The super-devoted fans of pop music—your Beliebers, your Directioners—are insane, and love to be insane. But this, well, this is something: Milo Yiannopoulos, a columnist for Business Insider, spent $1,200 on a plane ticket in order to fly to Germany from London and buy Mariah Carey's new album today.
Yiannopoulos explains his reasoning in a post this morning titled "I Had To Buy A $1,200 Plane Ticket To Get Mariah Carey's New Album, And It's All The Record Label's Fault". He describes why he dropped an entire month's rent on something he could buy for $10 like this:
Why am I travelling across Europe to purchase a CD? Because I don't steal music, and because record labels are a—holes. The album comes out today in Germany and Australia, but, for some reason, the U.S. and the U.K. both have to wait until next week. Which I don't want to.
In the age of torrenting, staggered international releases are ridiculous. Thanks to differing time zones, a Friday release in Australia actually means that the album was in the wild as early as 3 p.m. London time the previous day—i.e., before I even arrived at the airport. Does Mariah's record label really expect fans not to download a major new release at the earliest possible second?
And for those who aren't obsessives and simply like her music, why would someone spend money on an album a week after they already downloaded it? Replacing a torrent with a new, legal copy would totally mess up iTunes play counts, for a start.
Of course, the fact that albums get released on different days in different countries isn't a problem for literally almost every single person on Earth. So asking not just record labels, but an entire industry of people and machines, to bend to the wills of a small group of maniacs is, at best, extremely myopic.
But Yiannopoulos eventually gets to the real reason why he dropped a grand on a singer's 14th album, and it has nothing to do with a record label.
There's a certain cachet to doing something so ridiculous. It puts you squarely in the premier league of fans. (Since you ask, Mariah devotees are called "lambs.") In this age of torrents and iTunes gift cards (which can be used to open foreign accounts, if you're really determined), it's getting harder and harder to demonstrate that you're a proper nut-job groupie. I'm hoping no one bested me and flew to Australia, by the way, because that would murder my standing in the forums.
Let pop music fandom never die.