We now know definitively that the United States government will not be building a Death Star, at least not under the Obama administration. We know this because enough citizens signed an online petition on the subject that the administration had to respond.
Like all good things on the Internet, We The People -- the official title of the online petitioning program -- has become a playground for smartasses and trolls. While there are plenty of "legitimate" petitions out there, there are gobs of silly ones.
Unfortunately, Music fans have yet to jump on the silly-petition bandwagon. You would think by now some jokester would have started a petition to bestow citizenship on Justin Beiber or ban Nickleback from coming across the border.
If it's a lack of ideas, well, you're in luck. I've got some suggestions. Let's you, me and 24,998 of our closest friends get together and change the world... or at least make some mid-level government paper-pusher waste 20 minutes responding to us.
5. Call for the Creation of the United States Songwriter Laureate Being the United States Poet Laureate is a pretty sweet gig. That person gets paid $35,000 a year to talk to people about how cool poetry is. I assume this is needed because by and large poetry isn't exactly in fashion and therefore needs all the help it can get.
While songwriting as an art doesn't need help in awareness it could use some help in quality. Have you listened to the lyrics of your average EDM song? Bad times. Let's get some quality songwriters in to the nation's classrooms and show the kids that words are important.
And really, isn't it time we gave Springsteen the official government position he deserves?
4. A Call to Bring an End to the Loudness War It's hard to summarize the Loudness War. Usually it involves charts and graphs and fancy terms like "compression" and "dynamic range." The end result is that you're supposed to realize that a) the music that we purchase is getting louder and b) this isn't a good thing.
As Commander in Chief, it seems well within the president's ability to go to the major labels and find out why they've declared war on our ears and hopefully negotiate a cease fire. Imagine a world where instead of using volume to stand out artists had to write good, interesting music instead. That's change I think we can all believe in.
3. Mr. President, Please Do Something About Those Sarah McLachlan Animal Cruelty PSAs Freedom of speech is important. The marketplace of ideas suffers when we try and block the voices we find disagreeable. I mention this because I want everyone to know that I'm not saying we should ban these sad-sack animal cruelty PSAs that are ruining late-night TV.
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That said, there's got to be something we can do to keep them off the airwaves. Maybe we can buy them off. Create a new government task force to fight animal cruelty and let them create PSAs.
The current ones don't have to go away, either. The punishment for animal cruelty should be having to watch them on an endless loop for the duration of your sentence.
2. Let's Create a Law That Mandates Transparent Ticket Pricing While everyone has come to accept the fact that there will be some measure of price gouging in the majority of our ticket-buying purchases, that doesn't make it less annoying. You see a $25 ticket price and for a brief moment your heart flutters and you murmur, "What a deal," before remembering that after service charges, convenience fees, printing fees, and taxes, the final price is going to be north of that.
So if Ticketmaster and the like aren't going to lower fees, the least they could do is advertise these fees upfront, in specific itemized detail. Our $52 tickets will actually be $52 instead of $39 plus charges, and we'll know what those convenience fees really go toward.
1. A Call for the Founding of a National Hall of Music The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would like you to believe that it exists to preserve rock history, but it actually exists for three other purposes: to make money, get people to visit Cleveland, and piss off music fans yearly when it announces the new inductees.
Every year people are either upset that their favorite band didn't make the cut or that the hall is deluding itself by letting in dance and hip hop acts.
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Instead, let us forget all about the Rock Hall. Let Cleveland have its monument to the whims of Jann Wenner. Let us create a new place for music preservation in our nation's capital, where all genres of music are welcome and celebrated.