According to a report by the Knight-Batten Award-winning nonprofit MAPLight, the 32 sponsors of the bill received just under $2 million in campaign contributions from the movie, music, and TV entertainment industries.
To put that in perspective, this weekend’s box office take for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (you can’t make this stuff up) took in $23 million in just one weekend. So, for less than a tenth of the take from Alvin and the Chipmunks, our congress-critters have let themselves be influenced by a historically and unendingly regressive group of trade organizations.
By the way, if you calculate up the contributions the tech industry has made to these same 32 “lawmakers,” you’ll find the total to be $524,977 — one fourth the amount contributed by the entertainment industry.
Despite all the cries from tech experts throughout the United States, Congress is still doing its best to pass SOPA. Is there a correlation? Are our elected representatives paying four times more attention to the entertainment industry compared to us in technology? You be the judge.
tl;dr: A handful of congress-critters (Lamar Smith, Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Marsha Blackburn, Mary Bono Mack, John Carter, Steven Chabot, John Conyers, Jim Cooper, Elton Gallegly, Robert Goodlatte, Tim Holden, Peter King, John Larson, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Lee Terry, Melvin Watt, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, John Barrow, Steve Scalise, Ben Luján, Judy Chu, William Owens, Karen Bass, Ted Deutch, Ben Quayle, Tim Griffin, Dennis Ross, Alan Nunnelee, Thomas Marino, and Mark Amodei.) took an average of $524,977 each from lobbyists to sponsor SOPA. Even though the people they represent overwhelmingly oppose SOPA and don’t want it to become law, they’re still doing everything they can to pass it, against the wishes of their constituents — who they supposedly represent — because it’s what they were paid off to do.
This is yet another reason we need a revolution in America. We need to burn it to the ground and start over, eliminating corporate money and lobbyists from the political process entirely.
“Part of the cruel genius of capitalism lies in its ability to make all activity within it seem natural and inevitable. What we describe as “consumption” can be seen from orbit as an incredibly complicated interchange, created by elite institutions, enforced quite literally with the threat of violence, propped up by states and coercive governments, and generally as far from a state of nature as is possible. Yet the steady accumulation of monetary exchanges over the course of life conditions each of us to see consumption as an inextricable part of our being. Given the emptiness of the material conditions of their lives, the formerly manic competitors must come to invest the cultural goods they consume with great meaning. Meaning must be made somewhere; no one will countenance standing for nothing. So the poor proxy of media and cultural consumption comes to define the individual. In many ways, cultural products such as movies, music, clothes, and media are the perfect vehicle for the endless division of people into strata of knowingness, savvy, and cultural value. These cultural products have no quantifiable values, yet their relative value is fiercely debated as if some such quantifiable understanding could be reached. They are easily mined for ancillary content, the TV recaps and record reviews and endless fulminating in comments and forums that spread like weeds. (Does anyone who watches Mad Men— I’m a fan— not blog about it?) They are bound up with celebrity, both real and petty. They can inspire and so trick us into believing that our reactions are similarly worthy of inspiration. And they are complex and varied enough that there is always more to know and more rarefied territory to reach, the better to climb the ladder one rung higher than the person the next desk over. There is a problem, though. The value-through-what-is-consumed is entirely illusory. There is no there there. This is what you can really learn about a person by understanding his or her cultural consumption, the movies, music, fashion, media, and assorted other socially inflected ephemera: nothing. Absolutely nothing. The Internet writ large is desperately invested in the idea that liking, say, the Wire says something of depth and importance about the liker, and certainly that the preference for this show to CSI tells everything. Likewise the Internet exists to perpetuate the idea that there is some meaningful difference between fans of this band or that, or Android and Apple, or that there is a Slate lifestyle and a This Recording lifestyle and one for Gawker or the Hairpin or wherever. Not a word of it is true. There are no Apple people. Buying an iPad does nothing to delineate you from anyone else. Nothing separates a Budweiser man from a microbrew guy. That our society insists that there are differences here is only our longest con. This endless posturing, pregnant with anxiety and roiling with class resentment, ultimately pleases no one. There