been owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp since 2005). is owned by CBS Interactive. Try the service yourself at

Kudos to, this service benefits artists but it also benefits consumers!
At the moment it's available only in the U.S., U.K., and Germany,other countries are slated to be added later.

Peter Gabriel

How does such a service work? Let's have a look at We7. Site users can download legal MP3 versions of tracks with advertising attached to the beginning of songs. Four weeks after downloading the track, the user can then download a version without the ad. Artists get paid by the advertisers, music lovers get free tunes, and advertisers reach music fans.
Seems reasonable enough.

After all, artists do need to generate income from their art or eventually no one will be able to afford to be an artist.

We7 major investor and founder, Peter Gabriel, has been involved in several innovative music startups of late, including The Filter, an automatic playlist generation program that is also free to download. He and Brian Eno were major financial backers of OD2, a "digital service provider" that has formed the foundation of many European online music stores. Both Gabriel
and Eno penned the manifesto for MUTHA ("Magnificent Union of Digitally Downloading Artists"- a musician's union formed to give artists a collective voice in the development, implementation and general direction of new models in music distribution ) .

“When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.”
--- William James, American Philosopher, Psychologist, and Pragmatist

If you haven't tried the Filter, give it a go at In less than a minute, entertainment recommendations appear before your very eyes. It's a great way to discover new
ways to feed your brain! Looking back on the older methods of music distribution, one arguably positive service they performed was to filter amateur or just plain poor music from public consumption. Internet distribution offers so many choices that recommendations can be quite a time saver. After all, of the over 20 million music sites on MySpace, how many would you say are listenable?

“The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements”
--- Anais Nin

“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
--- Jimmy Dean (Yes, the sausage guy)

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