Lefsetz: Fiddling While Rome Burns

What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where a late night TV host takes a stand – risking the alienation of his audience that the medium lives by, advertising, driving not only profits, but cancellation – but musicians are silent?

One in which the President gets into an east coast/west coast rap feud with the young leader of a renegade nation and we all could die in the aftermath.

I can’t wait to wake up and see the shenanigans.

I’m refreshing my news apps constantly throughout the day. Hell, it just broke that John McCain is thumbs-down on Graham-Cassidy. I’m following the news like I used to follow music. But that was before Rolling Stone was for sale and Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post.

Now this risk of Jimmy Kimmel‘s is important. He did what was right.

We haven’t done what is right in the music business since 1969.

Back when Country Joe sang “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die” at Woodstock.

Now it’s nearly 50 years later and the Vietnam War is on PBS but nobody under 30 donates to that outlet and Ken Burns is seen as over-the-hill. And you might say today’s younger generation is not afraid of dying – Biggie did, and Tupac too. That’s what happens when unstable people take the law into their own hands.

Like Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Now the truth of it is is that late night TV ratings are abysmal.

Hell, there’s very little virality, usually.

Fallon is in the rearview mirror. He’s Johnny Mathis in the era of the Beatles. Maybe the Four Seasons, with a few hits left in him, whereas…Colbert is Brian Wilson without the mental illness.

He had hits in late night but then faltered when the revolution came but then got game. But Jimmy Kimmel? The guy who starred in the “Man Show”? Howard Stern‘s best friend?

Isn’t he MARGINAL?

That’s what you don’t understand about today’s environment. You do the work and then the system blows you up. You can’t premeditate it, it doesn’t stick.

Kinda like Taylor Swift‘s new singles.

A lot of ink and then…nothing. Because when you work it the system plays along but the public does not. But when you’re true to yourself and resonate, you go nuclear.

You can’t premeditate art.

You’ve got to do it for yourself. Get aligned with your inner tuning fork and you never know what will happen. The records by the usual suspects committee can be toppled, if those outside the system are willing to take a risk.

And no, don’t e-mail me your protest song. That’s not the point.

These things blow up by THEMSELVES! And they’re irrelevant unless they’re ubiquitous. That’s another thing working against music,  it’s all about the niche, and if you expect the labels to break the logjam you probably own Clive Davis‘s “Greatest Hits.” But the last I checked, he never wrote a note, never recorded a record, that’s left to the ARTISTS!

Will someone capture the zeitgeist and make us all pay attention?

I’m not confident (because) this has not happened in years.

But the world situation hasn’t been this bad in years.

Now you can’t please everybody and you’re gonna be prone to backlash. The right wing controls the debate, with their inane claim that the Emmy ratings were down because the show was too political, anti-Trump. When the truth is the ratings for the VMAs were down, all the awards shows, because the younger generation ain’t tuned in to appointment TV and many people just don’t care.

They’re pushing back all the time.

And those in the arts are afraid.

But not Jimmy Kimmel. Not Stephen Colbert. Not people who were famous for NOT taking a side. Which side was Johnny Carson on? Who knows? But that’s why musicians many years his junior dominated the conversation, despite there being only three networks.

So, perusing the Spotify Top 50 or reading the front page of the New York Times?

It’s no contest.

And like the dear departed Leonard Cohen once sang…

Everybody knows.

We’ve got to shelve the endless self-congratulatory singing of “Hallelujah” and go with this much more appropriate song.

Meanwhile, we sit back while the NFL blackballs Colin Kaepernick as its ratings tank. What, are we living in the 1960s once again? Where the old men in charge are out of touch and the young people have to rise up?

So far, it’s only the women who are taking a stand, against bro culture in Silicon Valley.

But there are much bigger targets.

Then again, the Senators are reacting to deep pocket donors pissed that the ACA still stands, and you expect me to be interested in the ramblings of nincompoops in Rolling Stone?

Not gonna happen.

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11 Responses to Lefsetz: Fiddling While Rome Burns

  1. chuck says:

    Jesus…, shut up.

  2. Kerouac says:

    Gee… pass the hemlock.

    As ‘Stop the World – I Want To Get Off’ is no longer trendy, the irreverent submission mine choosing shoot from keyboard: “if your means and end be simpatico, summon.” Not born with a say, exit strategy never goes out of fashion, only end possibility.

