By nature, I am not a very political person. Don’t get me wrong, I have beliefs and I am very steadfast in those beliefs. But rarely do I share those beliefs with any but my closest friends.
Politics bore me and, when they do not bore me, they often infuriate me. I hate the games and the posturing and all that. There was a time in my life when I prescribed to a particular party, but now I vote with my heart and my gut. It’s just too hard for me to care most of the time.
All of this is important because right now I feel the need to say something, even if it is almost never the case.
Representatives in D.C. are going to vote on something very soon that could ruin a great thing for a lot of people. That thing is the internet. The thing that could ruin it is SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act), which is being masked as a means to protect people.
Which people? Probably not you or me. More than likely it will protect large corporate copyright holders, like record labels and movie studios. It might even protect MLB and the NFL.
The problem here, though, is that SOPA circumvents due process and allows anyone and everyone to be targeted without proof.
This is nothing new. When technology takes that next step, there’s always someone there to try to wrangle and control it. Howard Hughes fought to keep the airline industry free of a government run monopoly. VCRs, DVRs, and CD burners have all been targeted by companies like Disney and the MPAA.
But now the internet is under attack. Not just the internet, but the very thing that makes the internet important. Never before has there been a means to spread ideas freely across the entirety of the globe. Never has humanity seen something like Wikipedia, where all of our knowledge can be stored and shared with anyone who wants to know it.
Once upon a time only the church and the very rich had access to books and information. Then there was the printing press and beyond.
In the world today someone like myself can write about anything they want, such as the Texas Rangers. If they’re smart and they’re lucky and they do things the right way, they might even turn it into a career one day.
But not if there’s something like SOPA out there. Not if someone else can tell me what to write about. Not if somebody posting a link to a torrent site in my comments section can shut The Bleacher Seats down without giving me a chance to defend myself.
If you’re one of my few readers, and you haven’t already, please find a way to contact your senator or congressman. WordPress will help you. Wikipedia will help you. Google and Craigslist will too.
There’s a very good chance that there will be another post today once the Darvish news comes down. For now, though, go fight SOPA.
(Go here to read the perspective of Grant Brisbee, who I believe actually makes his living off of a baseball website.)