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What the Lawsuit Against Lady Gaga Says About Modern America

When Tarō Gomi’s 1977 children’s book “Everyone Poops” first sold in the United States in 1993, Gomi couldn’t possibly have predicted the title of the story's sequel, let alone America's twenty-first century analog to his first book.

Although we haven’t yet heard any official word on its future release, or even whether it’s yet being written, the subject is bound to be just as familiar, only far more repulsive. 

I just hope that whichever author and publisher decide to collaborate on this important undertaking are aware of the associated risks. 

Either way, “Everyone Sues” is sure to be a massive hit, and Lady Gaga’s latest predicament will certainly help to bolster sales. 

In news this week, nine-time Grammy Award winner Lady Gaga is being sued for "millions and millions" for her song's use of three solitary chords whose short progression resembles that of a relatively unknown five-year-old song by an obscure artist on music sharing website SoundCloud. 

While the two songs clearly share the same chord sequence, it's a minor overlap that anyone could find between virtually an unlimited number of songs ever composed. 

Indeed, nearly every form of music expresses an adaptation of that which preceded it. 

In fact, the plaintiff's own song features a riff that appears to imitate Matchbox Twenty's 1997 hit 3AM, which was released nearly two decades beforehand.

All this proves is that people are greedy and that the judicial system has aided in wrecking this country by mass-producing the victimhood mentality and encouraging its citizens to file suit for anything and everything. 

There is no “fair” life, and any measure that aims to achieve this unavoidably exacts a cost somewhere on someone. 

As the plaintiff sings in his very own song, "Sometimes this life isn't fair."

Life isn’t an exercise in fairness or righteousness; it’s a bout for survival, plain and simple. 

And the market doesn’t independently demonstrate what someone or something is worth spiritually or existentially; it demonstrates only what something, or someone’s work, is worth to those who demand it, who incidentally comprise the market. 

Even if one person writes and produces a song, there may be a greater market for someone else to perform it. 

Even if someone thinks of a clever idea, there will predictably be a greater market for someone to express or realize it. 

Even if someone discovers a solution, a procedure or a cure, there may be a greater market for someone to demonstrate, perform or administer it. 

Even if someone introduces a new method or technique, someone will eventually come along to augment or improve it, and someone is just as certain to apply it more effectively. 

In many such cases, we find that the market exhibits the best sellers and doers, who are often, but certainly not always, some of the best innovators and thinkers. 

Just as we cannot reliably determine the measurable extent to which each worldly factor is responsible for our respective stations in life, we cannot possibly determine, without irrevocably mutilating the fabric of a free society, what any other person or institution is owed, beyond binding contract, for its contribution to any given outcome. 

In any event, it appears that the publicity has already handsomely benefitted the plaintiff in this case, whose track now shows nearly three-hundred thousand listens on SoundCloud, up from three-hundred before the release of this development. 

Admittedly, the plaintiff's song is actually decent, but it shares basically nothing else in common with Lady Gaga's "Shallow" beyond that basic three-chord sequence. 

I regret that we live in a country where fame and fortune can be garnered through a governmental and judicial mafia that stands ready to steal from some to give to others on the basis of arbitrary, even shallow, interpretations of "law" or "fairness." 

Finally, it's simply impossible to assess the value of nebulous "damages" or "losses" incurred by the plaintiff, as we cannot possibly estimate the value of those three simple chords in relation to the rest of the track. 

Just as with fashion and all other forms of art, the value of music is contained not merely in its imitable form or content, nor in the bare sequence or frequency of its notes, but rather in the combination of many factors including, but not limited to, the quality of the artist's production, distribution and marketing. 

Just as the teams at Prada, Gap and Ralph Lauren don't owe the original weavers and cultivators of cotton, the first purse and denim manufacturers, or the designer (or sport-inspired namesake) of the polo shirt, artists ought not be restrained by some manufactured obligation to the inventors or producers of their tools, the theories and ideas of their predecessors, or the preceding styles and methods they intend to improve or emulate. 

This is ultimately the very nature of progress, as subsequent creators, visionaries and generations stand on the shoulders of the achievements of their predecessors, enabling them to see and eventually realize ever greater opportunities ahead. 

Ultimately, anything which intends to curtail this process serves only to delay, at best, or thwart, at worst, the enjoyment of its eventual manifestation, albeit with the shallow justifications of well-adorned charlatans with the henchmen to back them up.  


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