Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Criminalizing Your Occasional Download

There's a story on WIRED News that I picked up from The Village Voice that we need to act on:,1283,65704,00.html

The RIAA and various Hollywood lobbying groups are trying to ram a bill through the Senate that will get a teenager thrown in jail for three years for taking a camcorder into a theater for making a shitty quality copy of, oh, say, The Polar Express, which is to say, making a shitty copy of a piece of quality shit.

The bill would do quite a few other nefarious things, to the point where pretty soon you won't be able to browse a book at Barnes & Noble without getting thrown in the klink. I'm generally pretty complacent when I hear someone from the EFF or Cory Doctorow going on about the violation of our privacy by corporate America and their stranglehold on intellectual property, but this bill is a travesty and has to be stopped, if possible.

Copyright laws weren't written just to give Hollywood a timeless monopoly on their crap.

"It's just plain wrong to make the Department of Justice Hollywood's law
firm," said Stacie Rumenap, ACU's deputy director.


Arrows To Nowhere

A few days before the presidential election, I wrote a few posts and put them up here, deciding to get a few licks in before the whole thing became moot. Then I emailed my few friends and some acquaintances that I'd revitalized my blog with new entries. I was hoping to get a few comments, maybe build some critical mass to this blog and link to it from my web page.

So what happened? On November 3, I received an email from one of my friends who read the blog. And that's it. This confirms the feeling I already held even before I started my blog that blogs and blogging are bullshit, a solipsistic obsession engaged in by millions of wannabes who are desperate for some recognition. We sit at our computers jabbering away, idly dreaming of the six-figure book advance I just read that "Wonkette" (Ana Maria Cox) recently got.

Tough shit for me. And you. The handful of bloggers who've been elevated into the mainstream are writers who already had offline gravitas and were plugged into the whole Washington-NY chattering class secret society. Cox, who I've seen on Tina Brown's show is telegenic, as they say today, and for all I know, there's some other reasons for her success I'm not plugged into insider gossip enough to know.

Doesn't matter. We - you, me - are all looking into the posh insider's club, our faces pressed to the window, and we will never be admitted inside. So get used to it.

If writing your blog has some kind of cathartic effect, great. Just don't expect anything more to come of it. Blogs are this year's fad and an easy way for lazy journalists to latch onto another Internet-based topic before they run it into the ground until the next fad.

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