"The only blog we have to fear is blog itself."

Friday, April 29, 2005

All other sitcoms suck by comparison... 

Sorry. That's just the way I feel.

Simpsons celebrates 350th episode:
The 350th episode of The Simpsons will be screened in the US on Sunday, with the show's producers keen to continue.

"I don't see any end in sight," creator Matt Groening said. "I want to get to 366 [shows] so we have one for every day of the year, including leap year."

Writers are already working on the next series, its 17th - a TV sitcom record.
Yes, there has been griping in some quarters that recent years haven't been as good as the classic 3rd and 4th seasons, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll take the WORST Simpsons episode over most series' BEST episode any day.

Quod erat demonstrandum, so there.

High Stakes 'Eeenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe' 

Rock, Paper, Payoff: Child's Play Wins Auction House an Art Sale:
Takashi Hashiyama, president of Maspro Denkoh Corporation, an electronics company based outside of Nagoya, Japan, could not decide whether Christie's or Sotheby's should sell the company's art collection, which is worth more than $20 million, at next week's auctions in New York....

He resorted to an ancient method of decision-making that has been time-tested on playgrounds around the world: rock breaks scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper smothers rock.

In Japan, resorting to such games of chance is not unusual. "I sometimes use such methods when I cannot make a decision," Mr. Hashiyama said in a telephone interview. "As both companies were equally good and I just could not choose one, I asked them to please decide between themselves and suggested to use such methods as rock, paper, scissors."

Officials from the Tokyo offices of the two auction houses were informed of Mr. Hashiyama's request on a Thursday afternoon in late January.

They were told they had until a meeting on Monday to choose a weapon. The right choice could mean several million dollars in profits from the fees the auction house charges buyers (usually 20 percent for the first $200,000 of the final price and 12 percent above that).

"The client was very serious about this," said Jonathan Rendell, a deputy chairman of Christie's in America who was involved with the transaction. "So we were very serious about it, too."

Kanae Ishibashi, the president of Christie's in Japan, declined to discuss her preparations for the meeting. But her colleagues in New York said she spent the weekend researching the psychology of the game online and talking to friends, including Nicholas Maclean, the international director of Christie's Impressionist and modern art department....

"Everybody knows you always start with scissors," she added. "Rock is way too obvious, and scissors beats paper." Flora piped in. "Since they were beginners, scissors was definitely the safest," she said, adding that if the other side were also to choose scissors and another round was required, the correct play would be to stick to scissors - because, as Alice explained, "Everybody expects you to choose rock."

Sotheby's took a different tack. "There was some discussion," said Blake Koh, an expert in Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby's in Los Angeles who was involved in the negotiations with Maspro. "But this is a game of chance, so we didn't really give it that much thought. We had no strategy in mind."
I won't spoil your suspense as to who chose what item and which house won.

Contextual Paper 

A 25 year remembrance:
On April 6, 1980, though, the endless and complicated march of progress took a short break as a remarkable new technology arrived in stationery stores around the nation. It was so simple to use, even a CEO could master it. It was so perfectly designed, it didn’t require semi-annual upgrades. It was so versatile, it actually performed better than advertised. It was the Post-it Note.

Woody & Elvis 

"This is huge. It's kind of like finding Elvis."
So says Frank Gill, former president of the Audubon Society, on the sighting of the long-believed extinct ivory-billed woodpecker in southern Arkansas.

The woodpecker was thought to be extinct due to extensive logging and the bird's unusually robust fondness for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Possessions on 'Shuffle' 

N.Y. blames iPods for subway crime surge:
The iPod craze has spawned a crime wave in city subways.

Police told the city transportation board on Wednesday that 50 iPods have been reported stolen on the subways so far this year, compared to none during the same period last year. Cell phone thefts have more than doubled to 165 from 82 last year.
Um, maybe I'm just dense, but how do iPods fuel cell phone theft? The potato chip chip theory: "can't steal just one"?

Toad the Wet Fizzbomb 

Exploding toads baffle scientists:
More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and German scientists still have no explanation for what's causing the combustion, an official said.
It's clearly the result of alien experimentation. Either that, or the toads are exploding themselves in honor of Hunter S. Thompson.

