White people have always been renowned for having ridiculously large music collections. So when file sharing gave white people a chance to acquire all the music they ever wanted, it felt as though it was an earned right and not a privilege.
When (not if) you see a white male with a full iPod, ask him if all of his music is legal. If he does not immediately launch into a diatribe about his right to pirate music, you might have to nudge him a bit by saying “do you think that’s right?” The response will be immediate and uniform.
He will likely rattle off statistics about how most musicians don’t make any money from albums, it all comes from touring and merchandise. So by attending shows, he is able to support the musicians while simultaneously striking a blow against multinational corporations. He will proceed to walk you through the process of how record labels are set up to reward the corporation and fundamentally rob the artist of their rights, royalties and creativity. Prepare to hear the name Steve Albini a lot.
Advanced white people will also talk about how their constant downloading of music makes them an expert who can properly recommend bands to friends and co-workers, thus increasing revenues and exposure. So in fact, their “illegal” activities are the new lifeblood of the industry.
When they have finished talking, you must choose your next words wisely. It is considered rude to point out the simple fact that they are still getting music for free. Instead you should say: “Wow, I never thought of it like that. You know a lot about the music industry. What bands are you listening to right now? Who is good?”
This sentence serves two functions: it helps to reassure the white person that they are your local “music expert,” something they prize. Also, it lets them feel as though they have convinced you that their activities are part of a greater social cause and not simple piracy.
If you bring up this issue with white person who says “nah bro, I don’t give a shit, Dave Matthews has enough money as it is.” You are likely dealing with wrong kind of white person.
In the even more rare situation where someone says “it’s all paid for, and it’s all transferred from vinyl.” You have found an expert level white person and must treat the situation carefully.
Because of the availability of music online, a very strict social hierarchy has been created within white culture whereby someone with a large MP3 collection is considered “normal,” a large CD collection is considered to be “better,” and a person with a large vinyl collection is recognized as “elite.”
These elite white people abhor the fact that music piracy has made their B-sides, live performances, and bootlegs available to the masses. Their entire life’s work has been stripped of its rarity in terms of both object and sound on the record. The best thing you can say to them is: “vinyl still sounds better.”
However, it is recommended that you do not let this conversation drag much longer. If you let them continue talking to you they are likely to spend hours talking to you about bands you’ve never heard of and providing you with a weekly mix CD of rarities that you do not want.