Friday, April 15, 2011

Framing the Debate

Happy Friday, Comrades!

Or would you prefer "The week is almost dead?"

There's always two sides to any story, and since we're storytellers, we can tell either one we choose. We're also salespeople, and the sooner we realize that, the better. We're selling our music and opinion to the masses. I like to think of it like the American gangster Al Capone put it - "I'm just a businessman providing a service that the people want" (Something like that.)

How we frame the debate directly affects our sales pitch. Jumping in the time machine, let's go back just a few years to a stifling summer in Quantico, Virginia. My Kirk Hammet meets Eddie Van Halen hair didn't help matters, but hey, it sure looked cool. I was smack in the middle of my days as an environmental organizer. (Actually, that's one right there - I could say "my days as a long haired hippie", but that doesn't sound good.) The teacher of the class outlined some important principles. There was, and always is, a fight over the oil reserves in Alaska. Proponents of the drilling call it "ANWR" (ann warr), and the environmentalists call it "The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."

Big oil calls it "exploration." Hey, didn't Lewis and Clark explore America?" That's a great vibe!

The greens call it "drilling" - casting it in a much more negative light.

Now, I happen to be on the side of the greens with this issue, but details don't matter for our discussion.

What you can see is the word choice is vital. Looking back at the healthcare spat would provide many good examples of what I'm talking about. Read editorials from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal if you're really serious about research.

Moving to music: Let's say you're an unknown band trying to break into the scene. Bad choice: Unknown band tries to break into scene. Good choice: A fresh new band is set to rock the town - don't miss their show to hear the very latest of what promises to be a bold new trend in music!"

OK, maybe that's overkill, because people can see through your "legal troubles" to know you were in the slammer. But again, it's all how you frame it. Hey, let's say you WERE in the slammer, and starting a new band.

Bad choice: Ex-convicts try for fresh start.

Good choice: John Smith knowns what it's like to be on the wrong side of luck. He also knows what it's like to work your way back to the right. Come out to hear his authentic fire-tempered blues.

Spin it!

- Josh

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