It is September 5, 2011, and I’m already sick of the 9/11 anniversary shit going on. I agree that 9/11 is something that should be remembered but I’m as close to 100% sure as any human can be that it will be incorrectly remembered. I say that not because I’m a cynical asshole but because of the previous nine years of fictional remembrance I’ve witnessed. Also, because of it being the tenth anniversary and all, there seems to be this overly-patriotic celebration of how rad-ass America is as well as the (sadly) expected tie-ins to entertainment news, both of which are ugly and obscene and are the reason I’m so fucking grateful that I’ll be out of the country while it’s happening.
I’m leaving town tonight so I don’t have time to develop this into a more fully-thought-out idea but I want to mention it anyway. A few weeks ago I was watching some dipshit pundit on television ranting against Muslims and citing the attacks on 9/11 as one of the reasons their presence and culture shouldn’t be tolerated in this country. It occurred to me that these people always focus on the attackers being Muslim and never on them also being assholes. It always amazes me that assholes never get called out for being assholes and instead get called out for being whatever it is about them that makes them different from the people they’ve angered. Atheists love to attack nut-bar Christians for murdering abortion doctors. Nut-bar Christians love to attack Muslim terrorists for bombing innocent civilians. In both cases no one is getting angry over the fact that the offending group are a bunch of murderous assholes. Amazing. And in the case of the television “pundits” I honestly think it’s self-preservation. If society got it into it’s head that assholes were the cause of our woes, and that they shouldn’t be tolerated, these fuckheads on TV would have about 24 hours to get out of the country alive.
Television pundits are worse than Muslims ten times out of ten.
Non-comics nerds can skip this part. Beginning last week, DC comics relaunched their entire superhero line starting over with all-new first issues. They’ll be releasing digital comics on the same day as their print-version counterparts and they’ll be charging the same price for both versions ($2.99, I believe). This is ridiculous for a number of reasons, but I’ll just focus on the economics of the thing. First off, I haven’t read a monthly comic in years, partially because they’re too fucking expensive. Asking me to pay three bucks for 22 pages of story and art in a digital format is fucking madness. That would buy me three different songs. That’s two dollars shy of buying me an entire album on sale at Amazon. But mostly it’s madness because anyone with their head halfway pulled out of their ass can download that same comic that same week for absolutely free. Sure, its illegal but that isn’t gonna stop most people from doing it, just ask anyone who used to work in the music industry.
I realize that DC comics is trying to do right by retailers but they’re going to fail. Up until recently you couldn’t download digital comics unless someone had gone to the trouble of scanning them and uploading them to the internet first. The other day I downloaded a torrent that contained the entire 18-year archive of Vertigo Comics, the mature-readers imprint owned by DC* so, yeah, people have been going to the trouble to scan and upload comics for a while now. But now, by publishing digital copies every week on the same day of release as the print versions, all one needs to do to share them with others is legally purchase the comics and then copy and upload them to the internet as torrents. So, congratulations, DC, you’ve cut out the most tedious part of the file sharing process by removing the need to scan your copyrighted material. Well done. And, assuming their digital downloads are loaded with DRM shit to prevent file sharing…well, just ask anyone in the music industry how that’s worked for them.
DC needs to get with it and realize that the era of the comic specialty shop as we know it is over. This is sad for those of us who love those stores, but it’s the reality of the situation regardless. If they don’t start offering a better price for their digital comics they’re never going to recover the people like me, who’ve had to stop purchasing print comics in lieu of paying their mortgage every month.