by Silviu Costinescu – Sep. 16.2019

About 2 years ago, Ello, an artistic social network, made a roll call for poster graphics on an re-emerging theme: #Resist.
Having a hunch where this is coming from and where it is going, I decided to take the opportunity to test my intuition and also send a message
.

My thought process was something like: “this is a theme for activists. What are the main threats that need to be resisted by any activist movement ? The list is long and may vary from case to case, but whatever you’re resisting, there’s always one common danger: the takeover. Hijacking and controlling your opposition is more efficient than destroying it. History has already proven that numerous times, for our age it has became more obvious since Occupy Wall Street.”

So my personal spin on the theme was “Resist Controlled Resistance”.

And you know the only people that would hate this message.

For the execution style I kept spoofing activism of all sorts.
Historically, resistance and activist movements go for simple, striking, and practical / easily made visuals. Artistic merits are important, but not the primary concern.
So what would be today’s anonymous graphics & print shop?
Canva.com was the most obvious answer at the time.

Here are the results, and, as expected, none of the three works were admitted in the competition. My end goal was my own article on my own site, though. But life went other directions after that, until recently, when I’ve rediscovered the files in some archives and felt they aged really well, don’t you think? And it’s probably an even better time to spread them. Feel free to do so, just link back to this article, please!

And to spice things up, I made a T-shirt too! With a nifty back-print logo đŸ˜‰

UPDATE JUNE 10, 2020:
Case in point: the Soros-sponsored fascist organisation BLM burns resources and energies rioting against racism while we go through times of unprecedented theft of human rights and liberties. all that while posing as anti-racists and anti-establishment to legitimize and victimize themselves. Because that’s what controlled opposition does.

We are funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way. Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

We are funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way. Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

by Silviu Costinescu

Reddit me this:
– If you are a musician, you’re more than welcome to post your Soundcloud and Spotify links in Reddit subs.
– If you are a journalist, you’re more than welcome to post links to your published articles in Reddit subs.
– If you are a photographer and you want to post a link to your photography website or portfolio, you’re a spammer, you’re scum, your post will be taken down from most Reddit subs and you’re even risking a ban.

Not as many people are as familiar with Reddit as with Facebook or other socials, so here’s a little context:

Imagine Facebook was only made of groups and group admins were the Suckerbergs of their domains. This is Reddit for you.
When they’re dealing with photography or graphic design or any type of still images, almost all these admins treat creators as milk cows, using their work to drive traffic, engage audiences, grow their influence and sometimes push a product. But if photographers dare to hope for some minimal support, all they get is a spit in the face! As if we are the scum of the Earth for hoping to get some following if our work is appreciated. No one is asking for money, crowdfunding or any direct material compensation. Most of us are so starving for attention on a super-competitive stage that we’re happy to do it for a few bare page views on our websites. But nah, that’s too much to ask, all we are allowed to earn is meaningless upvotes (likes in Facebook terms) which lead nowhere.
Reddit brands itself as the “Frontpage of Internet” but when it comes to photography, it’s just a sinkhole where talent gets exhausted for nothing and quickly buried.
This is not going on only in Photography subs (groups, in Facebook terms), but in most of them. Some of the biggest leaches are the Travel subs, where photography can be even prevalent over other types of posts. There, this crazy unjustified double standard is even more obvious: you can post a video that directly links to your Youtube channel, you can post an article that links directly to a news organization (which is for-profit), but photographers are 2nd hand reditters, they don’t deserve same privileges, they are expected to kiss admins’ feet for being slaved and disregarded.

Linking is a matter of etiquette in most artistic communities.

How is a photography portfolio link any different from, let’s say, article links, which link to the business that created them? No one asks people to copy-paste the articles in posts, to avoid spam in favor of the publisher.
What if people from music subs/groups asked musicians to upload their music directly in posts and stop linking to their Soundcloud?!
I have an even better idea: forget Youtube links, let’s start producing original video content, catered especially for these special Reddit admins, and upload it there, free of charge!
Yeah, sounds insane, my point exactly, I mean: where do you draw the line??
The double standard is not just obvious, it’s insane and deplorable.
This abusive attitude is not even limited to Reddit, that’s just where I find it almost ubiquitous, but it’s quite prevalent on Facebook, MeWe and other socials too. I wonder who came up with the concept that photographers are lower-class artists and deserve to slave for the benefit of some social media parasites.

How is the Reddit organization regarding this behavior?

