The Pirate's Dilemma

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by Matt Mason

It all began with punk. Hip-hop, raves, graffiti, and gaming pushed it to the next level, and now contemporary technology has made youth culture's ideas and inventions more personal while also making them more worldwide.

Matt Mason of "VICE" magazine, set to become the Malcolm Gladwell of the iPod Generation, tackles the problem of sifting out the changes brought about by the intersection of pop culture and innovation in "The Pirate's Dilemma." He examines the emergence of many young movements, from pirate radio to remix culture, and their effects on society as a whole. Mason approaches topics with zeal and intellect, such as the following: How did a 1970s male model who fooled around with disco music affect Boeing's aircraft design? What was the name of the nun who created dance music, and how is her legacy destroying capitalism as we know it? Did three high school students remix Nazis into Smurfs in the 1980s alter the video gaming industry's future? Is hip-hop capable of bringing world peace? Each chapter clarifies the concept behind one of these fringe groups and demonstrates how it was paired with technology to undermine traditional structures and empower individuals.

Mason uncovers the trends that have transformed countercultural scenes into burgeoning global industries and movements, ultimately changing our way of life, with great wit and insight — and a cast of characters that includes such icons as the Ramones, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Russell Simmons, and 50 Cent.

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Owning something is becoming less important than the right to access it.

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Owning something is becoming less important than the right to access it.

— Matt Mason, The Pirate's Dilemma