Music: Million DJ March to Unite Annoying, Headphone-Wearing Dorks

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


mojo-photo-milliondj.gifThis can’t be serious. Eminem associate DJ Green Lantern and mixtape empresario A. Shaw have just announced The Million DJ March, a series of activities and rallies in support of the good old disk jockey, to be held August 28-30 in Washington D.C. Wait a minute, I’m a DJ. Why do I need to rally? Well, in a press release, Shaw alleges that “DJs do not get fully recognized for the work they do… Label and major businesses who reap the rewards of default publicity need to pay attention and give more recognition and financial compensation to DJs for the promotion they provide, without which music sales would surely suffer.” Well, okay, yes, we play music, people should be happy we do that. Hooray us. But why all this marching? The press release continues:

DJs… are often harassed and legally penalized for their promotional efforts even when those efforts have been solicited directly by the labels and artists themselves: an arrangement that is known about throughout the industry but kept “on the low.”

Hmm, harassment and legal penalties. Are you talking about what happens when you sell thousands and thousands of unauthorized mixtape CDs out of the back of your car?

After the jump: hey, I pressed “play,” that’ll be $25,000.

Either way, speaking as a DJ, I can say with great confidence that DJs are 99% douchebag losers, with our dippy hairdos and “Get Low” remixes and MySpace profiles and shouting out for the crowd to make some noise just because we pressed “play.” Ugh. Moreover, like a lot of the showbiz professions, DJs either make almost no money because they’re playing for 15 friends at the local beer hall, or way, way too much money because they dated Nicole Richie . (Actually he’s a talented DJ and a nice guy, but still, $10,000-$25,000 per set?)

Okay, sure, Grandmaster Flash, astounding genius, and yes, I’ve enjoyed amazing sets by everybody from Q-Bert to Erol Alkan. There’s as much art to a good DJ set as there is to any musical performance, or a photo collage, or whatever. But if cover bands marched on Washington to demand appreciation for helping promote their near-namesakes, people might find it a little ridiculous. Or, come to think of it, completely awesome. Can we get Superdiamond and No Way Sis to headline?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest