Feed on

Just saw the 3 oclock showing of the Rip movie.  Good stuff!  I was worried at the start; it seemed a bit like a less-nuanced version of a lot of the material we’ve covered already.  That “CopyRIGHT” and “CopyLEFT” business, for one, was pretty brazen and kinda oversimplified, I thought.  Basically, he boiled every problem with intellectual property in our culture down to corporate greed and oppression, which ignores the part we all play in these problems by supporting the established norms.

But I really got into the film as it went along, and I think it’s unsubtle flashiness was one of its strengths.  It did more or less cover stuff we’ve already talked about, w/ Lessig’s book and our related discussions, but it did it concisely and compellingly, and his knack for visual flare and seamless integration of bits and pieces of borrowed culture was really impressive.  I think the “culture crusader” tone that the film takes on is different than, say, Lessig’s reasoned and measured take, but one is not necessarily better or worse.  I think that tone in Rip might even be better suited to empowering and inspiring people to take charge of their own consumption of culture, which is what he was aiming to do.

I certainly felt inspired leaving the film, and even a little proud of the piece of electronic music I’ve been working on lately, which samples “Sycamore Trees” by Jimmy Scott, a song which I heard through its use in a Twin Peaks episode.  I had kind of taken the fact that I was essentially remixing this song for granted, probably because doing it for an obscure song like that feels different from remixing/’ripping off’ Lady Gaga or whoever — artists on the scale of the ones that Girl Talk uses in his remixes.  But watching this film reminded me that doing this can be a ‘culturally significant’ act…I think?  Since I’ve grown up with this kind of thing all around me, it doesn’t feel like this big ideological stand (unlike the M.L.F. guy’s actions, which were hilarious and badass), but I guess I should take pride in my little participation in R/W culture.

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