Friday, 7 September 2007

A Reason To Buy

When I was young (so much younger than today…) I had a voracious appetite for buying music, funds allowing. I didn’t give any thought to the ethical implications of what I was buying at all; I just did it on the basis that I liked it. This of course is all very laudable but I dare say that I have funded the debauched lifestyle of many a layabout over the years as a result.

Since those early years, my propensity to amass CDs has not really waned significantly but now in my approaching old age I am beginning to have second thoughts about some prospective purchases. In fact I am beginning to formulate a sort of ethical purchasing policy. Hmm, very rock ‘n’ roll!

In general, my new purchasing policy is that I would rather give money to those that I think deserve it and not to those that don’t really need it. I do have a get out clause which states that the music always takes preference but in general I am a little more thoughtful these days. This newfound righteousness has rather surprised me. Let me give you a couple of examples.

The first is the case of the Rolling Stones. Those of you who have read my book will know that I only own one Stones album, bought out of guilt because I didn’t have any for many years and felt that I should. However, I have made up my mind that I will not buy any more, not because I don’t like the music (up to mid 1970s only at least) but because I can’t stand the thought of contributing to the already bloated pension fund of messrs Jagger and Co. They already have money, fame, knighthoods and for what?

The second case is that of the Dixie Chicks. Before 2003, the Chicks had a burgeoning career in the Country/Pop field until one moment, which took place in Shepherd’s Bush, London at the start of a European tour, when they criticised George Bush on stage. From that moment their career imploded, their tour audiences halved, CDs were burned in the streets and they received death threats. This is in the supposedly freedom of speech embracing West.

Four years later they swept the board at the 2007 Grammy’s and sung ‘I’m Not Ready to Make Nice’ to a cheering audience. How times change. In the meantime I bought several of their CDs as a statement of support, even though I’m not mad about their music.

So it has come to this. I am now buying music that I don’t like for the right reasons rather than buying music I do like for the wrong ones. Perhaps I need to rethink this!

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