During the Vietnam War, the left further weakened itself by abandoning the notion of patriotism. Young antiwar leaders burned the flag instead of invoking the ideals of the republic it represents. By turning their backs on the idea of patriotism — and even on the brave men who were fighting the unpopular war — the left abandoned the field to the right to “brand” patriotism as it own, often in a way that means uncritical support for anything the executive branch decides to do. In the Reagan era, when the Iran-contra scandal showed a disregard for the rule of law, college students were preoccupied with the fashionable theories of post-structuralism and deconstructionism, critical language and psychoanalytic theories developed by French philosophers Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida that were often applied to the political world, with disastrous consequences. These theories were often presented to students as an argument that the state — even in the United States — is only a network of power structures. This also helped confine to the attic of unfashionable ideas the notion that the state could be a platform for freedom; so much for the fusty old Rights of Man.
We’d always assumed the labels had met with a team of technology experts in the late nineties and ignored their advice, but it turns out they never even got that far — they didn’t even try! Understanding the Internet certainly isn’t easy — especially for an industry run by a bunch of technology-averse sexagenarians — but it’s definitely not impossible. The original Napster hit its peak in 1999 — kids born since then have hacked into CIA computers. Surely it wouldn’t have taken someone at Universal more than a month or two to learn enough about the Internet to know who to call to answer a few questions. They didn’t even have any geeky interns? We give this industry six months to live.
Morris insists there wasn’t a thing he or anyone else could have done differently. “There’s no one in the record company that’s a technologist,” Morris explains. “That’s a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn’t. They just didn’t know what to do. It’s like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?” Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn’t an option. “We didn’t know who to hire,” he says, becoming more agitated. “I wouldn’t be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me.” Morris’ almost willful cluelessness is telling. “He wasn’t prepared for a business that was going to be so totally disrupted by technology,” says a longtime industry insider who has worked with Morris. “He just doesn’t have that kind of mind.”
Muir Woods Muir Woods National Monument, November 2007 (via Robby Edwards)
Lombard Street San Francisco, November 2007 We drove down Lombard Street and then park and I waited as Emily and Rachelle hiked partway up the street so I could take a photo of them. (via Robby Edwards)
California Coast Golden Gate National Recreation Area, November 2007 A view of the California Coast looking back at San Francisco in the distance (via Robby Edwards)
Alcatraz Island Alcatraz, November 2007 A view of Alcatraz taken from the ferry on our way to the island. (via Robby Edwards)
Golden Gate in the Fog San Francisco, November 2007 A view of the Golden Gate Bridge taken from the ferry on our way to Alcatraz. The fog started to come in during our ferry ride and by the time we had climbed to the cell house the fog had obscured our view of San Francisco. (via Robby Edwards)
Ferns by the Waterside Muir Woods National Monument, November 2007 (via Robby Edwards)
Windswept Point Reyes National Seashore, November 2007 This is one of a series of photos I took while hiking to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. It was a windy and blustery day, making for a cold hike. (via Robby Edwards)