The Book Burners Cometh 

"Oh, won't somebody please think of the children?"

~~Helen Lovejoy, The Simpsons

"I don't look at it as censorship. I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."

~~Alabama State Representative Gerald Allen

[Rep.] Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle.... Under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.... Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is.... In book after book, Allen reads what he calls the "homosexual agenda," and he's alarmed.
Charming state. And that radical Shakespearian agenda is destroying America's young--thank goodness someone has the Torquemadaean wisdom to stand up to these monolithic juggernauts like Truman Capote.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Pop Culture Survivalism! 

Make fire with a soda can and a chocolate bar!

Ask Your Doctor if AvariceCare is Right For You! 

Doctors Influenced By Mention Of Drug Ads:
Actors pretending to be patients with symptoms of stress and fatigue were five times as likely to walk out of doctors' offices with a prescription when they mentioned seeing an ad for the heavily promoted antidepressant Paxil, according an unusual study being published today.

The study employed an elaborate ruse -- sending actors with fake symptoms into 152 doctors' offices to see whether they would get prescriptions. Most who did not report symptoms of depression were not given medications, but when they asked for Paxil, 55 percent were given prescriptions, and 50 percent received diagnoses of depression.
The article quotes an internist at the University of Washington in Seattle, Matthew F. Hollon, from a Journal of the American Medical Association editorial, "The most overlooked problem in the health care system today is the extent to which it is permeated by avarice."

Not exactly what you want when seeking improved health.

Trains in Japan 

In Japan Crash, Time Obsession May Be Culprit:
The Japanese search for rail perfection is relentless, from the humble commuter train to the country's most famous tracks. In 2004, on the 40th anniversary of the bullet train, there was much hand-wringing over the fact that a year earlier the trains on that line had registered on average a delay - of six seconds.


Train companies are secretive about delays. But any regular rider notices that they tend to be caused not by engineering mishaps but by events beyond human control, like typhoons and people jumping in front of trains. So confident is Japan in its trains' safety that there are no restrictions on how close residential buildings can be erected next to tracks: it is not rare to see them only three feet apart.
To quote from The Bridge on the River Kwai: "Madness! Madness!"

As a former New Yorker, I intuitively accept that a "police action" at the next station might delay the subway train and am fine with being late to work and avoiding the shootout and/or body collection ahead.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Heeeere's the Kashkool Comedy Show! 

Iraqi comedy duo?
The Bedouin furiously rubs his lantern while ordering the genie to come out and grant him his three wishes. The genie emerges from the lantern in full splendor, and bows down in front of the grinning Bedouin.

"I am at your service sir. I am prepared to grant you three wishes and fulfill your dreams.

"But as you are an Iraqi I have to warn you from the start that there are three things I can not change for you in Iraq: Security, jobs, and the infrastructure!"

The crowd, which had gathered around the small wooden stall to watch the TV show, burst out in laughter.
What a country!

The article also goves a little insight into contemporary Iraqi culural priorities:
These days the best-selling item is the Kashkool Comedy Show starring Nahi Mehdi and Ihssan Dadoush. "I sell about 150 copies of their episodes every day. Their show outsells all the other ones, like insurgents videos, belly dancers or even music videos," said the stall's owner Ahmed Al-Lami.
Slightly different topics than found in the current U.S. top VHS rentals of Sideways, Elektra, and Spanglish.

Chicago Mob Indictments 

In Mob Sweep, Feds Hope to Send Up the Clown:
"People tend to forget what these guys are about," Mr. Kirkpatrick said. "They watch 'The Sopranos' or some of these movies about the mob, and they think it's just some colorful characters. The thing is, they're still doing this. These characters are still doing this."
For your home scorecards, mob nicknames mentioned in the article include:
  • Joseph "The Clown" Lombardo
  • Frank "The German" Schweihs
  • Frank "Gumba" Saladino
  • Tony "The Ant" Spilotro

Sunday, April 24, 2005

From the Interesting Signage Desk... 

While driving this weekend, I saw the following sign: "Correctional Facility Area."

Below it was a second sign which stated: "Do not pick up hitchhikers."

