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 Everett True

10 Questions for Amanda Palmer – Are you simply being penalised for your transparency?

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Amanda Palmer

I’m curious. And as I’ll never get to meet her, I thought I’d leave them here. Questions are usually more revealing than answers.

1. Is it exploitation when people are lining up to be exploited? Or is it some weird form of manipulative power play/domme manifestation? How does you asking fans to play for free – for the ‘exposure’, for the love – differ from the managers asking hopeful starlets to sign shitty contracts, knowing they have no alternative because they have no plan b? Is it OK because you’re being transparent about a process that very few others are?

2. I’m reminded of television evangelists, involving their audiences, seeking assurances about their devotion, if the assurance comes in some form of financial gain, even better. Jimmy fucking Swaggart. (As Lucy Cage memorably wrote, “This isn’t a gig, it’s a communion.”) But TV evangelists are never upfront, never transparent. You are. So what’s gone wrong here? Is it just true that no one loves a winner?

3. How is this spontaneous and/or punk rock? Does that matter? Fans/musicians are being trained – that part comes free, I expect – but it’s not like you’re turning up at each show and asking folk to jump on stage with you. Is it because you’re fucking with the tried and tested way that outsiders (not fans, one suspects) are reacting so strongly? Or is this simply the latest version of the Have’s exploiting the Have Not’s? I can’t help feeling that anyone who gets up on stage with you, hoping to further their ‘career’, will reap what they sow.

4. You act like you’re entitled. So do most artists/musicians. Often, that’s why they’re artists/musicians and other people aren’t. Many feel this indicates you come from a privileged background. I feel that your unwillingness to share wealth – with others, equally as talented as you in their own ways – might indicate a working-class background. Truth in either? Does truth matter?

5. Your Twitter site lists you as an ‘amateur’ musician. Really? REALLY? I appreciate self-deprecation is part of your act (along with arrogance) but…. really?

6. I too have asked talented people to work for me for free (witness this very website). I too am aware that when money enters the equation it fucks the shit up out of everything. Are you simply being penalised for your transparency? No one’s gone after the Olympics for their armies of volunteers. And I strongly suspect the imbalance is way greater there.

7. Man alive, you must have some fucking force of personality to a) attract all this attention, b) attract all this money and c) attract all this attention. Is it because you’re making yourself accountable that you’re attracting all this derision? No one goes after Chris fucking Moyles.

8. Are you genuinely not aware of the imbalance? Do you genuinely not see it as exploitation of the vulnerable and needy? Do you genuinely believe yourself more talented that everyone around you?

9. The show sounds fucking AMAZING. Full-blown orchestra AND Amanda fucking Palmer and the thrill of the unexpected and controversy. I mean, WTF!?

10. Really… WTF!?

Related posts:
Playing for love instead of money: On Amanda Palmer, Punk Rock, and Compensating Musicians Fairly
Letters from Rosie 9 – Amanda Palmer and the naive sleeping beauty scene kids
It’s Amanda Palmer day, here at Collapse Board

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