    Alas, aphorist/essayist the ‘late’ Cioran attempts dissuade: “It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.” This parley coming too late aft the fact, James Daly character Gart Williams the ‘Twilight Zone’ episode ‘A Stop at Willoughby’; Gart’s epilogue: jumped from here to there – speeding train to eternity – discovering the better world existed past & his dreams, than today’s reality.

    Gart an optimist past perfect become past tense according Cioran’s definition: “Only optimists commit suicide – optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live – why would they have any to die?”

    As such, the dilemma, nee conundrum: those surprised discover Kerouac still here in lieu there, a breathing optimist the Kansas City Chiefs; grim realization, theirs.

    “Meanwhile, we sit back while the NFL blackballs Colin Kaepernick as its ratings tank. What, are we living in the 1960s once again?”

    – those with regret can still dream it – those never left refer it, ‘Kerouac’…

    “Where the old men in charge are out of touch and the young people have to rise up?”

    – Charles Manson said that too, in so many words…

    Death’s head revisited, apologies the more oft attributed James Dean & John Derek variations ‘Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse’, came Mrs. Irene L. Luce before the rest in 1920. Irene lost her husband, by choice, via divorce. Among letters hers submitted to Mr. Luce, referenced their court case: “I can’t be bothered with a husband. I intend to live a fast life die young and be a beautiful corpse.”

    And so she did, sans alimony.

    Lastly:

    “The right wing controls the debate, with their inane claim that the Emmy ratings were down because the show was too political, anti-Trump. When the truth is the ratings for the VMAs were down, all the awards shows, because the younger generation ain’t tuned in to appointment TV and many people just don’t care.”

    – why cannot ‘both’ proffers be true? (almost had a meeting of the minds a Lefty and Non-southpaw, Kerouac.) The show ‘was’ too political, anti-Trump, and the younger generation ain’t tuned in to appointment tv’ because, as you say, “many people” just don’t care – agreed – not just ‘younger’ folk & ‘more’ than mere ‘many’ people other.

    60-something Kerouac is no longer a mainstream media viewer due dislike dishonesty their part & parcel daily cascade said, nor partaker that foisted upon the masses in the name of ‘entertainment’, today’s tv (waste) land.

    Heels clicked together thrice, no place like home – you are there; enough make dreams come true: time in retreat.

    🙂

  3. chuck says:

    Hey Lefty, the reason everything sucks except your hero Sychophant Colbert, which, by the way is a hard “rt” consonant, in spite of his “Frenchyness” pretense, is because Trump has “Disrupted the moral arc of the universe”.

    Jimmy Kimmel doing the “Right Thing”, supports the categorical melt down of an ill advised, ignorant, “Affordable” Health Care act, signed with the typical hubris of a Radically Progressive president who, I believe really did think he could, with his “pen and phone”, take over 1/6th of the American economy at best, at worst he and his malevolent minions just hoped for the transfer of wealth to those in their electorate.

    Now standing in front of a podium, the disgusting puke, surveys the havoc he has inflicted and complains about “undoing all of the good work” he created.

    Seriously, propaganda like this was too far fetched for the Khmer Rouge to use in Cambodian Re Education Camps on unlettered rice farmer/peasants.

    It’s like Captain Joseph Hazelwood, drunk on his fuckin ass, puts the whiskey bottle down, 2 minutes after wrecking the Exxon Valdez and starts bitching about how long it is taking to clean up the mess. The media Progressive Pack dogs that gave your boy Obama a pass, continue to pretend that one of the most, if not the most, calamitous pieces of legislation ever passed is a boon to the economy and is working well.

    It’s insane. By any measure of any reasonable human being, no matter how much the great majority of people who actually paid for health care out of their pockets hated Health Care, those folks in the private sector, hate it worse now.

    Your identification with your butt buddies in Hollywood and a talk show host who gets his talking points from Chuck Schumer and who became famous on “The Man Show” is a rhetorical make believe affectation of a hoped for symbiosis to your betters.

    Jimmy Kimmel don’t know your azz moron.

  4. Things are sure going well in Venezuela! We should pool all of the money we earned in the private sector and buy tickets to go on vacation there!!

    Oh yeah, that’s right, we Captains of Industry never drew a check for an honest days work in our entire fuckin lives, so, let’s just go to Florida!!!

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