I wish that something could still catch my attention without trying. I feel overwhelmed with advertising most of the time. Commercials, billboards, radio space, online ads, even litter are looking for just a sliver of mental real estate, and as a performer, I generate it too. I want attention. Everything is shiny and impressive, or trying to be.
Or worse, everything is worth panicking about. Feminism has taken a huge step forward as a movement, but something about it often still frustrates me on a personal level. Racism was once our outcry and we’ve shut up about it a little while we’re distracted by the tax bill or insert whatever atrocity will be relevant by the time this goes up. Net Neutrality being repealed was a huge loss, and as someone who runs this website (I've had OdDmosis since I was 15) this blows on a very personal level. It's going to make it extremely difficult for small entrepreneurs to compete (if I’d even call it that, try existing) against massive websites within the next few years if this isn't fixed. The outcome won't be felt immediately, but like most dangerous things, it's going to take little pieces and slowly. Think of the proverbial frog sitting in a pot of water, unaware that it will be boiled alive.
This slow increase in temperature includes everything from variety, competitive market space, privacy. It didn’t require a huge allocation of the federal budget to support and it wasn’t divisive against religions or ethics. This should have been a no brainer. The only way it came through is by deliberate disregard for the public and direct misrepresentation, among my favorites, the one metric used to determine Net Neutrality as dangerous or ineffective being that it interfered with ISPs ability to develop new infrastructure, a clai that's widely disputed.
Losing net neutrality means different things to different people. As someone who runs this website, ad free, supported exclusively by the few of you who drop by and read it, it basically means that I get to do that without having to worry about making a shit ton of money. My platform is small and I like it that way; you can still scroll through and check things out, and as long as a few people donate every year I can afford to keep doing it.
As someone whose day job currently involves working remotely online, and who uses the internet to book shows, meet other comedians and plan events, net neutrality means I may potentially have to pay for work. Is it going to equivocate to paying for a pay lot at an office or is it going to be a substantial part of my already pretty meager income? It’s critical to being competitive, because I can contact people hit up small production companies and festivals, visit performer’s websites and so on. I don’t have to click on a page and then go make a sandwich because these websites are too small or don’t pay an extra fee. I don’t have to worry someone with more money than me can get there faster.
More likely than anything else is the appearance of "data caps" as you may be familiar with your smart phone service. ISPs will dictate which sites will and won't be charged as part of your cap, which again, as someone who works independently, means that I'll likely have limits imposed on how long I am able to work without getting charged to do so.
As for mainstream media, alternative media and fact checking services, I don’t really know. I’m unsure what the sway will be in terms of what stories may receive coverage, what stories will potentially be harder to access, or more alarmingly, fact checking and comparing articles will become a great deal harder. If you were worried about mainstream media before, consider that the partnership between MSM channels and ISPs is often explicit, and they have grounds to throttle competition now.
Then there’s the fact, and to me maybe the most troubling one, that despite the overwhelming amount of protest for Net Neutrality’s repeal, the proof of fake support being posted to the FCC’s website, that all of these efforts, bipartisan in nature, were still voted down. Ajit Pai has stated intent that he was going to make sure it was repealed regardless of what public opinion was. Even if you opposed net neutrality, doesn’t that sound more like government overreach than regulation does, being actively ignored and in the interests of highest bidders?
For those of you who are worried about government control, invasion of privacy and what else, well, the government isn’t the only one interested in your sweet, juicy statistics. Your data could potentially be accessed in order for ISPs to determine what they should or shouldn’t charge internet companies more money for. Who's to say they won't sell that data to said companies who are trying to figure out whose access to lobby for?
It’s just one in the continual dominoes that have been falling. I remember last November I wrote about how we shouldn’t be freaking out that Trump won until he acted; all campaigning proved was that he sought to divide and conquer via public opinion. His presidency has robbed many of rights, caused potential global, environmental and economic damage, and has left me in the unfortunate position of trying to dial back the fear mongering of how fucked up all this seems without any real reason to.
I don’t watch dramatic TV shows or really messed up, graphic, frightening or sad movies any more because I can’t really differentiate them from reality any more. I know my head’s fucked up like that. I watch things that are animated or relatively light in nature because I can either extrapolate the absurd as something that isn’t my reality, or I can at least exist in a better perceived one. It’s just weird when the reality that is news seems like fucking spider demons spitting lava in your face.
Last November, I wrote about how we weren’t listening to the concerns of conservatives who ended up getting Trump elected, and I think that’s still true, although many seem more comfortable if not reluctant to change allegiances with the insane amount of scandal that’s rife in the GOP currently, I hope we realize that when we start listening to middle conservativism we can get somewhere. Putting racists, sexists and right wing talking heads on a pedestal to ridicule or disagree with is going to go nowhere. Extremists exists so that moderates have a limit they can know they don’t want to become, I think. When we look at the bleeding edges, we're more likely to let bullshit like this slide.
On an individual level, we will pick and choose which laws we want to follow. We will still discriminate, oppress, hate, love, embrace and accept according to the world and the place we believe we have in it. This is part of why I got so personally angry about Net Neutrality, as a single person, I don’t think I have the ability to choose to follow that law or not now..
I don’t think laws are for governing individual behavior, exactly. It’s to verify norms. Most of us are pretty sure that murder is wrong. Making it a law won’t stop a murderer, but it will make it harder for a murderer to develop and exchange the social currency necessary for them to obtain their weapons and their victims. We are seeing very blurry lines between what needs to be law and what needs to be upheld or thrown out in terms of social standards. Government doesn’t rule our lives, it rules what we as a majority consider acceptable, and I’ve seen nothing representative of that this past year.
This article isn't covering any of the steps that can and are being taken in some cases to fight the repeal before it gets any legs. More on that to come, but maybe look it up on your own, while you can.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.