Tuesday, September 08, 2009

My Enemies List: Addendum #3

Once again, it is time for that oh so refreshing recurring feature of this blog... another installment of my enemies list.

Who gets their feet held over the coals this time out? Well, I guess you'll just have to read it to find out.

Dennis Miller: I used to be a huge fan of Dennis Miller. I even watched his talk show, and I don't mean Dennis Miller Live on HBO... no, the ABC crap fest, I liked his work so much. But then a funny thing happened. Sometime between when he started doing Monday Night Football and September 11th (because the transformation was already in process before the event, despite what he might say), he became a partisan hack of the worst caliber and ceased being a comedian. Some might argue that I disagree with his politics now, and that is the reason he is on my enemies list, and there is an element of that, but it goes further than that. In the past, there was a sort of bemusement with the things he was critiquing and making light of, but now, it seems that what he calls comedy is fueled by nothing but anger. Not faux anger like Lewis Black either... genuine bottom of a dark well anger. I wish he was just being an opportunistic prick who was playing to an audience that doesn't get a lot of love from comedians, but he seems to genuinely believe the hateful things he says these days.

Pedophiles on Flickr and other photosites: OK, pedophiles in general are horrible human beings, I think we can all agree with that (though I expect a member of NAMBLA to chime in to my comments section at some point to refute that, and we will all gang punt that individual into next week). The origin of this particular entry involves my niece and the weird and disturbing individuals who are grabbing copies of her pictures (along with the pictures posted by many other parents)) and who are trying to insinuate themselves into my sister's confidence (she isn't buying it). I'm talking about dudes who make lists of favorites which consist of nothing but pictures of toddlers but they don't have any pictures themselves. You are creepy fucks, and no amount of groups claiming you aren't monsters will ever change that. Drop dead in the most painful way possible.

Glenn Beck: I used to stop by Glenn Beck's little slice of madness when his show was on Headline News, and basically, he made Nancy Grace look good, and I hate her. I mean, it takes a lot to make Nancy Grace look good in comparison, but he did it. Whether it was asking a newly elected representative of the Muslim faith in 2006 to prove that he wasn't the enemy to suggesting to a lovely reporter from US Weekly on air that she pose for some salacious shots, Beck found so many ways of being just plain disconcerting. I think the moment that really pushed him over the edge for me was the first time I happened to catch him talking about a geopolitical issue (regarding warming Iranian-Russian relations) and he started talking about that being a sign from the Book of Revelations. That is the last thing I want to hear when someone is talking about this particular subject. Apparently, his move to Fox has ramped up these tendencies, and a recent boycott effort has resulted in him frankly going batshit insane, like he is just going to keep going further and further as sponsors supposedly leave the show. And the worst thing is, he acts like everything that is coming out of his mouth is just coming from some perfectly reasonable individual. He tries to make it seem like he is speaking for every man, when he is, as I said, batshit insane.

For all I know, basically all that is happening is he is bringing more of his radio show game onto his cable show, because there are quite a few tapes out there of him being a total screaming dick to people who call into his show.

The RIAA/MPAA: Let's see here. Litigious: Check. Petty: Check. Sanctimony: Check. No sense of decency or proportionality: Check. Basically, with the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America, you have the worst of all worlds. Two organizations which claim to be protecting artists, when in fact, they are protecting few rich conglomerates which control mainstream music, as demonstrated by grumblings from a number of artists that they themselves would take legal action against the RIAA for the monies they collected on their work. And if you look at their record for these cases, you will see a lot of bad litigation (in terms of following the spirit of the law), from suing the children of a dead man to blanket suing people and using shady practices to drag as many people into their net of lawsuits. And these two organizations also put pressure on legislators to enact laws which are detrimental to the rights of consumers, which again is a dick move all around.Someone put together a list of 7 crimes that net less fines than file sharing, and some of them are doozies, which shows you just how out of whack with the principle of the penalty fitting the crime really is in these cases. And yet, day after day, these two organizations keep suing people for what amounts to the most trivial of offenses in the grand scheme of things. There is one other element in their collective philosophy which really sticks in my craw as well: what individual copies of a piece of work represent. To me, if you buy a CD, you own that copy... it is yours to do with what you want. If I bought a book, and I decided I wanted to cut out the word "and" from every page, as a consumer, that is my right because I own that copy of that work. The RIAA and its sister organizations argue that in fact, their clients are granting you a license to their work, nothing more. You don't own anything but a hunk of plastic, and thus, they are the arbiter of whatever you do with it. But at the same time, if something happens to your licensed copy of a piece of music, then they aren't responsible for replacing it, despite that being the logical implication of that licensing system (if you are buying the right to use one copy of something, then shouldn't you always have access to that copy despite the vagaries of physical media). I think my version of things is more in keeping with how every other commodity works. If you bought a car and you wanted to modify it for your own enjoyment within the confines of the transportation law, you are allow to do it because it is your property, a principle which basically works in every arena but this small one involving small hunks of round flat plastic and files. That is why the RIAA and MPAA (amongst others) is sort of malignant.


Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I don't know what it is about this week but I got the same bee in my bonnet about both Miller and Beck. I have come to believe that they just aren't playing to the lowest demographic but they are actualy starting to believe the baloon juice they are spouting. Like crying fire in a crowded movie house this will not end well.

Semaj said...

Dennis Miller: Agreed, he was a funny guy. Now, he’s just bitter and too far to the right. I liked when he was in the center and made fun of everyone. So, does he even have a show now?

Glenn Beck: He needs to hang out with Miller. Ever since he went to FOX, he’s been totally off the wall.

MC said...

Cal: There are people I let off the hook for being reactionary for ratings, but Glenn Beck seems to believe what he says (there are conservatives who compare him to Colbert... that he is knowingly doing comedy, but I don't buy that).

Semaj: They probably do hang out occasionally... they likely go to the same parties.

Maven said...

I wholeheartedly CONCUR with everything!

Dan said...

I've had run ins with those flickr people too. The bastards.

Anonymous said...

Glenn Beck may be legitimately insane.

MC said...

Maven: Danke!

Dan: I wish I could repeatedly kick them in the testicles over the course of a long 4 day weekend.

Sean: I wouldn't put it past him.