Friday, November 5, 2010

But Honestly Monica... What the Cook’s Source Magazine theft of intellectual property can tell us about Schwarzenegger v. EMA

Once again, Gen X and beyond is getting screwed by the Baby Boomers.

No, I’m not talking about the recent midterm elections, in which for whatever reason, over 65 voters turned out to vote almost 2 to 1 over the under 30 crowd. Once again it looks like younger people in America have (rightfully so) given up any inkling that their voice genuinely counts in any kind of open arena or community in which the baby boomers have entrenched themselves. Some of this comes down to life-style, with younger people tending to have jobs that are much less forgiving in terms of scheduling flexibility, and tend to be in sectors that have “election day sales” where entitled boomers argue about paying too much for a 90% off made-in-China thing they don’t need on their way to vote for “family values” while muttering about how the youth of the country don’t give the boomers enough credit for the “revolution” of the 60’s or the inflation-fest of the 80’s.

This subject is something I’ve talked about before, and anyone who likes anime or goes to a convention is used to the uber-wide social gap of understanding which is why your mother never understands your jokes or why she gets confused by the “I’m on a horse” ad and it’s various parodies.

Case in point #2, the “because I say so” self-important opinion gambit, where boomers often believe that because of their age and experience, their all too often ill-informed opinions are not only valid, but can somehow trump arguments that are in the right, just because that factually correct opposition comes from a gen-x or gen-y source. It is an insane trap of self delusion whose apex seems to be the notion that the “government is going to get involved in your Medicare.” ...yeah.

There’s a point... wait for it.

Take a recent real world example of this in media; Cook’s Source Magazine totally cluster-fucks it’s way into internet famous-ness (that’s totally a real word). Apparently, it’s not plagiarism if you and your old-media take it off that wacky internet that the kids use. TL;DR version of all that is; a food blogger Monica Gaudio posted a recipe/article for an apple pie or something on her own website. This was later found, slightly altered, and re-published by Cook’s Source Magazine with Gaudio’s name on the byline, however Gaudio was never informed or compensated. When confronted, Cook’s Source Magazine Editor Judith Griggs notes she’s got “30 years experience” in the publishing business, and then acknowledges the situation. Finally she follows it up with one of the most obtuse notions ever, that being that everything on the internet is Public Domain and perfectly usable as content in a for-profit publication. It’s a textbook example of both the baby boomer gap of understanding how new media and technology work while at the same time playing the “my opinion carries more weight than your argument simply because you’re too young to understand” or more accurately the “because I said so, child” maneuver. The belittling of importance of media, simply because it’s in a form that uses new technology that one can not understand, often leads the boomers to violate codes of behavior, and explicit laws out of a sense of self righteous ignorance, which almost always leads to the detriment to younger generations.

Another footnote in the making of “Making 'Generation Screwed;' a Baby Boomer Production” ...I just made that up.

Why is this important for an anime / Japanese pop-culture blog?

No this didn’t happen to me, my posts are simply too crunktaculatastic to be reprinted in old media. But recently, the issue of “violent video games” the replacement boogey-man that replaces Twisted Sister and the Tipper Sticker, has in fact made it to the Supreme Court of The United States of America. Scared by a medium of creativity they can’t possibly comprehend but believe they can adequately judge, the boomer generation is trying to regulate free speech by using scare tactics. Now, banning a violent game sounds as ridiculous as banning a violent book to those who can understand both of these mediums, but you have to be born after 1975 to be able to know that.

What should scare the crap out of everyone reading this, is that the panel of SCOTUS judges in this case has consistently demonstrated their inability to notice that it’s not the year 1970 anymore. Moronic questions demonstrating the lack of even the most basic knowledge of how email and cell phones work, the inability to correctly spell or pronounce Nunchuck, and a notion of under 18 year olds as non-citizens which do not have first amendment protection, are all things I except someone’s angry grandmother to spew forth, not something to come from the soo-preem-fuking-kort!

Yet it is this untouchable cabal of culturally and technologically illiterate bunch of boomer-mentality superiority of opinion judges, which will either strike down, or support a law which clearly violates the U.S. Constitution but for the fact it’s being applied to a medium which these people can not understand. Change out “video game” with “book” in this case, and we wouldn’t even be here.

Kotaku has put up a piece that gives a hopeful picture that the outcome won’t be retarded, but let’s not forget, if you're reading this here, you are coming into this with our own superior understanding of how this technology actually works, and how it is not bound by specific age groups (the “video games are for kids” notion). Conversly, the SCOTUS is fumbling around in the dark, putting their hands on inventions that they’ve never seen before, all while looking for the oil lamp to shed some light on the situation.

On the bright side, it seems that Kagan knew what Mortal Kombat was, although she relegated it to “something her clerks did,” thereby demoting it to a plebeian activity of the younger generation in her mind I'm sure.

This one could go either way.