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Do Free Concerts in the Park (and Subway Buskers) Destroy The Market For Symphony Orchestras & CDs? - Nothing New Under The Sun
(the ARX acta diurna)
Do Free Concerts in the Park (and Subway Buskers) Destroy The Market For Symphony Orchestras & CDs?
or, "I prefer 'Digital Canaille,' myself"--

In response to the response to that rather astonishingly-elitist, as well as -clueless, rant* by narcissist extraordinaire Dr. Howard V. Hendrix, outgoing veep (not a peeve!) of SFWA and author of a whole bunch of books I never heard of let alone read, I'm posting this a little bit earlier than I meant - yes, I could tweak it some more (& probably will given my perfectionist streak), but really it's pretty close to what I was trying to do and nobody but me will notice the niggling little places where I forgot to apply a bump map or could throw another gradient burn on to bring out a highlight etc--

Bluebeard's Bride, illustrated short-short story, 2.7MB PDF, 10"x16" [should be printable on tabloid/A3 size paper] Hi-res version of the "Bluebeard's Bride" illumination here [10.7MB PDF]; warnings: mild (museum-quality) nudity, "dark" themes--

I had planned to post it anyway when I was done - or repost, rather because regulars will recognize it as a parable-vignette I posted a longtime back as a blog entry, but it's now illustrated in CGI via the [freeware] 3d program Daz Studio and my old purchased copies of Photoshop 4 and Carrara 1.1, but according to the very loose "rules" set down for the First Annual International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day by papersky (aka Jo Walton) things reposted are okay and this is definitely with "added value" since I'm not really sure how many hours this was (excluding renders which I usually set to do while I was asleep/at work/doing chores) but it was a good few, as this was a "learning"/test piece for me (I can't do tutorials, I get bored/frustrated too easily) to figure out CGI and have something useful at the end of it.

Again, I was already planning to give it away - having been a "pixel-stained technopeasant wretch" from the beginning, what with first ffnet and then my own website, I've never been paid for my writing beyond the sporadic donations from readers via my Paypal button (the digital equivalent of a hat on the sidewalk or open fiddle case?) the one time I sent something off to magazines getting me (eventually) rejection letters for all the money I spent on photocopies and postage; however, I have been paid for illustration, altho' I've never (yet) done CGI professionally, still it's all the same thing in a different medium.

So yes, this is (for me) giving away professional-quality work, even if I don't forsee any sitch in which I would be paid for this piece--I intend to write a longer rant on the problem of elitist academics sneering at the "rabble" incoherent if pretentious insults privileged assholes who are charming to those they deem their peers and abusive schmucks to everyone else self-destructive idiots biting the hands that fed them clueless narcissists who think they can scattershot insult their peers without blowback how freebies do not destroy the market for paid items all of the above (all of which I am intimately familiar with!), but the traditional-in-hobbyist-CGI credits to the "Bluebeard's Bride" illo will show a little of that, and how appropriate this is for Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day...

·Architecture - "Mansion Staircase", free prop set w/texture graphics from Redhouse Studios via DAZ [reg req], plus some cubes & planes textured to match and a couple "scrims" made from tinted planes.

·The Bride - Aiko 3 LE, free figure from DAZ, facial features tweaked with morphs from Mapp's freebies and some photoshopping by me
--Hair: free "Updo2" byKozaburo, transparency remapped by me in Photoshop to fit A3.
--Gown: "Sweet Pea for A3" outfit by SWAM & Goldtassel from Renderosity, $9.00; textures tweaked by me in Photoshop
--Earrings/Pendant - from free "Freja" outfit by Eldritch aka Fredrik (not sure if supposed to link to his site or not, but I found it via google...)
--Gold "Baroque" chain - freebie courtesy of TrekkieGrrl
--Shoes (not seen in views shown) - free "Cinderella Slippers" from the 3dSC project imported as .obj files & refitted to A3
--Magical Key - freebie from Ness at DAZ, who definitely does not want his site linked to outside the "Freepository" forum.

