SOPA Debate... Or High School?

from the you-tell-us dept

James Temple, for the SF Chronicle, has finally found the perfect analogy for what the SOPA debate is like: your everyday high school teen drama "replete with name calling and a stubborn refusal to let the nerds talk." He covers, of course, the angry fight between Reps. King and Jackson-Lee over whether each other was boring or offensive:
Late last week, Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and their colleagues managed to grind the session to a halt as they exchanged taunts that boiled down to: You're boring. Yeah, well, you're offensive! Nu uh, you're out of order!
But, of course, the bigger deal is the refusal to hear from the actual experts -- which Congress repeatedly referred to as "the nerds." Temple extends the analogy even further, to figure out why Congress is so quick to take Hollywood's side on this bill, despite the concern of actual experts, and the widespread outcry among the public:
Here, we come back to our tween picking out that smart phone. In the case of Congress, the media industry seems to be playing the dual roles of influential friend and paying parent. And they're willing to splurge on that shiny new iPhone 4S while the tech industry is only coughing up enough for last year's Android.
When it's difficult to distinguish the details between high school spats and Congress, it seems like something pretty serious is wrong.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 5:20am

    Too much credit

    To be honest, I think comparing the SOPA markup sessions to high school is giving them far too much credit. I have two kids, 10 and 14 and over a dozen nieces and nephews ranging from under 2 to mid-20's. The most apt comparison I found was to kindergarten playground bullies vs their victims.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:04am

    No wonder they keep using "for the children" as an excuse for certain agendas: they have the same mental age.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Now I understand the "for the children" it is self serving propaganda since they are the children.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:12am

    Send the message

    Just because they can send their lobbyists to Washington with bribery cash shouldn't mean that the media conglomerates can purchase regulatory powers. The internet isn't the government's property to sell to the highest bidder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    "For themselves"...sounds about right!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:29am

    Sounds like "spare the rod' is not working in Congress

    So, perhaps it's time some good old fashioned butt whippings were applied to these maundering cretins, followed by maybe a twenty year time out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mr RC (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Ignorance... is this...

    When everything blows up in their face and things go horribly wrong.. they'll be the first ones to try and blame the nerds for not telling them... even though they've pretty much stuck their fingers in their ears and gone 'LALALALALA'

    If SOPA passes, I will be blocking US access to my many sites.. and I'm pretty sure a lot of other sites will follow suit...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:36am

    How do we mark articles as "funny"? Because the analogy is spot on and hilarious!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Can someone get me some Demonoid invites? Thanks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Re: Sounds like "spare the rod' is not working in Congress

    When you have lots of power and almost no accountability nor discipline, you tend to act like a child. This whole thing reminds me of Lord of the Flies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Tim Edwards (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Beware the nerds... We run most of the world from our data centers and design studios. You may not see us in your day to day dealings with businesses, but who do you think keeps the networks running behind credit card transactions and stock trades? Congress should get their heads outta their asses and get a better grip on reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Greevar (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    Just sign up on the first of the month. They have open signup then.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 7:45am

    ... and over here, we have the school nerd, Mike Masnick, calling both of them out.

    It's comical to watch you go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    Yeah! Revenge of the Nerds is pretty funny. Of course, I don't remember the Alpha Beta frat boys winning in the end. Can't wait 'til you're pounding sand. Regardless of the SOPA/PIPA outcome, you will still be losers...it is coming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 8:11am

    Re:

    ... and over here, we have the school nerd, Mike Masnick, calling both of them out.

    You really are making a great case against SOPA supporters being like children. Way to go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 8:47am

    Re: Send the message

    Neither should broadcasting monopolies or cableco monopolies be. These should be abolished, along with taxi cab monopolies, laws that deter restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers, and all of of the other many many anti-competitive laws in this country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re:

    a child in need of a visit to the woodshed, actually.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re:

    I am not trying too, sorry schmuck. I just think Mike isn't doing any better, his endless and repeated postings about SOPA , his attacks on the writers of the law, and his desperation to find people who are against SOPA is amusing, but infantile. It look since passed meaningful, and has made it all the way up to pickling his mind in the kool-aid.

    So for him to call the debate childish is a laughable concept, as he got there long before any of the rest of them did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Time for your nap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Re: Send the message

    Unfortunately, reality isn't the cyber-utopia you (and I) would like.

    Money can buy laws.

    The Golden Rule: Whoever has the Gold, Makes the Rules.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    tsavory (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: Send the message

    Watch them try though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    his desperation to find people who are against SOPA

    Um, it's not hard at all to find people who are against SOPA. The only desperation seems to be from those seeking supporters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Grover (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 9:55am

    I just watched a YouTube video that I thought I'd share: Stop SOPA by Michael Mozart. It is worth the watch.

    We have voted into office some of the most technologically-ignorant, self-serving, corrupt people imaginable – who are easily influenced by bogus, spin-doctored numbers and large wads of campaign money – and we’re now getting a whiff of the awful stench they’ve been brewing with the big media/content industries.

    I, for one, will be doing my best to never knowingly give ‘them’ another dime of my money by NOT buying newspapers, going to the theaters, or anything else I find connected to ‘them’.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    MC -> "You really are making a great case against SOPA supporters being like children. Way to go."

    AC -> "I am not trying too"

    And yet you have, LOL. It must be a natural talent.

    Possibly, you need to read this"
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infantile


    AC -> "for him to call the debate childish is a laughable concept, as he got there long before any of the rest of them did"

    I see you lack examples of this alleged behavior, very mature of you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    "We have voted into office some of the most technologically-ignorant, self-serving, corrupt people imaginable"

    The choices were:
    1) technologically-ignorant, self-serving, corrupt
    2) technologically-ignorant, self-serving, corrupt

    So - yes, there were choices make and votes cast.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "desperation to find people who are against SOPA"

    Read today's articles. Most of the people on the list for supporting SOPA are now demanding to be removed. Looks like Mike doesn't have to try very hard at all to look for people against SOPA, they're popping up everywhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Send the message

    In cyberspace the gold is knowledge so the nerds get to make the rules.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Where are the Lambda Lambda Lambdas when you really need them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Suja, Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 5:40pm

    Re:

    yup, nailed it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Mike C. (profile), Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Sounds like "spare the rod' is not working in Congress

    I saw this in a copy of a speech posted online in 2009 and have taken it to heart as well as tried to teach my children the essential meaning:

    So I have to say what I mean by honor? It is more than acting lawfully. It is that, certainly, but it is more. It is also how you behave even when you can do as you please, especially then. Honor, at the least, means not exploiting the trust of vulnerable others for your own advantage—including strangers—who are relying on certain basic standards of human decency.

    If you go by that, it's easy to see that a majority of our representatives have absolutely no HONOR in the least.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 3:43am

    Re: Re: Send the message

    Who has the gold?

    Go daddy or customers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 24th, 2011 @ 3:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Send the message

    Above comment is mine.

    Trying Microsoft and forgot to sign in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    zahirul, Dec 24th, 2011 @ 5:44am

    My opinion

    Greetings I stumbled on your blog by mistake when i was searching Live search for this concern, I need to tell you your website is quite useful I also seriously like the design, it is great!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This