Wil Wheaton and I got excited and made this “Fighting Time Lords” shirt for you!
Alternate Titles (by me and Kris Wilson): “Remember Remember November December Cucumber,” “I Ain’t No 4CHANate Son,” “4CHAN Favors The Brave,” “MegaUpsplode,” “Remember Remember Dikembe Mutombo” and “Remember Remember Dismember Friendster.”
[Context for those who need it]
I, uhh… have nothing in particular to say about Anonymous attacking the Department Of Justice’s website in the wake of the MegaUpload shutdown. At least nothing that might rouse the ire of any group of frequently masked Internet vigilantes. Validating the fears of an already confused, defensive and trigger happy US Government was probably a good and reasonable idea as far as I can tell without committing to a strong opinion one way or another. I bet everything surrounding this situation is just going to get exponentially better forever (PLEASE DON’T WISH ME INTO THE CORNFIELD PLEASE DON’T WISH ME INTO THE CORNFIELD PLEASE DON’T WISH ME INTO THE CORNFIELD).
- Jonathan Coulton on MegaUpload and the overblown threat of piracy
- TorrentFreak on the legal files lost in the MegaUpload shutdown
I dunno. The latest… activities… that no one wishes to express any opinions about either way reek of an old Mob movie.
*Anonymous leans on the counter*
Nice website you have here. Would be terrible if something… bad happened to it.
Of course, I mean that in the best possible way. They’re the mob. Mobs are cool…
NO! NOT MY KNEECAPS! I NEED THOSE FOR GROVELING FOR MY LIFE!
Imagine if you will: a being of almost limitless power, able to destroy websites on a whim. It has many heads, but no heart. Now imagine that it has the temperment of a 10-year-old boy, with all the purity and cruelty which that entails. Also, there’s a creepy bunny. Impossible, you say? But impossibility is the norm, in the Twilight Zone.
You know what'd be awesome and powerful? Dedicating that power to bringing all the sites the government closes down right back up again. THAT'D be useful demonstration of power. Most people in Washington don't know what the Internet is, except that a group of them apparently invented it just a few short years ago.
This. This comment truly should win +1 internetz.
I hear this comment in the Futurama guy's voice:
I don’t think it matters one way or the other what Anonymous does. The United States Government is comprised almost entirely of absurdly wealthy, entrenched plutocrats who fear any sort of change, peaceful or not. They’ll validate their self-serving agenda with whatever excuse comes to hand. If it’s not Anonymous, it’ll be something else.
I think Anonymous is wrong, but not because of what they’re doing, but because ultimately, it’s spitting into the wind. The actual government is far too luddite and frightened of technology to be more than ever so slightly inconvienienced by knocking out of websites.
" If it's not Anonymous, it'll be something else. "
That IS true, but I feel like these actions are escalating the "when" from "sometime in the future" to "next week."
Cynical much? I've read some of their messages and watched an Anon video or 2, & they are coming off as scary-threatening, no matter what they stand for at the moment.
Mmm, puppies. Also Mitch Miller. Puppet show! Origami is fun. Dump the exploiters I DID NOT SAY THAT THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE HERE JUST FLOW AROUND ME LIKE A TRAFFIC CONE.
“Please don’t wish me into the corn field.”
Is this a Johnny Bravo reference? If so, I love Johnny Bravo, and this was the best episode. If not, go find this episode of Johnny Bravo and LOVE IT!
it is a twilight zone reference. hit the "context" link in the blog post above. Im sure that's what Johnny Bravo was referencing as well.
I think that premise was also the basis for a season 1 episode of American Dad, when stan brings home that surveilence (sp?) equipment & hears what his neighbors think of him.
How about that foot/base/hockey ball game last night? Didn’t [insert home team] play exceedingly well?
A desire for points was chief in their strategy towards winning the victory.
Much yelling(Positive/negative) was made toward (good play/bad call) over with me at [place of watching].
I look forward to (next game/next season).
An effort to deny points to the other team was also evident.
Paramount, in fact.
That’s a real good comic, Joel, it’s real good.
Anonymous isn’t pissing me off at all.
Remember, remember…the internet treason and plot…
I think the thing is you’re assuming that Anonymous thought that doing this would help. They don’t really seem to care about helping but more about burning down whatever they feel like and megaupload getting taken down was just an excuse they could use
reciting Michael Caine's "some men just want to watch the world burn." speech over and over.
Yeah, Anonymous should just get it over with, ditch the Guy Fawkes masks, and switch to Joker facepaint. And Caine could read me his grocery list & he'd have my undivided attention.
I never thought of that but the Joker fits them a lot more. Still fighting "The Man", but doing it mostly for the 'lols' rather than for a sense of justice.
Like rioting in a city after their team doesn't win.
Because of this, I can’t watch anime through their streaming content MegaVideo, either. there are other sources, but it’s one of the more reliable ones.
[cut to Guy Fawkes taking ax to engine]
[cut to Joel, John Lithgow shrieking in horror]
Don't forget William Shatner!
(Assuming you're referencing "Terror at 20,000 Feet")
I am just amazed that New Zealand accepted the validity of the extradition request, a German living in New Zealand who owns a company renting a building in Virginia that may or may not contain copyrighted material that could have caused financial harm to an international company seems really flimsy to go shock and awe on some guy house.
that IS pretty shady.
Atleast theyre doing SOMETHING, instead of just bending over and spreading their legs to let the US goverment do whatever they feel like, like every western goverment seems content to.
Yeah, they're doing SOMETHING. Something very much like, "Hey, that bear looks pretty angry and scared. Maybe we should hit it with a stick!"
Yeah, but arent you tired of shying away from said bear and trying to appease it so it wont destroy everything that matters to you every damn time it gets its panties in a bunch over something? This might not have been the smartest course of action, but its nice to feel like someone is actually causing some kind of consequence for the goverments behavior, no matter how petty and small minded it is.
Not all action is *good* action. There's actually a pretty thick and visible line between "protest" and "terrorism."
Is that line drawn before or after the truncheons, tasers, pepper spray and automatic weapons come out?
Or is the line that it is their government and not yours?
Well, I believe that since 9/11, the US government has defined "terrorism" as "anythng which interferes with American interests, at home or abroad."
So, yeah… Possibly that makes SOPA/PIPA terrorist bills? Because they're certainly not helping American interests so far as non-American perceptions of the country goes…
But yeah. The hell, guys?
Much like communist, terrorist still has a pretty clear definition if you open up a dictionary (despite attempts to the contrary).
All true but the thing of note that I vainly try and point out is this.
What is clearly defined in the dictionary is not what is labeled as such in the "Real World" ™
I've been thinking about it, and it really comes down to this: People who blacked out their own sites are brave protesters. People who drag down sites they aren't responsible for…and intimidate anyone that might speak against them…is a terrorist.
It's a protest if you set yourself on fire. It's a terrorist act if you light other people on fire. Unless you light yourself on fire and attempt to hug people, I guess.
Oh, and I'm pretty sure the line's drawn right before the tazers, truncheons and pepper spray, but your mileage may vary depending on location.
Yeah but… blacking out a website doesn't set anybody on fire.
Dude, they brought down a WEBSITE. I dont know what definition of terrorism you use, but "mild annoyance" isnt really in mine.
Except this act isn't an "anything they feel like" action. A prosecutor went before a grand jury and provided evidence, which can be seen in the 72 page indictment. The Mega case is an example of how the system as it exists can actually work and why the drastic (unconstitutional) measures from SOPA and PIPA aren't needed for enforcement. Due process can get the job done too.
Yeah, because copyright infringement totally calls for a massive raid and extradiction efforts. Ive seen them put less effort into capturing war criminals. A LOT less effort.
My first reaction upon seeing this particular comic was "Why is Richie Cunningham wearing a Guy Fawkes mask?"
It took me a moment, but I soon realised that it was an homage to that Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode.
Honestly, I wouldn't understand half of all US pop culture references without The Simpsons.
Its not actually. That episode of the Simpsons is referencing the same episode of the Twilight Zone as this comic is. It is linked in the blog post.
I did understand that; unfortunately my ironic tone didn't come through in the text!
It's a very good thing that Anonymous used their reality-altering powers to turn Joel into a politician or a lawyer or whatever other type of person has rubbed magnets all over their moral compass. Very, very good.
Also, send me to the cornfield if you must, but I'm thinking a lot of bad thoughts about the lack of hilarity that occurs when I Google "Scarlet Witch Twilight Zone Cornfield parody." Disregarding the fact that that's basically House of M, is there seriously no one on the internet who had the combination of free time, artistic talent, and inspiration to make that a reality?
My moral compas is perfectly aligned and intact. I stand by my convictions, but I am also a realist and a pragmatist. You don't back a bear into a corner then poke it with a sharp stick. The bear might be unreasonable, but you're about to lose the use of your limbs.
If the bear is as dangerous as you say then would it not be better for all to just have it join the cycle of life once more?
I don't necessarily agree with this, but just to play devil's advocate, what SHOULD you do to the bear, then?
I don't think hiding in your house until it's not looking is necessarily the right response, either. Anonymous IS unnecessarily inflaming the situation, probably, but these sorts of things are almost unavoidable when ordinary people feel they have no recourse against overbearing governmental manipulations. Cooler heads tend to prevail only when the public feels it has options.
THANK you. I dont understand at what point "Hide in my house and hope they dont ship my ass to Guantamo" became the standard protest response. Its like the 9/11 paranoia all over again.
It's easy to say things like this when you are only responsible for yourself. When you have a family, have children, it's much harder to say "I'm going to go to jail for my convictions." There are people the depend on me. Sometimes playing the hero, or the martyr can be a selfish route. Im not about to put myself on a cross just to prove a point.
I know the government is wrong, but I also dont think ANYTHING Anonymous can do will affect any real, much less positive, change. The whole system has to be torn down in order to be rebuilt. And ask yourself this, do you REALLY want to be around while that is going on? Or would you rather live a normal peaceful life while you have a chance? I'm not saying this isn't "too safe" or even cowardly, but how much strife do you actually want to live through? Do you want to fight a war over the internet? I don't.
…I have a hard time figuring out a reply. On one hand, I certainly understand the desire to not put your family through this kind of thing by going into revolt against the goverment, but on the other, this very much affects you too. You say yourself that the goverment is wrong, but you arent willing to oppose them because it would destabilize your own life, so I ask you – What would you have people do? Just roll over and let the goverment do whatever they want in the name of desperatly maintaining the status quo for a little while longer?
After forgetting to reply to this for a few days, I'll put it in now, even though it probably won't be seen.
I respect that inaction to protect your family is a perfectly valid and respectable option. No one should ever think less of you for that. But by the same token, I don't think it's right to tell people who ARE willing to at least try and fight back, ill advised methods or not, to 'Shh, be quiet, or we'll all get in trouble!"
It doesn't matter how poorly conceived, protest against injustices, real or percieved is a human right. Once you start trying to stop people from taking a stand, you're not protecting your family, you're actively trying to enforce the status quo. Big Brother doesn't need your help.
I think what you're saying is perfectly reasonable, but I think this whole discussion is revolving around two extremes. Real change comes from large numbers of people acting together. That's why more has always been achieved through, for example, unionism, than through witty graffiti art.
@Stranger and @Bean; Anonymous tends to encourage an individualistic approach, where a lot of individual people go out on a limb, make an attack, and consider their point somewhat made.
What this does is:
1) Like @hijinksensue said in the comic, encourages a crackdown,
2) Alienates people, who quite reasonably say "I can't afford that fine"/"I don't want to go to jail for megaupload",
3) Even if it DOES have a positive impact, what have you done for the majority of people? Shown them that a few hardened Robin Hoods will take the question out of their hand and try to solve the problem for them? Shown them that their involvement doesn't really matter?
It's when you get lots of people working together, in big, peaceful street demonstrations, or in industrial action in the workplace, that you reduce the amount of danger that any individual is exposed to, you show people there is safety in numbers, and you show a way forward that actually empowers them, and makes them feel like maybe they have a stake in things.
Then you can actually challenge unjust laws directly, and even consider breaking laws if the situation calls for it (for example, laws that make it illegal for a union to strike over non-economic issues, or laws that ban demonstrations) – but the point is that when you get to that point, it's as a large, democratic body – not as a few individual "cowboys" or whatever.
In the meantime, you can't blame people for being turned off by some of the statements and actions taken by groups like Anonymous. I mean, don't get me wrong – I will passionately argue for anyone of them that gets arrested or whatever as a result – but their failure to win over people with the objections that have been brought up on this thread is a direct result of their poor tactics.
