Recently there’s been a lot of excitement on the internet regarding censorship, big corporations getting in the way of liberty in order to serve their own selfish agendas and the horrifying ‘breaking of the internet’ that seems imminent if any of several new measures are passed, some of which contain language that’s extremely vague, and therefore threatens the livelihood of several thousand internet entrepreneurs who run websites and could even be used to (gasp!) censor the flow of information. Dark days indeed.
The overtly stated goals of these drastic and draconian actions were to help curb and/or eliminate internet piracy. I understand why that’s not for everyone. Hell, if I grew up with something I liked consuming being free all the time, I’d be pretty fucking annoyed/pissed if all of a sudden laws went into place that made that shit suddenly cost money. Companies like Google, who link to filesharing sites, would be asked to police their search results to make sure they don’t link to places where copyrighted materials are freely available, (in much the same way they currently police their results so that child porn doesn’t come through when you type in whatever you type if you’re completely gross) and if they don’t, they could be shut down, to which I say, so fucking what? Shut down google. Who gives a fuck? Do you know how many brick and mortar businesses were shut down by the internet? Do you know how much the internet and the “free flow of information” has fucked with my own personal income? Now Google is rallying its troops in the name of freedom from big multinationals and their greedy corporate interests as though GOOGLE ITSELF ISN’T SOME GIGANTIC MULTINATIONAL THAT’S USING YOU, THE INTERNET DILDO, as a pawn in their battle against other dumb multinationals for THEIR self interests.
Yes, it’s easy to paint record execs and Hollywood shitheads as greedy bloodsuckers, because they’ve been the face of greedy bloodsuckerdom for a long time, but if you don’t think that Google sponsored “SOPA breaks the internet” movie was anything but corporate propaganda at its most hysterical, then you’re a dumb dumb, plain and simple. We’re not used to search engines being the new face of special interest lobbying yet, but this should be a good step in that direction.
Fuck, the whole thing is actually scary. You know how many people posted links to signing petitions fighting this legislation on Facebook with the EXACT same caption, which was something to the effect of “This will only take you five seconds. It’s too important not to sign.” That’s some George W Bush, Hitler shit, folks. Do you realize that implicit in that caption is the directive NOT to read the language of the bill, not to research and come to your own, informed conclusion, but to just sign, because it’s “too important” to waste time on. Sounds like Google is suddenly too big to fail, eh? Cool. That sounds like a victory for the little guy to me.
This whole thing is multi faceted, and a huge part of the debate is that smaller websites can be bullied or even ‘disappeared in the night’ (to borrow some Stalinist shit) by corporations who don’t like their content simply by using loopholes to prove (or even just claim) that the smaller websites in question violated copyright laws. That sounds like censorship to me, bro. That sounds like A) censoring the internet, which is disgraceful and un-American and B) corporations playing god or at the very least government, which is a terrifying proposition.
Some of the sites said to be potentially right on the chopping block (and this is some serious fearmongering bullshit to say the least) are our beloved Google (who practically has a [completely un-American] monopoly on what they do, for fucks sake. Look in the corner of your browser if you don’t believe me), Twitter, Facebook, file sharing websites, tube sites (including porn sites) and various news and gossip outlets that are, as of right now, operating more or less outside the law. A publication that I visit recently pointed out that copyright laws are very confusing and if they presented work from an artist with the artist’s American label’s consent, it’s quite possible that the label’s UK affiliate wouldn’t know, could object and bingo-bango, the whole website is shut down! HO-Lee-Shit!!!!!!
Well, here’s my take: Who gives a fuck? If Twitter, Facebook, dumb gossipy websites, streaming sites, file sharing sites and porn tube sites all disappeared tomorrow, my life would improve drastically. I waste entirely too much time looking at facebook, going to zillions of insular, myopic ‘news’ outlets that only confirm my point of view, AND I spend WAY too much time watching people stuff things into each others asses on the internet all day. The internet has ALREADY created a new kind of censorship, which is the orgy of opinion, and it could be argued that it’s vastly more dangerous than the old school “silence the dissenting” censorship that we’re so used to. Here’s what I mean:
Back in the old days, we had no choice but to see things from opposing viewpoints simply because there weren’t ten thousand opinionated dickheads like myself with blogs and ‘newsmagazines’ that just parroted whatever company line you happen to align yourself with to choose from. Nowadays, I can read the Huffington Post, my in-laws can watch Fox news and there’s no hope for any discourse at all. The opposing viewpoints are presented as clownish, outsized travesties and there are enough media outlets out there that you can easily insulate yourself in a cocoon of your own opinion and never feel challenged or be forced to examine your stock/core values. Meanwhile, whatever insidious shit is actually being done by powers that be is getting done, and here’s the great part, they’re parceling it off to their sycophantic media interests and peddling propaganda in a grassroots Trojan horse (see Google’s ‘it’s too important not to sign, SOPA breaks the internet’ meme that just took the world by storm).
And anyway, whoopity fucking do if copyright law is difficult to understand. I didn’t complain when all my records suddenly became FREE after a lifetime of practicing and living in a van and foregoing everything else so I could make records that people would actually want to have, so I expect the same courtesy from media outlets if they’re suddenly forced to make sure the products they’re offering for free aren’t stolen. Fuck, it’s hard to track the legality of the cartons of cigarettes in the convenience store, from the legality of the workers who pick the tobacco, to the tariffs, to the shipping (all aspects of commerce that are notoriously shady) but guess what? Motherfuckers have to do that shit if they want to sell cigarettes. Is it REALLY too much to ask to have these fucking websites police themselves just a little? Seriously?
Well then, fuck the internet. For every great highschool friend I reconnect with and every cool article I read about ‘five super cool ghost towns that really exist, there are ten zillion hateful trolls, lazy assholes who want something for nothing, and cyberbully dicks who would rather cause chaos than do anything that even helps their own misguided cause. Cool world. The nerds have taken over and guess what? They’re just as mean and selfish as the last batch of dicks. So fine, cry when your dirty diapers are pulled down to expose how selfish and gross you are, how lazy and easily manipulated by corporate interests you are, sing the praises of internet vigilantes who spend as much time harassing fourteen year old girls as they do toppling government websites in some of the dorkiest displays of power of all time, go ahead. Nice fucking world you have here. Jesus.