Friday, April 29, 2005

The Scandals Just Keep Piling On!

Just when I was starting to wonder whether we're really gonna have an election, I come across this: credible accusations that Maurice Strong and, far more to the point, Paul Martin are implicated in the oil for fraud scandle. Be interesting to see what Harpel et al. have to say about that when Parliament reconvenes....

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Publication Ban? What Publication Ban?

I wasn't really intending to blog about the sponsorship scandal, as it doesn't really affect me. The Liberal Party has struck me as corrupt ever since I started voting, so when I bother to vote at all I vote Conservative anyways (except for that one time I voted Marxist-Leninist, because all the mainstream parties disgusted me at the time and I figured I might as well just amuse myself. I was 25% of their electorate in my riding! Yay me!) Actually, this isn't about the scandal per se; it's about the publication ban.

Don't you love the internet
? A judge establishes a publication ban, but there's no way to ban reading, so people in other countries (like, say, the U.S.) can ignore the ban with impunity, publish what they learn on the web, and the information gets out regardless. The mullahs in Iran can't keep their people from knowing what the score is. What makes Canada's judicial system think they can do any better, when our country is way more open?

So I says to the Liberal Party: go ahead, have your snap election. Try to skulk back into power before the Gomery inquiry blows open your whole sordid system. It won't work; we'll learn the truth anyways, and in plenty of time to do to send Canada's Natural Governing Party the way of the Whigs.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Sin City Criminals

Last night I got to see Sin City, a day before the general population does, for free (my friends rock.) As a fan of the comic, and Frank Miller's work in general, I can only say it blew me away. Go see it. You won't be disappointed.

But I'm not here to sing the praises of Sin City. I'm hear to bitch about the way the audience was treated: as a crowd of potential criminals.

The line-up was long, and slow. It took literally 20 mins to get to the front. Why? Because a group of security guards were patting down everyone to ensure no one got to take their electronics into the theatre. No digitial video cameras. No digitial cameras. And, for some godforsaken reason, no phonecams. Good god, someone might take a low resolution screen-shot! It's obvious, after all, that no one will go see the movie if they've already seen a crappy still.

Oh wait. I'd already seen lots of crappy stills. And trailers. And, um, I went anyways. Go figure.

To cap off the inconvencience was this nice little piece of humiliation: everyone giving up their phonecams had to sign a waiver, stating that in the event of loss, theft, or breakage neither the security company nor the theatre would be held liable. As I walked in, I could just see one (or all) of the uniformed, nine-dollar-an-hour thugs saying to himself, "Gee, that's a nice phone. Can't afford one that nice myself. Think I'll take it."

I can understand being worried about piracy. I disagree with studios' position, but I can understand it. Seriously though, what are we going to do with our phonecams? Or, for that matter, with camcorders? It's been years since I've downloaded a movie that was bootlegged in a theatre somewhere. Especially with digital movies, it's easy for someone involved in the production process to let a copy leak onto a P2P network. Until the DVD comes out several months later, that's where most of the illegal downloads come from, not from customers in the theatre.

There's a lot of similarity, there, to the situation in airports, where even on intra-national flights every traveller is treated by the ill-mannered, poorly trained louts laughingly called 'security', as though they were potential terrorists. With, of course, all of the delay, inefficiency, and humiliation the process involves. Just as the anti-piracy measures at the theatre are highly unlikely to prevent any actual piracy, so is airport 'security' pretty much useless at providing actual security. In both cases, the aim is not the prevention of crime. It is control, through fear and intimidation, of the general population.

I'd ask, "Why do you sheeple put up with this nonsense!?" except that, of course, I put up with it myself. Which, sadly, makes me sheeple.

Sometimes, I despair for the future of our species.