Naturally, this does not inspire confidence as to the security of said facility.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Another Religion-themed Post 


Fla. Man Secured BenedictXVI.com Weeks Ago:
By the time Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany assumed his new papal moniker on Tuesday, it was already too late for the Vatican to buy the corresponding dot-com Web address.

That's because a St. Augustine, Fla. man, Rogers Cadenhead, registered the address BenedictXVI.com on April 1, hoping that would be the name of John Paul II's successor. To cover his bases, Cadenhead, 38, also registered ClementXV.com, InnocentXIV.com, LeoXIV.com, PaulVII.com, and PiusXIII.com....

"I never really registered it with the intent of making money, and I think to crassly auction it would be a sin of some kind. ... Whatever decision I make will be guided by the desire not to make 1.5 billion people mad at me...including my grandmother," he said.
Or, if you don't like that story, how about just worshipping Mary of the Underpass:


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Vocabulary Builder! 

I learned a new phrase today: "Silent Apostasy."

Feel free to use it conversation. Whether used pro or con, it makes you sound damn edumacated!

The Beatles as Financial Life Raft 

The Beatles Could Bail Out Jackson:
Although speculation has long swirled about whether [Michael] Jackson eventually would be forced to part with [The Beatles' publishing catalogue,] an asset valued at as much as $500 million, rumors of a possible sale have gained velocity in recent days as the singer's representatives have leaked word of their renewed efforts to keep creditors at bay.

There's general agreement that no deal is imminent. But a consensus is building among Jackson's advisors and others in the recording industry that he may have no other way to pay an estimated $270 million in Bank of America loans he has used to underwrite his famously lavish spending....

Under one scenario being floated by Jackson's representatives, he would reduce his interest in Sony/ATV from 50% to 15%. The money he'd make by selling a 35% stake would repay his debts and give him $10 million in cash upfront, while still assuring him a stream of about $10 million a year from the catalog, according to one of the singer's changing cast of business advisors. Jackson would also receive a one-time $10-million payment.

"He has been reluctant to face reality," said the advisor, who acknowledged that Jackson had rebuffed previous overtures to sell. "But it's getting to the point something needs to be done, and he needs to accept that."
I know I'm violating my no-Jackson trial rule again, but this is a Beatles story as much as it's a Jackson story. Thus, it's in a gray area. So suck it up.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Never Been Thawed 

And the band prayed on: Spoofing Christian rock:
In the film, the Christers - made up of Anders and three local musicians - were created when a punk band called the Reach Arounds switched to contemporary Christian music purely for financial reasons, billing themselves as "the bad boyz of Christian rock."

Their performances mix religion with profanity-laced banter by Anders' character, a frozen-food collector named Shawn, who's more interested in hooking up with "really hot Christian chicks" than finding salvation.

So Righteous Jew starts out harmlessly enough with Anders proclaiming, "I praise you," but ends with him telling a concert crowd, "My man Jesus Christ, he is through (expletive) around with you people, he is through with your (expletive)."

Viewers find out that I Gotta Pray originally had an obscene title describing how much the band's members enjoy sex. The metal-edged Tall, Blue-Eyed and White has Anders singing, "We're all made in God's image - some more than others," while a power ballad called Forgiveness maintains, "You can be forgiven for anything as long as you get it in under the wire."
I have got to see this movie.

I've long been fascinated with the co-optation process that Christian rock has gone through. Rock music was uniformly portrayed as "of the devil" for decades, but when it became clear that the music was not being stopped by such decrees, the religious community started producing their own counterparts--remarkably similar in sound, but with lyrics straight from a sermon.

So while flipping around the radio dial recently and hearing a religious station playing Christian rock, I couldn't help but think of Christian co-optation of pagan customs. It's a very interesting process to observe.

Of course, the fact remains that much of the music is pretty weak (although certainly not all of it). Any verbal art presented with from narrow range of viewpoints, stripped of complexity and ambiguity, gets boring fast.

But the internal debates about this co-optation process are certainly NOT boring.

So it'll will be just as interesting to see the reaction to Never Been Thawed as it will to see it.

LED Zeppelin 

LED evolution could spell the end for light bulbs:
LEDs have been around since the 60s, but have mostly been relegated to showing the time in an alarm clock or the battery level of a video camera.

