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We’ve posted a new poll regarding the truthiness behind the apparent reality of a new Apple tablet.  Skeptics and fan-boys, have fun fighting this one out!

Also, for those of you who want to provide input regarding the Copyright Consultations taking place throughout The Great White North (as I write this it is still quite warm here in Victoria, BC), we urge you to head on over to their website to put your two cents in.

It may be the only online sharing you’ll be able to do in the future if voices aren’t heard now….

As the second funniest person involved with DyscultureD, I tend to find the second-tier stories that further augment our argument that pop culture phenomena can often be dysfunctional.  With that in mind, I’d like to introduce a little segment I’ve named in homage to the great Walter Cronkite: And That’s The Way It – WHAT?

This week, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York discovered that Brilliant Blue G can help mend spinal injuries.  A revolutionary breakthrough, indeed.  However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Brilliant Blue G is also the food dye that is used in making Blue M&Ms.

Oh, and one of the side effects is that when injected with the compound, the skin of the patient turns temporarily blue.

Well, at least with a healthy spine one can run away from Gargamel should he mistake them for a giant Smurf.

We spent a bit of time over the past couple of days “reDysigning” the blog.  A fresh look, a couple of fresh new features (polls and a Twitter feed to name a few) gives the site a bit more of a vibrant feel.  Or so we think.

We’d like your opinion on the site – both the look and content – because we want to put together a blog and podcast that you want to see and hear.

A recent guest editorial by MCM has got us thinking that we’d like more “op/ed” pieces for the blog, so if you’ve got something you’d like to share, contact us.  We’d love to hear from you.

Episode 41 of our weekly podcast will be up later on, so be sure to give it (and our back catalog of 40 podcasts!) a listen.  Subscribe via iTunes or listen to it right here.

Thanks for reading – and listening.  Our aim, as always, is to have more people “dyscover” DyscultureD.  We’re glad you already have.

The following is a guest post by MCM.

Copyright sucks.

You heard me, it sucks.  It’s the biggest scam of the modern era, wasting billions of dollars and even more time, all debating stuff that can’t be solved.  When historians look back on us, they’re going to say to themselves: “Wow, this makes the angels-on-the-pin debate look substantive.”

What’s wrong with copyright?  It’s fundamentally incapable of doing what people think it can do.  We’ve got arguments like “information wants to be free” and “creators are starving”, neither of which is true.  People latch on to those ideas because they’re solid ground, but they’re utter nonsense.  You can’t prove that information wants anything any more than you can prove the emotional state of a rock.  Here, let me demonstrate: the flower right next to you wants a McFlurry.  Better get on that.

We don’t need to rework copyright, we need to fix society to make copyright obsolete.  Kicking puppies is illegal, but not many people do it to begin with.  There are social norms that we all appreciate as fundamental, and we try and stay on the good side of them.  So how did copyright go so wrong?

Products, that’s where.  Long ago, you stopped paying for music in any meaningful way.  You paid for records, cassettes, CDs.  We place inherent value in these physical objects, the carriers of our culture, and over time, we came to value a New Release movie at a certain price, and a song at another.  I’m not buying a movie, I’m buying a disc with a movie on it.  I couldn’t care less how much work went into the art itself, as long as it’s priced competitively.

So when you remove the physical object like the internet has done, the natural reaction of society is to think “It’s great I don’t have to pay for all that plastic!” and assume they should be getting their movies for next to nothing.  They’ve lost their sense of morality in this area, because it’s been obscured for so long.  It’s like they’ve been living in a world where puppies are wrapped in foam balls, so it’s fine to kick them… but all of a sudden, the foam is taken away.  I kick a puppy every day on the way to work… why should I stop just because things have changed?  Puppy-kicking is a fundamental part of my life.

Deep beneath the surface, I think most of us realize there are people making the things we read, watch and listen to.  Whether it’s a one-on-one relationship or they’re part of a giant team of artists working on a massive project, we’re at least vaguely aware they exist.  And we don’t want to kick them.  We appreciate them.  Well, maybe not Michael Bay.

Copyright is a legal concept that is trying to tell us we need to imagine there’s still a ball around the puppy, and that it’s important to step around it even though it’s invisible.  Some of us are doing that, and some of us are refusing, but in the end, we’re all obsessing over the legitimacy of the concept, and completely ignoring the poor puppies inside.

Copyright is a massive waste of time.  We need to take care of our artists (by whatever means necessary), and stop obsessing about an abstract concept that has very little relevance to the world as it exists today.  There are so many better things we could be doing.  Like buying ice cream for plants.

MCM is the author of The Pig and the Box, Fission Chips, and The Vector, all of which are Creative Commons-licensed.  He would like a McFlurry too, thanks.

Dear Mr. Bettman,

With regards to the current Phoenix Coyotes situation, you were recently quoted as saying “We don’t run out on cities.”

While I agree that each city should ge given time to foster their franchises, Phoenix has had 13 years to develop a following and entrench themselves in the community. One could argue that the move to Glendale occurred within the last six years which disrupted consistency of location, but the arena is located adjacent to the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium so fan travel should not be an issue. It is only nine miles from Glendale to Phoenix, after all.

Let’s face it: hockey hasn’t worked in the desert. It never will. The experiment should conclude now.

While I’d love to see a team in my hometown of Hamilton (I now live in Victoria, BC), it has become clear that this will not happen. Mr. Balsillie has done too much damage to make this move a reality. It’s too bad, because Hamilton could support a team – and I believe the impact on Toronto and Buffalo would be minimal at best.

I think the true answer here is contraction. Fold the franchise. Certainly the league may take a hit in the PR department, but it can also be seen as a sign of responsible business sense.  I mean, if Starbucks is folding franchises since they have an element of control over them, what would stop the NHL from doing the same?

Regardless, you wouldn’t be “running out” on anything. You’d be strengthing the quality of play and the existing franchises by removing a drain to the league’s resources. It’s addition by subtraction.

Thank you for your time. As a hockey fan and a Canadian, I wish you and the league all the best and hope you make a decision that’s best for the game – it is bigger than every person, team and nation. It deserves that respect.

Sincerely,
Mike Vardy
Victoria, BC, Canada

Play

The Show Notes

full dysclosure

X Marks The Spot – Workprint of Wolverine leaked
E.T. Skype Home – Sykpe arrives for the iPhone
U2, RIM? U2? – U2 partners with Blackberry maker
Googly-eyed Over Twitter – Arrington rumours about Google-Twitter deal
Do You Know The Lyrics?  (Apparently, You Do) – K’naan crowdsources lyrics via Twitter
An Exploratory Digg – Digg launches DiggBar
Big Blue Clouds – IBM explores cloud computing
Citation Not Needed – Microsoft shuts down Encarta

movies

Canada’s Oscars(?) – The Genies Reviewed
May Movies

website of the week

Anth: Multicolr Search Lab (Flickr Set)
Mike: Catster (dedicated to Soot Vardy 1993-2009)

musical selection

Woodhands (courtesy of Paper Bag Records)

Play

The Show Notes

full dysclosure

CBC layoffs
Canadian Spy “Ghost”busters
Video Games for Developing Countries
Twitter goes for bucks
Facebook gives in on layout
Skype is #1 for International Calls
Pirate Ship Gets a Cloaking Device

Websites of the Week

Backtype – Aggregate and archive all of your public comments
1889.ca – The home of the creator of YTV’s Rollbots and other creations

Music

Danny Michel – Feather, Fur & Fin