In its “guidelines for best practices” Redit states:
“We’re not making a judgement on your quality, just your behavior on reddit. Your stuff’s probably amazing and someone would be really interested in it but…
If you submit mostly your own links and your presence on reddit is mostly for your self-promotion of your brand, page, blog, app, or business, you are more likely to be a spammer than you think! Read the FAQ and make sure that you really understand that.”

Self promotion runs the world in 2019, it drives personal growth, self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. It should be encouraged, not seen as a disease. But many people prefer you dependent on them, otherwise their existence would be meaningless.
No one seems to take action when they are flooded with corporate self-promo, even when it’s painted on their chest (t-shirt), because that’s called “advertising” and it’s ok. Meanwhile, the most sour, salty and unaccomplished members of society can’t wait to tax the plebs for attempting to post a mere link to their website because that’s “spam”. However, this is not my main argument here.
The problem is that, even if you accept this retrograde, disconnected and mindless stance from Reddit, admins/mods still don’t seem to care about it. They definitely make no distinctions, everyone is a spammer in their eyes, you won’t see anyone excepted for good behavior from their brutal and abusive ruling. Anyone but themselves.
“Reddit is different from any other place on the web – first and foremost, it’s about community, discussion, and sharing. Honor that and you’ll love it here”, they brag.
In fact, everyone in social media attempts the same thing, that’s nothing original. The only thing different about Reddit is that it expects you to honor it and offers nothing in return, besides contempt and disrespect. At least for photographers and such.

A simple and practical solution in two steps:

Step 1.
Be the change we all need to see on Reddit: Make a sub that accomplishes three things:
– shows actual love to photographers,
– allows them to truly benefit from their contributions,
– actively pushes users to support what they use / love

Just limit the number of daily posts per person to avoid abuse, and limit the links to one per post, which has to lead to a portfolio or similar, not photo equipment sales or such. And I bet my ass that you will beget tons of love, the best contributions and some the best photographers.
I would do it myself, but I can hardly manage my current online presence, I’m doing more things than anyone has time to hear about. So I’m hoping that someone who has the resources and the good motivation picks up on this idea and invites me to the inauguration. I will reward that sub with all the free promo I can offer!
I’m an amateur photographer, it’s not my main activity, not even the second on my list of occupations. But I love the art, I put my soul on a plate when I take and publish an image, I love gifted artists, and I think just treatment should be the default in a healthy society. I know for a fact that all situations we put ourselves in should be win-win, otherwise they are lose-lose. Reddit admins think they should be win-fv#k off. No one really wins when the partner loses.

Step 2.
Boycott and protest the leeches, instead of feeding them your work.

Who wants to be the positive character in this dystopia / internet drama and do it right? Now would be a great time for you to act!




If you enjoy any of my work, remember that most of what I do is made freely available to the general public and I rely on your support for keeping it that way, buy me a coffee if you feel like it, thank you!

! My articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

by Silviu Costinescu

A version of this article was originally published on my arts and music blog on Synkretic Network, but since the issue and the angle here are much broader than music, reaching into free speech and economy, I think it has a place on this page too.

How many social protest songs have you seen in the charts this last decade? What does that mean?

There’s a new generation now that hasn’t really experienced the great raw energy of a large mass of people united in chanting a chorus that expresses protest and discontent towards the establishment. “F You, I won’t do what you tell me!” has been replaced with “F you, I will do what this other establishment shill tells me!”. I’m an artist and a promoter in my 40’s and I contemplate the strong possibility that I will never again witness something like the early Rage Against The Machine, or even Lenon’s “Imagine”, becoming largely popular. Social lyricism in hip-hop is in a coma too. And this is how we got here:

Streaming services demonetized protesters

Internet and streaming services are being used to take away underground’s income sources and self-sustainability. You keep hearing Spotify or Soundcloud are not profitable and you keep wondering how do they survive then? They’ll always find financing, because they deliver all the music to the audiences without making the artists’ lives self-sustainable. Sales are a joke now. This way, independent artists become starving artists, and it’s legal, unlike piracy.
Only selected (or fabricated) establishment minions are allowed to thrive. That means only establishment’s messages get through. To the people running the show, this is worth much more money than it costs! A perfect assassination of artistic integrity and social protest. If you hear anything, it’s sponsored. The 2019 RATM, if they re-unite as rumored, won’t be anything like the early RATM because now they need Google and Twitter and Vice and corporate festivals on their side to succeed, not the other way around. The tables have been switched under our noses while we were getting high on Facebook likes.

