The Parable of the Tuileries – Pt. 1 The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility

Yesterday in Economics of Entertainment, we were introduced to a concept coined by the (right-winged) French newspaper Le Monde. They released a short animated video clip that aims to support the public funding of Culture through three basic concepts of economics: the law of diminishing marginal utility, the principle of positive externalities, and the multiplier effect. However, one could easily argue that this video was pieced together in a rather simple, if not unintelligent manner that shows elements of syllogism through hasty shortcuts and overly general conclusions.

Have a sit through the video, after which you might find yourself convinced because of how much it ‘makes sense’.

Now, let’s run through the first of the three economic concepts illustrated in the clip. I must warn you though, this is purely an exercise in contradiction,

The first one I’d like to talk about is the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility. It introduces the concept that as an individual increases consumption of one specific product, while keeping the consumption of other goods at a constant, he will experience a decline in the utility or perceived benefits that he or she can draw from the product.
You might want to think of it as gospel if you’re running an ‘all you can eat’ buffet-type restaurant because indeed, each additional plate of food the customer helps himself to will inevitably provide less satisfaction than the previous one. That is due the finite nature of the space available in a human stomach.

It might be a futile attempt for me to try and put this in perspective, but intellectual masturbation never hurt anyone. Le Monde puts it clearly, this law applies to ALL types of goods but one. And how convenient is it that the exception is Culture? It even goes further than that and assumes that in ALL cases, the more you increase your consumption of cultural goods, the more you’ll retrieve exponential satisfaction from it. As if listening to the same Schubert piece for the 40th time were to be more exalting than the second or third. You’d believe that an outer-body experience would occur on the 41st, but anyway…

The video claims that the more you listen to Schubert, the more satisfaction you’ll get from it, and the more eager you are to listen Beethoven, then Brahms etc…
Wait! Some of you might have realised that they’ve just switched from considering the marginal utility of one specific product (lemonade/one Schubert piece), to a whole category of goods (classical composers).
That’s literally comparing apples and pears, no fruit pun intended, but one’s mind is capable of great leaps when it comes to serving a purpose. So I ask, would the benefits perceived from drinking lemonade not turn an individual on to consuming more freshly squeezed juice in general? whether it be orange, apple etc…

Is there even a point in furthering this conversation? Let’s carry on, just for the heck of it…

I could also easily argue that the more I listen Schubert, the more nauseating it gets because Schubert has no emotional resonance with my childhood, or even brings back traumatic experiences of a totalitarian music teacher. Who knows…? Since we’re mixing up categories, I could even argue that the purchase of a Macbook would create incentive for me to purchase an iPhone and then an iPad etc… And trust me, the satisfaction of going on a shopping spree for that kind of products does not diminish with repetition.
Therefore, one could argue that high-tech ecosystemic goods are impermeable to the law of diminishing marginal utility, contradicting the first premise of the video that Culture is the only good to which the concept doesn’t apply. Unless of course I’ve missed the point that Apple products are encompassed in the realm of Culture. In which case, should they too be publicly funded?

Please let me know if you were able to follow some (if not all) of the arguments highlighted here or if I’m just rambling. Probably the latter…

I’m really curious to see if I’ll gather the motivation to write parts two and three of this series…

Here’s a brilliant Snarky Puppy tune, in the Brazilian style of Forró bound to get you rid of the mid-day Thursday blues:

Music Video of The Week – Protest The Hero – Hair-Trigger


Protest the Hero are one of my all time favourites when it comes to progressive rock/metal or even music in general. They’re technical when it comes to music, but they also writes with guts, which is a fine balance that too few bands know how to reach these days. They never fail to impress with epically technical and serious riffs that will leave any ‘metal’ guitarist astonished and excited with the urge to want to transcribe. These guys know how to shred-out and know most importantly to stay real, and not to take themselves too seriously. And as far as songwriting goes, this album entitled Scurrilous shows a huge leap in maturity. While they used to throw-in (sick) riffs after (sick) riffs, with odd-time signatures changes that wouldn’t necessarily be related, the Canadian quintet opted for a slightly more discreet style of complexity. Instead, they seem to focus more on re-orchestration of riffs and themes, and their songs seem to have more of a palpable structure to them as well.


This music video for Hair-Trigger was shot with the signature Protest The Hero touch of humour. These guys just don’t seem to give a care and remain down to earth despite all the success they have encountered through there music. Whether it’s through Luke Hoskin making out with an attractive gal whilst shredding along to the track, or Arif Mirabdolbaghi making out with a dog, or Rody Walker urinating against a tree whilst singing in duet with the feature artist Jadea Kelly, you clearly get the gist of what message Protest the Hero wants to get across.

