It’s so easy to take your eye off the ball.
And there are so many balls to keep an eye on nowadays - the death-throes of global capitalism as we know it, the constant protests and riots in major world cities, the shrinking polar ice-caps, the weird and extreme weather, the dismantlement of the NHS and Welfare State in the UK, Israel’s descent as a state into increasingly open and belligerent racism, the collapse of the Euro, the turmoil of the increasingly misnamed Arab Spring, the spectacle of a dysfunctional nuclear armed state without a leader in North Korea and the equally alarming spectacle of the dysfunctional nuclear armed states with leaders in the US, Russia and elsewhere, and the fact that despite having the most demonstrably punchable face in British political history, no-one has yet laid out George Osborne. Yet at the same time there are so many shiny things to distract us - Charlie Brooker’s new series, Minecraft, Twitter, Glitch, that great video of cats someone posted on Facebook or somewhere, that really interesting essay on Greek metallurgy on Metafilter, the Christmas display on Willesden Green High Road, and so on. This is not to mention the small matter of keeping going from day to day, going to work, keeping food on the table, making plans for the future, figuring out ways to stay sane and positive in a brutal and uncaring universe and so on. And, of course, not forgetting… ooh, shiny.
So I nearly missed the whole SOPA thing, until a friend posted this video of Dan Bull’s excellent SOPA Cabana song on Facebook.
In short, SOPA is an attempt by US Congress to allow corporate copyright holders to demand the shutdown of any site they believe to be participating in or even just facilitating copyright infringement. That could include Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any site based on user-generated content. This isn’t hyperbole. Google and Facebook (as well as Ebay, Twitter, and just about every major web based company you can think of) are taking the threat very seriously.
If you’re in the US, you can do various things about this - there’s information here on LifeHacker and more here from the EFF, plus (as usual) some great discussion on the subject on Metafilter and pretty comprehensive coverage on BoingBoing. If you’re not in the US? I honestly don’t know.
So I drew a silly cartoon. And now - it being arse AM - I’m going to bed.
I hope the internet is still there tomorrow.