The Chicken Feed

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Andrey: Well, it’s finally happened. Scientists have finally proven that life does, indeed exist in my attic. This fact, however, was immediately disputed by the philosophical community who screamed at each other about relative causality for 14 hours, and then went to a coffee shop to whinge and try to pick up the same woman, who turned out to be deaf.

In other news, HappyBob and I have “come together” (not unlike the Beatles, unless you’re talking about when they split up) to bring you a Feature the likes of which will never be linked to again. Crap.

Hi, this is Andrey.
And I’m HappyBob.
Tonight, we’d like to share with you, possibly the toughest writing assignment we’ve ever been contracted to do, since that time I re-drafted the constitution and HappyBob drew Jesus-fish all over it.
There has been much debate as of late over the classification of Koalas as Bears. Although the Koala is a marsupial, and therefore not a member of the bear species, it is widely known to non-Australians as the Koala Bear. This has caused furor in the scientific community, which is determined to set the record straight once and for all.
We, however, were never asked to write about this, and so, will not. Further topics we will not be discussing in this controversial essay include:
-The dot-com boom and its affects on musk-rat farming.
-The Singing Detective, and other movies based on TV dinners.
-Geopolitical seminars held in the ring of fire
-The use of “Juniper” as a verb.
File sharing is the most wonderful thing to come out of the IT industry since Doctor J. Computer thought “wouldn’t it be jolly grand if I made a fancy contraption with a screen and lots of buttons?” File sharing eliminates the need for capitalistic ownership, allowing every individual to share every file.
However, you need only leaf through a little thing known as The Bible, and open a history book to a little event known as The Fall of the Soviet Union, to realize that sharing anything on a wholesale basis is not only the bedrock of sin, but also a sure road to ruin, or at least horribly stale bread and pirated videogames.
Those responsible for the Fall of the Neo-Soviet Empire are also behind a strict regime to control the airwaves with commercial music that, when played backwards, will compel the listener to buy copper goods, thus upsetting the magnetic flow of the Hollow Earth and paving the way for the illuminati invasion. By downloading free music and games, not only do we gain greater freedom as consumers of entertainment; we are also defying a neoconservative conspiracy that dates all the way back to the Crucifixion. So the internet tells me.
Er…anyway, as you can see, HappyBob and I have slightly different opinions on this topic. Ergo, the essay we were asked to write by the Ultimo TAFE Institute of New South Wales, Australia went through an arduous editorial process to make every piece fit together right. Or rather, it didn’t, because there was no time. But here it is anyway. This document, our dissection of our own essay, exists to help you, if you’re one of the many TAFE students who failed one or more classes as a result of trying to interpret our essay in writing, for your thesis. Perhaps this semester, with the help of this document, you can finally get it right, eh?

File Sharing: An Essay

In many ways, internet file-sharing has become a problem in our society. Compromising on moral, as well as legal, and social levels, this rampant irresponsibility must be dealt with if we are to continue prospering as a planet.

This society is doomed to wallow in its own materialistic arrogance unless it embraces communist ideals. Internet file-sharing has been embraced by millions of people worldwide. If society as a whole can accept this, it will move one step closer to a glorious future free of riches or ownership.

This is where we started with a powerful thesis. As you can see, this was around the point where we realized our ideas didn’t mesh very well into one essay. HappyBob said that we could solve this problem by simply skirting the issue for a few paragraphs, till the essay had some meat to it, and then just cut it off with an abrupt conclusion.
Andrey, on the other hand, wanted to stick to the important issues, defying his Russian heritage to argue for commercial ownership. This prompted me to accuse him of being a sexually confused rhinoceros named Norman. Antibiotics and alcohol don’t mix, kids.
To better understand file-sharing, we must examine what the Beatles did after their break-up.

Following the assassination of George Harrison, surviving member Brian May hatched a plan to immortalise the band by distributing the band’s entire back catalogue for free via a global network. However, as the internet did not exist back in the 1890s, the songs were sent around the planet via telegrammed punch-cards developed from the alien technology salvaged from the Roswell crash site. Little did Mr. Presley know that he was about to give birth to a global phenomenon: free music.

