To many people, globalisation spells the end of freedom. These people don’t exist in the eyes of governments, corporations, huge companies or bankers. These people don’t even reside solely in the countries used by aforementioned controllers as slave labour. Some live in developed countries, feeling choked by the constant consumerism and the endless struggle to dress the best, own the best stuff or in general be the best. They obviously haven’t ever joined the army – I doubt it’s ever crossed their mind. Then there are the Others. The Others that are forced to work making clothes for Primark, Nike and Topshop for 18 hours a day (on a short shift) earning 10p every 2 hours. These people clearly get the lesser end of the deal, and they certainly can’t understand what makes their lives so much less important than those half the world away willing to turn a blind eye to all of this. There are some of these “more important” people, however, who open their eyes to how their fellow human beings are treated in the name of fashion and trends. These people realise what’s gone wrong, and think in what is described as a “leftist” way when they try to do something about it. These people, in my opinion at least, simply think in an empathetic way, and actually try to take into account all sides of the story before judging. That’s not to say they’re not biased, of course they are, but the bias with them exists in a way which can only be productive.
In a nutshell, that’s the alternative. The people who choose to or have no choice but to think differently to how you are taught/expected to think. Myself, I’m not quite there, I like to think of myself as somwhere in the grey zone between, an area that is all but inevitable to appear. I don’t support capitalism entirely, but I do like the relative freedom it provides. I would expect others think of me as swayed towards the alternative, but that opens up the whole can of worms about opinions and what the “normal” really is. That, however, is a part of life that no-one can ever fully understand, least of all explain. So I’ll metaphorically drop it and leave it alone, never to touch it again. Probably.
You may be wondering why I’ve gone to all of the trouble to attempt to explain this. Or what benefit it has to you reading this. Well, think of it as an introduction to what I’m about to do. (This post was originally written many moons ago, and was left gathering virtual dust in my drafts box. Seeing as my last published post is on roughly the same topic, I figured now is a good a time as any to share this) I’m going to offer you some digital alternatives to the mainstream, that you may or may not find helpful/useful. The reason for all of this? They’re alternatives that I support/use, and if I convince/convert at least one of you I’ll consider myself a success.
iTunes: You’ve heard of it if you own an iPod, iPhone or iPad. That program that syncs all of your music/videos/games for your mobile benefit. Have you ever noticed though, how restrictive it is? No support for high quality FLAC or open source OGG files, it’s overly simple to use that means it misses out on important customisation features. It doesn’t even like Windows that much, and if you have more than 40GB of music in your collection you’ll really notice how slow it gets when you try and start it up. So much so that I don’t even have it on my PC any more. But I can still sync my iPod. Why is that? Well, I use a program called;
foobar2000 (f2K): Already at a bonus because of it’s interesting name, this program really is the dog’s bollocks of music librarians. Super support for almost any type of music file, super low system resource usage, unbeliveably customisable (to the point where you can rebuild its layout from scratch), and not bad sound quality too, it has to be the best library organiser I’ve ever used. It also has some handy mp3 maintenance tools to let you fix broken files that won’t play or be recognised by another media player. And, it supports iPod. Yes, it will let you sync music (even in non-iPod formats) to the iPod/iPhone in just as simple a fashion as iTunes. Just plug in your iPod, select music to sync, and press Add. It really is just that simple.
Music: On the topic of your music library, what’s in it? Is it reminiscent of the UK top 40 charts of weeks gone by? I’m not going to ridicule that. It’s not my personal taste as you may have gathered from knowing me or from perusing my previous posts, and I try not to be as elitist as other metalheads. However, if you’re looking for broader sonic horizons, consider some of the albums you can see in the various desktop screenshots scattered around my blog page, and also as the titles of quite a few of my blog posts. (I’ll add that the above screenshot is current as of now, when I’m editing this for publish. This post was also created before I started the metal album title thing, so googling “Globalise Resistance” won’t provide you with a new metal album to listen to, rather links to the homepage of the anti-capitalist organisation of the same name.) I don’t need to tell you that there is a huge Smörgåsbord of metal albums to sample – puns aside, I used that term because Sweden is a rather good place to start in your quest for metal, if you’re interested in looking. Sweden is also where my (and I use this word sparingly) favourite band come from. If there is one band I’ll ever implore you to listen to, it’s the Diablo Swing Orchestra. The band are an acquired taste for sure, but I can only marvel at the compositional genius that goes on in their music, seamlessly blending countless different styles of music together into small pieces of musical brilliance. YouTube has many of their works uploaded for your convenience, so try it out!
I’ve already realised that this has become more of an essay than a blog post, the first one so far to exceed one thousand words, so I might return with more alternative music/videos/programs in another edition at a later date. I might not, the next one may also end up in the drafts bin for a couple of months.
People not profit.