Of course this new paradigm generated some independent success stories, but what do they all have in common? They fall in line with what’s acceptable for the establishment. And when you zoom out and look at the big picture, which includes all artists, what do you see? I see a huge mass of talented yet starving artists and a bunch of lottery winners, a few new happy faces in the media every year keep the scam going. The middle class in music is dead too.

Social media hijacked the audiences

“Bring your fans aboard so we can disconnect them from you and connect them to our establishment-sponsored BS!”. This has been the plan from the beginning for the mainstream social media. They weren’t here to help artists, unsurprisingly. They’ve just used artists and popular figures to attract the masses and fill up their boat, and then they sailed their own course. Only 5% of your Facebook artist page subscribers see your posts now, but I bet they all are exposed to a ton of Coca Cola, CNN or The Guardian posts even without subscribing to those pages. Perfect heist!

How do we bounce back?

I’ll get massive hate from corporate slaves for saying this, but there’s only one way I can think of and I’m already working on what I preach:

More direct contact with more implication and mutual support from both sides: artists and audiences. If we don’t act now, tomorrow might be harder or even too late.

What does that, technically, mean? Cut off the gatekeepers and middlemen as much as possible, stay in touch directly, support each other directly. This is coming from a guy who partly works as a middleman too; but only because there’s still a need for that, I’ll be happy to focus 100% on my own art when I’m not meeting any needs anymore!  It’s not more simple or more complicated than building and maintaining a little dedicated fanbase without letting it get leached and drained out by gatekeepers and middlemen. That means you can’t use their tools, you have to circumvent them. So now’s the best time to get creative, I await your ideas while I work on mine!

It breaks down to:
Artists need to invest more in their direct contact with the fans than in traditional marketing and media plans. Time to get personal, the industry and corporate media are not doing the job of putting us in touch anymore, they only disconnect us. I spent a good bunch of time and money to create a social network just so that artists and fans of all sorts can freely talk and support each other directly, without interference. I’ll create more tools and options for that, but Synkretic Network already offers all the tools you need for this purpose at no cost. Maybe it’s time to populate it. Or start your own.

Fans need to invest more in the artists that make their lives better, and do it more directly. If you buy an $1 song from Apple or Amazon, there’s at least 3-4 entities that will snatch 50-75% of that money before the artist has a chance to see his share. If you see a donation button, chances are that the artist will be able to spend about 80-90% of the sum you send, so drop your dollar there instead of iTunes and such. Avoid rips and leaches. If you don’t have money to spend, please help spread awareness, it’s just as helpful.  Or help the artists get booked in your city. Just re-invest back in the scene some of the good energy you’re getting from your favorite artists and we’ll be cool again! Only if you want and find it necessary to have a healthy artistic life, for yourself and the whole society as well.

As a personal example, the last couple of years I started to make most of my work, past and present, available for free, because art shouldn’t be for sale in the first place, this is how the whole problem started. Art thrives from honest crowd support. Low sales don’t mean people don’t care about artists anymore, it’s just that they’ve been reprogrammed to care differently and they lost the habit of paying; older folks aren’t aware that paying for listening music is a strange concept to most teenagers in 2019.
I know I’ll get even less donations than sales for a while, but I’ll receive double or triple the percentage and they’ll be available instantly, not 5-6 months later, as per usual with the industry. Also fans can’t ever feel cheated as they conveniently donate whatever they can afford, whenever they can afford it, typically after enjoying artist’s work; and their conscience is the only one to arbiter how much they should invest in this. Win-win situation, that’s what alien pimping is about! Use your money and shares wisely, my friends!

Hopefully I’ll also do a good job at persuading people they need to act as soon as yesterday, and dropping a coin in our digital hats when available can make a difference; so can a few good clicks. I’m becoming a digital busker, as I’ve said before, since I don’t have what it takes to be a good street busker. It’s yet way too early to say how it will work, but I doubt there’s any other way out of this swamp.

So here’s my digital busker hat, I’m already working to thank you: DONATE 
I mean, for consistence, besides other projects, I already have my next protest song in the works, it will be available for free download as soon as possible, whether you drop me a coin or not.

UPDATE + CLOSURE:

from Daily Bonnet

It took about half a year for life to deliver a final closure to this case.
“In response to the outrageous ticket prices a new activist group has emerged called Rage Against Rage Against the Machine”, jokes the satirical site Daily Bonnet, after they found out that the ticket prices for the new 2020 RATM tour are soaring from $190 way up.

THE END

We are funded solely by our most generous readers and we want to keep this way. Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them