are a vast number of websites and blogs devoted to media, culture, and fashion. When was the last time that you read one and emerged refreshed by the joy and authenticity of expression that you encountered? How many pieces do you have to read before you accumulate the satisfaction necessary for a single genuine smile? Yet this emptiness doesn’t compel people to turn away from the sorting mechanism. Instead, it seduces them into drawing further and further in. This is why the resentment machine is concerned with resentment. The bitterness that surrounds these distinctions is a product of their inability to actually make us distinct. Nothing is so endlessly provoking to us as those who are most like us, and the reality is that there is little to separate the cultural signifiers of postcollegiate middle class upwardly-oriented-if-not-upwardly-mobile Americans. But, again, people feel there is nowhere else to turn, so they invest more and more of themselves in what they consume. Faced with the failure of their cultural affinities to define an authentic and fulfilling self, they double down on the importance of those affinities, and confront the continued failure with a formless resentment. The savviest of the media and culture websites tap into this resentment as directly as they dare. They write endlessly about what is overrated. They assign specific and damning personality traits to the fan bases of unworthy cultural objects. They invite comments that tediously parse microscopic distinctions in cultural consumption. They engage in criticism as a kind of preemptive strike against those who actually create. They glamorize pettiness in aesthetic taste. The few artistic works they lionize are praised to the point of absurdity, as various acolytes try to outdo each other in hyperbole. They relentlessly push the central narrative that their readers crave, that consumption is achievement and that creators are to be distrusted and “put in their place.” They deny the frequently sad but inescapable reality that consumption is not creation and that only the genuinely creative act can reveal the self. This, then, is the role of the resentment machine: to amplify meaningless differences and assign to them vast importance for the quality of individuals. For those who are writing the most prominent parts of the Internet— the bloggers, the trendsetters, the uber-Tweeters, the tastemakers, the linkers, the creators of memes and online norms— online life is taking the place of the creation of the self, and doing so poorly.”
I've never enjoyed pain as much as I did this year.
This year has not been a particularly good year in comparison to past years in my life. Year 13 was actually a banner year for me, as was 17, 18 & 26. 31, not so much. This year was very busy, jam packed full of life lessons, one time experiences and realization. I found out just how badly I wanted to continue school, how much I need to work to keep my sanity and what really makes you grown.
Both of my grandmothers passed away this year. Some people don’t like their family but I LOVE mine and losing my Chicken (my nickname for my grandma) was really hard. My brother finally started college only to discover he absolutely loves it (I told him 10 years ago he would but he wouldn’t listen). He’s the brother I’m closest to in age and relationship and probably the only one who he will listen to when it comes down to the tough situation. I also rekindled some friendships I wasn’t aware I was missing until they showed up. You know those friends you had back in high school that you wish you never lose contact with? Yeah, those people and you know what? You are even cooler now as adults than they where in high school. I love it when that happens.
Now that I think about it, no matter how difficult this year was, it was a great year. I found out what I was made of, well more of what I am made of. I am grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to see my growth. I know so many people who only see the events that happen in their life as good or bad. They are constantly keep score like it’s some kind of game and not actual life. I pity those people, their vision is so small and narrow.
As part of that growth and my fall classes, here are my fall projects i created. Each one is from a different part of my heart and brain. Each has it’s own message or maybe no message, I’m not sure anymore. I hope you enjoy them.
This is the final project from my Sound Design class in which I learned in order to be a really good sound designer, you need to learn physic. Needless to say, I am not going into the field of sound design.
Here is the final project for my Emerging Media Studio class. It started out as a simple Q&A about an article on marriage and turned into an entire movement. More info on the Love Black Project coming soon. For now, watch this trailer.
Last but not least, in my Visual Art Studio class, I made a video in response to the question, “What happens to your ability to pay attention to one thing when you make Continual Partial Attention your default behavior.” Make sure you turn up the volume, it’s quiet.