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Hey metalheads! You love people telling you what to do. I know you do. Especially when they tell you what to read, what to watch, and what to listen to. It’s great that those WISER folks are looking out for you and making sure you don’t get exposed to anything that might be subversive or rebellious. Anything that may make you think about the world, your world, in terms other than the established norms is bad for you.

Oh but what you REALLY love is someone telling what you can and cannot do. You could be arrested for expressing yourself if this bill passes. In support of the STOP SOPA/IPA HEAVY METAL MESSENGER WILL BE GOING DARK FOR 24 HOURS beginning at midnight tonight. See you in 24 hours!

So go ahead, ignore tomorrow’s debate or you can watch this video and think for yourself. Express yourself. Or not. It’s your right. For the time being anyway.

Some thoughts:

  • In the U.S. our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, and that people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.
  • Laws are not like lines of PHP; they are not easily reverted if someone wakes up and realizes there is a better way to do things. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.
  • The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it. We have to stand up for it ourselves.

Blogging is a form of activism. You can be an agent of change. Some people will tell you that taking action is useless, that online petitions, phone calls to representatives, and other actions won’t change a single mind, especially one that’s been convinced of something by lobbyist dollars. To those people, I repeat the words of Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

We are not a small group. More than 60 million people use WordPress — it’s said to power about 15% of the web. We can make an impact, and you can be an agent of change. Go to Stop American Censorship for more information and a bunch of ways you can take action quickly, easily, and painlessly. The Senate votes in two weeks, and we need to help at least 41 more senators see reason before then. Please. Make your voice heard.

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