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September 1999

In this issue:    Kevin Constner Vs. The Evil Dead!    Jesus kicks some serious ass in The Matrix!    Eyes Wide Shut: Hit or Miss?    PLUS: Ricky Martin: Rocket Scientist, and a Summer Movie Recap.
MP3: Making Plenty of Corporate Consumer Zombies

If you're a part of the adult-challenged world and have the technology of the comfortable middle class, then you are probably actively flying the Jolly Roger as you download MP3 files from the Net. Maybe your niche does not reside in this demographic. Maybe MP3 sounds like some sort of acne cure and you're wondering what the big deal is. Well, here is the meaning of this mania.
MP3 is a technique that allows music to be encoded in such a way that it can be easily downloaded through the Web. MP3 stands for MPEG 1 Audio Layer 3.
MP3 allows a person who has all the software [it's free] to encode a CD into MP3 format and send it via the Net to a friend or a billion friends. Good bye copyright, the Net is now one big ocean - full of digitally marauding pirates.
Sounds good so far doesn't it? But you need to follow the food chain and see what could happen. Let's consider a recording artist such as none other than media manipulator beefsteak of the minute - Ricky Martin. What if poor Sirloin releases his next CD, anticipating the billions of dollars in royalties that are going to come his way as the teeny-bopper crowds knock down the doors of CD stores globally? Now poor Sirloin has bought a new car, new house, new pool, and a lifestyle of the rich and famous, but he hasn't received any royalty cheques yet. Mr. Banker extends a thirty-day bridge loan to dear Sirloin knowing that the cash is as good as in the bank. Everything is A-Okay! Except for one tiny problem. All of the teenyboppers that follow Sirloin are tech-savvy and belong to an ultra-hyper-linked digital fan club on the WWW. The president of the young 'bops decides to buy one CD and encode for the billions of members of the club via MP3! Five microseconds later Mr. Boeuf is financial toast.
Now some of you probably snicker at the idea of poor Sirloin penniless and destitute, but I think you should reflect for a moment and think at a cosmological level. What if Sirloin can't make a living singing and gyrating? What will he do to keep the wolves from the door? Some of you may think of Chippendales, but I don't think he would lower himself down to that level. No, Sirloin probably has a lot of chutzpah. I suspect he would fill out the next matchbook college entry form for Rocket Science Technician and it would be 'straight to the moon'.
Seriously, this guy could probably do a lot of damage at NASA if he were let loose. Are you prepared to kill another seven astronauts because some ex-performer presses the abort button instead of the "fasten your seatbelt" indicator?
This is just one reason to reconsider your life of piracy, but there is a true conspiracy at work to get you to use these digital formats for entertainment. It is the most horrific word on the planet. It is so offensive our censors may ban its use.
That's right. What all the really big Trans-National Gangsters want you to do is become a full-scale digital pirate so that no more money will be made from music and video distribution.
Instead, once you are all hooked to the big freebie, virus programs will be unleashed on the web and they will infect all your entertainment files with logos, jingles, and dubbed product plugs. One moment you will be watching Shakespeare in Love before you know it, the character playing Shakespeare will be holding a can of C O     E as he plays the part of Romeo. A virus program rewrites your entertainment file and the next thing you know all of your music and videos have the product names and logos flying everywhere.
There is only one thing to do. Tear down your skull and cross-bones and join the stodgy world of do gooders, paying their fair share to keep America free! [and Canada too!]


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