Mr Stratton and his bandmates Theo Katzman, Woody Goss and Joe Dart have released three previous albums as Vulfpeck. Sleepify consists of 10 tracks with titles including “Z”, “Zzz” and “Zzzzzz”. Spotify’s average rate for royalties is $0.007 per track streamed, and a song must be played for at least 30 seconds to register.
All the tracks on Sleepify clock in at 31 or 32 seconds; an eight-hour night of continuous streams could thus generate more than $5 in royalties.
The Clarkson row is about something much bigger than his right to offend, which is why we need our public institutions to get with the programme. The inane discussion about whether Clarkson is personally racist is a side-show. He works within an institution that will clearly permit racist crap as laddish banter. Never mind the N-word; “slope” was vile. Oh, he didn’t know that it was nasty? Look, he’s my age. I wager he has seen as many Vietnam war movies as I have.
The Sun had no compunction in naming the 15-year-old pupil suspected of fatally stabbing teacher Ann Maguire in Leeds. It referred to him in the third paragraph of its main inside article as “the alleged killer”.
The Times said the suspect had been “widely named on social media outlets”, but unlike its Wapping stablemate it did not use his name. However, it gave plenty of clues about his identity in its front-page report by revealing details of his appearance, family and online activity.
Other papers were much more circumspect. The Daily Mirror, for example, stated in print that “the alleged attacker cannot be named for legal reasons”. Oddly, this phrase was not in its online version. The Daily Telegraph stuck to the same traditional formula as the Mirror by refusing to reveal the boy’s identity.
Yesterday the New York Police Department invited citizens to post photographs of themselves with police officers using the hashtag #myNYPD. Perhaps inevitably they were not inundated with photos of grinning kids slurping sodas on brownstone steps posing with their friendly neighbourhood cops but a whole torrent of images of police brutality. In answer to the NYPD’s initial tweet “Do you have a photo w/a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it”, the Occupy Wall Street account tweeted a photo of protesters and cops fighting, with the caption “changing hearts and minds one baton at a time”. Many more similar uncosy images followed.
Inevitably, we are bound to ask why a 25-year-old woman should engender so much coverage. What is it about our 2014 news values that dictated such a response?
Yes, celebrity, is at its heart. It is also the case that when people die young and unexpectedly the uniqueness of the event affects the coverage.
But when we stand back from this in, say, a year’s time, it is highly likely that we journalists will reflect on whether the media response was over the top.
A law firm acting on behalf of actor Somi Guha, who appeared in 2006 sci-fi film Children of Men, has written to the BBC claiming Clarkson’s use of the word “slope” – which can be used as a derogatory term for people of Asian descent – contravened the Equality Act 2010.
Guha, who has also featured in The Bill, is seeking an apology and disciplinary action against Clarkson.
In the latest Top Gear series finale, which aired earlier in March, Clarkson and co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May were tasked with building a bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.
At the completion of the task Clarkson said “that is a proud moment, but there’s a slope on it”, just as an Asian man can be seen walking towards him on the bridge.
Hammond replied: “You’re right, it’s definitely higher on that side.”
The increasingly high-profile campaign started by the Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen to add a clause to the deregulation bill currently on its way through parliament to decriminalise evasion immediately had really begun to rattle the BBC. Hence the evident relief at news of a government review that will last at least a year, involve full public consultation and effectively roll the issue into the forthcoming BBC charter review process between now and the end of 2016.