November 15, 2004

Well you're greedy for tokens and stamps

* "Doug's" goal is to own a copy of every song ever recorded. His digital music collection exceeds 900,000 songs. excerpt:

"When I pulled into the driveway of the King of the Pirates, an upper middle class neighborhood of stylish homes and SUV’s, Infiniti’s, and more Mini-Coopers than necessary, I was surprised by the normalcy of it all. His home was nothing short of spectacular, his wife a mid-30’s ex-underwear model (honest!), and his two kids well groomed, apparently intelligent, and very wired. (As in technology, not ADD) This is not the home I would have thought would be the enclave of someone out to pirate the hell out of the music industry. This was going to be very interesting…

"Our man, let’s call him Doug, greeted me with a huge hug, a broad smile on his face, drink in hand (Grand Mariner of all things), and invited me in to his den. He was absolutely thrilled to finally be able to talk to someone who was actually interested in what he was doing. Seems that ‘the wife’ as he calls her, was bored to tears hearing about his latest collections, or the latest Bit Torrent site he found; a treasure trove of hard to find music all ripped at 256-bits. The wife wants to know why he doesn’t play more golf, like his friends. 'Golf is the most boring game in the world, what I am doing is much more fun.'

"Doug has devoted one of his extra bedrooms (7 in all) into what can only be described as The War Room. He owns three Power Mac G5’s, and just added two iMac G5’s. Several external 250GB firewire drives are attached to the iMacs, and sitting in the corner are a stack of at least 6 other external drives, all 300GB, brand new, boxed, and just waiting to go online.

"He has two cable modems and one DSL line. One cable modem is 'for the family,' the other dedicated to his quest. His DSL line is a backup and is sometimes used when he has discovered a new site that offers a slew of new torrents he wants to mine. The wife, and the kids, are all connected to the Internet through an Airport network, with four Airport Express base stations scattered about the house. Music is constantly heard throughout the house, all different genres playing at the same time. Doug tells me that what I am hearing is unusual, most of the time the house is relatively quiet.

"All the Macs in his 'command and control' room have JBL Creature speaker systems; some white, some blue, and a burgundy one that I have never seen before. The entire room is lit with indirect ‘rope’ lights, giving the room a feel of living in the Star Trek Universe. There are a couple of rich soft brown leather chairs and one long, very plush, baby-butt soft leather sofa that just screams comfort. I took a seat on the sofa and never felt more pampered or more comfortable. I made a mental note that once our pets’ pass on to wherever pets go this sofa was going to be the sofa in MY house. For all I cared this interview could last for days, once ensconced in this incredible piece of furniture I didn’t want to leave…ever."
"Once I got through ogling the various Macs, finding the perfect position on the sofa made by God himself, and prepared a cup of delicious coffee we began the interview. But before we did, he had one request before I began throwing questions at him. He wanted me to listen to a song he downloaded the day before; a rare unreleased track by Mick Jagger that he found on a fansite dedicated to Mick. I loved it, pure Mick, and asked him if he would burn it to CD for me. “No, sorry, I can’t do that. I don’t sell or give away any music I own. That would be against the law.” A perfect opportunity to jump into the interview…

"MacNET: I don’t understand. Here you are downloading pirated music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, yet you won’t burn a song to CD for me. Why?

"Doug:Because, like I said, it’s illegal. I don’t distribute the music, I only download it.

"MacNET: On the drive here I tried to think of a great question to start off the interview. The best I could come up with is ‘Why?’ . So, Why are you doing this?

"Doug: Because I can. No, just kidding, its much more complicated than that.

"MacNET: Care to explain then?

"Doug: Sure. Why not? I am preserving our history. When the world goes up in flames in this jihad against all things Western, music will be one of the first casualties. I want to preserve that. No matter what it costs."

* Wolcott on Fallujah.

"Watching the unquestioning, propagandistic, bombastic, indifferent-to-civilian coverage of the destruction of Fallujah on the TV news--an operation burying the Geneva Conventions under tons of rubble--makes me wonder why we just go rename the United States 'Israel West' and be done with it? We've adapted all of the Israeli tactics used against the Palestinians and incarnated them in the newly-made mythic image of the Marine Marlboro Man.

"According to Fox News, the 'Marlboro Man' soldier whose photograph was plastered on the front page of the New York Post and dozens of other rags has become a sexual icon. One female fan emailed, actual quote, 'His gaze is warm but deadly.'

"Yes, that sounds like the perfect soldier in the era of compassionate slaughter, warm but deadly.

"Interesting historical note: The actor who portrayed the Marlboro Man in those ads died of lung cancer."


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