Hypocrisy in Hollywood

I recently wrote about my take on the SOPA/PIPA debate and the subsequent internet blackout. Clearly, there has been a lot of misinformation submitted by the MPAA, and I’ve been given an infographic that does a great job of illustrating this fact. Peter Kim submitted this to me, and has allowed me to post it on this site. He does a great job of illustrating the MPAA’s mistruths.

Hypocrisy in Hollywood
Created by: Paralegal.net
Published by Jonathan, on March 2nd, 2012 at 12:46 pm. | Tags: , , , | No Comments

The SOPA Blackout Wrapup

Wednesday was the day that many of the internet heavyweights weighed in with their opinion on the SOPA/PIPA legislations going through the halls of Capitol Hill. Reddit and Wikipedia went dark, while Google showed their solidarity with the protestors in a different way. The bottom line? Enough people got upset about the orneriness of this legislation. No matter what you think about so-called online “piracy”, you will not fix it by overreaching. Taking away rights will not ┬ásave “jobs”.

One question I’ve seen on Twitter is asking why Progressives are upset about government overreach. Doesn’t government know best? Well…certainly not all the time. When the rules and regulations that we are forced to live by are controlled by big monied interests, it doesn’t matter if the overreach comes from government or business. Oh yeah, and trust me, this one was government overreach with a heavy dose of big business. Who do you think really drafts these bits of legislation?

In the case of legislation involving the internet, it certainly isn’t the elected officials. Patrick Leahy, Lamar Smith, et al. know nothing about the internet, and they proved it with their attempt to push this legislation through. Their attempt to reign in “piracy” was misguided, and worse, it was fed to them by industry lobbyists. Now, I know this happens all the time, and this was not particularly egregious as lobbyist fed legislation goes. Nonetheless, it’s another stark reminder that our system is badly broken.

Even before Citizens United, big money had too much influence in Washington. It’s certainly not a recent revelation, but this one was more disheartening because it was so bipartisan. I know…as much as I long for a more civil tone in D.C., this is not the issue on which we need agreement between Democrats and Republicans. A draconian law that solves no problem is not worth agreeing on. No…we need real problems solved with the precious little bipartisanship that actually exists in Washington.

This isn’t over. Not by a long shot. The MPAA and the RIAA will try again to get this garbage legislation pushed through. Hopefully we’ll be as vigilant then as we were now.

Published by Jonathan, on January 20th, 2012 at 11:06 pm. | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments

The Awful Feeling of Being Unrepresented

As a progressive leaning voter in the state of Tennessee, it is easy to feel alone. While I may live and work in the politically moderate Nashville area (compared to the rest of the state), it is difficult to find elected officials that represent many of the things I hold as core values. We are a state that is overrun with conservative zealots whose only priority is to crush any and all opposition to their points of view. To these people, it isn’t about finding compromise. It’s about complete domination.

Let’s use Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey as Exhibit A. With a recent tweet to his followers, he made it clear he doesn’t mind sticking it to his political opponents. This example of shameless antagonism is a microcosm of the conservative mantra. Belittle your opponents. Make them out to be the enemy. Claim liberal bias in the media. Rinse and repeat.

A worse example of feeling unrepresented is Jim Cooper. He is my congressman, and I helped vote him into office. He has embraced many things I support. Others, not so much. The worst example of the latter is his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I understand why he is supporting this legislation. While he may represent the aforementioned politically moderate city of Nashville and surrounding areas, he also has big monied entertainment companies amongst his constituency. He is merely playing to that. However, this legislation will have a chilling effect on free speech.

Democrats in this region are feeling under siege. Anyone cast as “liberal” could possibly lose their position in public office. At least that is the fear.┬áThis fear of losing one’s elected office is causing my elected officials to vote with their jobs in mind, rather than their consciences.

I want the people I vote for to champion equality. I want the people I vote for to stand up for free speech. I want my elected officials to stand up for those that don’t have a voice. A functioning democracy should represent all people. Not just the majority. Not just the richest. They should absolutely represent the minority and the marginalized. This is why I feel profoundly unrepresented in Tennessee specifically, and the South in general. Who is going to speak for me?

Published by Jonathan, on December 17th, 2011 at 3:37 pm. | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments