Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh the Joys of Shopping at Amazon...

I have almost had it with Amazon. Recently I ordered a copy of the Bernstein/Kostelantz/Previn Gershwin collection. I ordered it because the photo of the back cover of this CD indicates that it was made in Europe. I try to avoid buying American product given how this nation has been taken over by ubercapitalist gamblers who don't care about this country and don't care about the citizens of this country. I have stopped buying Naxos classical product entirely given that they now assemble and print some of their product in the dixiefornicated anti-union state of Tennessee. Germany, Austria, and Holland, on the other hand, where most classical CD's are produced in the EU, have placed breaks on speculative casino capitalism and still have strong unions. As a consumer I prefer to "vote" for the latter and not the former.

Now back to Amazon and its practises: The question has to be asked how this muckup, if it was an accident, occurred. One could, I suppose, read this use of a photo of a European edition of Gershwin/Bernstein/Previn instead of the American edition (the one I was sent), by Amazon as yet another example of Amazon laziness. Presumably they can't be bothered to get the photos right particularly when they can borrow one from their cousins European at Amazon.uk, Amazon.fr, and Amazon.de.

There is some merit, I suppose, to the laziness argument. Why? Because there are other examples of Amazon sins that appear to be the product of just plain laziness and sloppiness. Amazon, for instance, has a tendency to carry over the reviews of a previous DVD transfer of a film and television programme to a new DVD transfer. Take a look at the various DVD releases of the BBC 1984 where the reviews from the various releases of this TV broadcast version have been rolled into one making it virtually impossible to judge the quality of the various releases on the basis of the various reviews. Apparently Amazon simply can't be bothered to weed out reviews for DVD's when a new transfer of a film has come out. They seem to assume that once you have seen one transfer you have seen them all. This assumption, of course, is not true. Any Criterion release, as a general rule, is far superior to any Echo Bridge release.

Of course, not everyone is willing to give Amazon a laziness, sloppiness, or stupidity pass here. Recent Amazon behaviours--its membership in the nefarious ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), its offering of those who enter information about the price of a book in a brick and mortar bookstore into their smart phone a discount, their attempt to do a Standard Oil and gain a monopoly on electronic books by underpricing competitors--raises questions about whether Amazon's mistakes are sins of slopiness and stupidity or intentional acts of commission. Clearly such behaviours are deliberate attempts by Amazon to gain market share and as such they are not sins of laziness and sloppiness. Amazon instead appears to operate by the standard operating practises of corporations, practises that are inherent within modern capitalism, practices that seek to monopolise the marketplace. As a result Amazon is rather like John D. Rockefeller's Gilded Age Standard Oil who pioneered in running their competitors out of business by underpricing them and gaining a monopoly as a result. Speaking of economic bureaucracies and their monopolistic and cartellistic practises, isn't it curious that your standard anti-government libertarian and tea partier don't seem to see these practises as a threat to human freedom when they clearly are?

As to the Bernstein/Previn Gershwin CD, it is not bad. As commentators have noted, however, Bernstein makes cuts in the score (boo) and these performances seem more Bernstein than Gershwin (boo).

So to sum up three stars for the Bernstein/Previn Gershwin performances and 0 stars for Amazon.

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