An open letter to Society

Zach Buckley, IVLeader Columnist

Dear Society,

I am writing an open letter to you to let you know that you are absolutely crazy.  Now, I don’t mean normal crazy, like Charles Manson, I mean completely-off-the-wall-Garth-Brooks-turned-Chris-Gaines-on-his-way-to-Westboro-Baptist-Church-crazy… which is not at all an understatement.  Now, my dearest Society, I’m not sure if you are aware of this but you are rather greedy – but don’t worry because everyone is.  You see, a long time ago in a galaxy far far far away called the 1990s, everybody loved buying music!  Everyone loved it so much so that at the start of the next decade, N*Sync’s No Strings Attached sold 2.42 million records in its first week of sales.

Let’s have that hang for a minute, shall we?  2.42 million albums in one week.

…I bet you’re crying right now in the same manner that I cried at the end of Toy Story 3 – and that is to say sobbing deeply as if your childhood had died right before your eyes.  Anyway, do you remember who came along and ruined it for all of us?  Of course you do!  That’s right, Society – Napster did it!  Those jerks tainted us.  We were completely content in our happiness of spending twenty bucks or more on a single CD but then those guys came along and decided that they were too good to buy our CDs and that they were going to give away the music for free and SHARE it with everyone.  Those communists.  Joseph McCarthy is still rolling around in his grave shouting told you so!

So what happened to Napster?  Metallica killed them… sort of.  Napster came back stronger and, in combination with other file sharing programs, such as LimeWire, killed the music industry.  Virgin Megastores closed the world over and the population rate soared!  We were no longer content to shell out mountains of cash for the record label’s products! What kind of world was this!?!?!

The record industry was sad and cold without us.  Only little children loved them but that’s only because little children are stupid enough to know what file sharing was.  The music industry wanted us back but instead of apologizing and embracing the changes in our relationship they decided to kill our other love, the internet.  Now, how could they do something like that to us?  Well, Society, one day you will learn that with great power comes terrible U.S. legislation.

So the music industry got together with their friends the movie industry and the book industry and wrote us not one – but two – love letters lovingly titled SOPA and PIPA.  And by love letters I mean super ambiguous hard to make sense of bills that would’ve allowed them to control the entire world through the flow of information.  So we protested the only way we knew how… by doing exactly what the government planned on doing and shutting down the most important websites on the internet for a day.  Thanks, Society.  You always know best.


Zach Buckley