Saturday, November 18, 2006

Time for more rules

Rule #33: YouTube, YouBoob

Enough with the copyright crackdown on YouTube! It's futile and will serve only to dilute the site's already-small fraction of watchable videos.

Okay, I understand if the material in question is a brand-new music video or an unreleased track. Fine. Take those off. If Comedy Central is offended by YouTube's diversion of traffic from its higher-quality Motherload feed, then so be it.

But is Warner Brothers really accomplishing anything by removing decades-old music videos that haven't been available to the public since the debut of MTV's Remote Control? Where the hell else am I going to find the video for Morris Day and the Time's 1985 hit "The Bird?" And aren't music videos advertisements to begin with? I think the cash cow went to pasture on that one years ago, guys. Give it up, as KC and the Sunshine Band once sang.

Anyway, what defines "copyrighted material"? Any original body of work created in the United States has a copyright, technically speaking. I own the copyright on everything I've written or designed on this blog. Registered copyrights hold up better in court, but those are generally reserved for those who concern themselves with making profit. Which is, more than anything, what this is all about. I guess I'll just have buy all those old videos. Now, what store sells them again?

Rule #34: Headline Heaven

When the top news story is "Bush goes to Vietnam," every publication is allowed to cover it like The Onion. In fact, there's no excuse not to. Example headlines might include the following: "Finally," "It's about time," "Bush visits Vietnam, literally this time" and "Too little, too late." Editorials shall state, "What about all the times Bush DIDN'T go to Vietnam?" and "These days, even National Guard soldiers have to go to foreign countries." There must also be questions regarding potent Nam weed and hookers, Bush's low sense of morale, and his coming need to be lifted by helicopter out of the American embassy. And, most importantly, Walter Cronkite must comment on the inevitable stalemate ahead. And how Bush wishes it were 1975 all over again.

Really...what other kind of coverage this this absurd event deserve?

Rule #35: Tickle Me PS3

You know how silly it seems now that people once lined up for days for a Cabbage Patch Kid or a new Atari game? That's you, Mr. "I Cut Class for Two Days to Stand in Line to Pay Double Markup So I Could Be the First in My Apartment Complex to Own a PlayStation 3." Hey, at least you got your name and picture in the paper, so everyone knows all about your bizarre exploits!

The rush to get the new PS3, or any fresh toy, is ultimately more about hype and competition than about actually wanting the product. Anyone truly interested in testing out the product would be satisfied by the free display offered by most major outlets; short of that, why not play with a friend who bought one? Assuming they remembered to buy a second controller. And a game, for that matter.

Truly worthwhile products stand the test of time, as PlayStation has in all its incarnations. Even Cabbage Patch Kids and Elmo-related toys remain wildly popular. If you want to fight for tickets and stand in long lines, go to the Superdome 30 minutes before a Saints game. At least then you'll be rewarded with a unique experience. And the game console will still be there when you get home.

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