leave your inhibitions at the door
The big news this week was that several popular sites – Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, WordPress – voluntarily went dark or had censorship images on their home pages to protest SOPA and PIPA. I’m assuming that you’re going to get your information from a reputable news source in order to come to an informed opinion on the issue.
For those of you crazy enough to get your news from a food and wine blogger, here’s my high-level recap. SOPA and PIPA are congressional bills in the works that are an attempt to fight overseas piracy. It’s being heavily pushed by the movie and music industries as they’ve felt the biggest hit financially as people are able to download their work product free from the internet as opposed to purchasing it from reputable channels. It’s a well-intentioned bill, but critics of the measures believe that, as written, there is a lot of potential for abuse and will certainly lead to censorship, restriction of the open internet, squashing of smaller companies, and avoidance of due process. Opponents also say that the measures probably won’t even work. The thought is that, like Napster and even terrorist cells, you get rid of one and a hundred others are going to take its place. (Not bad for someone who just skims the news, eh?)
Personally, I don’t see how the movie industry is hurting because of piracy. In fact, Disney’s made quite a bit of money on piracy in the past decade.
It seems the loudest cries are from the post-Baby Boomers – those who actually use the internet without dial-up. And the cries are coming from both sides of the political aisle. Can it be? Is it really possible that there’s finally something that unites the often splintered younger generation in America? The Boomers had the Vietnam War, the arms race, the feminist movement, and other causes to rally around. What did we post-Boomers get? Maybe Wall Street with the 99%ers, but that’s not really too unified. No, the Boomers had some major causes to rally around. As a result, they came up some really cool rallying songs.
I’m hoping that the silver lining in all this SOPA stuff is that we FINALLY get some cool rally songs to be proud of. Think about it. The Boomers had songs like “If I had a Hammer”, “The Times They are a-changing”, and “I Am Woman”. Since the 80s, we had “Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?” and “We are the World”. No comparison. Hip hop has had some good spurts like NWA’s “F–k the Police”, but that’s not exactly unifying.
So, in order to inspire some songwriters out there to protest SOPA, I present this week’s Guilty Pleasure – Barry McGuire’s 1965 hit “Eve of Destruction”. Listen to the angst in his gravelly voice and you’ll hear the cries of a generation.
The song itself is a great song and I wouldn’t necessarily call it a Guilty Pleasure. But the video sure is for three reasons: