Monday, April 28, 2008

How to Make Up for Lost Costs

Business Week Has an article posted here about a Portland woman sued by the RIAA for music piracy whose case was dismissed. She is now countersuing the group and members of the RIAA for conspiracy. Part of the suit alleges that members of the music industry conspired to create a litigation empire, a source of recouping revenue through lawsuits alone regardless of whether they were suing the right people or not (most of the defendants, even those who alleged innocence, settled out of court for a handsome sum).

Hopefully, the lawsuit will quelch the music industry's gluttonous thirst for blood money before the RIAA goes forward with its plans to fully socialize its costs onto the American taxpayer. The group is now looking for Congressmen to get in bed with to do force universities to hand over students, to do its own industry research on how much money is being lost, and to make the lawsuits the job of federal prosecutors rather than their private aresenal of well-paid attorneys. (Wish I remembered the link for this last part. I believe it was from Wired. Anybody know it?).

A log. On the Internet. An iLog, or perhaps a personal log of sorts. A Plog. No, that's not quite right either. Well, I'll figure it out...

I'm reviving the blog art form, though I can't guarentee I will commit to it regularly.

Things are quite hectic in my life. I've been writing a bit for PopMatters, working 8.5 hr days with a 2 hr commute, watching over a zoo full of animals in my house, and preparing for a wonderful wedding to a super special woman. So, consider this a proposal, but not a vow. Believe me, I'd love to quit my job and just retreat to this dark corner of the web instead, but obligations do call.

Nevertheless, you can rest assured that this forum won't devolve into an airing of personal grievances and passive-aggressive attacks. Those days are over and I apologize to any one who may have become unintentionally wrapped up in those things in the past.

In fact, I do not even anticipate a whole lot of personal revelations at all. My life is, for the most part, painfully dull and not worth public, diary-style examination. Of course, the personal will still flow out of me in that "personal is political" way, but I'd rather open this space to a public dialogue on reactions to culture as it is happening.

We're living in horrible times, if you haven't noticed. Yet, the detritus of culture remains so uniquely artificial and intransigent that it has become simultaneously easier and more difficult to live and look outside of it. You run the risk of being deconstructed by it as you are deconstructing it. The mad sage of Phillip K. Dick's paranoid prophet lurks at every corner as reality becomes increasingly whatever you can get away with. So, with this in mind, the cloak of sanity and skepticism needs as many allies as possible.

Thereby, I invite all of you to utilize the comment section to their fullest extent, be it for extended discourse or inane tangents, whether you be a passing aquaintance, longtime friend, or lonely passerby. You are welcome here.