·Andromeda/Angelica Statue - A3 LE again w/Mapp's morphs
--Hair: free from the Renaissance outfit for A3 by Eldritch aka Fredrik
--Teardrop - free from Eldritch's "Freja" set again
--Chains: free props from Mapp's site again
--Shackles - cylinders made inside DAZ and scaled/tilted to fit
--Rock spire - "Morphing Stalagmite" from the free --Dragon's Lair set at DAZ.
--Rock footing - pile of the Berets included with the giveaway download of Poser 5
--Plinth - more shapes made inside DAZ and scaled/grouped
--White Marble texture -generated with Spiral Graphics Genetica Viewer, a poorly-named but extremely useful program for both 3d and traditional 2D artists--

·"Marbleized Paper" background texture used overall: photoshopped channel derived from the Blue Rusted Metal texture in the Genetica Viewer.
·Fonts: body copy "Myriad Pro," included w/Windows on the computer that was a b'day gift last year; headline/display type free face "Moria Citadel" by Rook543, from 1001Fonts.com

Very, very simply, if there hadn't been all this free stuff, starting with the program, I wouldn't have gotten involved, and I wouldn't even have bought the very versatile, very cheap dress from the artists at Renderosity, or any of the few other things I have bought on my very limited budget, because I saw illustrative potential in them.

So no, in the amateur CGI world at least, giving away free stuff does not stop people
from buying things, but the reverse. --Or "au contraire" (as the man said on the boat when asked if he'd dined), which is real French, unlike "jerque-du-cercle"...

PS: If anyone wants the full-res version let me know, I forgot to pack it today on my flash drive, sitespace & bandwidth not a problem, but it is 10+MB.

PPS: another shout-out to my wonderful webhosts, Digitalspacewho are FAR superior to any free host I've ever found out there, just spend the US$3.00/$7.00 per month and save yourselves the misery of banners/popups/losing your site due to getting TORN'd for bandwidth/etc.

The cluelessness is raised to the 10th Power in his followup whinge, btw. Oldtimers, it's even funnier than the FW squealing at getting mocked back (at least, I find supposedly-adult academics w/PhDs acting like 4 year olds funnier...)

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7 comments or Leave a comment
satismagic From: satismagic Date: April 24th, 2007 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
But don't you know that nothing that's free is worth anything? To be even more precise: that -you- are worth only something if you get paid?

More often than not, when the conversation touches upon my efforts concerning my writing, the first question is "Can you make money with that?"

I do love capitalism, and I do prefer the liberty that comes with the pressures of a free market to the security of communist prisons. But the equation value = monetary value is ... repulsive to me.

Would that guy post the same rant about a Luddite story teller at the street corner who really only puts his hat on the ground? Or is this not about "webscabs" and freebies at all - maybe he's just pissed that some people are a) more generous than he is and b) better at modern marketing than he is?
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 24th, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Seriously, I think that a lot of it is that he's just a technophobe

and so bloody arrogant^h^h^h^h^h pitifully insecure both that he can't just say "I'm not up to dealing with all these strangers who I know have to know are out there, I'm not up to dealing with a plethora of humans [which I can't control and dominate unlike in a classroom setting or my office underlings], I'm just going to stay out here and enjoy myself in my remote estate and avoid strangers because I can't hack the hubbub of the agora" - which is a perfectly legitimate feeling to have, one I have often had myself, but you know, you shouldn't try to elevate your own private likes, dislikes, feelings and inabilities to the level of The True Human Norm, which is what Hendrix is doing here. Because, you know, he's such a superior being {high & lonely destiny} that he can't just be like us mere mortals and go "whatevah, not my cuppa but hey, if it floats your boat more power to ya," because that would make it seem like he was just as subjective and irrational in his quirks as any other chap/chappess out there in the herd of vulgar plebs...

--Again, I'm *very* familiar with this among liberal arts types, on a terribly personal level, this is giving me intense deja vu without the bad flashback sensation I often get (as with the Alec Baldwin paternal rage) because, you know, what's Hendrix to me or me to Hendrix? A cat can laugh at a king &c.
From: deiseach Date: April 24th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's the money, honey

Welcome back! Good to see you posting again, and being on here will keep me out of the arguments I've been getting into on other sites :-)

Now - Howard, Howard, Howard. "Webscabs"? Them's fightin' words! And may I say, in parenthesis, comparing oneself to George Armstrong Custer is maybe not a good omen, considering what befell Old Yellow-hair?

But I digress. I've seen symptoms of this, and here's the full-blown case: giving work away for free. Taking the bread out of the mouths of his starving children (though, come to think of it, he doesn't mention any nippers in his mountain-dwelling, tree-chopping existence). Not getting paid? How dare they!

I've seen a similar attack on fanfiction writers by a 'professional novelist', whose main claim to fame which he plumed himself upon was that he was an author of science fiction tie-in novelisations. Yes, well... given the state of cynical hackery and plain money-grubbing whoring that writing tie-in novels involves, pot meet kettle, hmmm?

And again, the big deal was that 'they do it for nothing; I am a paid professional!'. Now, granted, there's many's the godawful thing oozed out of the dank recesses of the id under the name of fanfiction, but the vitriol that commenters poured upon fanfic was astounding - and the worst of it came from those who started off by describing themselves as 'professional authors' or want to be professionals, at least.

