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David Byrne says

The Three Most-Asked Questions Regarding the ARChive Answered For You

What is ARC?


Why is this institution not supported by the government?

Well, it probably will be some day — our public libraries were not initiated by the government, but Scottish philanthropists. But the government sort of supports them now — although not very well. The government will probably take over ARC by the year 2000. They’ll relocate to an immense space in Langley, Virginia — if the World Trade Towers are not available. Employees in static-free designer outfits will silently and efficiently retrieve recordings with special gloves and tweezers. They then place them in special electronic digitial devices the size of a toenail (a musical device which exists now in Japan, but is being withheld, for marketing reasons, for another 10 years). These devices allow us, wherever we are, instant access to any recording at any time. When the future comes, you who have supported ARC will never have to stand in line at Tower [Records] again. The rest of the world will spend most of their days in lines, and not only at record stores. All materials used in the manufacture of consumer goods will be incredibly scarce. Living tissue will be cheap and plentiful. The streets will be filled with live musicians — great ones. But recordings will be hard to come by. ARC will have them all.

What function does ARC serve?

This is THE source for information on contemporary recorded music. Where there was no past, now a past exists. Cataloguing history creates something from nothing. Establishing a sense of history puts money in our pockets because, as we know, those who control the past also control the present. Make no mistake about it, this is an area vital to our national security. The DJ as Fuhrer. Eventually ARC will control every piece of recorded musical information — record companies will no longer kiss MTV’s ass — they’ll ply Bob George with whatever he likes — free cosmetic surgery, trips to Vegas, and drugs we can only dream of.

Some say the study and cataloguing of popular culture is a perverse French idea. Some blame the Italians. It’s true that the iconography of Mickey Mouse’s eyeballs is a reflection of what we are — and what we wish to become. He was created with tiny, rat-like eyeballs, but hey have grown with the times, reaching their zenith during the Reagan era when they threatened to consume his head. One vast All Seeing Mouse Eye. Katzenberg would like that.

Yes, there is a world in a record album sleeve — as any teenager will tell you. A world of both good and evil. And in a good groove — a universe — a virtual reality. An alternate reality controlled, monitored and safeguarded by the ARChive of Contemporary Music.

Thank you for your support

On behalf of the ARChive:

David Byrne