"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pimping Teens

One generally doesn't view MTV, VH1 and the music industry in general as prostitution rings. On paper they're not but for practical purposes they are.

Talented musicians are everywhere. Marketed, bling-ladened musicians are about as prevalant as bird flu deaths. In other words, there aren't many. Record companies tend to pump millions of dollars into a handful of acts that they hope to become the next Beatles or Brittany, while overlooking the gads of talent that don't titillate the corporate inner-muses as much.

After the handful of hopefuls--the Mariahs, Madonnas and Ricky Martins before they're "somebodies"--are bankrolled, the propaganda machine swings into overdrive. CDs are cut, tours are booked, interviews are arranged, tee-shirts are airbrushed, PR releases are, well, released, and then the public votes up or down with its collective wallet. This method has been the preferred method over the signing of multiple bands and throwing small aliquots of money at them.

Once on MTV the stars and stars-to-be strut their wares believing they're somebody the world can't do without. Said stars may note the percentage of acts MTV panders to once crows feet don the eyes and the benefits of estrogen are overrun by father time. For every Aerosmith and Rolling Stoned (see: rockers, geriatric) there's a Scorpions, Bee Gees and Pat Travers Band. Todays stars are tomorrow's "Where are they now?" material. Much like a pimp trots out ladies of the early-, mid- and late-evening for a cut of their income, so MTV, VH1 and a vast percentage of the music industry trot out their own carefully vetted and selected "whores" without the decency of reminding them they ain't who they think they is.


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