Mainstream Entertainment Is A Rip-Off!

By Justine Manzano

     After reading the Comic Conundrum, by Melissa Minners, I found that I was spurned into anger.  I have come to one conclusionóthe entirety of the mainstream media and entertainment industry is ripping us off.  All you hear nowadays is the backlash of the audience ripping the entertainment industry off through downloads and pirating and burned CDís.  I say, screw that!  ďThe IndustryĒ has been screwing us for yearsówhy not focus a bit on that?

     I donít even have to touch on the comic book insanity, as it has already been touched upon, and books, while occasionally re-released with an unnecessary but highly touted forward, usually donít buy into the media tricks often employed by the other lovely sections of media. So here, I present to you the three sections of the underhanded conspiracy: The Music Industry, The Movie Industry and The Television Industry.

The Music Industry:  I first started to pay attention to this particular conspirator after the release of The U2 Ipod, which could be purchased with The Complete U2 Album, featuring a few rare and unreleased songs and the entire musical career of U2.  The set includes 445 songs for $149.  What they donít tell you is that the poor schmuck who buys this album will have to listen to an astounding 15 versions (remixed, live, and original) of Discotheque, 11 of Even Better Than The Real Thing and 7 of Elevation, plus many other duplicates.  Iím thinking that there are too many versions of a song if I can get on a train in Manhattan with Discotheque on, fall asleep, and wake up in the Bronx with Discotheque onóthatís simply not cool, and while the Boxed Set has itís enthusiasts and people who long to hear twelve versions of the especially odd U2 song, Lemon, I was not one of them.

     Another thing Iíve noticed about the music industry is their tendencies to release remixes everywhere you can hear music.  They never sell them, but they have you going for a month searching anywhere you can for a song that they valiantly declared would never be releasedóbut it is, three months later as part of an album entitled Blank Artist: The Remixes, and there you are, scrounging up singles you thought it would be on for no reason, because they are lying to you!  How many millions of people felt stupid for buying Usherís first release of Confessions, only to watch as he released a Special Edition, with three extra songs on it, including the Alicia Keys duet, My Boo?  If I were an Usher fan, I would have been pretty pissed.  Which leads me toÖ

The Movie Industry: This particular brand of thief was mostly covered in Melissa Minnersís rant, No Money Honey, but thereís something she didnít coveróthe blatant rip-off known as ďThe Special EditionĒ.  How many times has George Lucas reeled us in?  I canít even count how many different ways I own the original Star Wars Trilogy!  This is the one that tends to reel me in the easiest, so Iím the angriest about it.  I love my movies, so the minute something great I saw in the theatres comes out on DVD, Iím first in line for the saleóand that makes me a fool.  The sad truth is that DVDís are greatly under stocked when it comes to Special Features, in the hopes that a new, loaded version of the movie can come out on DVD, and people will buy it.  The News Flash is that people like meóthe sad ones who barely have the money to buy the movie the first time aroundódonít buy the Special Edition, we simply get jipped on the cool stuffóand that hurts.

The Television Industry: I canít count the number of times I have growled to my co-workers about the stagnation of the brain called reality television!  It pulls away from all intelligent and original programming these days.  Original thinkers are not encouraged, unless when cancelled, the original thinkers can make you a sweet monetary deal on DVD sales.  And who wouldnít buy a DVD of a series that was loved, but cut down in itís prime?   Especially when the final episodes can only be found there?  Pretty soon, we will be watching all of our television in straight to DVD sales, while the networks air reality series, which will then also be sold as DVDís because a select few canít just see Survivor once, but have to watch it again and see if itíll end differently on DVD.  Itís a contestócontests are just not interesting the second time around, but weíll still try to sell them that way, wonít we?

     In the end, itís all understandableóďThe IndustryĒ has to make itís money back and we have to be a little more careful about what we consume, maybe wait out our favorite movies for The Collector Edition.  But, in a world where the regular Joe is constantly being accused for the loss of money in ďThe IndustryĒ, I canít settle for taking all of the blame.  This is everybodyís fault, so letís not shorthand it.  Blame EveryoneóItís the American Way, and donít we love it!

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