Thursday, May 12, 2005

One Possible Explanation

As many know, an epidemic exists in this country. One that props up an entire industry at the expense of others, who must give large quantities of money to heartless corporations in order to afford the antidote. Unfortunately the medicine disappears quickly, and soon they are left buying or even getting for free yet more of this magic remedy, which they know will not last for long.

Yes, the cure can be obtained for free. For out of sheer altruism (or perhaps the marketing value and image of benevolence), most major companies shower Americans with this product for that which plagues us all. In fact, it is possible for one to live their entire life without purchasing this magic medicine. Unfortunately, the quality of the free product is sometimes poor; and it is often necessary to pay for a better quality product.

The government is powerless to stop this epidemic. For the entire US government, the CDC, the WHO, and even the UN are all infected. How then could they stop it? Even if they weren't infected, there is no known quarantine available to separate the healthy from the sick. Thus, we are all doomed to eternally seek out more of the cure to this disease.

I am of course talking about the epidemic of disappearing pens that permeates our society. At the beginning of the school year, I had an entire cup full of pens to choose from. Today, I had one shitty pen left. I had to go out and buy pens since I didn't have any left (that and I hate ball point pens with a passion. Give me roller balls or gel pens any day).

As an even more poignant example, one year when I was working at the Y as a Lifeguard, we had purchased a pack of 20 pens. The idea was that we'd always have pens available when we needed one. In less than a month, all 20 pens were gone. No trace of them left. So I ask, where did they go? There should be 20 pens in there somewhere. Where are they?

I have a theory about where they go. I think that there must be a parallel universe somewhere where all lost pens end up. Think about it: how often do you lose a pen? Quite often. How often do you ever find those pens? I'd be willing to bet you almost never find a lost pen. That's because they no longer exist in this universe; they're now in the Pen Universe. And I'd also be willing to bet that the pen companies have a portal to the Pen Universe so they can retrieve, repackage, and resell lost pens, refilling those precious few that actually get used up. It'd really be a brilliant plan. There's no manufacturing costs. The only costs would be the cost of packaging and the cost of getting the pens from the Pen Universe.

And now for something completely different. My favorite bittorrent site got shut down today by the MPAA (fortunately after I finished downloading The Daily Show). I can understand why they did this. I was downloading cable content while not paying for content. I didn't have the permission of the copyright holder. But it still pisses me off because I liked not having to pay for cable. One other thing pissed me off. According to the MPAA's press release MPAA said it hopes to work with these torrent sites to provide entertainment products legally like it does with Napster. I'd love it if they would actually work with these sites to allow me to legally download The Daily Show and other shows I enjoy watching. Unfortunately, it'll never happen. I know it; they know it. So drop the bullshit and just say that there are no plans to make this happen. It'll end up pissing off fewer people.

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