Tag Archives: Acts

Wash It Away

by Richard

There’s some pretty heinous bills wending their way toward passage in the US House and Senate. Okay, sure, when aren’t there some heinous bills wending their way to passage there? It’s not a very nice place these days that’s for sure.

However, what I’m talking about in particular has some bad, bad news in them for dudes and dudettes like you.

I’m talking SOPA and PIPA.

Using the idea of online piracy, the US House and Senate are about to enact legislation that would allow Big Content, record companies, publishers, movie studios and the like, to control what you see or can access on the internet. How’s this for draconian?

Let’s say I link to a site because it’s got support for some argument I’m making. Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that one time this site had published a link to a site that offered downloadable content that was in violation of copyright. Oops. Now the government can take the name of this site. I could go to jail. I would have to pay a fine. All sorts of bad stuff.

And that’s pretty much the least of these appalling acts.

I’m sorry, but no amount of piracy is worth the gag and filter these acts would put on the internet. This is just another step by the power-mongers in Congress to take complete control of yet one more aspect of our lives. Freedom of information is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a free citizenry. Without it, the Arab Spring wouldn’t have occurred.

Big Content haven’t just declared war on Boing Boing and Reddit and the rest of the “fun” Internet: they’ve declared war on every person who uses the net to publicize police brutality, every oppressed person in the Arab Springwho used the net to organize protests and publicize the blood spilled by their oppressors, every abused kid who used the net to reveal her father as a brutalizer of children, every gay kid who used the net to discover that life is worth living despite the torment she’s experiencing, every grassroots political campaigner who uses the net to make her community a better place — as well as the scientists who collaborate online, the rescue workers who coordinate online, the makers who trade tips online, the people with rare diseases who support each other online, and the independent creators who use the Internet to earn their livings.

The contempt for human rights on display with SOPA and PIPA is more than foolish. Foolishness can be excused. It’s more than greed. Greed is only to be expected. It is evil, and it must be fought.

That comes from Cory Doctorow, noted novelist and a blogger for boingboing.net. And he’s absolutely right.

It’s up to us to kill this bill because the congresscritters sure won’t, especially considering Big Content is all about giving each of the congresscritters some pretty substantial campaign contributions as long as SOPA and PIPA pass.

Do what you can. Call your legislators and demand they do not support these heinous bills.

In support of this anti-SOPA and anit-PIPA actions, this is the last you’ll see from us for a couple of days. We’re going dark tomorrow, as are various other sites, to simulate what would happen if these bills pass. So why not take the time you’d normally waste spend reading us, and use it to call your representative? That, at least, will be time well spent.

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In The Land Of The Armless, The One-Armed Man Is King

by Richard

To quote Mel Brooks, “It’s good to be the king.” Or at least it would be if I really were in the land of the armless. Unfortunately, I’m in the normal land here where most everybody has two arms, two hands and can actually get stuff done.

Yep, you guessed right. It’s time for a whine-fest.

It’s been almost two weeks since I had my shoulder operated on and I’m already getting very, very, very tired of walking around with one arm in a sling, strapped to my body. My right arm is basically useless. I’ve been told I can’t even hold things with my right hand because I don’t want to strain the newly repaired muscles and tendons in my shoulder.

I never realized how much I actually do during the day until I couldn’t do any of those things.

I have to get help from my young dudes to tie my shoes. Zipping up is a monumental task. Putting on deodorant requires a few acts of contortions that would strain the credulity of India rubber men at the freak show. I can’t even wash dishes.

See, the thing is I know I have ADD. I can’t sit and do just one thing. If I’m watching TV, I’ll also need to read a book at the same time because I can’t just watch. During most evenings, I will be doing stuff in the kitchen while also keeping an eye on the TV or something similar. Now I can’t.

TV, by itself, is just so boring.

Sitting at the keyboard to write is a chore now. I have to type so very slowly. By the time my fingers have hunted-and-pecked their way to being even with my brain, my brain has moved on and forgotten what I was writing about in the. . .

Still, I can’t get too annoyed. I know I will get the use of my right arm back. Eventually. I’m a lot luckier than a lot of people who are learning to adjust to life with only one arm.

Still. . .

Still. . .

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Re: Your Brains

by Richard

Yes, the internet is full of silly things. I know this. I revel in this. But sometimes, you can find things wonderful and strange and, when you do (or when I do, at least) you want to share them.

So, guess who I’m going to be sharing with? If you raised your own hand, give yourself a cookie.

There’s a singer named Jonathan Coulton, who has become something of an internet sensation. He’s acerbic. He’s funny. He’s actually very, very good at what he does. And he sings about things most other acts don’t even know exist. He’s also the singer of one of my and my little dudes’ favorite songs. It’s called Re: Your Brains and it’s all about the zombie apocalypse. And it’s told from the point of view of the zombie. Come on. How could you not love that?

So, presented for your entertainment and your edification, here’s Jonathan Coulton singing, live (and ain’t that ironic), Re: Your Brains. Enjoy.


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