As the world changes, so do our needs. As our needs change so does the world.
Who needed literacy 20,000 years ago? Who needed the internet just twenty years ago? In just twenty years hence, you might need a garden and a second head complete with penile attachment. To show you’re stylish and forward thinking, perhaps you’ll grow the garden on your clothes and your second head not only has the penile attachment but a matching scrotum chin. There, you keep your DNA computed, semen tweets translated direct from thoughts.
You meet up with a friend who has a head womb to ejaculate and impregnate with a dream. Few days later, its head gives birth, via self-organizing vomit, to a chimera that acts like a carnival barker, spouting your combined ideas on street corners, hawking only the finest dream images to bored commuters for credits uploaded into your organ banks. A good portion of this is paid as a bribe to the cancer corporations so they keep your substitute kidneys healthy. The rest is spent on dream improving drugs. After all, you’ve gotta stay current or get left behind. Get left behind and all your replacement parts get the fucking cancer. It’s a fierce ecology.
Just ask your chimera.
Right now, it’s wrestling over the prime real estate with other creatures of the same type. Winning some battles, losing others and every minute becoming obsolete. When it’s not fighting it’s desperately mating to birth fresh fantasies, hoping to get its own cash flow going, hoping to sell little monster dreams to other chimeras and save the money to buy an upgrade into full human status. It’s not likely. But it’s the only chance it has.
More likely, it’ll just collect wounds and weaken until the young drive it off into some death ghetto where it’ll be eaten and turned into compost by the garden trolls. Those god-damn garden trolls. With their pointy hats and big blind eyes, selling the compost back to humans as dream enhancing drugs. Always pricing it beyond reason.
Afflicted with yet another Winter plague, I spent the better part of the waking hours of the past four days burning through the DVD box-set of Neon Genesis Evangelion, a show I had missed first time round.
Whilst discussing this landmark anime with my buddy the daniel, he shared the story of how he had earnestly tracked down taped copies of the show from a “supernerd” in California.
This reminded me of my own experiences earlier in that last decade of the 20C, where in my fellow nerds had used IRC to organise tape exchanges, all to obtain the latest season of X-Files as it aired in the US. We would anxiously await the arrival of the latest tape full of episodes, and crowd around one of the few video players in the library capable of playing NTSC recordings.
Fast forward to the early 21C and we have a guy known as The Todd. The definition of an early adopter, he had shelled out for the first available ADSL connection, and would pass around the office VCD (and later SVCD!) copies of the latest US shows. This was how I first saw 24, Alias.. and Firefly in the original broadcast order that turned me off it for years to come, months or years before they aired in Australia.
But The Todd would not take requests, so I had to commit the worst sin of all, paying money to a grey re-seller “legally” importing content from Taiwan, to get my fix of GITS:SAC season1. Beautifully packaged, perfect broadcast quality DVDs with English subtitles that had gone through at least two languages translations beforehand. It was pretty, but barely comprehensible, yet I would still hand over $25 per disc.
Because someone always makes money on piracy, even if the legitimate owner isn’t. If it’s not the grey re-seller of yesterday, it’s the ISP of today selling 100Gb a month plans. It’s these profiteers that should that MPAA/RIAA etc should be going after, not the impatient consumer.
By the time season2 of GITS:SAC was airing, I finally had a broadband connection myself. Determined never to suffer the fate of incomprehensible subtitles again, I found a fan-subbing group I liked and stuck to it; even though that meant often horrendous gaps in between eps.
Like any good media pirate, I observe the Golden Rule - steal it now, buy it later, and have even taken my love of GITS:SACskin deep.
Each jump in tech has provided new and easier methods of piracy, with increased quality (HD .mkv’s anyone?). It is funny to think that as a generation comes online, the available standard will be the expected standard. I doubt a tween today even knows what a VCD is, let alone what to do with a VCR.
These are the shows I remember most at each turning point.
Now, it’s your turn.. what are your nostalgic tales of media piracy?