Thursday, 3 March 2011

Price tag, we don't want your price tag

I have been listening to a charming pop song by the delightful young artist "Jessie J", prompted by the ravings of a tipsy man on the tube (long story, don't ask).

Some of the lyrics go like this:
Seems like everybody's got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,
Just stop for a minute and smile

It's not about the money, money, money
We don't need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the price tag
What a refreshing attitude, I thought! This insightful young woman has not only written a song about the important and neglected issue of pricing, for the first time since the rapper Meaningful Contribution To Human Progress changed his name to 50 Cent. But she has expressed a subtle understanding of the fact that not all economic incentives are material ones. In many situations, consumers really do just want truth, or a smile, and not a material object. This is implicit in the nature of most exchanges, especially in a knowledge-driven economy.

So imagine my surprise when I logged onto iTunes to buy this song. What do I see but this:


A song called "Price Tag", about how things shouldn't have a price tag, has a price tag!

Many tears were shed over the depressing hypocrisy of this compromised artist. My faith in humanity is shaken. Shattered, in fact.

(I still bought it though.)

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