They haven't been used as sources of illumination because they, for a long time, could not produce white light — only red, green and yellow. Nichia Chemical of Japan changed that in 1993 when it started producing blue LEDs, which combined with red and green produce white light, opening up a whole new field for the technology.

And the industry has been quick to exploit it. LEDs are based on semiconductor technology, just like computer processors, and are increasing in brightness, energy efficiency and longevity in a way that's reminiscent of the way each year's new crop of processors is faster and cheaper than last year's.
Yes, LEDs are not just for electric calculators anymore. Oh, wait--they're not in calculators at all anymore.

It's interesting that we generally think of home lighting choices as a scale of intensity--how bright, and how diffused. Few beyond Deadheads and Woody Allen in Annie Hall (seeking a little "Old New Orleans essence" in his love life) use spectrum changes as a lighting statement in the home. However:
The feature of LEDs likely to propel them into homes is aesthetic, not practical. Arrays that mix red, green and blue LEDs can produce any color of the rainbow. Instead of a dimmer, you might have three sliding knobs that let you mix color.
Trippy, man.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Surveillance Works Both Ways:
Mann said that duplicity is often necessary in order to mirror the Kafkaesque nature of surveillance.

He has designed a wallet that requires someone to show ID in order to see his ID. The device consists of a wallet with a card reader on it. His driver's license can be seen only partially through a display. And in order for someone to see the rest of his ID, they have to swipe their own ID through the card reader to open the wallet.

He also made a briefcase that has a fingerprint scan that requires the fingerprint of someone else to open it.

Mann quoted Simon Davies of Privacy International, a London-based nonprofit that monitors civil liberties issues: "The totalitarian regime is the regime that would like to know everything about everyone but reveal nothing about itself," Mann said.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Just got down with an on-air fundraiser to raise money for a new building for WYEP. A bit exhausting but a successful effort. I'll now have time to post a bit more frequently than over the past week...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

"Friday's Child" 

'Star Trek' Bit Players Cling On:
Michael Dante may not be on any Hollywood A-list, but on this weekend in Pasadena, he was intergalactic. Dante was capitalizing on his appearance in a single episode of the original Star Trek series. It aired Dec. 1, 1967.

"But it was a very popular episode," Dante insisted, speaking in the same wooden tone he used as Maab, lead villain on the planet Capella IV. "It had action. It had comedy. It had drama."

More than three decades after the original "Star Trek" series ended in 1969, after 79 episodes over three seasons, Dante and other actors have discovered that they can milk even the most ephemeral appearances on the show by appearing at extreme fan conventions that can draw thousands of enthusiasts.
I've, um, heard of such a phenomenon.
"I'd just like to say--get a life, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a colossal waste of time... There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't watch television! I lived! So, move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and grow the hell up! I mean, it's just a TV show dammit, it's just a TV show!"

~~William Shatner
Saturday Night Live

On a completely unrelated topic, goddamn, I can't wait until The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comes out in less than three weeks! Of course, I'm a little pissed they didn't give Mark Wing-Davey a cameo. Sure, Simon Jones makes an appearance, but have some respect for Zaphod Beeblebrox! He's only President of the f-ing Galaxy!

Anyway, where was I? Oh, um, I guess I got kind of sidetracked, but I hope you see my point.

(with thanks to JV for the article, and apologies to JSH for pinching that last line)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Here's a Charming Quote for You... 

Science's Doomsday Team vs. the Asteroids:
Asteroid 2004 MN4 was no false alarm. Instead, it has provided the world with the best evidence yet that a catastrophic encounter with a rogue visitor from space is not only possible but probably inevitable.
Sweet dreams tonight!

Friday, April 08, 2005


Upon reflection, this is one of the most bizarre photos I've seen in a while. That's a dead body, folks, despite the raiments!

Kinda gruesome, when you think about it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

"A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food" 

Has Cookie Monster given up sweets?
I picked up the telephone. "What's going on with Cookie Monster?" I asked the "Sesame Street" press office. "Why are you doing this?"

They sent me to Dr. Rosemarie T. Truglio, the show's vice president of research and education.

She said the show changes every year, focusing not just on teaching numbers and letters but also emotional and physical health. With the rise in childhood obesity, Truglio said "Sesame Street" is concentrating on the need to teach children about healthy foods and physical activity.

