Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment: Keep Fighting the Good Fight




Keep Fighting the Good Fight

From the desk of Chris Jackson:

To H.O.P.E. supporters around the globe...

When you see Ben Affleck signing on to direct a feature film, or hear that Paris Hilton is in a remake of House of Wax or are feeling bombarded by the endless coverage of celebrity trials that bump real news stories off of the front page, sometimes it's easy to think, "Dammit, we don't have have the money these networks and studios do, we don't have the resources they have, we don't have the ties that allow us to reach into people's homes through every and any means necessary every night." It's easy to feel like the task at hand is just too great.

But stay the course. What we have is the silent majority starting to make their voice heard; people who have had enough and are ready to do something about it, and H.O.P.E. chapters springing up all over the world. People like Josh Potter and the great students of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska setting up shop on campus, Jamie Bonnie and the New York contingent doing their part by passing out the Ashlee Simpson pledge in Manhattan, Sue Denim's Dallas group giving away quality CD's to kids on Christmas Day in Dallas, and thousands of others fighting tooth and nail to rebel against the mindless mediocrity that is being forced on us by these soulless corporate behemoths.

What we have are people like Patrick Tallerico
and a nation of dissatisfied citizens ready to join the fight.

And that's all we need.

Featured E-mail of the Week:

Patrick Tallerico
H.O.P.E. Member

Wow. After visiting your website for the very first time, I felt tears of joy pounding from the insides of my eyes demanding their release.

First off, let me introduce myself. I'm 19 years old and reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I'm an independent artist and musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who earns a living recording and engineering local talent so I can support myself to do what I love: create. Being of 19 years, I came into my teens during the golden age of the synthetic pop culture of the late 90's-crossing over into the 2000's. Needless to say I was dumbfounded and horrified by the world growing around me. Being 13 years old when Britney Spears hit the shelves, you could say that I was at Ground Zero of the biggest and smartest corporate scam and overall manipulation of the public the music world has seen to date, although at the time no one would have known. Nobody still has an idea, really, but it was a sinfully brilliant process of turning absolute nobodies into marketing gold - like crafting diamonds from clay - and everybody, everybody, fell for it.

I was at the dances, I was at the parties, the malls, junior high and high school, reading the AOL instant messanger profiles of friends and foes alike who displayed the lyrics of N'Sync, the Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Britney Spears ... but it didn't end there. Equal to that was Blink 182, Limp Bizkit, Korn ... and Puff Daddy, Mase, Usher ... it was all the same monster, bearing a head for each target audience. No child was left behind, you could say. But as I have said, I was there at Ground Zero, and terrified. It was like a bad movie. I was the main character with this immunity against a terrible disease that had plagued the planet. The plague was the destruction of intelligence and taste in culture, and I had not one ally who saw things the same as I did. Of course this wasn't just about music. This was about all entertainment. From my experiences of being there at that state in time, I observed that entertainment was the way of life. By the movies they watched, by the music they listened to, the clothing vendors, radio, MTV and the era of Total Request Live, people simply watched, listened, and took orders. And just like that people were transformed, and a cultural revolution began. MTV and all of its culture and its partners in crime did for music and entertainment what McDonald's did for the food industry. It's quick, it's cheap, you don't have to think about it, it's just there - and yeah it's bad for you, and yeah it tastes like shit sometimes, but damn, it's good ..... isn't it? Society finds comfort in finding ways to make less and less decisions and work for themselves, and because of that, there will always be a market for this style of business. This applies to all fields of our world, whether it be politics, entertainment, religion - you name it.

And everything is exactly the same to this day. Of course, I'm older now, and as an adult you can choose to exist in the less-occupied corners of the world where you are not harrassed by such depressing culture. Still though, I can't even buy a carton of milk or a loaf of bread without checking out and seeing Star magazine, US Weekly, or magazines of the like right in my face. Up until recently, I thought I was among a strong minority who felt this way about our culture - I saw the public divided into two groups: those who support it and thrive on it, and those who are apathetic and care very little about it, holding no opinion one way or the other. I found myself drifting into apathy, willing to resign the case as futile.

One of my favorite things in this world to do is hide under a pair of headphones, go outside somewhere, lay down and listen to the nocturnes and preludes of Chopin, or a Miles Davis record, or some Bille Holiday... Ray Charles, The Beatles, Radiohead - my artist of choice is different everytime. This is my refuge. And everytime I think about it and compare true talent to what is popularized and entertaining to human beings today, it makes me ashamed to be breathing. Two hundred years ago some of the greatest music conceivable was being written - intricate, passionate, soulful, true, honest, and pure genius - and logic would offer that in the laws of evolution we would assume music would only progress, or at least maintain its quality elements. This has not happened, and as a society we should be embarrassed by ourselves and what we find entertaining.

But who is really to blame? Greed is a key factor. Entertainment corporations are willing to sacrifice art, craft, talent, civility and intelligence for easily-made money. Afterall, for the naive viewer it is easier to watch and understand The Simple Life or The Littlest Groom than it is to watch, understand and enjoy Fraiser or Seinfeld, or even The Family Guy or The Simpsons for that matter. So what does that mean? The truth is, we are almost entirely responsible for the idiots that we hate looking at and wonder about why and how they are famous. Why are they famous? Because we put them there. Everytime you buy a CD or tune into one of the thousands of dim-witted reality television shows, or buy a Star or US Weekly, you're giving those people a mandate to keep doing what they're doing - justifying their cause. Like I said earlier, I was willing to accept this reality and try to live my life in peace, but having such a passion against the destruction of our culture, I simply cannot do that. It's important for everyone, everywhere, to pick up the cause. If you have even the remotest interest in this, apathy is not an option. This is why I was so overjoyed by your website - this is the first attempt I've ever witnessed where an organized group has actually said "NO" to the bullshit the world is feeding everybody. I support you 100%, and I would like to know how I can join or help in any way.