1856 – Don’t Let Them Keep You Quiet

About a third of my readers is from the US. This is for you.

By pure accident I made this image on Sunday. I was not sure about the symbolism and what to make of it, how to spin it and how to join it with a song, but sometimes international events help along.

Wednesday, November 16 is now technically yesterday for me and for everybody but the folks in Hawaii, but then, this is the post for Wednesday and it’s not too late for you to stand up for your rights anyway. November 16 was AMERICAN CENSORSHIP DAY. Big Hollywood didn’t get some of the censorship laws they had written lately, and every time they try it again, they try it with something more outrageous, something more frivolous.

This time a site would be classified as infringing when it contains “infringing links”. Like the links to music videos on my site. I’m sure some of them are dubious from a copyright point of view. And that all changes. Google has contracts with some music majors that cover usage of their content, but not necessarily in all regions. Some things that I link to may be OK in Europe but not in the US. Some may be OK today but not tomorrow. No way to check for me.

But it’s worse. I would be made responsible for links in comments, even in SPAM that slips through!

Yes, if this bill passes, you may not be able to see my site any more, or if I want to avoid that, I better remove all music links and give up the “Song of the Day” business, just to be safe.

My site is hosted in the US, but even if it were not so, I wouldn’t want to lose a third of my readers and a host of friends.

If this is all so absurd, if this is all so badly thought out, if the collateral damage of the proposed bills is so all-encompassing, how could that ever be proposed?

Well, you know, this is the illusion industry. Their business is to show you things that are not, and to make you believe they are. Technically this is not different from lying, it’s only a matter of intention. As a lobby, the entertainment industry is probably the most dangerous in the world. They are synonymous for glamour, and because glamour is so desirable for those who can afford it, the entertainment industry is particularly well connected with politics and Big Money. Add to that the character of their profession and the fact that they own all the channels with exception of the Internet, and then you know what it means when they strike.

They strike NOW and NOW is the time to say NO. Don’t let them keep you quiet, don’t let them shut down the Internet as we know it, don’t let them turn it into another one of THEIR channels.

Please head over to http://americancensorship.org/ or to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and read more about why the Great Firewall of America is a bad idea, not only from the human rights point of view but from every point of view (with the exception of that of the entertainment industry). Inform yourself and please act. Thank you.

The Song of the Day is “Quiet” by Ian Dury & The Blockheads. Hear it on YouTube (another site endangered by the legislation introduced).

7 thoughts on “1856 – Don’t Let Them Keep You Quiet”

  1. Roland, you rant is well timed. I’ve sent several protests. One of the organizations fighting this says that they have sent over 700,000 protesting petitions to Congress. One of the bills was stopped, but the vote was pretty close. Another bill is pending and who knows how that’ll turn out.

    Yes, the Hollywood – and other media bigwigs want to have their cake and control who else they’ll share it with.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. is a hotbed of sedition of both the positive and the negative forces. The rich are trying desperately to hold onto their illegal and ill-gotten gains, while the rest of us, who are becoming poorer as they get richer, are now fighting back.

    It isn’t just the entertainment industry – it’s also a battle in the medical field between the AMA-type of doctors in collusion with Big Pharma versus the alternative health care practitioners.

    Then there’s the commercial huge farms industry in collusion with the FDA (which is supposed to protect the consumer, not the producers) versus the farmers and food producers and consumers who want organically grown and raised produce and products to be available so we consumers can have a choice.

    The FDA has been quietly (meaning the mainstream media don’t publish these incidents) raiding organic producers and shutting them down. One very famous cheese producer in Washington state has been shut down for 2 years, even tho they tried their best to correct all the “violations” of the food safety laws! They’ve had to sell their herd of prized cows.

    The only way we U.S. citizens can find out anything is via the internet – and this is probably another reason why control of access to the internet is what this Hollywood copyright fight is all about. I think it’s just a smoke screen to cover the real grab that the FCC, the FDA and all the other alphabet agencies who try to control stuff, want – total control of our access to the internet – worse, perhaps, than the present situation in China!

    I don’t see anything wrong with how you have worded and linked to the music albums. But I’m sure some high-priced lawyer could find a loop hole or twist it around in some way.

    Perhaps you might consider using a mirror site hosted in another country, should this stupidity eventually pass.

    1. I think it’s a matter of balance. The system works as long as all parties involved have equal influence on how laws are created and executed and justice is spoken. Any strong separation of rich and not-so-rich tends to shift this balance though. In the end is a totalitarian system and sooner or later a revolution, the later the bloodier.

  2. Well written, and a fitting photograph!

    It seems that some people in the States are blaming the school system for brainwashing the children from the one and only truth (as defined by the rich and powerful).

    I wonder why we don’t seem to have politicians who have courage and wisdom. Or maybe we never did, perhaps it was just an illusion.

    But I do have a case example of there having existed wise politicians. Namely, here in Finland in the 1950s and 1960s the school system was developed in such a way as to afford every Finnish child equally good education. There was a group of policiticans who drove through this program, and it changed the whole country immensely for the good.

    I’m myself a beneficiary of this wisdom. The Finnish school system made it possible for me to get an education – to move from a small farm in a small village, far up in the north, to high-school and to a good university.

    And this large-scale development changed Finland from an economy based on forestry and agriculture all the way to the forefront of the current “information age”.

    But today we have nationalistic and populistic politicians who blame schools for teaching things like multicturality, gender equality, social fairness, and so on. And this same school system has been evaluated to be one of the best in the world…

    But I still have faith in Finnish teachers. They are dedicated, hardworking, and justly proud of what they are doing.

    1. Well, at least you have something working and well proven to point to. Here in Austria it is much worse. We have the same nationalist/populist idiots, but our school system is old and obviously does not work. Get out of that rut!

  3. It’s certainly interesting times we’re living in. Unfortunately, “interesting” not always in a very positive sense of the word.

    I’d agree that a l lot can be gained and lost in the education system, from pre-school to universities. That is why yesterday’s people would like to have things like creationism taught, but not devilish things such as gender equality, humanity’s impact on climate, social issues, political science, evolution or – God forbid! – that weird notion that the earth is circulating around the sun.

    Andreas, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve written. Problem is, that – as also evident from Flo’s comment – there are even worse things developing. Things that might have an even more profound impact on human society as a whole, including each and every one of us.

Comments are closed.