Monday, October 10, 2011

The Rhetoric of Arrogance

This hateful son-of-a-bitch asks the most outrageous of things from
record companies: fair payment of royalties. How ridiculous and
presumptuous of this menace. Let him eat cake!
So, you kids dreamed of being a professional rock musician? Be glad the gods never punished you.

From the RF diary Thursday, 29th September 2011 :

Now, onto OMG! – it’s UMG. The latest development in this sad example of a large company, making a series of mistakes which it initially denied, then grudgingly fiddled with and acknowledged some culpability, followed by more denials, obfuscations, threats, bullying and an Outside Lawyer Man sent in to settle with us for a fraction of what is properly due. An Outside Lawyer man because the issue is not worthy of UMG staff’s time, let alone the time of Power Possessor Numero Uno.

Nevertheless, the three principals of two small companies, Panegyric and DGM, are themselves dealing with the repercussions of deliberate slipperynesses at considerable cost to our creative and business endeavours. Guestbook posters who ask – why don’t you do XYZ and undertake these wonderful wheezes to delight your loyal and engaged customers? – now have one clear answer as to how several worthwhile projects are not projecting, with or without a K: we are being diddled and dissed by the largest music group in the world.

When we act badly, we hurt other people. When we know we have acted badly, and persist with the course of action generated by our bad behavior, other people get more than hurt: their sense of decency is offended, their confidence in social and professional norms undermined. Where the larger business culture accepts bad practice as standard practice, such as in the music industry (within my direct experience), and financial services (some within and mostly without my personal experience), the larger society becomes unsustainable, in the longer term. In the medium term, there is increasing breakdown. In the short term, there are resorts to conventional forms of redress, both formal and informal.

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