Indignation and Rantation
Topic: Vic Jameson
I'm still in that halfway area, where I wonder if all this dull routine is a good idea, whether I should just fucking rip up the credit card by flying somewhere improbable, when I get home, log on to write one of the last entries on my blog, when ... nothing.
Does not connect. Stupid ISP. The cheapest available in the country,
unable to deal with any customer comments by email, I'm used to ringing them
Only this time is different. This time they haven't fucked up. They've pulled the plug. I've been booted from my fucking ISP.
A summer entirely devoid of flicking through bollocks on the net flashes
before my eyes. They what? They fucking what?! For what reason? For
fucking reason is it pulled?
(thinks: I only called that guy on a messageboard a cocksucker in my head, I didn't say it out loud)
For illegal use.
Apparently, I downloaded a movie. I downloaded it, then shared and uploaded
it to others. They even knew the name of the movie. Mean Girls.
Yes, not even a good movie.
Mean Girls! But I went to see that at the cinema! (catch in throat as I nearly - nearly - say 'you can look at my blog for proof if you don't believe me'; I have enough markers of my fall from social dignity already, I don't need others).
When I installed a bit torrent client the other week, I clicked on some
movies. Idly. Playing. I started downloading them - Whale Rider, which
came down with
Spanish overdubbing, and Mean Girls. It took forever, so I stopped the
download. And went to see it at the cinema instead.
Idly. Playing. I don't burn CDs and pirate them at the local car boot sale. Almost everyone else I know online does, as it happens. Not me.
I downloaded these two. Watched neither. Deleted them.
Of course I'd be the one they pick up for web piracy. Of course I'd be worth the damn time and effort to raise their stupid corporate figures on crime waves. Why go for the big villains? Why not stand by and let them do what they like, then pick on the penniless half insane bitch who lost everything last year? Of course. Peter Parket (version 2) would. Forget about the little guy.
But. It dawns on me that if I fileshare on torrents or on Kazaa, then if I fail to delete something, it's automatically uploaded to others.
"What you need to do, madam, is to send us a fax saying you've read and
agreed to the Terms and Conditions, and to the Acceptable Use policy."
How can I do that?
How can I read the website's Terms and Conditions if I can't get online?
"Just send a note saying you have, and you can check later."
But how can I avoid breaking them if I don't know what they are to break?
"You'll have to go round a friend's house and use their computer, then."
I sense, somehow, that it would be arguing for argument's sake to ask what friends?
The next doozy: "If you offer a written apology regarding your illegal download of the film Mean Girls, than give your name, signature and date, and mark it for the attention of the ISP abuse team, we'll reconnect you."
*pause for sense of shock to flood through already overloaded adrenal system*
So, it was illegal, but an apology is enough? How does that make
I ask about tv programmes. I downloaded whole series-worth. Copyright.
What about music. Copyright.
So I could have my ISP pull the plug for uploading things I legally have on my PC, such as music I've bought?
If it's copyright, yes.
But Kazaa and bit torrent clients don't check copyright, they just upload automatically, don't they?
I'm getting worried about prosecution as a pirate, now, as if I'm making money out of this. Mr ISP Bastard says "it's illegal to have Kazaa" on my machine.
No, it's not.
"Well, no, you're right it's not.
But downloading materials with Kazaa is."
No it's not.
"No, you're right, it's not.
But if the material is copyright, it is."
So it's just me out of millions? I'm starting to feel stupid, and giving up the argument - 'what about everybody else' is a logically redundant argument, usually employed by morons. I prepare to buckle.
"Listen, we know everybody does it, but you've been unlucky."
Oh for riced shakes, so you're actually admitting that it's nonsense? The admission doesn't improve my mood. Nor does the next one.
"The infraction was filesharing, but the apology required is for downloading. Downloading a movie which isn't even on dvd yet."
So if I illegally pirated something less popular you'd turn the blind eye you just admitted to?
Argh. Rage. Blind, purple dot-seeing, furious, fist clenching rage.
I go out. Five pm. Takes me twenty minutes to find somewhere that does
faxes. Of course the fax number they gave me doesn't work. Of
didn't bring my phone. I'm the unluckiest bastard in the world, why would I
bring my phone.
Reprise. This time, six pm. Nowhere in Penge sends faxes at six pm. What for?
Rage. Fury. Simmering resentment. Mad stare at the guy in the internet cafe's double take when he sees I'm paying for a fax to an ISP abuse team.
It took a shit fit in Lidl (home of cheap but necessary beer), and the simmering sense of indignity that if I had friends in England, or money, I could be slagging off my ISP in a pub by now, the discovery I can read Creepy Lesbo via my mobile phone, and this morning's realisation that there are other unlucky people in the world to calm me down.
Looking for a scrap of purple note paper on which to scrawl my fax, I'd found the following lines from an unwritten blog post, composed last February.
"There's a lot of things I could have ... or should have done. But I figured out a few weeks ago, that when you get right down to it, most of them don't make a difference one way or another. So what the hell ... why bother?"
Right, I've fired off my indignation to the internet, now. That's what you do if you don't have a girlfriend, money, freedom or friends, you know.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Creepy Lesbo
"Another shit day.
How old am I?
I can tie my own shoelaces.
I can tell the time (just).
I can pick my nose and eat it (and I still do).
And yet I am still unable to wipe my own arse after a night on the slosh without dragging streaks half way up my back.
Why IS that?"
Updated: Tuesday, 20 July 2004 6:05 PM BST
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