Elton John's silly "experiment"

Elton John, famous for being a rather weird hater-of-plenty (and a musician), has recently latched on to a new arch-nemesis to spout off piles of vitriol about. Yep, it's that most hideous and pointless of inventions: the Internet.

Millions of times less important to the everyday lives of people than, say, eternal reissues of "Candle in the Wind" for whatever lovable celeb just died, he's decided that the world doesn't really need technology. Whyso? It ruins the music scene apparently, not to mention stopping people communicating.

This might seem a little odd to those people who actually have opened their minds up sometime in the last decade or so given the proliferation of email, forums, social networks, instant messaging, blogging and so on, but according to Mr John none of that is significant and rather the main effect of teh interwebs is to make people sit in front of their computer all day and never leave the house, let alone collaborate with anyone.

Says Elton, rather nonsensically unless a big part of the interview was missed out:

We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.

Quite right dear, clearly a potentially global citizen-empowering information revolution stands much less chance of changing anything than, say, dressing up as a big duck


Not to deny the fact that certain forums and social nonsense networks such as Facebook do have a rather stickifying effect on many people, the Poorhouse included, but to claim the it has destroyed any form of socialising and ruined the production of music quite so much is a little over the top. He seems to have overlooked such musician-enabled web thingies as the musicians bit of mySpace, last.fm and youtube amongst many other services; all of which are conceivably allowing more people to communicate, collaborate and promote their music without having to cross their fingers for a one in a million chance of a record deal. The Poorhouse does acknowledge that there is more than a little super-rubbish out there, but one hopes the good stuff will rise to the top, and there is certainly no way to claim that the average top 40 "traditional" line-up is crud-free.

His madcap scheme is an "experiment" where one turns off the Internet for 5 years and sees what would happen. He may have hundreds of millions of pounds upwards in wealth and a properly dedicated fan following, but even that probably couldn’t quite get everyone to agree to pull the plug. Nice try though.

What he could actually do of course and might make him slightly less hypocritical is get rid of his own web presence. He has an official website (including extremely lame live countdown to his 60th birthday DVD release) which is more than happy to take your money. Apparently he has also stated that he intends to sell phone ringtones of his delightful ditties and rake in extra cash by selling his back catalogue of music exclusively through iTunes. Making money doing that without the Internet would be a little difficult.

In fact he's (or someone he pays to do things for him might be a bit more accurate to say) gone that little extra above-and-beyond your usual superstar musician net-happenings by streaming his birthday party concert live over the Internet. Doh. He probably makes a bit of the old cash-a-rama via selling over-priced stuff through websites such as TicketMaster too.

The Poorhouse wonders whether Elton has mixed up the Internet with something else in his mind, suggestions welcome.

Seeing as it's nigh-on Monday morning and hence entertainment is probably ebbing at a low, here's a couple of youtubes from musicians that are probably quite grateful for the internet; Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys.




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