As we were once empowered by the printing press, the King was outraged that the commoners would be able to read the Bible and not have to go through the Church or him. What sacrilege to even think of such heresy.
Now, we the people are truly in power, as the internet has provided us with the ability to communicate unrestricted, to some degree, with our peers and we can read and listen to all we desire. The internet has dissolved the necessity for the aging middleman model, the behind the scenes greasy, talentless manipulator that pushed boxes around for a living, controlling distribution and strong-arming frightened merchants into sales control and price fixing.
With distribution torn from the dying hands of bloated, sinking corporations who refused to evolve with the internet. The music industry as an obvious example. It wasn’t that they didn’t see the writing on the wall, more that they refused to release control. A lifetime of shoving CDs at us with huge profits while slicing crumbs off for musicians is hardly easy junk to stop.
While the music corporations cried spilt milk, others were waiting in the sidelines to take advantage of an obvious opportunity to give the people what they wanted and gain control of distribution. The option of distributing music CDs via truck to brick and mortar has faded to the past as easily as the milk truck driver that once brought us cold, white milk to the door in clean, glass bottles.
iTunes sales soared into the millions and new jobs were created. Artists found another middleman to serve their needs, forcing resentful middlemen to retire to their town homes and trophy wives. All was good when the dust settled.
Was it the end of the world? No, it wasn’t.
Now, unified with our power of consumerism, we can once again create change in a direction more of our own choosing. We must change the face of commerce again: edge out the middleman, block out corporations from sales and profits.
Do you have a favorite band? Buy their music directly from them, ask for it. Tell them what you want. You will get it cheaper and they will make more money. The middle man can go fishing or find new work.
There are painters we have never met or seen, but over the internet you can buy a print, tell him how great he is and buy him that bourbon he needs to get that new painting done. No store, no overhead, no jacked up prices. And maybe where that store was, we could put a nice plot of grass with a tree so we could create some air to breath.
Download a book, directly from the author. There, you have become a patron of the arts. That wasn’t too hard was it? And no one got hurt.
It’s an evolving terrain that we must embrace and enjoy.
Like any child we have to learn independence and responsibility one day.