Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Amusing Email Conveys Mixed Messages

I received an email today from Save The I originally opted in to their mailing list after learning about the whole net neutrality issue. At the time, I remember reading about how major Internet service providers were supposedly petitioning the government to pass regulations that would allow them to exert undue influence over people's access to certain websites. I think I even signed a petition and emailed my representatives.

Since that time, I've completely shunned my civic responsibility by promptly deleting all subsequent emails. I would feel guilty, but with the current state of affairs in general I think that the "hit rock bottom, riot in the streets, launch nukes, hit reset button on society" plan is probably the best way forward. As such, I'm doing my part by allowing the last few acts of exploitation to take place until society gets that last nudge over the edge and the B.Y.O.AK-47 party commences.

Anyway, this particular email was entitled, simply, "Bieber". Some love him, some post comments about how they hate him on every other music video on YouTube, but it seems that no one can ignore Justin Bieber, including me.

The email opened with the following questionable assertion:

Justin Bieber is pissed off about Internet censorship and you should be, too.

I say "questionable" because my first reaction upon hearing that Justin Bieber opposes something is to support it. The email went on to talk about the "Stop Online Piracy Act" or "SOPA" and included some ACTUAL BIEBER QUOTES:

Bieber called SOPA "ridiculous." He added that "people need to have the freedom... to sing songs," and that any member of Congress who supports this bill "needs to be locked up — put away in cuffs." 
We’re not so sure about the handcuffs. But at the very least Congress should kill this bill.

By the way, the bold type was theirs. Overall, I felt the email was ineffective and that it sent conflicting messages. First of all, telling people that Bieber is pissed about something is likely to make the majority of people embrace whatever that something is short of cannibalism or rational thought. Secondly, they tell me that I should join Bieber in being pissed, but after the only quote of Bieber raging they include a bold disclaimer intended to mitigate the severity of his comments.

There is one positive thing I took away from the email though. Bieber is pissed, and that's something we can all appreciate.