STOP INTERNET CENSORSHIP!!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (a rock in a cave, deep underground, beyond the realm of even the mole people), you might have heard about two new bills being muscled through congress, as fast as the big entertainment industry corporations can muster, in the name of fighting piracy. The U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA). These are bills aimed to curb online piracy, however they do so not by targeting actual pirates, but rather by targeting avenues by which a potential pirate might operate. These bills also give the government the ability to shut down sites based on criteria that the Entertainment industry will define.

These bills will effectively allow the government to censor the internet, and will put this loaded gun squarely in the hands of the big entertainment industry execs, giving them the ability the pull the trigger at will at whoever they want, whether it is justified or not. What gets me even more is the that these kinds of bills, that violate the very constitutional rights of all American citizens, are difficult for me to agree with even when they are used to stop terrorism, and save lives. And yet here we are, having our right violated simply to line the entertainment industries pockets! It’s absolutely disgusting.

And to cap it all off, none of these bills will actually prevent piracy. The vast majority of the cases that these bills will end up be used for will be to squash competition, freedom of speech and expression, and to bring ridiculous lawsuits against innocent Americans and their families. These bills will do nothing more than allow the Government to censor the internet, stifling our freedoms, and will just give Big Entertainment industries more ways to control the media and line their pockets. And that, my friends is not right. We need to fight these bills with everything we’ve got.

Please visit AmericanCensorship.org  to learn more, and fight these bills. They are wrong, they target the wrong people, they give the government unconstitutional rights, and they are flat out un-American. Fight them. Tooth and Nail, Fang and Claw. We can beat them.

Go to this site.

http://americancensorship.org/

Do it. Do it now.

Stop American Censorship

You’ll thank me for it later.

Trust me.

PhyreBlade

Self mutilation and the art of protesting…

“Tell me, Mr. Anderson… what good is a phone call… if you’re unable to speak?”

You probably already know where that line is from. If not, i’ll tell you at the end of this post. But there is a point to it’s being here. It is the first thing that popped into my head when I read the article below. There seems to be a trend developing. The practice of sewn-mouth protests.

In a recent post, I talked about a Colombian man who had sewn his mouth shut, and donned an iron mask in protest, asking for the government to help him and his family start a business. It seems that he is not the only one who thought that sewing his mouth shut was an effective protest strategy:

Prostitutes in the Bolivian city of El Alto sewed their lips together Wednesday as part of a hunger strike to demand that the mayor reopen brothels and bars ordered closed after violent protests by residents last week.

Ah. I see. I kinda see their point. But sewing your mouth shut seems counterproductive.

“Tomorrow we will bury ourselves alive if we are not immediately heard. The mayor will have his conscience to answer to if there are any grave consequences, such as the death of my comrades,” she said, surrounded by about 10 prostitutes who had sewn their lips together with thread. – [Yahoo/Reuters]

Ok, now your just bordering on the ridiculous. You cant exactly blame anyone but yourself, if you die after deciding to bury yourself alive in protest. And more importantly, when you are dead, I’d think it would be just a tad difficult to mount any further effective protests. Don’t you think?

Now don’t get me wrong. I think these folks actually have a good reason to be protesting. I don’t see why anyones business should be closed because a group of self righteous moral zealots decided to throw a temper tantrum.

But burying yourself alive? Sewing your mouth shut? Isn’t that like cutting off your nose to spite your face? Especially if you happen to be a prostitute who’s job relies, in part, on your physical appearance? I’m no expert in the field, but it seems to me that it would be just a bit anathema to your work…

At the end of the day however this particular practice just puzzles me. I really don’t see why these folks decided to go with self mutilation as a means of protest. There have to be a gazillion different means of protesting, and they choose to sew their mouths shut…

Prostitutes sew lips together in protest – [Yahoo/Reuters]

P.S. The opening line of this post is from “The Matrix”. If you already knew, give yourself a pat on the back. Have a drink. Smoke a cigar. You deserve it.

The Colombian in the Iron Mask!

Yesterday I read an interesting article about an unemployed Colombian man who resorted to a rather unusual form of governmental protest about the plight of his family:

In Colombia, an unemployed man has sewn shut his mouth and locked himself behind an iron mask to demand the government attend to his family’s desperate economic plight. – [Yahoo/AP]

Ooookkkk….

He is demanding the government provide a loan to jump-start a cottage textile business and pay health care bills for his wife and children. Without the loan, he says his family will end up living on the streets. – [Yahoo/AP]

Hmmm. There are so many things wrong with this picture. I almost don’t know where to begin. First, which would you prefer. Your children out on the street? Or barefoot. My money says a roof over their head trumps new Nikes. Having spent a lot of time barefoot as a young ‘un, I’m fairly certain the kids would agree.

And then there is his “innovative” (for lack of a better word) method of protest. How exactly is sewing his mouth shut, then covering his face with an iron mask, and then shackling himself to his neighbors bed, supposed to be an effective protest strategy? The first rule of a successful protester: THEY HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR PROTEST!!

Not only did he cover his facial sewing handiwork (the only innovative part of this hare-brained scheme, imho) with an iron mask (where did he get an iron mask from anyway?), so nobody can see it, he is hiding in his neighbors house, where nobody can even see him and his iron mask. Ridiculous!

And I’m not even going to go into the kind of egocentrism that spawns this kind of protest, when other people’s kids are already out on the street. I know the squeaky wheel generally gets the grease, but please! How about coming up with a plan that everyone can benefit from, instead of disfiguring your stupid mug, which your wife and kids will have to look at for the rest of your marriage, and taking up space that your neighbor could probably use (probably for much better things).

You know, I can understand this mans desire to see his family stay off the streets. I can even understand his desire to have the government help him start a business. It’s much better than asking for a handout. But come on. While sensationalist stunts are generally a good way to get attention, I tend to think there are much better ways of doing this, and they should be used for the purpose of implementing much more universal solutions.

He gets -8 intarwebs points for lack of common sense/originality, -4 for uncompromisingly poor execution, and the journalist who picked this up gets a -10 for being stupid enough to run this, instead of airing the plight of all the other Colombian kids who are already out on the street because of unemployment. Epic Phail all around.

Unemployed Colombian dons iron mask – [Yahoo/AP]