Friday, February 11, 2011

Fighting the last war...

Generals, it's said, always fight the last war.

They create the Maginot line because of their experience with trench warfare, and they don't see the blitzkrieg coming.

In hindsight, the music industry probably tried too hard and for too long to protect the existing platforms for music -- CD's, etc.

But I'm afraid that the book (and comic) industry is taking the wrong lesson from this.

I think music is music, and I don't think the method of conveyance matters that much.

I believe that books have an inherent quality that can't be completely reproduced by e-books.

I won't go into all the differences -- I wrote a blog a year or two ago that went on for dozens of differences; let's just say, I think there is a substantial difference. The medium is the message.

I recently listened to my first book on a CD (our bookstore roadtrip); PETER AND MAX, by Bill Willingham. Actually, though, it was read by Wesley Crusher from Star Trek (Wil Wheaton). He put the nuance in the phrasing, the emphasis on the words.

It was more in the way of a performance, than reading.

I enjoyed it, O.K. But I still very much prefer to read books with my own interpretations.

E-books are as different from paper books as T.V. is from Movies. I still prefer to go to the theater to watch movies...

This difference, I believe, is worth protecting and fighting for. It's too soon to throw books under the bus.

Despite the last war -- that the music industry fought -- I believe we should fight a more rear guard action; fend off digital as long as possible. Make concessions only when we have to.

But, you know, I'm probably the only guy in country that feels that way.

There are indeed lessons to learn from the music industry; one of them, I believe, is that performance will not -- in fact -- completely replace the revenues lost from recordings. The concert tours last year apparently sucked.

I know I'm not going digital, no matter what. If that means I get put on the ice flow to drift away, so be it.

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