She fell like a meteor onto the planet
And said, “Your world, it brings me down
I feel like an animal
And I don’t think I get it
But one day I’ll make you proud”
Does anyone else feel like the world has gone mad? Like there was some kind of chemical explosion while we were all busy with other things and it has poisoned our minds?
Okay so maybe that’s a little bit extreme but maybe not. At this very moment, in our immediate present, we are facing internet censorship at the hands of media moguls who want to stop piracy because piracy takes money away from them. Part of what frustrates me about that is it is the wealthy musicians, authors, actors, executives who freak out over lost royalties. Indie artists, the ones struggling to succeed, the ones no one would ever mistake for wealthy, support piracy. Not as such but they all seem to understand that file sharing opens doors for them that their industry wants to keep closed. One example I go back to a lot is Jason Mraz. When he was first starting out there were essentially no radio stations in Kansas playing his music. But because of the internet and music sharing, he managed to sell out two nights in Topeka, something he believed wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
My fear with the internet censorship act working its way through the government right now is the citizens have no control over it. Any site can be blocked for any reason. Anyone can be fined $2500 for copyright infringement. That means if you post a video of yourself playing a popular song on your piano to your Facebook, you can be fined. If you post videos you shot at a concert, you can be fined. Because they are American-run sites, YouTube and Facebook could possibly be shut down. Tumblr, WordPress, MySpace as well plus many others. This act means the possibility that people who work on these sites will join the ranks of the unemployed.
The other scary part is how will this affect other countries? How many other governments will see this as incentive and motive to enact their own similar bills?
Nevermind that the US government definitely needs something else to spend money on.
But it’s not just SOPA. There are hundreds of other bills and acts, on the national and state levels that prove even more that the US government has entirely too much power. From outlawing abortions to Michigan’s stoke of genius (okay, just stroke) in stopping bullying in schools (you remember, that part about “the Devil made me do it…”)…
I wrote a while ago about the Occupy movement. Since then I have read so much more that makes it so much more relevant. Things that make me hopeful but also things that make me feel so horribly sad. The hope comes in part from people involved who were involved in evoking change decades ago. I read a story about a man who was at Kent State and is now supporting Occupy. He must see some kind of potential.
At the same time, though, there are people who see the movement with such negativity. “It won’t change anything,” they say. But it has already started changing things. The New Mexico State Government participated in Bank Transfer Day, transferring all of the state’s money out of corporate banks and into state and community-run banks and credit unions. THAT IS HUGE. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all. Occupy is making a difference. But there is still so much in this country that needs to be reigned in and brought under control.
This country was founded, partially, on the idea of separating the government from the control of the church. The pilgrims came here to get away from the church making all of the decisions and from a country where they could be imprisoned for not serving the “right” church. But history is repeating itself. If you don’t believe there is any religious influence in our government then you haven’t been paying attention. Politicians constantly use “The Bible says…” to back up their arguments. “The Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is wrong.” “The Bible says life begins at conception. Abortion at any stage is murder.”
I’m probably babbling but the truth is, our government scares me. Nay, terrifies me. I saw some hope, a while back, and now I can’t find it again and unfortunately the information overload has erased from my memory what the bill/act was but I did read President Obama announced if one of these asinine and highly controversial acts made its way to him, he had already decided to veto it. That was reassuring… Just wish I could remember which one he was talking about. :/