And when people reallly start making a difference, the cowboys with the romantic-heroic tactics get pushed aside. (Compare the Egyptian revolution with the bleatings of all the ultra-right terrorist supporters in the Middle East… once people toppled a dictator under their own steam, the wannabe-martyrs started looking even less like they had a valid solution than before. Not that Anonymous is at all comparable to terrorist groups, but hopefully people see the general point i'm trying to make…)
Nothing in the above comic shows any lack of morals or convictions on your [Joel's] part. This may sound a bit off but "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is not always true,..sometimes the enemy of my enemy is just not actively my enemy. Having a healthy dose of concern over the actions of someone who supports [or fights against] the same things you do is not abandoning your ideals,..its just a case of being practical.
The comic, no, but the news post is entirely the gibbering sycophancy of a man who's terrified of winding up in the cornfield.
(Obviously, it's tongue-in-cheek sycophancy, but considering that that's the bit I was referring to in my tongue-in-cheek retort, I think it all balances out).
Of course, as someone who's spent this whole thread not being properly coddling towards Anonymous, you probably can't hear me shouting any of this from the cornfield…
Is that a federally subsidized cornfield, genetically modified corn field, patented/copyrighted cornfield or heritage cornfield? ^_-
Personally I doubt Anonymous in its entirety thinks it was a good idea. My reasoning is thus,….. a small aspect did this not a concerted effort by the whole,..thus that aspect was dealing with a local issue [how they and theirs are affected]. Anonymous is not a single being but an entity of many heads, hands, and hearts,….. maybe it would be better if there was a "V" to take the reins but there is not,..all we have are the multitude of Anonymi who may not always take the effect on others into account for all the good intent they may have,…..
That is also what have the ones in charge so scared – there is no head to chop off or coerce to their way of thinking or toss in jail or whatever they do to leader types. A group of people working as a whole without a LEADER just can not be comprehended by any authoritarians.
I agree,… its very much a case of "power in the hands of the many"
"A group of people working as a whole without a LEADER" just means that decisions are made undemocratically and unilaterally. That was part of my problem with Occupy… all this pretense of "we don't need elected representatives" just meant that we ended up with un-elected representatives instead.
The problem with Western democracy is not the existence of representatives and parties; it's the fact that the only parties that exist all represent the same thing.
There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, and we sat in the Korova milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milkplus: milk plus vellocet, or synthemesc, or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old website-smashing.
This looks more Dick Van Dyke and less Twilight Zone.
Outside of the opening and closing credits, how are they different?
If I don't survive Anonymous' latest attack, tell my wife I said "Hello".
Two guys at my school where talking about this, they were going "It's a great idea! i think it's the right thing to do!"
they were idiots.
Is Alan Moore getting any royalties from this?
Alan Moore? Royalties from an adaptation?! Oh, you silly-billy.
What a lovely day. Really nice. One of the best days ever.
Really good comic, Joel, & you make a good point, in the strip itself, the blog underneath, & in the comments. The trouble with Anonymous being a leaderless group is that so many different people with different ideas under the same symbol, claiming to speak for the whole, makes everyone of us outside the group think all they want is trouble. What's ironic is that while they wear masks that look like Fawkes and claim to fight for freedom, the real Guy Fawkes was fighting for the Catholic Church at the time, which was WAY more oppressive and undemocratic than the Protestant Church of England.
Besides the joker in one of my earlier comments, Anonymous reminds me of another comic-book villain: an X-Men character called Kid Omega, a telepath and self-proclaimed "freedom fighter" who's really just a whiny, selfish brat who pisses off everyone in charge just because he thinks its funny. I don't think he even likes any of the other mutants he claims to be rebelling for.
You do realizw the Guy Fawkes masks originated from Alan Moores V For Vendetta, yes? Im pretty sure V was trying to be ironic.
The people in charge need to be pissed off. It's easier to tell the difference between 'Just, democractic leadership' and 'Thinly disguised tyrants' when someone is kicking them in the balls.
67 comments & no reference to that Simpsons Halloween story, with Bart reading people's minds and altering reality as he wishes? For shame, fellow nerds!
well that is also a direct reference to this particular episode of The Twilight Zone.
We were all thinking it.
"And what do we say when something freaky like that happens? That's good that Bart did that. That's veeeery good."
The Simpsons has come up with precious few original ideas for their Halloween episodes, from the beginning. But that's okay, it's fun to see Homer as a jack-o-lantern.