Written by: Mitch Donat
On Sep. 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur died of fatal gunshots to the chest. 16 years later, he gave one of the most memorable and bodacious performances ever seen at the Coachella concert in California. Through digital engineering and $400,000, Tupac was resurrected in the form of what the media is calling a “hologram”–not a real, Princess Leia hologram, but a 19th century trick with expensive materials and gave a brand new and original performance. What could go wrong with bringing back one of the most inspiring hip-hop artists of all time? Actually, a lot. Using the recorded performances of deceased legends can be seen as immoral. The modern economy will quickly pounce on the hologram business, raising questions concerning its ownership, sponsors, and the future performances to come. Holograms can be used as an economic and influential tool, which is why big business should prevent their expansion.
Big business is the name of the game. It would not be surprising to find that Tupac will soon be “owned” by some superpower business corporation. “Holo-Pac” would sell out every show he “performed” at, and would have no limits on how many he could perform. He could even perform at two shows simultaneously. It is unethical for companies to bring back artists from the past and use them as a recipe for profit.
What is more troubling is that if the ownership and sponsorship of these holograms get really out of hand, they could soon start playing a role in swaying public opinion. Imagine this: “hologram” George Washington comes back to life, tours the country and promotes the campaign for (insert political candidate,) inspiring all Americans to vote for Candidate. Holograms pose a threat to society because of the mass political influence they can have on people’s lives. The past should be set in stone to look to for influence and lessons, not a place for picking up old pieces in order to influence the modern world. It is an extreme example, but extreme things can happen when one brings back figures from the past.
Because corporations have the capital to invest on holograms, the numbers are sure to inflate. Already, Michael Jackson is rumored to tour around the country in the Jackson 5. If the numbers continue to grow, we can expect to see more than just musical artists being protected. Notorious, infamous figures from the past are destined to return on more than just stages worldwide. George Orwell’s “1984” sums it up nicely. “[Those] who control the past controls the present.” The companies that own the most powerful figures from the past will have the most modern influence. If so many influential and illustrious people are “brought back,” what is the point of going forward, making new music and opening the pages for other aspiring figures to come into the world?
Many argue that sponsorship issues and other figures returning are very unlikely, and are extreme examples of a simple stunt to impress a crowd. Yes, it was a simple stunt (if anything is simple about a $400,000 hologram) and “Holo-Pac” put on an amazing show. However, because of the way the modern world works, one can see this is just the beginning of the holo-sanity which is sure to light up stages everywhere. For large businesses, this would be too valuable of an opportunity to pass up on.
The past should be set in stone and not a tool for business corporations to use for personal profit. Just wait until holo-pac erupts in a burst of light, shouting “Obama 2012!”