This season, each episode opens with a "health tip" about nutrition, exercise, hygiene and rest.

Truglio said "Sesame Street" also will introduce new characters, such as talking eggplants and carrots, and offer parodies, such as "American Fruit Stand." Even guest stars will address healthy activities, such as Alicia Keys talking and singing about the importance of physical activity....

But what about their position on Cookiegate?

"Even Cookie Monster is learning to control his cookie cravings," Frist told me by e-mail. "His sage advice opened our eyes to the simple joys of a tasty cookie and now reminds us that moderation is the key to healthy living."

Cookie Monster was not available for comment.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


What a Little Moon Dust Can Do:
Lunar dust is extremely abrasive -- and unavoidable -- as astronauts quickly learned during the Apollo missions of the 1960s and '70s. Within hours, the dust covered the astronauts' spacesuits and equipment, scratching lenses and corroding seals.

Fortunately for the astronauts, their contact with lunar dust was short enough that it didn't cause any major problems. But explorers living on a moon base for weeks or even months at a time are not likely to get away so clean.

Under prolonged exposure, the explorers would be at risk for everything from mechanical failures in spacesuits and airlocks to lung disease, said researchers last week at a NASA workshop focused on the issue.


Moon dust is much more jagged than dust on Earth because there's no water or wind on the moon to toss it around and grind down its edges. It's created when meteorites, cosmic rays and solar winds slam into the moon, turning its rocks into powdery topsoil.
Lunar living is much more complicated than cartoons made it out to be 30 years ago. I feel quite cheated.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

OK, now this is just getting weird... 

Look, I'm as surprised as you are that I'm spilling so much virtual ink on the Pope's passing, but it's just getting weirder and weirder...

John Paul reborn as 'Incredible Popeman':
Pope John Paul II is being reborn in a Colombian comic book as a superhero battling evil with an anti-devil cape and special chastity pants.

The first episode of the "Incredible Popeman" is about to go on sale in Colombia and shows the late Polish pontiff meeting comic book legends such as Batman and Superman to learn how to use superpowers to battle Satan.
I find it odd that no one found it odd to write a headline saying "John Paul reborn" just over three days after his death.

Wait--but do we know when the Pope died?

Rumours sweep Vatican of plot to hide Friday death:
According to the rumours, said to have come from sources in the Italian government and believed by senior cardinals, the Pope actually died on Friday.

The theory goes that conservatives close to the Pope decided that if they had an extra day they could mobilise many more sympathetic Roman Catholics from around the world to converge on Rome for the Pope's funeral.

The event would then become one of the biggest mass rallies in Catholic history and increase the momentum in favour of the Pope being elevated to sainthood in record time.
Like I've been saying for years, there's a conspiracy theory about everything nowadays!

Monday, April 04, 2005

"Why wouldn't John Paul II let nuns smoke marijuana to relieve the tension of a cloistered life?" 

For an answer, not to the above question but to the story behind the question, read this article.

No? Okay, then check out Pope on a Rope.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Speaking in Tongues? 

Guessing Game Begins on Pope's Successor:
Cardinal Bernard Panafieu, one of five French prelates with a papal vote, said Sunday he was hoping for someone "who dynamizes the people — God's people — as John Paul II did."

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pope John Paul II, 1920-2005 

Although raised Catholic, I am no longer. I do, however, pass along to any Catholic friends or readers my condolences for the passing of the Pope. I am still fascinated with Papal history and what is perhaps the most ritualistic tradition of head-of-state selection still in function today.

While reading up on this history and tradition, here are a few tidbits of information I have recently found...
  • "In the past looting of papal apartments by his staff, the cardinals or the Roman populace was a common custom" after a papal death. (source)

  • Pope John Paul I (Albino Luciani) was reportedly, and rather uncharitably, compared by Vatican staff to Peter Sellers, and at least one tale of his very brief (33 day) papacy did resemble a Clouseau-like vignette (source):
    The pope at one stage panicked and became distraught when he let a loose-leaf top-secret document sent by [secretary of State Jean Cardinal] Villot blow from his hands and down over the side of the roof garden onto Vatican rooftops, to the horror of onlookers.
  • Pope Pius XII was so poorly treated by his physician that he ended up with chronic hiccups and, after death, the same doctor did such a lousy job of embalming that Pius' nose fell off while laying in state (source)

  • "When offered the papacy at the 1271 Viterbo conclave, St. Philip Benizi fled and hid until another candidate was chosen." (source)

  • Oddsmakers are making book on the next pope. See, for example, here.

