I don’t have a publicist and so I rely on the kindness of friends to spread the word about my new book, Outlaw Blues; Adventures in the Counter-Culture Wars. Its been pretty well reviewed and has been in the number one spot on the I Bookstore Arts and Entertainment chart for a while. The book is a history of the role of artists from Mark Twain to Bob Dylan in shaping our culture and our politics. It has over 100 embedded videos that help guide you through the culture. The Wall Street Journal thought it was a technological breakthrough in the E book world.
So I figured Wired Magazine might be interested in this new form. But when a friend inquired of an editor there, the word came back that “they were aware of the book, but it was not a good fit.” I should have known. The last chapter of the book takes on the question of the future of America as a knowledge society in a world where knowledge is being devalued. How can you build a society that’s great at making music, movies and video games if the rest of the world thinks these objects of desire should be free? And of course the main proponent of this view is none other than Wired’s Editor in Chief, Chris Anderson, whose most recent book is titled, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. I was pretty hard on Anderson in the book, going so far as to quote Malcolm Gladwell’s famous query from the New Yorker.
“It would be nice to know, as well, just how a business goes about reorganizing itself around getting people to work for “non-monetary rewards.” Does he mean that the New York Times should be staffed by volunteers, like Meals on Wheels? Anderson’s reference to people who ‘prefer to buy their music online’ carries the faint suggestion that refraining from theft should be considered a mere preference.”
So I guess Wired is run like the old Soviet Politburo. If you are not willing to spout the party line of Free Culture and Techno-utopianism, you don’t exist.
“Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”