This week's installment of the Presidential iPod Commission is a fine ditty from the young indie rock sage Bright Eyes. Bright Eyes is the musical vehicle of Conor Oberst, a young singer-songwriter from Nebraska. Looking like a young Bob Dylan, he actually performed When The President Talks to God on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno a few weeks ago. You may download a free mp3 of the song and watch the video of the Tonight Show performance here. Don't ask me how or why NBC (General Electric) gave him airtime. The executives probably never listened to the song.
I'm glad he received that exposure. The song deserves it.
When the president talks to God Are the conversations brief or long? Does he ask to rape our women's rights And send poor farm kids off to die? Does God suggest an oil hike When the president talks to God?
When the president talks to God Are the consonants all hard or soft? Is he resolute all down the line? Is every issue black or white? Does what God say ever change his mind When the president talks to God?
When the president talks to God Does he fake that drawl or merely nod? Agree which convicts should be killed? Where prisons should be built and filled? Which voter fraud must be concealed When the president talks to God?
When the president talks to God I wonder which one plays the better cop We should find some jobs. the ghetto's broke No, they're lazy, George, I say we don't Just give 'em more liquor stores and dirty coke That's what God recommends
When the president talks to God Do they drink near beer and go play golf While they pick which countries to invade Which Muslim souls still can be saved? I guess god just calls a spade a spade When the president talks to God
When the president talks to God Does he ever think that maybe he's not? That that voice is just inside his head When he kneels next to the presidential bed Does he ever smell his own bullshit When the president talks to God?
I doubt it
I doubt it
I doubt it too. What do you think God tells President Bush?
My email box today pointed me toward a press release from CEA, the Consumer Electronics Association, about how they and other consumer groups are reacting to the FCC's recent mandate that all television sets manufacturered after 2007 must include a digital television tuner. For the record the FCC has rolled out the dates over several years, as explained here, depending upon the size of the picture tube.
As expected the masses aren't happy for a variety of reason, including how the cost of the new DTV tuner will increase the cost of a home television $200 for the average Joe-or-Jane on the street.
One other item is also on the endangered species list no one is mentioning is: Your VCR.
Yes I know many of you are interested in your Tivos. But in the real world of editing and packing away news and shows on the fly, there is NOTHING that beats the ease and economy of slapping a tape in the recorder and hitting RECORD. Remember... those TV types (AOL/TW, Disney, and the special interest groups including the major networks) are trying to make it impossible for you to be able to store and record your shows by infecting the signal you receive. This will make it impossible for you to recall and replay them later with something like a home DVD Recorder. If everything the FCC wants to do to you goes off on schedule the tuner in your VCR or any older device won't work with DTV either. Lovely huh?
They are required reading. If you haven't read them yet, go read them now. Each is a 100-car freight train packed with Grade A clues.
The second piece makes a modest and brilliant challenge to the record companies: Create a giant download site filled with everything out of print, charge a quarter per download, share the proceeds with the artists, composers and heirs, and see what happens.
She's betting that all kinds of good discoveries even whole new sub-industries will come out of it.
I'm sure she's right.
This is where I'd normally add some snarky remark about the record companies. But I won't this time. I'm curious to see what their response will be.
Thanks to Dean, Dave and many others for the pointer.
[Later...] The contrarian views are coming in. Here's Arnold Kling's. I agree with him that "in the next 5-10 years we will have bypassed the music industry entirely." But there is still a fight going on now, and it's good to welcome Janis and her ideas to it.