Monday, May 07, 2007

DBC Channel - Outlawed and now R.I.P.

I'm really sad to report the demise of one of my all time favorite YouTube channels, The Deadbeat Club (no link here since it takes you nowhere now). Eva Deadbeat of Burlington, Vermont, had a regular show that had musings on culture, dating, life, weather and everything under the sun. She could span the spectrum from silly to insightful all in one broadcast, and had developed a growing fan base. Thus, she got enough attention from the YouTube police to be shut down as her "found material" got them a bit itchy. Our own little JunkThief TV channel could meet the same fate soon, but I've been thinking about talking to my neighbor next door who works for NetFlix anyway to see if we might cut a deal.

One can't even really blame YouTube completely since it's part of the paranoia brewing with their Viacom lawsuit. Viacom probably wishes they could copyright the alphabet so they could charge 10 cents for every character published anywhere on the globe.

Artists from Shakespeare to Warhol to P-diddy have repurposed existing works and put their own stamp on them. The idea of Free Culture as outlined in Lawrence Lessig's book of the same name is constantly in flux, an eternal dance of creativity and profit.

I was watching the documentary The Lady in Question is Charles Busch last night, and it was clear that much was lost when his outlaw East Village shows became increasingly mainstream. Living in a city where emerging artists have been outpriced for a couple of decades, it makes me often wonder if I live in a fantasy of being surrounded by urban bohemia. Indeed, I am far more establishment than I want to admit. But I doubt I'll be moving to Chowchilla, Fargo or Slab City anytime soon to pursue my artistic integrity. Though the temptation is always there...

Fortunately Eva Deadbeat still has her great blog that is worth visiting and sending her your condolences for this case of Goliath beating up on David (or Davida). I'm sure some great Deadbeat phoenix will rise from these ashes and sing the siren song in the next chapter of internet outsider art. I'm sure Henry Darger and his Vivian girls are smiling down on her at this very moment.

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At 3:26 PM, Blogger Scot said...

I guess that's the trade off for being on a free site, they can easily spin hings to be a breech of 'terms of use' and pull the plug on your work. As a result ALWAYS back up ypur work and never rely on only one server.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Yep, that's why I have at least one back-up of everything as I'm sure Eva does too. It's just the challenge of broadcast in the nebulous region of "free sites" that is always a little spooky.

When Warhol made his 15-minutes of fame statement, he failed to add that the doors will then be forever closed as he did with too many of his superstars.

I'm sure Eva will be one of those like Viva and Brigid that survive, not a crash and burn gal like Edie and Nico.


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