Click Here for the Altrok Home pageClick Here for the Rant ArchiveAltrok Radio: On the web and at WRSU-FM 88.7, New Brunswick, NJNY/NJ Area Shows That MatterAltrok Swag: T-Shirts, Mugs, Bags and (of course) Thongs.Viral Guerilla Marketing: Help Us Make Altrok Ubiquitous.A parade of items and links that enrich your Altrok Lifestyle.Send feedback to Altrok

Music Savaged By The Average Beast

Listen Now to Altrok Web Radio
(Or just look at what's playing.)

Subscribe to
Altrok's Discussion List
Powered by

for July 11, 2003

Click here or scroll down
for today's rant...

Right now on our web station.
Or check out our weekly FM Radio Showcase at:
WBJB-FM 90.5 The Night, Lincroft, NJ
Fridays, 10PM Eastern
Online at

[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]

Remember To Get A Receipt
by Sean Carolan

We were recently up in arms about the FCC's move to blow away broadcast ownership rules, which would allow big media companies to get even bigger, even though there was a slight pullback from allowing a complete free-for-all in the media marketplace. I say "pullback" because the current direction of the FCC chief is that there should be no restrictions at all. Even the significantly more conglomerate-friendly restrictions that they passed, and that Congress seems tentatively interested in reigning in, are more restrictive than that.
So the question comes up: what's so bad about that? The media conglomerates provide programming that entertains a measurably vast majority of the citizens of this country. Why shouldn't they be allowed to make as much money as they can doing it?
As background, I can do nothing better than point to the following extended quote from Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting. While he was specifically referring to the use of Personal Video Recorders that allow you to skip commercials ("spots" in the vernacular), I think it sheds some light on how these stewards of the public airwaves would prefer to conduct business:
"Your contract with the network when you get the show is you're going to watch the spots. Otherwise you couldn't get the show on an ad-supported basis. Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming."
"I guess there's a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom. But if you formalize it and you create a device that skips certain second increments, you've got that only for one reason, unless you go to the bathroom for 30 seconds. They've done that just to make it easy for someone to skip a commercial."
Let's be frank here: I have no contract with the network, and if I did, it wouldn't be smart of me to give up my ability to go to the bathroom just to watrch another episode of "Angel".
The fact is, they're not just interested in money, they're interested in removing any and all barriers that exist to their making more of it, and throwing up as many barriers as possible to any personal rights that may result in their making less of it. Which I suppose, ultimately, *is* a way of saying they're only interested in money.
Kellner's pull-quote is an example of that. It betrays an attitude that regards personal freedoms as a good idea, maybe, but not if they reduce the bottom line. If there's a restriction on him that harms that, he's against it. If there's a restriction on people that works on his behalf, he's for it. He's solely focused on his business case, regardless of whose choices get stomped on along the way.
That attitude has left us with corporations that perform as headless monsters, about as intelligent as moss that only knows to grow in the direction of moisture. These monsters only know how to grow in the direction of money, and are completely unaware of any other incentive (corporate citizenship, making the world a better place, etc., etc.) that might endear them to the people by whose will, both regulatory and market-wise, they exist in the first place. That's why we'd best not release the pressure on Congress to get the current FCC tenor changed, not to mention keeping up the pressure on corporate reform. We are the people from whom the power of our government derives, but we've allowed ourselves to become absentee landlords.
It's safe to assume that Mr. Kellner's opinion is indicative of many in the media world. Perhaps it would be best to be sure they are keenly aware that their ability to broadcast their shows and their commercials has been granted by the good will of the people of this country. As I said, I have no contract with the network. They, however, have a contract with us; the government, in the form of the FCC, is supposed to be acting as an agent on our behalf, so it appears reminders are due all around.
As they say in driving class, "It's not a right, it's a privilege." And (admittedly, with difficulty) it can be taken away if it is abused.
And as for Kellner personally, the jerk cancelled Animaniacs, Freakazoid, and Pinky & The Brain. There's no hell hot enough for the likes of him.

©2003 Sean Carolan

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter

Friday, May 29, 2020
Polaris at The Foundry, Philly (POSTPONED)
Connor Bracken & The Mother Leeds Band, Jaron Clemons & The Late Nights, Morningside Lane and more at House Of Independents (POSTPONED TILL AUG 21)
Lucinda Williams at City Winery (Pier 57) (POSTPONED)
Peter Wolf & The Midnight Travelers at Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown NY (POSTPONED)
Bobby Cochran at Paramount Theatre (POSTPONED)
Bobby Bandiera: Runnin Down A Dream at Count Basie Center For The Arts (RESCHEDULED FROM MARCH 13) (POSTPONED)
More NY/NJ Shows That Matter

ALTROK Ordinals

ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
Datarock - True Stories
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue

Viral Guerilla Marketing Tools


ALTROK talks about music, but that job isn't done 'til you make it your own...

ALTROK is a member of the Associates Program.
Click here to buy there, and help support ALTROK in the process.


You've read the rants, you've listened to the streams...
ALTROK swag! click on the t-shirt to pick up the swag!

[Error Creating Counter File -- Click for more info]