Corporations Push Back Against Voting Laws By, Bob Lefsetz

Posted on April 3, 2021 by

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I guess corporations really are people. Or at least more powerful than people. And government too while we’re at it.

This is a sea change. Used to be government told corporations what to do, and people agitated and protested for change. But people have lost their individual power since the advent of the internet and government is so busy cozying up to business, giving tax advantages to locate in their state or town, that the script has flipped.

Our heroes, those who gain attention, run corporations, mostly techies, who are seen as cutting edge even though they’re cutthroat, and everyone at the bottom of the pyramid is paying fealty to those at the top, running the enterprise. Think about it, we collect sneakers, not records.

Americans have sacrificed their souls, and they’re looking to corporations to do their dirty work.

Not everyone. Stacey Abrams made a difference in Georgia. Only most people are unaware of her efforts. As for those lauded as being ubiquitous, they are not. Most definitely not musicians. Now, more than ever before, you can tune out someone’s music, there’s a good chance you’ll never encounter it. Used to be we all listened to the same radio stations, now younger generations don’t even listen to the radio, despite the constant drumbeat from the industry telling us otherwise. Everybody is on their own personal hejira, and if you’re not on their path, they don’t know about you and don’t care about you.

But it’s worse than that. The corporations have all the money. They’re the only ones who can provide a big score. You can’t make that much money in music, as an artist, your only hope is to hook up with a corporation in a sponsorship deal, essentially sacrificing your credibility, or selling clothing or perfume or merchandise, which muddies the water, after all aren’t artists supposed to be outside the straight business world, the antithesis of everything it stands for?

And since everyone’s looking for a buck, who provides them is key, and that’s the corporations. Everybody in America knows who runs Facebook and Apple, but even people in Los Angeles have no idea who runs the movie studios, never mind who runs the record labels. As for Live Nation, much of its revenue comes from corporate sponsorship. And Dodger Stadium seems to be the only edifice without a brand name attached. Even buildings themselves, they cannot go naked, tenants insist on advertising their presence on the facade.

This does not mean the individual has no power, but in a nation where it’s all about tribes, few are willing to stand alone. You’re supposed to sacrifice your rough edges to fit in. As for rough edges, most of the music purveyed has them to the point of unlistenability, except for the bland pop tunes that fill the airwaves and stick to no one. Come on, the greatest feature of Selena Gomez is she O.D.’ed. She’s a celebrity more than a music star. But she is pushed in front of us when there’s not really any there there. As for Ariana Grande…acts like this used to come and go, they were not triumphant, they were not lauded by the press, but in a world where there’s no one with any traction to hold up, media steps down and raises the profile of these wankers. As for the men? It’s about sex. And vapidity. In most cases base without irony. And you wonder why the public is dumb, who are their thought leaders?

And the corporations all have lobbyists. They write the laws in D.C., LITERALLY! And at first tech companies did without them, but no longer. In addition, the nitwits in Congress don’t understand their business, they hold informative hearings and then do nothing. You’ve got to laugh if you’re a Silicon Valley titan.

Quick, count how many languages iOS and Android come in! Meanwhile, half the country believes America comes first, it’s the Greatest Country in the World!, but they haven’t been anywhere else. And the other half wants to bring back manufacturing while they go to the big box store for low prices, abandoning the local merchant.

And although Zuckerberg is the most high profile tech exec, he’s in our lives every day, his stature is equaled by Elon Musk, who single-handedly revolutionized the car business. If you want to be hip, you buy a Tesla, you don’t talk about some nincompoop artist. Elon and his troops worked for years before they got traction, they even created and sold the now departed Roadster. Meanwhile, we’re supposed to believe barely pubescent musical acts are leaders who have something to say that we must pay attention to. As for their elders… Used to be a badge of honor to be educated, now everybody is dumb. You don’t have to go to school to learn, but most of these people know where the tattoo studio is, they can’t name the fifty states, never mind what goes on in them. If this makes me sound like Andy Rooney, the point is today’s younger generation has no idea who Andy Rooney was, and there is no replacement. The most powerful man in “news” is the charlatan known as Tucker Carlson, and if you believe what he has to say not only are you uninformed, you have no powers of analysis. As for the power of the corporation…people thought the power was in Bill O’Reilly, but it turns out it’s in the time slot, owned by Fox.

If you want to get anything done in this country you’ve got to get the corporations on board. The people nudged Delta and Coca-Cola in Georgia. Too late, of course, but corporations are not risk takers, they’re worried about jeopardizing their fortunes.

But twenty five years have taught us that disruption is inevitable, and most corporations have woken up and realized they depend on the customer, the individual, and they’d better satiate them. Of course these same corporations are cozying up to government, unlike artists, corporations can be two-faced. And unless their CEOs get into a sex scandal, their daily behavior is ignored, it’s not sexy enough for the gossip rags. Better to promote the powerless slaves as opposed to those who truly control the levers of power.

