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I didn't expect to have played a part in the success of President Elect Obama in the recent race for the Whitehouse. What's he on about now, I hear you ask? Taking much credit for the success of Mr Obama, are his promotions team who deployed a decisive campaign in both fundraising and vote catching. The largest part of which utilised the internet and e-mail cyber world as a channel to reach millions of voters. This was carried out in such a concentrated way as had never been attempted before, and included assaults on YouTube and Facebook.
More than fifty million views have been registered on YouTube for Rickrolling in all its variations. The most recent additions to the scam are those that feature Barack Obama and John McCain. These working to the detriment of the latter and organised, created and uploaded by the promotions people of the former. Tens of millions have clicked on to see groovy Barack dancing to "Never Gonna Give You Up" and, through cut-ups of his own speeches, singing the lyric. As well as genuine clips of him on talk shows moving to the music, are shots at McCain conventions of McCain being Rickrolled.
This is a feat of technical effort which itself deserves an award, but must have also cost a pretty penny. Much of Mr Obama's huge campaign fund was raised through millions of small donations solicited through this same internet and e-mail medium . Some of this from UK individuals who, caught up in Barack fervour, felt inclined to answer the persistent requests by e-mail for donations. All that's fine and dandy but no-one asked me. I'm not saying if I support the Democrats in the US or the Republicans. That would be irrelevant and none of anybody's business. Using my song is. I want a say in how my music is exploited and that is why my partners and I have refused certain requests where the treatment of our material could be detrimental.
It's almost like, a vote for Rick Astley and "Never Gonna Give You up" is a vote for Barack Obama. If you think I've really lost it now, consider this. Rick was voted Best Act Ever by MTV Europe, singing "Never Gonna Give You Up". He didn't show up to collect the award; how sad is that? Even more amazing is that, according to the statistics, more than 1 billion people registered their vote for him. I'll say that again, more than 1 billion registered votes. It is, however, no secret that Rick has never really enjoyed this song and the success it brought. But he should have at least thanked his 1 billion supporters somehow.
On the cult show, 'Family Guy', they used a version of the song in an episode which parodied the movie ‘BackTo The Future'. The song, in this, was described as that ‘mediocre, generic sound.' We gave our permission for this use, some years ago. But the idea was that middle America and its family values brigade would be lampooned by the cartoon and, this song they thought, somehow represented the middle America much sought by candidates in presidential battles. Seems likely, as both candidates appeared on the cartoon, same as Mr Blair and Mr Bush a while ago, that they all see the value in what the show promulgates. Perhaps my song helped carry Mr Obama to victory, perhaps Rick Astley's billion votes is a sarcastic expression of some deep desire to welcome more inclusive music into our lives. Wherever we are with this, it's a shame Rick couldn't see his way clear to take a bow. It's a shame that President Elect Obama's team don't, at the very least, credit their sources. We could all celebrate together. The choice appears to be either a case of champagne, or a case of men behaving sadly.
(c)2008 M Stock
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