No S.O.P.A. For You

Lets be honest for a second folks.  If you were born in the mid 80s, you were a kid that saw the dawn of the internet age.  You probably had precious little money for CDs, video games, and movies, and consequently, you’ve stolen a million dollars worth of free entertainment since 1997.  But should that be enough to allow corporations to police and censor the internet, the last bastion of truly free mass expression left in the world?

In my life, I can think of two absurd peaks during the internet piracy free for all that has engulfed an entire generation.  The first was the introduction of Napster, the free online music service that has never seen an equal.  Sure, there were clunky imitators that tried to fill the hole left by Napster’s demise, like Kazaa and Limewire, and the kids of today probably use torrent sites to find free music, or gasp, even pay for music using iTunes.  Still, nobody matched Napster at its height.  Napster was ultra-fast, easy to use, and contained every song that was ever digitized on a computer, ever.  It was as if every track, of every CD, sold in every CD store around the world was available at your fingertips.  How was that possible?  Because up until the moment of Napster’s creation, all anyone ever had was CDs, and nearly everybody started backing them up on computers when they realized how easily destroyable they were.  It was a goldmine of music with no licensing restrictions, and no pesky fees that seem to be the rage these days.  But Napster died a cruel death, thanks in large part to Metallica.

The next peak was a bit more personal for me.  In 2003, I was a freshmen at Rutgers College.  The campus was hooked up with pristine T3 ultra-fast broadband access in every dorm room.  Some kids who lived in the river dorms set up a campus-only intranet service on a program called Direct Connect.  You’d get the password from some guy on your floor, load up DC, log onto the Rutgers server, and sweet fancy Moses, you had access to the largest database of pirated shit you had ever seen.  Every movie, every song, every video game, and every text book available, free to download at insanely fast speeds.  Somehow the people running Direct Connect managed to have the latest video games free to download the week before they were released, and in less then ten minutes, you’d be playing it.  It was unreal, and only lasted a year and a half before the Rutgers Direct Connect, and similar services offered at campuses around the country got shut down for good.

In today’s world, piracy is just as rampant, and requires little work to access.  Bit torrent websites are rampant, and savvy web surfers know how to squeeze the sweet free golden nectar out of them.  The only difference is running the risk of receiving a threatening legal letter from a movie studio or record company, and gulp, actually facing real consequences for getting caught.  It’s a little risky, but millions and millions of people worldwide, ferociously addicted t0 their free ride, take the chance and continuously download illegal files constantly.  But  perhaps for not much longer, at least for citizens of the United States.

Today the US Congress is considering the Stop Online Piracy Bill, or SOPA for short, and if it is passed, has wide reaching implications for enjoying the internet as you know it.  If the bill is passed, it would allow corporations that hold copyright, and law enforcement agencies, to block access to any website or search engine that allows access to such materials.  On the surface, this is an easy to swallow bill to sell to Americans, and as a result enjoys bi-partisan support.  The danger is, that if enacted, corporations would have the right to censor large swaths of the internet for perceived copyright infringement, potentially destroying thousands of legitimate e-commerce websites who will be left with little recourse.  We aren’t just talking websites like yours truly and my sister site, but massive internet mainstays like YouTube.  Because someone posted an unauthorized video of the Rolling Stones singing “Satisfaction” on a TV show no one has ever heard of, and would otherwise have been forgotten to history, that gives some corporation the right to shut down the entire YouTube enterprise that everybody loves.  Naturally, companies like Facebook, Google, and Firefox have come out strongly against the bill.  So much of their profits are derived from people searching and sharing media freely, but the powerful lobbies of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America have lobbied hardcore for its passage.

The golden age of piracy has had many effects on the entertainment industry. First off, it rightfully slaughtered the record industry.  It was a bloated, thieving, bottom line octopus, sucking quality and culture from an art form with its brain-dead quest to promote mainstream music that nobody in this ever fractured niche world could unite behind.  It probably has wounded the movie companies too, as people go to movies less and buy less DVDs.  Why bother when they can just wait a few months to download a pristine copy of the movie for free?  Still, the problems affecting these two titans of entertainment should not allow them the right to lobby for legislation that gives them the power to black out large chunks of the internet due to a perceived violation of copyright law.  In many cases, fair use with copyrights is a complex field of legality, and allowing for a powerful entity like the MPAA, who has unlimited legal funds, to shut down your business and potentially drag you into a costly legal battle on dubious grounds is just plain wrong.  S.O.P.A. should be stopped, and if it is passed, every elected official who voted for it should be voted out come their next election.  It’s a black and white question of free speech and corporate censorship that should not stand in the United States.

Weekend at Bernie’s Dance CRAZE!


I can’t believe its only taken 21 years for the Bernie’s infectious zombie dance style to take off, but it finally has in the form of a new southern hip-hop dance trend.  Enjoy Movin Like Berney, the latest single from some genius’s down south.

Zach, the Lego Maniac!


