He’s right, but he’s wrong.
Is the blogosphere, the online “news” world, more interested in clicks than facts?
Is this a problem?
But to hear a billionaire whine on for 9,500 words that he’s been misunderstood is like Mussolini taking to the telegraph to say the Allies have it wrong.
You’re rich, you’re famous, get over yourself!
This isn’t how the bluebloods did it. They didn’t want their name in the paper. They didn’t buy Ferraris, but Fords, they wanted no attention. But today’s suddenly rich want all the perks and the adulation and they’re suddenly surprised when those they want the accolades from turn against them?
This isn’t a story about the press, this is a story about INCOME INEQUALITY!
Would I like a wedding in the redwoods? Hell, I’ve had dinner at Ventana, thirty-odd years ago, before most of these tech titans were even born. And I couldn’t afford a room there then and I can’t afford a room there now and I’m not bitching about it, I’ve chosen my path, but when those who won the financial lottery complain that they’re misunderstood, all I can say is BOO HOO!
Did the press get its facts wrong? Did blogs jump on the story in a dash for both eyeballs and the resultant advertising cash?
But what has Sean Parker done to raise the pay of teachers, to lift up those less fortunate than he?
Oh, I get it. He made it, so everybody else can march in his footsteps. But what if you grew up with not only an uninvolved parent, but no computer, how easy would it be to create Napster then?
Where’s the social responsibility of these Silicon Valley wankers? Good that he donated to save the redwoods, but how about saving the people? Remember, that’s what George Carlin said…Save the planet? Save YOURSELF! The planet’s been around forever, it’ll survive, it’s you we’re not sure of…
But Carlin wasn’t a billionaire. In the seventies he was a voice of reason, by the twenty first century he was just “content” so some overpaid schmuck at HBO could make millions. Come on, without the talent, what is HBO worth? ZERO!
This is not about file-sharing, this is not about the new economy. I’m all for the future, and there will be winners and losers, that’s how life is, as opposed to those car dealers trying to pass laws preventing Tesla’s direct sales model.
But somehow we’ve put the emphasis on all the wrong people.
I don’t care about Sean Parker’s wedding. And one thing he’s got right, if he weren’t a billionaire, it would have gotten no attention. But that’s the crime of today’s society, not bad press, but worship of money and the people who make it. Kim Kardashian is an icon because she’s rich, not because she’s got anything to say. Not because she’s saving the redwoods or the whales or anybody or anything other than herself.
The greater good?
Screw that, I WANT MINE!
Give Bill Gates credit. He’s giving away his money, he’s trying to save the world.
But he’s older than the Internet winners. Who believe just because they’re rich that they’re better than the rest of us, smarter, better-intentioned, all around winners.
That’s complete b.s.
Or as Bob Dylan so eloquently sang:
“Now each of us has his own special gift
And you know this was meant to be true
And if you don’t underestimate me
I won’t underestimate you”
The only gift worth recognizing is not someone’s bank account. The whole damn nation has to get over this, it’s the essence of the problem. All that crap about I’m working hard and you’re not. Ever try to survive on welfare? If you think that’s rich, then you’re not.
People shine in so many ways.
But now our whole country is skewed. If you get an arts degree at the university you’re laughed at. Our whole nation has gone practical. Can you tell me where practical fits in with Bob Dylan or Alice Cooper or Joni Mitchell or even Sofia Coppola?
What are you gonna do with all that money? The movies have been ruined by sheer greed, the best and the brightest do not go into the arts, our whole society is headed straight for the cultural dumpster.
And what we’ve got here is a rich donut complaining he’s misunderstood.
Every damn day people e-mail and tweet that I’m a jerk, much worse than that, I’ve survived, I’m sure you can. It goes with the territory. You’re fortunate. If the worst thing that happens is you’re misunderstood, you’re lucky. Try getting sick with no health insurance, get back to me after that.
So yes, I love that the Internet allows Mr. Parker to respond, to set the record straight.
But how could he get it so wrong? How could he have no perspective? How could he not see that the ability to have this wedding is the problem, not whether it was or was not on federal land and affected the environment. If you think the poor are dumb and are unaffected by the privileged, holier-than-thou, antics of the rich, you’re positively wrong.
Or to paraphrase Judas Priest…
You’ve got another thing coming.
Note 1: That Dylan quote is from “Dear Landlord,” from “John Wesley Harding.”
Note 2: You can read the original George Carlin transcript here: http://bit.ly/8IBnOX But you can’t watch the video, HBO’s blocked that, not that it’s available anywhere else…
*Editor’s Note: This essay was originally published in music industry analyst Bob Lefsetz’s e-mail newsletter. You can access Lefsetz’s full archive at http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/.