What’s wrong with free?

So I logged into WordPress today, contemplating writing a post about the books I’ve been reading and how much work is a drag on, well, everything, when I noticed the Freshly Pressed page had some things that caught my eye.  Two I dismissed as just ranting (imagine the gall of a blogger who rants incessantly!) and the other just got under my skin.

This post claims the reason people don’t want to spend money to use, say, Twitter, is because we’ve become accustomed to getting things for free on the internet, despite “shelling out the cash” for music and books in stores.  I disagree.

How long did it take for people to start “shelling out the cash” for things like Cable TV, Satellite, and Internet access?  Isn’t the RIAA still throwing a fit over piracy?  And then there’s the movie pirating which has led to every movie I’ve recently watched, both on DVD and on the big screen, to having a piracy PSA before the previews.  So is it, in fact, an Internet issue, or simply a human issue?

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t think we should have to pay for anything, period.  That’s not to say everything should be completely free, per se, but money is a lost cause.  What’s all that paper based on, anyway?  Many of these big businesses don’t pay for anything, really, as it’s all done on credit.  It’s pretend money.  I worked for a small restaurant two years ago and the guy didn’t pay rent or utilities for the first year.  He didn’t make it that long, so what did he end up doing to cover those expenses he hadn’t yet paid?  I’ve had several jobs where, as a manager, I signed an invoice stating we owed X company Y dollars for Z merchandise, but I never saw anything get paid except for in an Excel SpreadSheet.  When did it get paid, and by whom?

There are tons of people who couldn’t imagine walking into a store/restaurant/bar/cafe, acquiring food/supplies/drinks/etc, and then not paying for said merchandise.  Yet we do it everyday, with every swipe of our credit card.  I’ve had a credit card.  I maxed that little thing out to the tune of $2,000 dollars, which Providian Bank kindly paid, and then never paid it off.***

No one called me to ask where the money was, nor did anyone come and claim my merchandise back.  And it’s not even on my Credit History…anywhere.

The Internet doesn’t have a free problem, people do.

***As a side note, I wasn’t actually allowed to pay that bill.  Back in early 2002 Providian Bank sold $4.2 million in (Visa) accounts to a Pakistan based (MasterCard) company, who then was unreachable and never sent out cards or information.  Providian wouldn’t give me the information to reach them, nor could I pay my bill to them, and the Pakistani company was unable to help me without an account number, which they failed to provide me.  Thus, I got off scot-free, so to speak.  But look how many people have umpteen thousands (or more) in Credit Card debt that they can’t (or won’t) pay?  How many of them, exactly, have been prosecuted and put in prison for theft/larceny/whatever the charge may be?  Or even taken to court and forced to pay restitution?  I’ve heard of people being threatened, but I have yet to hear anything short of a Buelleresque “My sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s aunt’s neighbor in Nebraska has a dog who gets groomed by a lady who…” about it, nothing concrete.  Ever.  So what’s that say?

And what do YOU wanna be when you grow up?

I want to be a DINOSAUR!  RAWR!*

Actually, I want to major in Physics and Art.  Yeah, I know, what a great way to become independently wealthy.  But at least I won’t have to be a starving artist, like now, working at some dead-end job and spending all my money on art supplies and praying I have enough ramen noodles to last until next payday.*  I can go work for NASA and spend all my money on art supplies and pray I have enough ramen noodles to last until next payday!  How much more exciting would that be, eh?

But actually, those are my two passions, and that’s what I would like to do, go to school for Art and Physics.  I keep trying to misspell “Physics” as “Physicalics”, which, thankfully, isn’t as bad a Freudian slip as, say, “Phallics”.  I think if I were to start typing “Phallic” all over the place I’d just shoot myself because, honestly, if things were that bad, I’m obviously either too psycho to even qualify for a desperate one-night-stand, or too ugly.  But thankfully there is porn and I’m okay with that.  Porn doesn’t tell me to not drink so much, clean up that mess, do the dishes, or scream at me because I didn’t buy the right brand of toilet paper even though I saved $3 fucking dollars by buying the BETTER quality toilet paper and I really don’t give a fuck about “toilet paper” lint being left on my ass because, HELLO, it’s better than having SHIT left on my ass because the MORE EXPENSIVE BRAND you INSIST upon using doesn’t wipe NEARLY as clean as the stuff I grew up with you stupid, ignorant, bitch! Whew, sorry, flashback to a prior relationship.  I should really get some help with this whole PTSD thing from her, but, meh.

And, yes, that actually WAS a real argument I had with someone I date and it actually lasted for a good solid month before I finally explained, “FUCK YOU I HAVE MY OWN FUCKING BATHROOM AND WILL USE THE TOILET PAPER I SO CHOOSE TO WIPE SHIT OFF MY ASS UNLESS YOU WANNA LICK IT OFF OF ME YOU FUCKING WHORE!” and it was settled.  And there might have been about twenty more expletives than that in the actual argument but my memory kind of fails me because I was black-out drunk at the time and that was about the point I came to and then I said something about being hormonal and horny and having low blood sugar and to not cross me anymore when it came to my bunghole because that was my own personal space nobody messed with and the last person who tried wound up in Guatemala and nobody’d heard from him for the past two years.  That’s also kind of a true story.  The Guatemala thing.  The toilet paper thing is TOTALLY a true story.

*RAWR means I love you in Dinosaur.  G-d, don’t you people, like, read and stuff?

I’m not nearly THAT big of an asshole

So I don’t have much time on my hands to get out and meet people, thus my turning to the Internet. I’ve posted before about meeting people online and how well it doesn’t work. Sometimes I meet someone interesting, mostly they’re flakes, but occasionally they turn out to be far above the level I’ve lovingly titled “Douche Yacht”.

Case in point:

I went over to Craigslist (likely my first mistake) to check out things for sale (still in the market for a new fridge/freezer combo) and made my way over to strictly platonic. Usually I don’t like these things and tend to laugh at many of them, but sometimes one will catch my attention and I’ll reply. This chick was just looking for a friend, or so she claimed.***

I emailed her and was like, “Yo, wassup” and thus began what I thought was going to be a strictly platonic instant messaging relationship. As anyone who’s read more than one post on this blog knows, my life has been hectic these past couple months. I’ve been working anywhere from 50 to 60 hours or more a week, have been struggling with insomnia and panick attacks, etc, etc, bitch, moan… You get the idea, I’m sure.

So, I log into Yahoo messenger and was like, “I haven’t had the opportunity to speak with this chick in a while, so I’ll see what’s up”. So I send a message along the lines of “Wow, it’s been a while, how’ve you been?”

Apparently this makes me an asshole that deserves to be told off. Somebody has some inferiority issues they need to work through because, sorry bitch, I have a life, too. Being the mature guy I am I quickly apologized for bothering er and wished her well.***

I can’t, however, keep from being upset because this cunt seems to think she’s just oh so important after we had a total of maybe three conversations before my life turned to shit. So, to all those self-important bitches out there, just get over yourselves already.

***Oh, how I wish this story could have ended with the makings of a great story for a new porn, but, alas, thus is not my life.

***And if you believe that, I’ve got a great condo right off the Arizona bay you’ve just gotta see to believe.