The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 April 2006

May be harmful if swallowed

That's my idea of the appropriate warning label for Alberto Gonzales' fatuous belief that the Department of Justice can regulate online smut out of existence.

Matt Barr is even less complimentary than I:

I can't remember the last time I accidentally encountered a pornographic image while looking for something else. But you're Computer Boy, you've been on the Internet for 12 years. You have blogs and domain names! What about people who haven't got the foggiest idea what they're doing on the Internet? Their eyes! Shut the hell up. We don't make cars all go 10 MPH with big flashy neon signs that say "DON'T LET THIS HIT YOU" because there might be pedestrians who are unfamiliar with how traffic works. We expect people to be rudimentarily aware of how to be safe walking along a road if they're going to walk along a road. The carnage and genocide this has caused has so far escaped major media attention.

There should be a special circle in hell reserved for people who market porn by making sure searches for Barbie dolls or Teletubbies get people to click through to their sites. But you know what? Maybe the kid searching for Teletubbies on the Internet shouldn't be waddling along in the middle of the road by himself. Huh, Mom?

Besides, how would the Official Gonzales Ratings be implemented?

Where will this warning go, above or below the gigantic graphic image? What will it say? Don't look! Your eyes! And we know exactly where this is going. When warning labels are ineffective, surprising a total of six people, all in Washington, the next Attorney General will require little pop-up warnings before the formerly warning labelled page comes up. "You have requested a possibly off-color page. Are you sure? How old are you? Who'd you vote for?" Pop up blockers will be outlawed because they suppress the new warnings. Soon, the warning label will have to be tattooed on the inside of your eyelid.

And keep in mind the amazing success all levels of government have had with stamping out spam. It's been, oh, almost sixteen minutes since someone sent me a stock tout claiming it was a "Strong" — actually, "Str#ng" — "Buy," and no one's tried to sell me fake Rolexes since quarter past two.

Almost all such government proposals are predicated on the notion that We the People in aggregate are dumber than a box of rocks. And to the extent that we voted for these schmucks, they may well have a point. Then again, if the good Lord had intended us to vote, He would have given us candidates.

Posted at 4:36 AM to Political Science Fiction