… maybe the age of instant communication that killed off the rock stars is all one big misunderstanding. What the techies missed was that the person Mick Jagger was just a contributor to the invented character of Mick Jagger, rock star, who represented a collective investment of x amount of imaginative capital and hard cash by record companies, art directors, and fans. Mick Jagger, the person, could hardly have created Mick Jagger, the rock star, alone in his bedroom using Instagram and Pro Tools, let alone programmed the contingent and chaotic human and creative interactions with Keef and the late, great junkie producer Jimmy Miller that went into the recording of Exile on Main St. and Let It Bleed.
Disdaining the wasteful, elitist space where bands hankered after record-company expense accounts that would pay for hookers and villas in the South of France, Silicon Valley presented itself as the tribune of average-Joe air guitarists who never got their shot at the American Dream. It was easy to stoke resentment against the perks enjoyed by the pros while spreading the easy gospel of democratic cultural production. Every boy and girl could be Virginia Woolf and Keith Richards and David Foster Wallace depending on what day of the week it was, thanks to fun new digital software that ushered in a freshly branded universe of frictionless self-gratification in which all movies and books and music would be free, because they should be free, because they were made to be free, because paying for stuff is an unconscionable rip-off in a world where stuff was meant to be free, and who else does art belong to if not to the people, right?