Wednesday, May 03, 2006

three reasons for being a consumer pt. 1

I have to admit, I do have some tunes I didn't pay for, but I will honestly say I do not use file sharing programs. Somebody I know personally or myself, mostly myself, have bought everything I listen to. The digital revolution will eventually change the business of music and it WILL be for the better, but for now there are some sounds from some bands I will always happily pay for, because I want them to continue making the noise to which I like to listen. So I present three reasons here for consumerism that I feel deserves support.

1 - Neil Young "Living With War"
Check it out while it's streaming on his website, then buy the album. I've already posted about this and, yes, I need to again. The best of American protest songs just got some new cohorts. Young's album is an anti-war rant that is fuzzy, funny, armed, smart and dangerous in all the right ways. A mostly, mid-tempo fuzz-fest of guitar and slogans, there are no open throttle racers, but there are some rollicking gems that invite you to sing along. And some drop into rawkus, noisy, foot-stoppers that just plead to be played with the knob twisted all the way to the right.

Young's defiantly and clearly anti-Bush, but really only anti-Bush because he is so anti-war. Young lends his voice to those that seem to continually be left behind by political parties these days: those working middle of the road blues. Collars, not bloods. People trying to get by and getting caught in the cross fire of rhetoric and killed in the streets of countries who were invaded for the oil, sold on the ideals of Bushland the Ride. Young has been trying his damnedest to be truthful for longer than I've been alive and you can feel him seething at "faulty information" being fed to us by our leaders. Watching the new "trickle down", only this time its blame and cover-up instead of money.

All this aside it is what good, rowdy rock-n-roll should. Pure, stripped down, heartfelt, fuzzy, raw, honest and trying in it's own way to truly change the world.

You gotta love a song called "Let's Impeach the President" and the person who has the cojones to write it.

not Neil, actually, but my wife playing harp in the dining room

Monday, May 01, 2006

in this case, the revolution may not be broadcast at all

I have a dream that one day we will all be employees and consumers of the same global company. And frankly, it scares the shit out of me.

Big Internet operators like AT&T and Verizon want the power to decide which Web sites open properly on our computers—giving them control over what we do and where we search online. So far, Congress has caved to their demands.

But because of intense public pressure, some members of Congress are starting to switch from AT&T's side to ours! In just a week, Congress saw over 250,000 of us sign a petition demanding the Internet stay free. Joining this call are tech pioneers like Google and Microsoft, diverse groups ranging from MoveOn to Gun Owners of America, and even some celebrities.

If enough of us stand up now, there's still time for the House of Representatives to do the right thing next week when it votes on whether to protect or destroy Network Neutrality—the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom.

Can you join our petition asking Congress to protect the free and open Internet?

This petition will be delivered to your members of Congress, and everyone who signs will be kept informed of the next steps we can take to keep the pressure on Congress this week.

Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. A House committee voted to go along with AT&T's scheme last week, but we are fighting back hard before next week's full House vote. We want to raise public awareness of this issue and hand Congress 350,000 signatures.

To reach this goal, we're launching a contest: Ask your friends to sign the petition and you can win one of 10 iPod Nanos or one of 40 gift certificates. Start by signing the petition yourself, and you'll receive instructions to enter the contest., which monitors various causes that circulate on the Internet, recently explained this issue:

Simply put, network neutrality means that no web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic equivalent of a paid carpool lane.

If companies like AT&T have their way, Web sites ranging from Google to eBay to MoveOn either pay the equivalent of protection money to get into the "fast lane" or risk opening slowly on your computer. We can't allow the Internet—this incredible medium which has been such a revolutionary force for democratic participation, economic innovation, and free speech—to become captive to large corporations.