You know, I absolutely would download a car. I’d download a lot more shit if it was feasible, or if I had a Star Trek matter replicator that would let me pirate with ease. And I’d even download Lucy Liu into a robot, sure, whatever. The point is this – piracy is good. Now obviously, there’s an asterisk. I’ll get to that later. But right now is the time for my Michael Douglas rant about why taking advantage of the fabulous internet piracy networks is A Good Thing. Well, Michael Douglas before eating pussy literally gave him oral cancer. Remember when that happened? Wild.
I suppose I don’t have any qualms with the idea of using the internet to get what I want, because I’ve done it for over half my life. I started doing this in the golden era of internet piracy, so I find it mind-boggling that there is any sort of resistance to the topic. Like, I was taught how to torrent Britney’s Circus album when I was 12, and I never looked back. Love Britney! But I was not paying $24 so I could listen to “Womaniser” on a broken stereo every two nights. P-P-P-Pirate Bay, baby!
To speak in generalisations, I have absolutely no fucking idea why zoomers are so hesitant and pearl-clutching about the idea of torrenting, and piracy overall. Do you not want to save money? I’d like to think it is because they don’t know how it works, like sloping forehead cavemen mystified by where the sun goes when it disappears over the horizon. uTorrent, with all of its bars and Seed/Leecher ratios, is apparently an insurmountable obstacle. But that doesn’t explain the pearl-clutching, confusion doesn’t explain the seeming Disney-approved talking points they pull out on their Notes app whenever the topic comes up. No, there is a deep-rooted problem that is ingrained within far too many of our age group today, a seeming need to play lantern-jawed hero to WarnerMedia’s damsel in distress. She is so virginal, so helplessly tied down to the traintracks, certainly going to be run over by the illegal streaming train. “Don’t worry, WarnerMedia! I will save your profit margins from that dastardly menace!”
Before you think I am being too harsh out of nowhere, I do understand that torrenting in particular is confusing to the new person. It is! Which button is the ad, will I get told off for doing so, how can I be sure there aren’t any viruses, etc. To answer in order: if you can drag the button, it’s an ad; New Zealand has an official policy of ISPs chasing down copyright infringements, but you’d have to have worse luck than a Final Destination character to actually get a message about it, and lastly, a working antivirus will simply abort any torrent or package download with a known virus, especially if you are on a well-known site. But for those that go out of their way to not learn, I don’t know. Is it a matter of simply preferring to pay more, so that you don’t have to think? Piracy went down when Netflix was the dominant streaming service and had a practical monopoly on easily accessible content. Not having to think is a premium service that I would pay for – I’ve never paid for Netflix, but it was a practical utopia back then. But I don’t know, that seems too simplistic. The cynical part of me simply wants to say that this preference for simplicity simply masks a lack of creativity, a handy desire to simply hand your wallet over and consume, rather than think more about where we get our content, and how much is waiting out there if you just took the time to think.
Again, speaking with generalisations! Obviously, I am doing my Bob Ross watercolours with a broad stroke. I think it’s too easy to simply say all this is a matter of confusion. Rather, it’s a problem about how closely media consumption is tied to our personality and our morality today. Too many of us simply define our virtuous nature by what we consume, and to do the heinous act of not paying the, like, five companies that own all of media today is a stain on one’s soul.
Identity is naturally formed by much of the media we consume, we seek out the art that reflects who we are or what we believe in. We cherish the movies that gave us comfort in our youth. But in an era where so much new media is just nostalgia farming, strip mining out the crystallised blood diamonds of our cherished youth and plopping them on our tray like Victorian gruel, I find it hard to maintain that emotional connection to, say, The Little Mermaid. However, there are others who differ from me there. Because of all the heightened emotions that naturally arise from these companies holding the keys to your treasured memories, there are a lot of people that feel the need to play white knight and defend their childhood by trotting out the various justifications for anti-piracy. Don’t turn against your fellow torrenter-in-arms! We are family, and blood is thicker than the castor oil the HBO NKVD could ever force down our throats. Nostalgia has long weaponised against you as an excuse for the scarcity of creativity in the current era, but there’s no need to in turn weaponise that, all in defense of the draconian copyright policies that are killing media production! There’s a sick need to suckle on Disney’s teat, feeling the nourishment of youth dribble down one’s chin, and I will have none of it.
However, for those of us not so Oedipally driven, there seems to be the idea that you are personally putting a bullet in the skull of every production assistant, every unpaid intern, every animator and every singer if you dare to enjoy their content without personally connecting it to your streaming account. This is simple dog-brained nonsense. As if Jack Antonoff will collapse overnight and die of severe malnutrition if you torrent that Taylor Swift album. Metallica conducting a Jonestown-style ritual suicide because Jason Dalloway, 17, in Henderson didn’t stream Enter Sandman legally that one time. It’s nonsense that so many otherwise intelligent, savvy young people buy into this so much. This is stolen rhetoric that was born years ago from the much more reasonable claims of indie artists – though many of them are simplifying LARPing trust fund kids now – who are fundamentally reliant on consistent income from a small base, whose continuation in the business relied on honest payment. But in the Spotify era, where even the Taylor Swifts of the world have to prostrate themselves on their knees to get a fair deal from these licensing giants, many of these smaller artists just straight up say to buy merch since that’ll be the only way they’ll get a cut of their earnings, and are openly blasé about torrenting. Like, that’s pretty damn real. So yes, there is nuance, but don’t kid yourself. Think about where you actually got your stated beliefs from, before you go stand in front of a steamroller for Apple Music. For people that call themselves anti-capitalist or totally reject the Boomer world, there is an awful lot of pleading to consider the starving Sony Music executive.
So, I don’t know. Am I expecting too much? It’s hardly an act of radicalism to download free Photoshop. But if you can get away with it, surely it would be better than forking over endless and ever-increasing subscription rates for something you legally do not own anyway. Is that not extortion to you? Is that not broken? I was going to include a guide of how to torrent, but you can just look that up. Many guides. That’s what I want you to do. At least look it all up – and look up how Michael Douglas got oral cancer from eating pussy – and find out what you really think all this. If one person downloads Mad Men [FULL SERIES 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 ENG/RUS SUB] as a result of this, I will be happy. Just do me this one thing and try, please.