This is old news, but it’s probably a meme worth propagating. Singer/song writer Dave Caroll had a grievance. United Airlines baggage handlers broke his $1500 Taylor guitar. Earlier this month the musician, with backing from his band The Sons of Maxwell, released his YouTube lament about the breakage. Three weeks later over three and a half million people have seen the video and the song has been released on iTunes.

Caroll says he’s beyond taking money from the company at this point, so United Airlines has reportedly donated $3000 to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in an effort to salvage some goodwill from the events. Too late. the cat is out of the bag.

Bloggers at Social Web Strategies have published more details and a nice analysis of the continuing power of webular interaction as a countervailing power in the face of the monolithic global corporate culture. Contextualizing Dave Caroll’s public relations coup, they say:

The ‘old economy’ is the world economy, now shrinking and transforming, that produced the global consumer society. The ‘new economy’ is the world economy emerging now that is producing a global sustainable society. The old economy created wealth by resource consumption, leading to resource overuse and depletion. The new economy produces wealth by resource amplification – doing more with less by continually substituting knowledge for energy, material, labor, finance and time. This new strategy is leading to wealth creation that lives always lighter on the Earth.

Cluetrain boosterism? Time will tell. Meanwhile, Caroll’s story shines a spotlight on crappy airline service. We can hope that United Airlines will treat customers better for a while as a result.

Play them off Keyboard Cat…

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