March 26, 2002

Inadvertent Evil

It's hard not to feel somewhat apocalyptic about the state of life in the USA these days. It feels more and more that we are moving to an ultimate something that bodes ill for all of us. That something may very well be a de facto police-state.

Since I am both a writer and a computer programmer, my concerns lately have centered on the execrable DMCA and the equally noxious CBDTPA (espoused by none other than Fritz "Senator from Disney" Hollings). The DMCA is already the law of the land -- woe be unto all of us -- and unless something drastic happens, the CBDTPA will be also. I fear for us all when that happens.

I am afraid that I am seeing the death of the First Amendment right before my very eyes. Our government is letting the entertainment industry gut the spirit of the Constitution, all in the interests of perserving the profit margins of some of the most venal and corrupt companies the earth has ever seen. Consider Hilary Rosen and that vampire Jack Valenti: two people who live off the creative efforts of others, contribute nothing to the marketplace of ideas, and yet maintain control of much of our cultural artistic heritage. This is horrifying and ironic all at the same time.

It may come to civil disobedience: politicians (with rare exceptions) are nearly tech-illiterate and largely beholden to the big-money donors. They don't speak for most of us. We need to show them, in no uncertain terms, that they work for us, not for the media conglomerates or other Fortune 500 corporations. When they see millions of their constituents flouting a blatantly-unconstitutional law, maybe they will see the light -- even if only to save their jobs.