I LOVED Legos as a kid.  Who didn’t?  They were colorful, expansive, and you could create anything!  I always wondered if Simpsons creator Matt Groening got the idea for yellow faced people from all those lego characters…Anyway, remember Zach the Lego Maniac???  This kid was out of control!  He knew how to make his legos, and he even had his own catchy theme song…that is, until he got fired.  I wonder why Jack the Lego Maniac came on the scene…did Zach’s ego get out of control?  Did he demand too much money in his contract renewal?  Did he choke to death on a lego?  We’ll never know…unless someone wikipedias it…Enjoy these classic Zach (and Jack) the Legomaniac commercials, and never keep stacking those little Danish bricks kids.

VIDEO # 1- In which we are introduced to Zach and his amazing sunglasses, his lego collection, and his neon light sign that spells out his name…Certainly in the top 5 of 80s kids rooms.

VIDEO # 2- Zach’s back with greater ambitions.  He’s building microchips and cosmic ships set to conquer outer space.  But clearly Zach was growing crazy, check out his insano eyes at the 15 second mark…Apparently Zach would just become another victem of space madness.  RIP Zach.

VIDEO #3- OK, so Zach went nuts, and possibly died…no problem, lots of kids names rhyme with maniac…uhhh…Mack, Tack, Rack, Black….no…oh yea…JACK!  Jack’s taken over Zach’s gig, but not his cool room.  Jack apparently lives in an orphanage, doing his best to bring his orphaned buddies good times with his amazing LEGO pirate set.  Sadly, Jack was never adopted.

The Golden Age of CD Technology!

Filed under: Blog,Willie Simpson — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Willie Simpson @ 4:00 pm September 5, 2010

When I was growing up, one of my earliest memories was my parents bringing home a huge new stereo from Sony in 1989 that had a magical boxy CD player.  Today, CDs are cheap, hold low amounts of data, and are generally outdated since the advent of DVDs, Blu-Rays, and iPods.  But back then, CDs and their players were expensive, futuristic, and had that incredible rainbow glow.  Its hard to explain the awe we all felt in the golden age of CD technology, but luckily youtube has captured said awe via old technology commercials that glamorized these futuristic discs and devices…ENJOY…

VIDEO 1, Pioneer’s Incredible 6 disc CD changer.  This video is incredible.  Not only will Pioneer’s 6 disc system play your musical fantasies forever, you’ll be able to dance on neon lit pools of water with futuristic space witches!

VIDEO #2, The king of CD technology was obviously Sony, and their ads displayed the joy, spirit of community, and love that the power of CDs could bring.  Here is an especially cheesy ad that reminds us that, “Nothing captures the power of music, like a CD, and nothing unleashes it, like a Sony.”

VIDEO #3, Did you know that Hitachi’s laser bay system challenged you from distinguishing live music from recorded music in your own living room?  I can’t tell you how many times I’d wake up to the sound of music in my house and think that Pearl Jam was downstairs visiting my home, only to discover my older sister was just playing one of their CDs.   Also, the idea of having a laser bay somewhere in your home was awesome.

VIDEO #4, Of course you can’t talk about CDs, without talking about their super cousins, the CD-ROM.  CD-ROM’s finally let computers play awesome music, games, and videos.  Check out Gateway’s incredibly strange video where the world’s greatest dad bestows upon his daughter a standard rig at a budget price.  The best part comes when the girl asks the dad, “But what are you gonna use daddy?”  Of course dad then proceeds to wordlessly strut through his magical neon pink lit room filled with the most awesome gear available.

Hotel Mario: The YouTube Phenomenon

Hotel Mario was an interactive puzzle game developed for the CD-i console in 1994. An otherwise forgettable title, it included corny, animated cut scenes, one of which (the intro) has spawned a strange trend of remakes among the YouTube community.

Check out the original, then the acid trip madness of the spin-offs.

Steinbrenner on “Seinfeld”: Funniest Moments

Today, July 13th 2010, is a sad day.  It marks the death of one of baseball’s great original characters, George M. Steinbrenner III, owner of the New York Yankees.  Now we here at internetclub91, while huge baseball fans, are official Yankee haters.  So while we cried in our respective childhoods as Yankee dominance crushed our little Met dreams time and time again, we took great solace in Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David’s wicked cartoon-esque parody of Steinbrenner on the legendary Seinfeld.  So in honor of the man on his day of passing, we present these clips to all Yankee fans and haters alike.  Enjoy.


This is Steinbrenner (voiced by Larry David) at his annoying best, singing Heartbreaker while George is trapped under his desk in his makeshift bed…Hilarious!


This one is George Steinbrenner blissfully recollecting all the people he’s fired in his tenure as Yankee boss.  The magical part was how Steinbrenner slips up and names then current Yankee manager Showalter who actually would be soon fired after this episode aired and replaced with Joe Torre.


This one’s from the Seinfeld series finale.  Steinbrenner is called to the stand to recollect his years when George worked for him..Needless to say it doesn’t go so well for poor George who is accused of being a communist!


The last clip is a compilation of many of the great Steinbrenner moments from the show.  Here we see how George managed to get improbably hired by Steinbrenner, how Steinbrenner plans to use George as a pipeline into Communist Cuba, and “Big Stein’s” growing obsession with calzones.  CLASSIC stuff.