COUNTERPOINT: Let's kill the internet while we still can



The Stop Online Piracy Act is an awful piece of legislation written by incompetent old men with very little understanding of the way Americans use the internet and it might just save our country.

Accidentally, SOPA has the power to break the majestic spell the interwebs has cast over all of us.

As the sad cases of Four Loko and white sunglasses demonstrate, sometimes people need help stopping their bad behavior. SOPA could be the determining factor in letting us get back to friendships and laundry and all the other wonderful things the actual, present world has to offer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. I love cats in boxes, Japanese square watermelons and foreign soccer highlights featuring Arabic announcers losing their minds. But if our congress manages to demolish the web to the degree of SOPA, I might finally learn German or clean out my car.

There’s a great big planet of opportunity out there, probably, but I’ve been way too busy watching videos of camel spiders fighting fire ants to see it.

Last week I went out to dinner with my family. We ended up going to Red Lobster because my mom’s iPhone said it exists, and the Outback was busy.

As we began looking through our menus, my mom noticed, with some glee, a QR code tucked away in the corner of her menu. She took out her phone, scanned the code, and proceeded to waste three minutes watching a video of lobster cooking on a wood-fired grill.

Red Lobster is no better than the rest of us. They can’t even get down to the business of selling us their food without being distracted by some useless Internet bauble. My mom was so distracted by a video of long since dumpstered food shot on a film lot somewhere in California that she forgot to order the actual lobster anxiously awaiting a horrible death in a large tank 10 feet away from our table.

Distracting us from seafood? Further proof the Internet is ruining everything.

QR codes are just one sign of the ongoing meshing of the internet with our actual lives. Slowly the digital world has come to dominate our thoughts and actions, and increasingly the actual things around us.

An America in which SOPA has grenaded the vibrant online marketplace might resemble our last golden age: the early 1990’s.

It would be a country where everyone can unironically wear cut-off jeans and whoop along to Tag Team's amazing "Whoop (There it is)."

We could live our lives without having to Tweet about what we’re eating or “check in” at the proctologists on Foursquare or feel compelled to take an “artistic” half-blurry photograph every time we pass a leaf or an old stop sign no one cares about.

We would be free.



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