Crank calls, crushes, confessions. Dialing the 1-800 number on a box of hair dye to ask the operator whether blondes really do have more fun. Some of it only works when you’re 13, but there’s still an inherent charge in illicit dialing. For this reason, the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning on the flap of the new Nine Inch Nails album almost had me at hello. Apparently attached by Reznor’s people, an additional memo from the “United States Bureau of Morality” warns against subversive behavior, and supplies a help line.
What form of subversion (for us grown ups) is more 24/7 than pirating media? And as anyone pissed off that they can’t listen to the new Feist record on their computer knows, Interscope is Enemy #1. Nevertheless, someone there allows their artists to be hooligans about it; probably because they know controversy sells. Part of the text reads:
“If you or someone you know has engaged in subversive acts or thoughts, call: 1-866-445-6580. BE A PATRIOT – BE AN INFORMER!”
You might think I’m a big pushover to have shivered at the sight of this, but a quick scan of the number and the all-caps print and it didn’t seem too far-fetched. The horror! Then upon realizing it was marketing, the delicious trickery! I had a fully hedonistic weekend, so I gave the number a call. If you’ve entertained any left-of-center thoughts, do the same, but be warned: You’re a potential militant!
Details to come on whether or not this proves to be the most interesting thing about Year Zero. I gotta say, their Web site looks like the Year 1998.