We’re almost 24 hours into the anti-SOPA protests, and I’ve got to tell you … I’m getting burned out.
Google’s black banner, countless blog after blog with their black banners, Wikipedia’s complete blackout of their site — I’m starting to lose sympathy for my own cause.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still against both SOPA and PIPA, but I do not like the way said opposition is being shoved down my throat. Not only that, but if you’ve seen one black banner, you’ve seen them all. This whole thing is starting to feel like an insincere “me-too” fest.
All of the cool blogs are joining in the fray today, and I’m just not swallowing any of it (yeah, yeah, that’s what she said). Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, and it’s starting to feel a little contrived. I feel like we’ve all been told what to do by a bunch of millionaires, and we’ve all complied like sheep.
One of our friends called today, and she told me that she was recently diagnosed with a health condition. When I went online to research the condition to see what her options were, I was thwarted a couple of times due to anti-SOPA protests. How did this hurt SOPA sponsors? How did this help the cause?
Since Wikipedia is authored by the collective, and funded by donations from same, is it really their place to blacken out our work, our photos, our content to support their own political positions? Certainly some Wikipedia users support SOPA, right? Shouldn’t they get equal time in a neutral, encyclopedic arena?
Look, I think most people agree that SOPA and PIPA are bad bills, but even if they don’t, isn’t this their right? I mean, is it legitimate to browbeat people into your own point of view, just because it’s a popular point of view? What next, website blackouts until people contact their representatives to oppose abortion?
Let’s face it, the reason that companies like Google oppose SOPA is not for our benefit. It’s not out of altruism and concern for the people’s freedom. It’s because SOPA will cost these companies millions and millions of dollars. If they could make twice as much money by sponsoring SOPA, let there be no doubt about it … this is exactly what they would do. At the very least, they would not oppose it.
As such, I just can’t bring myself to do their bidding on command. I just can’t.
While I detest these bills as much as the next person, at this point, I really hope the black banner lemmings find a new way to express themselves, and I hope they find a more original way to do so. I doubt I’m the only person suffering from black banner burnout, and in the end, over-saturated stunts like these will probably turn at least some people off from the message.
This being the case, please allow me to make a plea to the Internet community at large:
Dear fellow SOPA warriors, we get it. We all get it. Really, we do. Loud and freaking clear. Let there be no ambiguity over the fact that we understand SOPA, PIPA, and the risks associated with these bills. You don’t need to raise any more “awareness”. On the off chance that we are still not familiar with these bills, chances are, we never will be. Short of coming to our houses, knocking on our doors, and shoving copies of the bill down our throats, you’ve done all you can do.
Now, please, stop preaching to us. It’s all gotten to be a little too much.
I respectfully abdicate my soapbox.