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Internet blackout doesn't cause major jostling

January 23, 2012
  • Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

Whew, that was close. For a second there, I thought that my favorite porn site was going to be blacked out in solidarity with the political protest of pending SOPA regulations. That’s all I need, to get up in the morning to find that the technology I count on daily has been suspended in order to make some kind of political statement.

What good is the Internet if you can’t check your stocks, take a look at the long-range forecast and log a little face time with Chesty LaJostle?

But if the porn sites are concerned that the line between politics and entertainment is becoming blurred, they didn’t bite. Nor did, of all things, social media, the inane incubator of thoughtless protest. (The grocery store no longer has an olive bar? Someone create a Facebook page before it’s too late!) Facebook dark? Go ahead, make my day.

Oh, and for the smarty pants Wikipedia, I was able to get around your little reindeer game by going to the French-language Wiki site, where I seamlessly continued my research for an article on Gen. Winfield Scott, who led America’s war against Mexico in the mid-1800s. With my rudimentary knowledge of French, I was able to piece together important information about the general, such as the fact that both of his parents are dead.

(Interruption No. 1: I’m a proud member of AARP and I don’t know what possessed me, but I signed up for a lot of its e-notifications, including ones on travel, so here’s what — no lie — I find in the ole inbox on Wednesday: “5 Hidden Cruise Costs to Avoid.” Like what would that be, the bartender gratuity or a sump pump?)

But if you have come here for any insights on SOPA, you’re going to be disappointed because near as I can tell, it’s a handful of Very Big Corporations fighting another handful of Very Big Corporations, the difference being that one side has managed to co-opt every last unemployed, living at home, awake-at-3 a.m., “Dungeons and Dragons”-playing cyber-rat to its side by convincing them that, under SOPA, hired goons will come to their houses and force wet Portland cement down their throats.

So, the government’s testy response to the braying of the nerds was to shut down the file-sharing website Megaupload. Megaupload, according to The Washington Post, illegally shared movies and TV shows and is “one of the Web’s most popular sites.”

I never heard of it.

In my defense, when you believe that there hasn’t been a decent TV drama series since “McCloud,” and your movie intake for an entire decade consists of “We are Marshall” and “The Help,” this wasn’t a site that was likely to trigger the radar.

(Interruption No. 2: Did I really hear that Newt Gingrich wanted an open marriage at the same time he was trying to get Bill Clinton convicted of a crime and kicked out of office for the same reason? Everyone’s focused on the hypocrisy angle, so they’re missing the real issue; ladies, if you want to swap with Newt Gingrich, trust me, there are some other partners you’ve missed. But at least it explains why Newt won South Carolina. It was, after all, an open primary.)

So the Megaupload people got megaticked and retaliated by hacking into the Justice Department’s website and taking it down. Boy, that really disrupted the American way of life, didn’t it? They showed us. We might not be able to log onto www.justice.gov to learn the latest statistics on Aleutian Eskimo hate crimes.

But you know what’s going to happen. Thanks to the Obama administration, these criminal enterprises are just going to move overseas and take their criminal jobs with them. Figures. Immigrant criminals are free to come to America, while we can’t keep good old home-grown American criminals here.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant at www.herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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