Snarky Puppy ft. Jayna Brown – I’ll Do Me – Family Dinner Volume One


Most of the music-savvy folks out there already know the name of Snarky Puppy. The band has pretty much become a benchmark in terms of jazz bands and they truly deserve the exposure. The individual level of proficiency that the members demonstrates can certainly account for that. All of their albums are recorded and filmed live, and the band director and composer, Michael League shows-off his genius on every occasion. This song, I’ll Do Me, is a blues tune. It’s not the usual style that Snarky usually performs in, they’re more of the big band type of register. But this whole album is more than just Snarky Puppy. Family Dinner volume 1 showcases talent from the MusicLab at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. and plays arrangements of one of each guest’s songs; the result is phenomenal. Back to this song however. The tune was written by a 12 year old girl named Jayna Brown and boy can she sing. She belts it like she has had a lifetime of experience at singing blues. Gabriel Morales, a 15 year-old guitar student, also from the Jefferson Center, joins her and takes a solo that is all blues and taste. It is truly amazing to see two young musicians playing alongside others twice their age, and show an equal level of musicianship. It is also reassuring and comforts the idea that not all talented young musicians set themselves on a path to become the next Bieber or Cyrus and grow up to get in fights with paparazzis or do drugs on stage. But this is another battle.


The whole concept for this DVD stays true to the vibe Snarky usually sets for their live recordings and even brings it forward. The live setup usually consists of the 20+ piece-band playing in a circle around a reduced crowd of 25 (or so) people. This time the band is set on a stage, and the crowd is scattered around it and sat on living room sofas and comfy cushioned chairs. Half of this record was shot and recorded on the one evening. On the second evening, around 800 people were invited to attend the performance, recording, and video shoot session. The vibe that seeps out is that of a cosy evening at a local jazz bar, minus the gin & tonic. And the picture matches the quality of the music, it captures the atmosphere perfectly and complements it with slow pans and occasional close-ups of players pulling faces that evoke groove and concentration.

Definitely a band to check out if you haven’t already, and this encompasses the entirety of their music. They touch upon all styles of grooves and melodies, and have just enough jazz to get the undivided attention of most musicians without losing that of non-players who aren’t generally attracted to that type of music.

Picture of Yoon Mi Rae from cover of MFBTY new single "Sweet Dream"

*NEW* Artist of the Week: YOON MI RAE

The purpose of this blog is to showcase upcoming artists who have either signed with a label or chosen to build their career through a Direct2Fan method.

ARTIST/GROUP: Yoon Mi Rae (윤미래)
ALSO KNOWN BY: Baby Tasha, Toddler Tasha, t Yoon Mi Rae, T, Baby T, Yoon Mirae BIRTH NAME: Natasha Shanta Reid Yoon
AGE: 31
ORIGIN: South Korea

GENRE: Hip Hop, R&B
LABEL: Jungle Entertainment

TWITTER: 610,841 followers |
YOUTUBE: 3,993 video views |
FACEBOOK: 7,094 likes |


I discovered Yoon Mi Rae at the MIDEM Festival 2013 in Cannes, France. She was interviewed by Emily Gonneau at the Direct2Fan Camp along with her husband Tiger JK (Drunken Tiger) and Kellee Maize earlier that day. I had no idea I was sitting in front of who would become my newest favorite female rapper.

MFBTY was the featured performing group that Sunday evening. Tiger JK lead the first few selections with Bizzy as the MC, but it wasn’t until Yoon Mi Rae took the stage that the audience “turnt up.” The crowd was waving their hands to her flow (myself included), and shouting her call-and-response lyrics. I knew I was really interested when I realized I was enjoying her performance without even being able to understand all of what she was saying. She would switch from rapping in English to Korean at any moment, but she never lost the crowd’s attention. She even had the crowd shouting call-and-response lyrics in Korean!

Check out this video snippet of her I recorded at the Festival:

Yoon Mi Rae definitely has unique characteristics about her rapping. Whether she’s speaking in English or Korean, you appreciate the rhythm of her flow and the mesmerizing tone of her voice. Her father was a DJ, so she was exposed to various genres of music from an early age, especially Hip Hop.

