Hank Greens opinion on the ever so present Jonathan Coulton vs Glee/FOX debacle.
I love Hank but…. This upsets me.
Not because I think Glee is right in this, but because for some reason…. People think that Glee is new to doing this.
They aren’t. They’ve been doing this since Season 1, which makes the whole argument of it being only worth watching the first two seasons kind of… Weak?
Now, I am no way bashing Hank or JoCo fans, because they’re both great but…. I really think this should be an all or nothing situation.
If people are going to speak on behalf of Jonathan Coulton, why not Nouvelle Vague? Or Greg Laswell? Or any and all other artists that have had their arrangements used unknowingly on Glee?
I don’t think it’s fair to have started this battle, when it should be much more than Jonathan Coulton.
Because, if you go back and watch season 1 extras on YouTube… There’s a video of I believe Kevin McHale saying, ” I get messages all the time and the fans think we’re some crazy music geniuses at Glee… We’re not. The covers we’re singing are actually just covers of covers our music supervisors found.”
Because there are very few times that Glee does their own arrangements : Mashups, originals, or songs sung by the Warblers (arranged by the Beelzebubs from season 1 of NBC’s The Singoff, hired by FOX)
It just bothers me that there’s so little light actually being shed on the situation, and it’s also unfair for all the others before Jonathan Coulton.
Also, I don’t think it’s right to throw StarKids and fellow YouTubers Joey Richter and Tessa Netting into this. Being on that episode is big for them, and now there’s all this drama around it. They really had no time to celebrate even moving their careers forward.
But that’s just my take. What are your thoughts?
The difference is we didn’t know about it, and now we do. And so now we act, because we couldn’t act before we knew about it.
Activism and social and political change rely upon good, clear stories. This is a simple, true, and disturbing thing that a corporation did to an indie artist. The fact that they did it to other artists years before I knew about it does not nullify my indignation or mean that we shouldn’t act now, when there is an undeniable flash point to rally around.
Now, when flash points are manufactured or over simplified (Kony 2012) I can see people getting a bit upset. But that’s not the case here. I may have simplified the history of Glee a little bit (mostly to sympathize with fans of the show (I used to be one, and am married to one)). I don’t want this to be us-vs-glee fans…I want, more than anything, for the Glee fans to be upset, because those are the people who have real power over the people who watch Glee.
So this is an interesting case study in how to rally people behind a cause. While I believe in outlining the complexity of situations, you can never tell the full story because people will never give you their undivided attention for long enough to do it. These are all balances that, as activists, we each have to find on our own.
Also, all of this careful thought necessary to effectively communicate about a corporation doing something wrong does not mean that I’m not REALLY AND TRULY PISSED OFF! It just means that after a former career in activism…I’ve gotten used to being pissed off, and I recognize that it’s important to think carefully about how to act and inspire action in others.
(Other note, of course we shouldn’t be upset at the actors for participating, they may not have known what was happening at all, and they have contracts and are not in a position of power at the show. However, if they did come out saying that they thought Fox was wrong, I would have a huge, massive, flaming pile of respect for them, and I imagine the internet would welcome them with open arms and it would be better for their careers than playing the stupid Hollywood game anyway)