Monday, November 29, 2010

Wanted: dead or alive

It's just that kind of a day.

I don't know if it's the time of year (or maybe it's the time of man). Looking out my window at my layered, cedar-branched view, I see ribbons and streams of grey, a relentless killjoy rain that falls sideways so that an umbrella does no good at all. Killjoy weather that snatches all the light away.

I like-and-hate Christmas, lovehate what it does to me. I do all the shopping and arrangements, and lately I've felt like I get no acknowledgement for this (or anything else) from anyone. Even the grandkids soon get bored with what I buy for them.

It'd be different, maybe, if my work were going well. I'm walking in place, soon to go backwards. I haven't posted much about Harold Lloyd, and maybe I should to "get it out there", but it's like a sore place in my soul. If I talk about it too much, nothing will happen. Meantime, Lloyd synchronicity continues to happen daily, with a peak of five times in one day.

What does it mean?

I at least want to return some of the Build-a-Bear stuff I bought, because I overbought, but that's un-shopping, isn't it? At least some money flows the other way, but it was supposedly mine to begin with. So I stay in the same place.

This isn't related, maybe, except under the category of frustration: but recently I ordered a boxed set of Season 4 of Mad Men. This was incredibly stupid, because Season 4 just ended and the DVD set won't come out until March 2011. And it was ridiculously cheap, I won't even tell you how cheap because it'll make me look very gullible and dumb.

Sooooooo. . . what did I think I'd get? So far all I've got is two emails from this outfit, one saying their web site was "under construction" and that you could use This Link to Their UK Site; then, a couple days later, another "hmmmmmm" one, about how they'd changed their email address.

Just a coincidence? I don't think so. Something was up, and it smelled like fish.

I don't know how or why, but today I clicked on the original link I'd saved, and found the following message, with three intimidating and very official-looking crests at the top (Department of Justice; National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center; Homeland Security Investigations):

"This domain name has been SEIZED by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 USC (symbol, symbol - ? Is THIS a hoax, I wonder?) 981 and 2323."

They then laid out the penalties for being such bad girls and boys as to pirate copyrighted material. Up to five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution (not sure what that is, but boy, I wouldn't want to have to do it). "Intentionally and knowingly trafficking in counterfeit goods is a federal crime that carries penalties for first time offenders of up to ten years in federal prison, a $2,000,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution (squiggle, squiggle)".

I can just see these poor guys (from Taiwan or somewhere) in DVD-bootlegging solitary confinement, tied to a chair and forced to watch endless back-to-back pirated episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men: "God! No, no. . . nooooooooo. . . not Charlie Sheen. . . "

Yes! Charlie Sheen, the guy who had "one bad day", shoved up your nose along with the stale bread and water. They deserve it, don't they? Violating intellectual property rights (and who says ancient repeats of Married With Children aren't intellectual?) is a crime more heinous than sexual assault or child molesting (which often rates no more than a few months' probation).

Fine. This was a surprise, and a way to liven up an otherwise totally wretched, depressing, dull Monday. But I only care about one thing. Will I still get my Mad Men Season 4 boxed set? It may be boxed in old kleenex cardboard - hey, a so called bona fide set I ordered from somewhere else surprised me when I opened the packaging and all four discs popped out onto the floor. It may bear an AMC logo in the corner, or even promos for Breaking Bad and, what's that new one, Revenge of the Really Scary Walking Dead Vampires from Hell?

Did some guy point his old Super 8 movie camera at the TV? Will the picture even be recognizable, and will there be sound? Or did they just get together and act out all the parts themselves?

Stay tuned.