Continuing in the same vein.... 

Not to keep riffing on the same theme, but I just read a story which fits neatly into the odd worldview of the music industry...

College Students Download in Dorm Rooms:
Taylor and his classmates at American University — and thousands more students at other U.S. colleges — are among the earliest customers of a new generation of legal downloading services approved by the largest music labels and Hollywood studios. Students appear enthusiastic, despite some early kinks that can keep them from loading songs onto iPods....

In the search for online customers, entertainment companies are aggressively pursuing college students, who cannot remember life before the Internet.... Already, dozens of schools are rolling out downloading services from Ruckus Network Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Napster LLC and Sea Blue Media LLC. So important is this university market that Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the world's largest label, has paid the entire bill at some schools during trial semesters. Sony-backed artists are available for downloading on all the major services.
I think it's a good idea, although here's the quote I found rather odd:
"If kids build a habit to not pay for media, that is a habit that will persist maybe for their entire lives," said William Raduchel, chief executive at Herndon, Va.-based Ruckus Network and a former executive at AOL Time Warner. "We want to be the place where kids want to be when they don't have to be anywhere."
Ignore that "want to be" part of the quote (which sorta means something--and might have seemed like a good idea by some too-clever marketing person--but its point, such as it is, requires more needless parsing than it's worth).

The first part of that quote, though, suggests that these sorts of campus networks will "break the habit" of illegal downloading. Bosh! As far as these kids are concerned, this is free music (and, in point of fact, it actually is free music if Sony BMG or a "generous, anonymous donor" foots the bill). Even if the money was coming out of required campus activity fees, this is merely technically paid by the students; these downloads come out of their pocket in the same abstract way that their money pays for campus lawncare.

Once these students depart from school they will suddenly face the hard reality that not only they now have to pay directly out of pocket for the service, but if they elect not to continue paying, not only will they no longer be able to continue downloading, their entire music collection amassed during their school tenure will become subsequently unusable since the service only "rented" them the music.

Once that happens, I have no doubt that many of these ex-students will say "hello free P2P, my old friend!" and the music industry will be right back where it started before this campus music rental experiment.

That Last Post 

My last post, about the music industry suing iTunes downloaders, was obviously inspired by the day it was posted. The first of April, in other words. E.g., April Fool's.

But just to show you how believable the irrationality of the music industry's behavior can be, I sent this "story" yesterday (4/1) to many friends and acquaintances who work in the music industry and most people either blithely accepted it at face value or were incensed at the foolishness of the RIAA's "action." One person even sounded suddenly very defensive about her own iTunes downloading.

So if you've scratched your head about the dumb-sounding courses of action the music industry pursues, you're not alone. People who work within that industry on a daily basis have the same reaction.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Recording Industry Widens Lawsuit Net:
Since the efforts filing copyright infringement lawsuits against internet music downloaders have so far brought only limited returns, the music industry has announced that they have ramped up their efforts and have begun to sue users of Apple's popular iTunes downloading service.

"We have to send a clear message to these downloaders that their actions can have consequences and they undermine the creative future of music itself," said Cary Sherman, the president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the industry trade group. "Only by seeking legal remedy against these so-called 'iTunes users' can we stem the tide of this downloading tsunami."


Many of those who have been on the receiving end of this new legal tactic have pointed out that iTunes is a legal downloading service.

Sherman of the RIAA, counters, "Remember, these people are only paying 99 cents for most of these songs, and that's practically stealing from hardworking artists. And from the giant bureaucracy we've built up behind these artists."

"Let's not forget, for example, that my salary comes indirectly from the revenue generated by these artists, as well. If they don't keep cranking out the hits, I don't make bank, either. And papa needs a new pair of shoes, if you know what I mean," Sherman said. "99 cents! A lawsuit is getting off easy," he concluded.

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