Control, and a Hound Dog

Human beings love the idea of control. Whether we would openly admit such an underlying characteristic that governs our life, or are embarrassed to even acknowledge it, there is no running away from it. Think that is all untrue? Examine the various aspects of our lives and you can see that in all these situations we seek to establish some sense of control, at least on a minimal level. We try to decorate our room the way we like, so that it reflects the impression and look we would like to present. If we are not bothered about the way it looks, then we try to keep it functional, so that we have at least control over it. Parents lament the lack of control teenagers have over their room when it looks untidy, although teenagers will insist the room is under control, functional, and they know where everything is.

The physical surroundings are not just the only aspect of our lives where we try to establish control. We try to organise the people we interact with and the level of interactions to one that we are comfortable with, so that we end up seeing who we like more and limit the time we have to interact with less appealing characters. Even parents may try to control the social dealings of their children if they feel that peers are exerting a bad influence on them!

We also seek to establish control over the digital world and the intellectual right to objects we create. For example, if we have come up with ideas, we exert our right to them via patents and copyright, so that anyone who uses our intellectual property infringes on our ownership of it when they do so without our permission. This is particularly so in music, where one person can borrow another’s person tune. Exerting copyright over one’s intellectual property is a form of control. If anyone sings your song or uses your lyrics, they have to pay you royalties.

Did you know what one of the songs most associated with Elvis Presley was actually not his own? The lyrics You Ain’t Nuthin but a Hound Dog are best imagined with Elvis’ voice, but it was actually a cover version of the original. (Read more about it here in the Piano Teacher Crouch End website.) One wonders if Ellie Mae Thornton had made her claim to it before he used it! If she hadn’t, then that would have been a form of self-sabotage. Like how Hector Berlioz almost ruined his own career!