The Silver Eel

"A gape-jawed serpentine shape of pale metal crested with soot hung high for a sign."

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I've probably been very slow in picking this up, but there's an extremely worrying article posted on The Nation about the supposed plans of telecommunications companies in the US to make internet users pay for every single thing they do online. The implication of greater private control over access seems to be that - as in the real world - those with the most money will be able to promote themselves most effectively, while those with none (most users, I'd imagine) will be sidelined or even excluded. It makes sense that they'd give it a go, extending the logic of the mass media to the most massive medium of all, and cutting out all that pesky free speech.

Which reminds me that there was a link on George Walkley's blog a while back to an article about companies getting very nervous about blogs, and seeing them as a real threat to - inevitably - liberty.

I'd never seen The Nation before - no wonder Gore Vidal's had a lot of essays published here.


At 6 March 2006 at 22:14 , Blogger Joe said...

In the film The Corporation one of the talking heads is what I would refer to a a fundamentalist capitalist (American of course, tho plenty of his ilk on other lands). He was of the firm opinion that every single thing on Earth should be owned by a person or corporation and have a dollar value to trade. And I mean everything, including every last square meter of wilderness in Alaska, genetic information and every idea, regardless of copyright or not. I looked at this balding business whore in horror but with some strange recognition... Then I realised I knew his face - he was one of the folks Bill Hicks talked about and this was what he looked like after he had sucked Satan's cock. Presumably he had already placed a value on his soul and marketed it.

At 8 March 2006 at 21:14 , Blogger The Silver Eel said...

Yeah, it can take a while to get your head around the Americans; their frame of reference is so different. Business whore you mentioned is an extreme example, but I think that there's a nugget in what he's saying that most Americans would agree with.

You think they're like us because we speak (roughly) the same language, but they are not, they really are not. Remember at uni I kept on getting confused and frustrated at my own inability to understand the American political system - eventually I figured out that my problem was not with the facts at all, but with the assumptions behind them. As usual, it's what's not stated overtly whch is most significant.


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