And when we think of music, what do we think of? When we remember Andre Segovia’s quiet words, “The piano is a monster that screams when you touch its teeth,” what feelings does it inspire? Fear? Hunger? This is the question we must ask ourselves before any serious discussion about file-sharing can begin.

The words “question” and “discussion” naturally lead to an even more divisive issue. Was the English language formed overnight by some bright caveman trillions of years ago, or did the language evolve along with the orang-utans who spoke it? The latter option is widely accepted by scientists and paralympians alike, yet it clearly goes against the scientifically sound “survival of the fittest” scenario. After all, if people hung around all day socialising, wouldn’t they get eaten by velociraptors? If this was the case, humanity never would have evolved to the point of being able to offer file sharing.

However, the counter-argument to this is also an alluring one, suggesting that humans would, in fact, have been eaten by velociraptors, had they not been able to get the warning out through “language”, and take shelter behind some trees when that epic meteor came down and wiped out the dinosaurs/Atlanteans. So, as it is written, if not for the then-inane-and-dangerous presence of language, humans would not be alive today. However, one must wonder whether, had the velociraptors the sense to crouch behind a rock at the time of the meteor, they would- today- also be file-sharing, or if their species would consider this primitive.

We soon realised this approach was about as useful as a REALLY useless newt. Instead, we decided to focus on the recent DVD release of “What a Girl Wants” starring The Amanda Show‘s Amanda Bynes.
This didn’t pan out. All HappyBob wanted to do was print off endless copies of promotional Amanda photography on his laser-jet, and I had to go out and buy him that expensive photo-paper, which kind-of put me in a sour mood. This got us in an argument, I left in a huff, and the next two paragraphs we wrote completely separately, extremely angered at one-another, and generally irritable
File sharing is not immoral. The only people hurt by it are faceless corporate millionaire bigwigs. These people place profits over people. The establishment behind it all, as George Washington might have said, is A FILTHY LIAR WHO SHOULD APOLOGISE THIS INSTANT.

What is file sharing? Easy. The spread of STD. Free love died after the 60s, because everybody had a strange burning sensation and couldn’t sit down. Well guess what? With all the CDs we’re burning now, it’s only a matter of time before society tries to sit down, and can’t. Because file sharing is the spread of STDs. It’s a sick obsession with the seductress known as Free Music, and if you let her lure you in, and print out pictures of her, and make me pay for them, then god-dammit what kind of a person are you? I mean you already have the posters all over your damned room, and is it even legal? How old is she? Have you thought of that, you bastard?

After a few days I approached Andrey and apologised. To compensate for the hurtful things I said, I bought him an autographed Olsen Twins poster, which he gladly added to his Mary-Kate & Ashley memorabilia basement.
Forgiven and forgotten, water under the bridge, we settled down to watch some old Full House reruns, and finish up the essay. Despite our divided opinions on the issue, we were committed to synchronizing our writing, and focussing on what we had in COMMON, rather than what conflicted.
File sharing is taking the music away from the People. Many of these People are wonderful human beings like Andrey Summers. If you buy a CD, you are supporting the faceless monsters who want to sue these People. If you oppose file sharing, you are hurting Andrey. If you legally pay for a DVD or movie ticket, you are hurting Andrey. Think about THAT next time you walk past a CD store or cinema.

And from this, we can conclude that money, when you get right down to it, is meaningless. I would gladly give 500 dollars to, say, HappyBob, so why not give it to the recording industry? Who cares about money, right? All it is is papers, and the only reason people have papers now, in the internet age, is to roll them up and smoke things out of them. I would rather HappyBob smoke my money than do it myself. And same with file-sharing. I would rather he smoke my computer, than give him my money for free. And isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Mary Kate and Ashley put me in a funny mood.
In conclusion, file-sharing can not hurt society in any way beca-

The remainder of this essay was lost when my hard drive was corrupted by Kazaa. Andrey claimed this was proof of his argument, and made fun of me for weeks on end, until he was randomly sued by the RIAA.
I’m pleading not guilty. How the hell was I supposed to know that low-res MPEGs of 18-year-olds count as file-sharing? What “file”? These are sensitive young girls we’re talking about.

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