As I asked in the ill-fated interview I did a few weeks ago (which The GNR posted on youtube), is there no mystery any more? Do we really need to know everything about everyone? And why would we want to?
One of the best things about the internet is the opportunity it provides to re-invent ourselves, and be in charge of our own story. That liberating possibility is under pressure from powerful forces trying to censor, control and reduce what we can see. The starkest efforts are made by repressive regimes, but in ostensibly free societies, the control of information is far more sophisticated – actual censorship is rare.
The easy availability of vast swathes of information is also, on the whole, a positive development, but like any technology, it’s a tool – only as good as the skill/consciousness of the person/people using it.
There is a wealth of information available, but as the law of averages suggests, much of it is relatively useless, trivial or just incorrect. And almost all of it is subjective.
And I want to censor – or, at least, manage – information about myself….
For example, I am invited to share information about gigs and releases (and all manner of things about myself) on:
Unsigned Band Review
*I know, it’s like, “What is this – 2004?” Right?
**I know, it’s like “What is this – 1994?” Right?
***I know, it’s like “What is this – the golden age of print media?” Right?
****Yeah – Broadsheet approval….take THAT, all my school teachers.
Several of the above have pages/profiles of me that I did not set up, (and nor did anyone on my behalf/at my request…)
Some websites have my songs available to listen to or download, some have pictures of me, and information taken from other sources unknown to me.
I’m not particularly well-known, and yet there is all this information about me.
Obviously, I want people to hear the music, I’m not trying to hide it. I’m pleasantly surprised that people are interested.
And it’s better that you hear it for free than never hear it at all – I’m always more disappointed to find poorly-written descriptions of the music, or bad photos, or misleading, out-of-date information.
Also, I’ve always been perversely impressed by the openness of people who share their mobile number, address, relationship status, simple-minded views on complex problems and other personal info online. Good for them, I thought, living their lives in public. Like a celebrity, of sorts.
Looks like Andy Warhol was right all along.
And you thought he was a talent-less, cynical hack. What are you like?
So, there’s a load of information about little-old-me.
And yet, when I was a child, I didn’t even know when Morrissey was playing the Colston Hall.
Surely some balance can be struck…?
No, let’s just burn the whole thing to the ground and start again, eh?
That usually works. Not that I’ve done any research – the Hall Of Records was mysteriously burned down several decades ago.
All that being said, I’ll use this forum as well: I’m playing at The Croft tonight – here’s the details.
Now that’s cross-referencing. Boom.
NB: I researched this by googling my own name, which is a very bad idea.
Don’t try it at home, kids.