Prince says the Internet is “completely over.” You’ve probably heard… because it’s all over the Internet.
The artist formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince” has decided to distribute his new album “20Ten” through free giveaways in newspapers around Europe, and it will not be available AT ALL for download, anywhere online.
Here’s the exact quote: “The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.
“The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly became outdated.”
Obviously, he has the right to do whatever he wants with his music. But can we at least call bullshit on his ridiculous claim that the web is dead? You’d have to be living under a rock (or a giant factory/palace in the middle of Minnesota) to be ignorant enough to suggest such a thing. What internet is he using, is he surfing the web like it’s 1999? What’s even funnier is that he’s using an actual dying medium (newspapers, even though it makes me sad to say that) to distribute his new album.
To top it off, he compares the most important medium in the world today, and in the future, to one, single TV network. It’s like saying the English language is going to die because the word “hither” is a thing of the past.
Despite being appalled by his egregious ignorance, I was willing to brush it off and move on. Maybe it was a misquote, maybe he was just talking off the cuff, maybe it doesn’t really matter what he thinks and why are we all making a big fuss over it?
But then I read the article from which it came, in The Daily Mirror. (I encourage you all to read it; the reporter’s visit to Prince’s compound is almost as absurd and dumbfounding as Charlie Murphy’s “True Hollywood Story”.) The story left me not thinking about the Internet comment, but instead wondering why Prince has been elevated to such rarified air by our culture. I recognize he is an incredibly talented musician and one-of-a-kind performer, but why do we all treat him like he’s some kind of genius alien god-like creature?
In the story, Prince brings the reporter, Peter Willis, into his personal nightclub, where 20-feet video screens are playing videos of himself. Then two young ladies serves trays of sliced melons and raw vegetables. Huh? Like Charlie Murphy said, “Who the f*ck can make up that shit?”
And how about the fact that he expected us to refer to him as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince,” or just by a symbol, or how he changed his name from Puff Daddy to Diddy. I can’t comprehend the level of arrogance it would take for me to say, “Don’t call me Diggles, instead I will heretofore be known as an asterisk with an arrow going through it.”
It’s the same kind of arrogance that would lead one to think, “I don’t need the internet to sell my records, I’m Prince.” But instead of saying, “What the hell is wrong with this guy, who does he think he is?”, we’re more inclined to be in awe of his antics, and to build up his legend (and his ego) even more. We should instead recognize that he is just a person, and anyone who puts a video of themselves on a 20-foot screen in their own home is an egomaniac d-bag, even if that person looks amazing in a velvet jumpsuit and can shred better than anyone this side of Jimi Hendrix.
You have to give him credit for creating this air of mystery, and transforming himself into this myth-like figure. It is because he made himself such an enigma that people are so interested in him; we want to get through the mystery. But the Diggles isn’t buying it. To me, he’ll always be a 5-foot-2 androgenous weirdo who happens to be one of the greatest musicians of all time.
Oh, and “1999” is a shitty song, and I don’t want to get if off the internet anyway, so there!
The Diggles can be reached at RDiggles@GDPmagazine.com.