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It's the Economy

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The glow shone through the fanlight, and the front door swung open when Transformative Arts pushed on the handle.

"Hi honey, I'm queer!" she called out, dropping her laptop case on the hall table and kicking her shoes randomly across the hall, into the living room.

"Hi honey, I'm hot," her partner, Democratized Media, called back, from the kitchen of the house.

"Are you cooking?" Transformative Arts asked hopefully, hugging her wife and peering over her shoulder at the empty stove top.

"I'm defrosting," Democratized Media said, gesturing vaguely at the microwave. "Does that count?"

"Absolutely," Transformative Arts said. "How was work?"

"Vile," Democratized Media said. "I was called into a division meeting. You know, quarterly targets, not meeting goals…"

"How bad?" Transformative Arts asked.

Democratized Media stepped back and reached up into the cupboard where they kept the gin.

"Get the glasses, love. Blah, blah, it's 2011, why haven't I destroyed 'the sanctity of authorship' yet?" Democratized Media said (Keen 2007, 25). "Why am I behind on the project to undermine our 'traditional safeguards of individual creativity'?"(Keen 2007, 25).

"What did you say? That you were too busy going to compulsory professional development days and attending staff morale meetings?" Transformative Arts asked.

"That I'm only one internet, I can only produce one 'chaos of useless information' at a time" (Keen 2007, 16). Democratized Media sighed. "Give me more staff, and I'll give them control."

Democratized Media and Transformative Arts laughed together, gin slopping in their glasses, at the idea of more staff in Democratized Media's workplace.

"I had the same kind of day," Transformative Arts said. "Only, in passive-aggressive email form. Too much fun on work time, not enough 'appropriated intellectual property'" (Keen 2007, 28).

"They're not talking about it again?" Democratized Media asked. "IP logging? Approved sites only?"

"Maybe even a filter," Transformative Arts said. "We have to work harder, work more efficiently, 'destroying the very sources of the content'" (Keen 2007, 25).

Transformative Arts gazed out the window, to where their pet economy was gamboling around the overgrown yard, barking at squirrels.

"We need to talk about the economy," Transformative Arts said.

"What's he done now?" Democratized Media asked, reaching for the gin bottle for refills. Talks about the economy often needed more gin.

Their economy rolled wildly around in the long grass, and Transformative Arts made a mental note to pick the grass seeds out of his coat before he climbed on their bed that night.

"The neighbors have complained," she said. "He's been barking at record producers and independent bookstores and scaring them again."

"Oh dear," Democratized Media said. "Silly people."

The economy must have heard them, because he pricked up his ears, yipped at the window, and threw himself through the grass to the pet door, and into the house. His claws clattered down the hall, and he skidded into the kitchen and flopped at their feet.

His long tail thrashed wildly in delight, as Democratized Media rubbed her toes across his belly.

Transformative Arts said, "I'm so glad we chose this economy."

Democratized Media nodded. "If we had adopted the Black Market economy, it'd be up in its room, putting on too much eyeliner and playing loud music in the dark."

The Long Tail economy looked pleadingly up at Transformative Arts, so she tickled him with her toes as well.

"To think they predicted the Long Tail economy would wind up 'cannibalizing its young'," Transformative Arts said (Keen 2007, 28). "All the Long Tail economy wants to do is chase squirrels and chew bones."



Keen, Andrew. 2007. "The Great Seduction." In The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing our Culture, 11-34. New York: Doubleday.