One of the many wise things my brother-in-law (Uncle Mike) said to me was this:
“The ideas people always end up getting fucked by the money people.”
The occasion of his utterance was many years ago, when the
vulture venture capitalists were giving me the runaround with funding — in essence, they thought my business plan was great, as long as I changed the product, its marketing and its target market — and when I refused to change anything, they promised to release the funds… after six months’ further study. Result (as Longtime Readers may remember): a third of a million dollars’ savings lost, staff laid off, followed by ruin and bankruptcy.
The same is true not just of venture capital gnomes, though. It is a fact of life in the music business, where creative people are happy just to get an opportunity to create music, make albums and perform at concerts for their fans; while in the background the loathsome accountants and managers collect the money, demand more and more “product” from the artists, and try to justify their greed and rapacity by pleading that they “invest” in the artists and are therefore entitled to a return on their investment.
I recently watched the biopic of the late Amy Winehouse, the British jazz singer and ultimate Train Smash Woman, on Netflix. I would urge everyone to watch it — if you can stomach it all the way through — to see exactly what I’m talking about in the previous paragraph. All Amy had was boundless talent; all she lacked was maturity, commonsense, guidance, protection and security, and nobody ever helped her by giving her any of it. Instead, her life was one long catalog of exploitation, enabling and vampire-like sucking of everything she had, with the predictable outcome. And she didn’t deserve any of it. To say Amy was vulnerable would be guilty of gross understatement, and her world treated her like a sadist would kick a newborn puppy, just because the squeals sounded good.
Here’s my comment on the tragedy of Amy Winehouse:
Every single person involved in this vulnerable young woman’s sad life: her “friends”, her producers, her record company’s executives, her “bodyguards”, the press reporters and paparazzi who hounded her every move, her husband, and most especially her father — every single one of them deserves to be put into the stocks and beaten with heavy chains. For hours.