Friday, November 19, 2010

Flipping a Coin

In the past, there were minstrels, bards, poets and travelling troupes, puppetmen and whatever the hell. These people were the entire entertainment industry.

They were the movies and the songs. In those early, early days, the stories and the songs and the poems were the stars and the performers are only as good as the tale that was told, or song that was sung.

People would come, and give them milk and potatoes and bread and sometimes meat. After money was invented, they were given coins. By passers-by.

Sometimes, in some places, the performers would work for food or lodging. This happened more often than not.

Go do your own research online. You will find this to be true. Some of it.

Today, we have a more complex system, based on that very simple model.

No one talks about vaudeville anymore. Or bangsawan. Or makyung.

Our vaudevilles, bangsawans and makyungs are now sent via fibre-optic cables and electromagnetic signals. Encased in a plastic disc with a thin metal backing which is full of tiny, tiny holes, are DVDs of complex stage performances or many concertos and symphonies.

That, or magnetic discs.

But the system remains the same. People throw a pittance at these works, ensuring they would live to sing or write or read another day.

Seeing things this way makes me depressed. I want to die now.