It’s a simple enough concept. Power and trust have an inverse relationship, at least where the human race is concerned. This has been true in government, business, and religion with few exceptions.
Today, Disney purchased Fox Studios. X-Men, Fantastic Four, and I assume everything created by Groening and McFarlane now owned by a single company.
This is reason for concern. Monopolies hurt consumers by limiting choice. A monopoly on art, however, would limit culture.
Imagine it. All geeky movies, all scifi franchises, controlled, filtered, processed, and packaged by a single entity with a single vision. And it wouldn’t stop there, of course. Soon, tv, books, magazines. Everything under one umbrella.
Not just geeky stuff either. All sit-coms, dramas, period pieces. Every historical picture telling only one version of a market-adapted, corporate-approved history.
Imagine new and veteran writers, both struggling to find room for professional publication. How will they gain wider audiences if their voices do not align with the vision of a publishing monopoly?
Sure, there’s blogs and vlogs. Things go viral all the time. But for now at least, the prospect of paid work resides almost exclusively with traditional publishers. The industry is changing, yes. Patreon and self-publishing software and platforms make it easier than ever for artists to go independent. In other words, to flood the market with free and purchasable content.
Guess which is more popular online?
Maybe I’m exaggerating. I hope I’m wrong. But answer me this: Would we as Americans be ok with exclusively state-sponsored, state-owned media?
If so, this is not the country I thought this was.
If not, why are we ok with Disney owning all our movies and TV shows? All our content?
Should one company have final say on what American (popular) culture looks like?
In the meantime, I hope my fellow writers are either busy Disney-fying their voices as quickly as possible or else preparing to hang on to independent thought as long as possible. Let the record show I shall ever belong to the latter camp.
“I bow not yet before the Iron Crown, / nor cast yet my own small golden sceptre down” –J.R.R. Tolkien