Lefsetz or Rightsetz?
by Vivian Sabla on March 12, 2014
Posted in: News, Talk, Uncategorized
Bob Lefsetz is an American music industry analyst and critic, and author of the email newsletter and blog, the Lefsetz letter, not to mention a Midd graduate! In his newsletter he critiques music, the changing tides of the industry and adds in his personal feelings on all sorts of topics, from politics to pets. This blog series will be my responses to his emotionally charged rants on the music industry. I will try to simplify what he says and give my own two cents on the topics being discussed. Enjoy!
My thoughts on “Harold Ramis” by Bob Lefsetz
Full Article: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2014/02/24/harold-ramis/
In Bob Lefsetz’s letter honoring Harold Ramis, he starts by critiquing the modern movie industry by saying that all comedies nowadays are mediocre and that no one will care to watch them in a few years. He says that there was once a time in which “being smart and irreverent was a job. Your goal wasn’t to be like everybody else, but to have those who got it come to you.” He mentions the old-school cast of Saturday Night Live like John Belushi and Doug Kenney and continues to emphasize the importance of the one and only Harold Ramis who wrote “Animal House,” “Caddyshack,” “Ghostbusters,” “Back To School,” and “Groundhog Day,” some of the most famous comedies in history. He ends his rant about the entertainment industry with this cynical and insightful farewell to the old ways,
“So, so long Harold Ramis. You’re a footnote in history but paramount in baby boomer brains. Your work will continue to live on, because everybody knows institutions are to poke fun at, and you were one of the best. So long the modern movie business, wherein comedies can’t be made because they don’t play worldwide, if it’s not funny in Uzbekistan, the studio doesn’t want to make it. And if it’s all about getting a sponsor for an online production…sponsors don’t like edgy, never did. And so long the music business. Wherein we used to have to listen and now we don’t. Your life can go on just fine being ignorant of not only Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, but Kanye and Jay Z too. Everybody had to see “Animal House.” Nobody has to hear today’s music. Sure, they burned out the Lampoon formula. Sure, “Bridesmaids” was a good movie. Sure, Chris Rock is almost as edgy and insightful as Richard Pryor. But so far, no one’s broken the mold. All we’ve seen is variations on the theme. It’s like we’re in an endless “Groundhog Day,” repeating ourselves ad infinitum until someone, hopefully you, stands apart and makes fun of the endless iterations of the same theme. Like Harold Ramis.”
I find what Lefsetz is saying to be disappointingly and ashamedly true. With the accessibility of so much information through the internet, Spotify, and Netflix, people no longer develop “classics” that they keep going back to because that is either all they have or the only thing like it. The market is overcrowded with too much of the same thing, whether it is overplayed pop-music, indie-electronic-folk music, or comedic sitcoms.
However, while all this is true, Bob Lefsetz is a bit of a cynic who has an extremely sardonic and jaded view on the entertainment industry. There is still some hope for our future, believe you me.