News for Youse: Anonymous declares war on Netflix, but is it for the right reasons?
First off, let's address the obvious fact that… we're still alive! Judging from the overwhelming cries of panic, fear, anger, hostility, outrage, and "I'm taking my ball and going home" on the Internet yesterday, you'd think the fucking world was going to end after some website announced it was buying another website. And yet, Tuesday arrived and the world's still here so… well, maybe this is our way of saying keep calm and get a life.
However, in a not-so-faraway part of the Internet, not all is well. No, the lulzy collective known as Anonymous has a new target: Netflix. See, the content-streaming website has set up a super PAC, which, as we understand are magical entities that quietly give politicians money to do their political things but aren't really all that accountable to the general public and/or the money-auditing people. Like lobbying and money laundering wrapped up in one glorious, bafflingly legal package.
(All we know for sure is that super PACs unequivocally have nothing to do with Pac-Man, which was more than a little embarrassing to find out after running around the house eating tiny marshmallows while pretending to be "SuperPACMan" one evening.)
Anyway, because of this new money machine known as FLIXPAC, Anonymous immediately called for a boycott of the service, claiming Netflix was a supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a bigger and badder (or perhaps leaner and meaner; full disclosure: we haven't read the whole thing yet) version of SOPA/PIPA. While rapidly falling stock prices did lead to Netflix releasing a statement yesterday that said "Hey dudes, we don't support SOPA, which is totally dead anyway" and "Um, everyone has a super PAC these days anyway, just look at Stephen Colbert!", it must be noted that Netflix spent $500,000 in 2011—up from $20,000 in 2009—lobbying the government about matters relating to telecommunications, Internet non-discrimination, Internet privacy, intellectual property issues, Internet competition issues, and the Video Privacy Protection Act. Oh, and that CISPA still allows the government to spy on its citizens. And that Netflix didn't actually say they were anti-CISPA. They actually said they are "engaged on other issues including network neutrality, bandwidth caps, usage based billing and reforming the Video Privacy Protection Act.”
We'll let you draw your own conclusions instead of subtly implying that we think Internet access should be a universal right and we're always secretly cheering for agents of chaos. Whoops, cat's out of the bag and all that.
Speaking of agents of chaos, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the passing of Albertan ecoactivist Wiebo Ludwig, who died on Monday from esophageal cancer at the age of 70. The highly polarizing figure once spent 19 months behind bars after being convicted of bombings and criminal mischief related to the sabotaging of gas wells near his Trickle Creek compound in Alberta. Ludwig was engaged in a seemingly endless battle against Alberta oil developers, which discovered oil deposits under his land. Since landowners only actually own the top six inches of their property, oil
exploiters companies proceeded to dig sour gas wells in the area—wells that Ludwig claimed endangered the health of his family.
And speaking of agents of chaos who also happen to have excellent beards, Fidel Castro released a statement that is equal parts anti-U.S. rhetoric and old man ramblings. Entitled "Stephen Harper's Illusions", the piece hardly mentions the prime minister and completely ignores the most important illusionist of all time: Arrested Development's George Oscar Bluth.
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