The Pacquiao-Mayweather bout made me think interesting thoughts about the mass dissemination of information and technology. As an artist, I understand the hype machine. I understand the need to “Get Paid.” File sharing on the internet has two faces, the one that lets anyone who has a good idea spread it to the world, the other that allows people to steal valuable commodities from artists who own the intellectual property.
I also understand George Orwell’s worry about constant supervision by the state. It’s wonderful as long as a person goes along with the wishes of said state. It’s not so good when a person falls outside those boundaries.
The technology is here, and it’s not going away. The ability to see everything with our own eyes is actually a boon to the common man, in that powerful entities should not be able to get away with violations of human rights without someone catching them and telling the world about it. We are seeing this first hand in this country right now, where people with their phones are recording violations by police against our citizens. It’s uncomfortable, to be sure, but it’s important too. As a society, we clearly have learning to do about how we treat one another.
How does this relate to Mayweather/Pacquiao? It is an event, an event that everyone knows is happening, at a specific time, which everyone and their brother wants to watch, where there are hundreds or thousands of cameras, reporters and bystanders. Yet the powers that be are still able to keep the world from watching live, unless they pay a fee. This is not about fairness for the boxers or the promoters, or for some kid who wants to watch but can’t afford it. The problem is, if they can keep us from seeing the fight, what else can people with power and money keep us from seeing? I’m sorry Manny. I’m sorry Floyd. I’m sorry Mr. Orwell. Ideas and creativity are what is important, not money. Total transparancy is available. Only by embracing it can we grow up and learn to get along as a human race.