The Taming of the West

There are no more undiscovered lands on the globe. As the world continues to shrink due to newer technology and means of travel, civilization is spreading and infecting every last square inch of the planet. Once upon a time, the American West stood as a land of mystery, a lawless land where anything went and anything (and everything) was possible. No more. Civilization conquered it and now the West, which once resembled an alien planet, now stands defeated, infected by Wal-Marts and McDonalds and Starbucks like everywhere else in the world.

The spirit of the American West still exists, but it’s no longer associated with any geographical location. No, it’s not on any map; it’s online. The Internet is the last place where the spirit of the West exists. Think about it: anything goes on the Internet. You can do anything, be anyone, indulge any vice or fulfill any desire. Like the West, there’s the illusion of authority, but, really, a person is free do pretty much as he/she pleases. Instead of robbing stage coaches or banks, people steal copyrighted material – music, movies, television and literature – with little to no fear of retribution.

Ladies and gentlemen, the West is on the verge of being tamed…again.

The SOPA and PIPA bills currently being considered by the Federal Government herald the end of the Free Internet Age (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the fucking news). Even if these bills are defeated (which I think they will be), it’s really only a matter of time before some acronym comes along and collars the web. There is simply too much money being lost by Big Business and our rights to free speech end where Big Business’s wallet begins. When that does finally happen, you will tell your grandchildren one day what the Internet was like once upon a time before the Internet was tamed…it will be that different.

Really, I can’t blame these media conglomerates for shoving these bills through congress. The normal human thinks so little about the moral or financial implications of stealing copyrighted material it’s disgusting. Try to reason with these common thieves and you’ll hear justifications based on the fact that these companies “have enough money” and one person stealing “doesn’t make a difference.” The problem is it isn’t just a handful of people stealing this content; it’s millions. Part of the reason movies and music are so overpriced is because of constant piracy. To get ethical on your ass, what’s the difference between stealing $10 out of a poor person’s pocket and stealing $10 out of a rich person’s wallet? The answer is there is no difference: in both scenerios, you’re a dick who stole ten bucks. When the Internet does finally end up in shackles, it will be these immoral members of Generation Me who think they have a birth right to free movies and music and games who will hammer the final nail into the coffin of the Free Internet Age.

So enjoy the unbridled debauchery of the Internet while you still can. Nothing stays untamed forever…

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on January 19, 2012.

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