Close Down the Internet?
Posted August 2, 2007 9:11 a.m. EDT
Hey, I love Elton John. I've got all of his albums. I'm a deep-catalog kind of fan -- right down to the B-sides. I've seen him in concert three times -- once on the front row. My respect for his craft is deep and complete.
But Elton has a reputation for -- uh -- hyperbole. He now says that he wants to shut down the Internet for five years.
“The Internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff," he told The Sun newspaper in London. “Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK, but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision."
He also says some other stuff about how there's too much technology, people out to be on the streets marching instead of blogging, and so on.
Now, I'm sure you and I are on the same Web page, dear reader. Ummm -- the Internet should stay open. Can we agree on that? I mean, I need to keep this job!
But I think Elton makes an interesting point about people who hole up and stay on the Web all day. And I do wonder what it means for art in our culture. Surely there's a lot of artistic creation in the modern age -- and I'm using "artistic" very liberally -- with the aid of computers and distribution through the Web. But I can tell you from experience that there is a lot of garbage you have to sort before you find anything worthwhile.
Now, I'm totally with Elton on one quote. “In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic," he said. “Now you’re lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality."
Yep! It's slim pickings out there.