Elton John Calls for Closing the Internet...
In the category of "Dumbest things ever said about the internet", Elton John may have just joined the Hall of Fame. In this Sun article, he makes several outrageous claims such as 1) the internet has stopped people from "creating stuff", and 2) the "whole internet" should be shut down for five years to see what happens; to see how much art is produced.
How can we read into these statements? Maybe Sir Elton has finally become so painfully old that he has less credibility than the senile grandparent that sleeps in a chair in the corner of the room drooling during family holidays. Or maybe he's so isolated and bitter from being super-rich that he's intentionally trying to alienate tens of millions of young consumers by showing just how out of touch he's become. Or maybe he's just a moron.
The facts are that there is not a single reasonable person alive who thinks the internet has stopped people from "creating stuff". The exact opposite is true. Never before has humanity seen original content production on such a mass scale, as demonstrated by the zillions of blogs, personal websites, MySpace pages, Flickr photos, YouTube videos, and, yes, even shared music files (which are legal from many bands who actually see the internet as a marketing tool). If anything, most people believe that too much stuff is being created. And as for Elton's brilliant notion that the whole internet should be shut down for five years to "see what happens", this already occurred. It was known as "all human history prior to 1994".
As the article points out, most success stories coming from the music industry these days - including his fellow Brits the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen - come from artists who actually encourage the use of the internet to kick-start their careers, build a name and fanbase for themselves, and increase sales of their music.
In order to prove he's not completely hypocritical, why doesn't Elton John stop selling his own songs on the Web? Does anyone truly believe that would be a wise business decision? Or, for that matter, does anyone agree that the world would be a better and more creative place without the internet?