This, I think, is indeed the main bone of contention. Why pay out a good hunk of cash for a book that may or may not be well-written (sorry, bubs, but being a professional does not automatically mean deathless works of immortal literature emanate from your pen or word processor), may or may not have an understanding of, let alone sympathy with, the fandom they are being written in, and may or may not totally treat the characters with utter contempt, when you can get badly written drivel free, gratis and for nothing on the net? When you can get some damn fine writing free, gratis and for nothing, besides?

And so the fear here, I ween, is that with the advent of accessible technology for the masses (and the irony of a skiffy writer being a technophobe - well, does it need comment?) means that for Howard and chums, "Othello's occupation's gone."
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 25th, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

That's the spur, yes, but!

he reveals a great deal of personal anger/insecurity that ranges FAAAAR beyond the "You're Taking My Stuff!!!1! [even if it isn't yet mine and under no conceivable logic can I be said to have any intrinsic right to it]" cause for war: he has to take great pains, note, to point out repeatedly how much he LOATHES the uncontrolled discourse of the internet, with multiple cute coined insults for people who do so - and then he goes "oh my, I didn't MEAN to insult anyone! I am a Poor Pitiful MARTYR!" when people take umbrage at being wholesale mocked as "wikicliki jerque-du-circle technopeasant wretches".

Guy has issues in lumps, in fact - there's the "No One Of You Mere Non-Doctorate-Having, Non-Estate-Owning Arrant Twerps Is My Peer, Goddamit, I Am A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE EVEN AMONG SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES!!1!" thing of his "great unwashed" jabs, and then the "How Dare You Arrant Landless Unmatriculated Twerps Have The Nerve To Compete With Me Financially In The Market WHICH I AM ENTITLED TO HOLD CLOSE AS AN OVER-EDITOR!?!?" thing, both of which meld in the Technoagoraphobia of "How Dare You Unwashed Landless Degreeless Thieving Twerps MOCK MY MOCKING OF YOU AS UNWASHED LANDLESS DEGREELESS THIEVES!?!"

He really doesn't understand that to be a One mocking The Mob, you a) better have really good armour, b) an even more cast-iron nerve. Neither Patrician nor Vimes, he...
From: deiseach Date: April 25th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Increasingly, the letters "BS" make me automatically think...

..."Degree in BullShit", seeing as how so blinkin' many idiots adduce them as proof of their edumacated sophistication before spouting rubbish.

And the guy can't even get his insults right, to boot: surely it should be 'Cercle du Jerque' not 'Jerque du Cercle' (saving he means to imply that *he* is the Jerque in question, to which I bite my tongue because shooting fish in a barrel is just too easy to be fun anymore.)

The two posts reek of a sense of entitlement: (a) I'm a Professional Author with many years in the business under my belt, and I've got two - count 'em, two! - agents (b) I'm a VP of the SWFA (c) who are all these lumpen proles using electricity to do strange and unwonted feats? (d) the SWFA is a professional organisation for professionals, dagnabbit! which means they should spend their time in literary logrolling, backstabbing, schmoozing agents, networking, and screwing the maximum amount of dosh out of the bloated plutocrats who have ripped great bleeding gobbets out of the publishing market, lumped them all together through a wave of amalgamations, mergers, and closures, and will only throw $$$$ in advances at cast-iron guaranteed to sell a million and be picked up for film rights by seasoned pros who've been churning this kind of rip-off stuff out for yonks, not talking with fans and lovers of the genre and the folks who actually fork over their dollars, pounds, yen and euros for the books.

I've never heard of this bloke, his books, his films(?), his criticism, and frankly, chopping wood on the side of a mountain is the best place for him.
miracleofbeing From: miracleofbeing Date: April 24th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes reading your posts reminds me of things that I've forgotten, or ignored, or should have been paying attention to. Sometimes they just make me smile. This was in both categories.

So. Thank you.

(PS.- I've been posting poetry and songs online for free since I was 15. Does this mean I've been a Technopeasant Wretch for over a decade now?)
bellatrys From: bellatrys Date: April 25th, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yup! think of all the money you stole from Norton/Random House/NAG all these years!

I think that the real problems with Dr. Hendrix' relative obscurity can be explained, not by the fact that "the masses" are giving their art away, but in the Amazon reviews of his novels, wherein (a very few) people point out that they a) have interesting concepts, and are eminently b) predictable, c) implausible, sometimes going on to add words like "pretentious" to boot, along with "don't waste your time!" And this is *despite* him having a page-long bibliography listed for them!

I think this *also* explains his problem with the online agora.
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