Unfortunately, my research is fairly limited due to my incomprehension of Korean. Most official websites with biographical information about her are only available in Korean because she has not yet expanded to the US (or any other English-speaking countries for that matter) yet.

Yoon Mi Rae is known as the Hip Hop Queen in Korea. Her single “Get It In” ranked #1 on several music sites including Mnet, Olleh Music, Cyworld BGM, Naver Music, Bugs, and Soribada. In 2011, she was the #1 searched personality on major Korean search engines, and I’m certain that only Psy may have overtaken that record since then. Check it out!

Yoon Mi Rae “Get It In”:

Yoon Mi Rae recently collaborated with Tiger JK and Bizzy to form the Hip Hop group MFBTY (My Fans Better Than Yours). They just released their new single “Sweet Dream” in January, and it already has nearly 200,000 views on YouTube. Check it out!

MFBTY “Sweet Dream”:

The group represented South Korea at MIDEM 2013 to bring awareness to other genres of Korean music besides the most popularly known “Gangnam Style.” Here’s their thoughts:

MFBTY Interview at MIDEM 2013 Direct2Fan Camp:

Yoon Mi Rae definitely has me hooked. I look forward to her debut in the US so I can boast to my friends about having discovered her first. If she ever decides to take off in the US, I’m sure she will become the next Nicki Minaj. Stay tuned!

Prayre Finley

Oak, Jessica, and Jeff Benjamin. “MFBTY (Tiger JK, Yoon Mirae and Bizzy) Spread Korean Hip-Hop in France.” BillboardBiz. 05 Feb 2013: Web. 16 Feb 2013.

leesa86. “Yoon Mi Rae (Tasha) swiftly sweeps the charts with ‘Get It In’.” allkpop. 27 Oct 2011: Web. 16 Feb 2013.

Choose Your Own {Music Video} Adventure!

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Last year, Neilsen reported that music is consumed in the U.S. three times more through YouTube than via legal downloads.  This year, in their survey of a few thousand high school students, they discovered that two thirds of them use videos to initially discover songs.  When you are inclined to investigate new music, and Shazam isn’t the answer, what do you do?  Remember when you heard that iPod nano commercial in 2008 that was all bubbly and made you do a shoulder dance even though you didn’t want to? … ‘I tried to do handstands for you/ but every time I fell for you-oo-oo-oo, oo-ooo-ow-woo-woo?’ If you looked it up, you weren’t alone.  That’s Chairlift.  And every version/cover/video of that song has millions of views.

Since then, this Brooklyn duo has made some some fun music and some seriously innovative videos.  In 2009, their single “Evident Utensil” was nominated for an award in the “Breakthrough Video” category at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. It had the images all pixilated, was beautiful, and the concept was quickly stolen by Kanye.  “Amanaemonesia” shows the singer, the striking Caroline Polachek, dancing in a skintight bodysuit, with some very weird animation in between.  Still another is a creepy mix of a ballerina’s nervous breakdown/three bodies in trash bags that move on the floor like worms, and then ends….. if you watch the black screen for another minute and a half, you are rewarded by one last frame of the dancer, like she came back in the room and turned the light back on.

Polachek has said, “Film is the ultimate medium of our age”; she certainly has an eye for the visual, and Chairlift is now known for their music videos.  It’s been a way for them to get a little extra attention, especially in a genre of hipster music where videos aren’t too prevalent.  Storytelling is a powerful thing; it makes us not only remember, but in turn, recall it again to a friend.  If something is worth repeating, then it not only made an impression on us, but it has stayed with us enough that we feel compelled to share it.

Which brings me to my point: Remember “Choose Your Own Adventure Books”?  These tiny novels began a story, but then based on your choices, you determined the outcome.  With the help of Director Jordan Fish, who worked with MGMT, and the creative-tech company m ss ng p eces, Chairlift made a high-tech interactive video for ‘Met Before’ in which the viewers click the arrow of their choice to determine the next scene. There have been a few attempts at this before (Riot in Paris did one in 2010), but none are as seamless as this.  I haven’t played with it too much, but every time I have, a completely different thing happened.  It makes me wish I had a desk job, it’s so fun.  The song keeps playing without interruption, and you get to look at her beautiful face the whole time, which is a bonus.  (Click below to get your weird personalized adventure on:)


So if all the kids are using videos anyway, why not give them something to talk about?  This clever gimmick is not only a way to get a consumer to listen to the entire track, but it will more than likely prompt him or her to tell a friend to check it out.   You can find all of Chairlift’s videos (including other versions of ‘Met Before”) at