As for TV and movies… These actors have committed one faux pas after another during lockdown. The inane Gal Gadot-led “Imagine” video. Imagine an educated actor who could take the temperature of the public and use whatever power they truly have for good. But no, it’s about publicity. These people are so out of touch with the hoi polloi it’s laughable, the corporations know their customers, their fans, better. You can’t see the country from behind a gate, inside a private jet. Turns out the rank and file are more in touch than the celebrities!

And probably the most famous celebrity is Kim Kardashian. At this point better known than her sometime to be ex Kanye West. Kim knows when you’re selling, first and foremost you must look good. And if God doesn’t deliver, save up for plastic surgery, because it’s how you look, not who you are. And the real money is in selling stuff. There’s always a corporation behind the stuff, and then you too can become a billionaire at 21 like Kylie. But what are you gonna do with the cash anyway? Party? That’s unfulfilling, you burn out on it. But we’re told every damn day that the highest level of social status is to be able to party with the glamorous and beautiful. Hell, food has more power than these idiots. Yes, there’s an entire food CHANNEL! As for music, it’s left the flat screen. You’ve got the “Great British Baking Show,” which bonds viewers who talk about it, and then you’ve got the Grammys that no one wants to watch. The “Baking Show” illustrates the power of the nobody, the “Grammys” illustrates the emptiness of the somebody.

Zuckerberg stands up to the government.

An artist caves.

Apple produces the sleekest, most beautiful products from scratch, plastic surgery is unnecessary. You believe in your phone more than you do the music it might play. We put our faith in the inert, because people have sacrificed their genuineness, they sway with the wind.

But celebrities use drugs, and they’re cool! Well, how cool is marijuana gonna be when it’s legal everywhere, and we’re just about there. Most of marijuana’s appeal was it was illegal. Come on, that’s what you want in life, to puff a drug that makes you somnambulant. But maybe you can’t cope with today’s culture, you need a time out. At least alcohol makes you want to connect and party, even though too much ruins your life. Meanwhile, the heads of the tech companies are biohacking, they’re not succumbing to drugs and alcohol. Then again, Elon Musk is using Ambien, but he can’t sleep because HE’S WORKING TOO HARD!

But who wants to work at the dumb service jobs offered today, where you watch the clock until your sentence is over. As far as the corporate titans, check their CVs. They didn’t drop out of high school, or go to the local community college, they all went to blue chip educational institutions, and they might have dropped out of Harvard, but you can’t even dream of going to Harvard, never mind have your father buy a building so you can get in.

I love my iPhone Pro Max 12 and LG OLED TV more than any new artist. The artists complain they’re being ripped off, that the world is unfair, that we owe them success, and if they break through, they act like the rest of the celebrity class, clueless. I applaud excellence, the entertainment business is built on mediocrity. Come on, most of the Netflix shows go straight into the dumper, they’re worthless, if they make something too highbrow you tune out. So they feed you this crap via the algorithm because it’s too much effort to find the good stuff yourself. You depend on the corporation to do the hard work for you. And I’m a Netflix booster and believer in spite of its faults, because it’s fighting for ME! Yes, dropping all shows at once as opposed to the inane policies of HBO and Apple who don’t understand THERE IS NO WATER COOLER, WE’RE SIPPING H20 FROM OUR PRIVATE BOTTLES! Assuming we’re in the office at all. Word of mouth works differently these days, but the out of it antiques in charge of these enterprises are so removed from reality that they’re clueless. But not Reed Hastings, who we all know by name.

Yes, that’s another thing about corporations, they can be run by clueless individuals. Computers don’t run companies, people do, often self-serving. But we still laud the enterprise, because we’re desperate for something to believe in.

That’s life on this planet today. Everything’s on demand at your fingertips, and that’s convenient, but the question of the ages remains, WHAT IS LIFE ABOUT?

In America it’s consuming. He or she with the most toys wins.

That’s a joke.

But even worse, the average citizen doesn’t have the tools to understand life, they’re misled into religion by charlatans, they don’t even know how to think for themselves. They do what they’re told, consume. And those who provide the products, the corporations, rule.

As for the government… When a fake real estate tycoon “runs” the country and congresspeople believe in QAnon…who can have faith in D.C?

That’s how we got this problem to begin with. The Republicans gerrymandered to the point where they’re overrepresented in government and then they ram through these anti-voter rights laws based on the falsehoods spewed by the orange one and his minions. People are afraid to cross Trump. Why? Individuals wouldn’t stand up to him in government, they were afraid of retribution, they’re all saying so now, like Dr. Birx, and you’ve got elected officials still saying the election was stolen, and the guy who came out and said it was the most secure election in history got fired. Who can believe in these people? NOBODY!

So, we need the corporations to set them straight. Newfangled corporations get on the bandwagon right away, but even the old lumbering ones realize that power lies with the public, not the elected officials and…

There’s chaos. And the only people who can save us are…CORPORATIONS!

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