Greetings from Doomsday: Malagueña

Good morning and welcome to the end.

You wake up to a trail of garlic cloves running down your staircase and no one will cop to putting it there. You’re filled with an ineffable sense of dread. You don’t know if the garlic was put in place to keep the vampires out or to ensure that you were kept in. Then you wake up and realize it was a dream and that monsters don’t exist in the form of bloodsucking ghouls.

The vampires in your life are emotional vampires, they’re the relatives who guilt you into donating to a charity that routinely misleads donors about how much of their charitable contributions actually go to those in need. These vampires are self-serving, passive-aggressive vampires, the kind of ghouls that Skype to say that you look like you need more color and that you should get some sun.

The vampires are everywhere these days, boys and girls. They’re the frothy-mouthed shit-heels who refuse to wear face masks and insist that COVID-19 is a “libtard hoax.” They do not fear the Morning Star like their ancestors and they aren’t modest enough to take the form of a bat. These revenants are shameless, myopic carnivores who feed on fear and demand special treatment.

You see them standing in line at the Post Office, openly ignoring signage that tells them to keep six feet between themselves and their fellow humans. They’re the old, hunched savages whose grills are slick with a film of sweat and stupidity and whose hands are perpetually restless. When they’re not hustling their balls they’re flailing ever closer to your comfort zone, hacking and coughing and assuring you that they’re not sick … but they’ve been sick their whole lives. Ignorance is a disease and it’s bred right into these blood simple morons.

The good news is, you’ve got the power of Horror on your side. Vampires cannot enter your home if they haven’t been invited. They can brag, bitch and bully their way into a big box store, but the manager won’t let them have more than their fair share of toilet paper. They can act as entitled as they want, but persistence repels them like a crucifix to the solar plexus.

“I’m sorry, sir, but these are the rules. There is a limit of one per customer.”

“I’ve been shopping at this shithole since you was swimming around in your daddy’s balls! I don’t need to take your shit!”

“Sir, there’s no need to be rude. I’m just following company policy.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

They slink away like the wounded hellhounds they are, barking obscenities at themselves as they waddle back to their shitty American-made automobiles and concentrate their fear-based hatred in other directions.

Vampires cannot enter if uninvited.

Outside they’re holding black delivery drivers hostage in gated communities for doing their jobs. The King Vampire is dreaming up conspiracy theories and encouraging the public to mainline household cleaners.

Inside you’re making music with friends from other countries. Outside the party line is blaming China. Inside you’re learning how to knit face masks for the homeless. Outside they’re beating black men about the skull and waving their batons at bystanders. Inside you’re taking an online course in misconduct law.

Even horror movies have happy endings sometimes.

Outside they’re going without masks and cutting each other off in traffic. In here we’re smoking on some Boost 20:1, riding high and drinking in the mellifluous licks of Jose Feliciano. Inside is good for now, inside here was always good. Hold your partner close because your dance card is clear and it’s time to boogie on the home front.

Greetings from Doomsday: “The Raving, Flailing Wingnut”

It’s a damp, dreary morning in the bloated intestine of post-Gatsby Long Island and I’m motoring down Wellwood Avenue, past boarded-up storefronts, bound for The Botanist, New York’s finest medical marijuana dispensary. CSNY’s “Teach Your Children” is spewing from my tired car radio and I’m smelling things I haven’t smelled in years.

The air is no longer choked. The stale fart stench of Swindlehurst factories has been replaced by a fresh scent, an earthy aroma that is inviting, until I ponder its meaning. If you’ve ever spent time in the wilderness you recognize the fragrance at once—the grass is screaming and the trees are being flayed for fretwork in one of Suffolk County’s many lumberyards. Essential businesses and all of that.

I only have one mask and four gloves to spare on this trip, so I’ll have to make it count. I take the Huntington off-ramp and gun it down Broadhollow Road into Sweet Hollow Country.

This is where the urban legends live, where a whorish teenage specter named Bloody Mary is said to appear when you shine your light on her grave. It’s where the gates once read, “Life, How Short.” It’s the home of Mount Misery and curious sightings of Men in Black.

Today, I will not be pulled over by some mythical ghost cop who’s missing the back of his skull. I will not see any teenage whores hanging from an overpass or meet an enigmatic gypsy dressed in crimson.

As “Teach Your Children” is replaced by Marilyn Manson’s “Deep Six,” I zip past what remains of the Walmart entrance, now a heavily barricaded, steel-enforced complex cloistered with cars and caravans of people in surgical masks and handkerchiefs. Some of them are zigzagging between mini-vans with shopping carts overflowing with paper towels and charcoal briquettes, their body language as screwed as their eyes.

I think of the lyrics still lingering from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s classic tune and I wonder what these people will tell their children when they recount this bugfuck period in our history. Will they mention the woman who sunk her teeth into an elderly man before kicking the dick out of him for 24 rolls of toilet paper? or the man who murdered a dude for the same?

Probably they’ll omit the fact that every American could have had a roll of shit paper just based on what Walmart sold to a select number of people in one 5-day period.

No doubt there are a lot of details we won’t bother to rehash, if for no other reason than they demonstrate something we aren’t ready to admit.

It’s a bizarre world, and we are bizarre people.

It’s been almost 50 days since Governor Cuomo signed the PAUSE Act in New York State and guys in big rigs still pull up to 7-Elevens without masks or gloves, smirking at their masked counterparts as they hustle their balls and sidle up to the counter to buy lottery tickets and cans of Skoal.

Some persist in believing that 5G is responsible for the novel coronavirus … despite living more than 200 miles from a 5G tower. Many insist that this is all a “libtard” hoax to control the masses while other people are robbed of closure when a loved one succumbs to the illness and they are forbidden from attending funeral services. The victims of this thing are dumped into the ground like snitches in ditches, denied a proper burial. And this isn’t even the weirdest shit we’ve seen.

A 32-year old mother of two drinks splooge smoothies containing her boyfriend’s jizz because she thinks it is fortifying her immune system against COVID-19. Aaaaand this just in: Coronavirus traces have been found in the spunk of survivors who were “severely infected.” This does not bode well for Baby Batter Betty of Aylesbury.

A strange bacterium is killing so many olive trees across Italy, Greece and Spain that Southern Europe might lose more than $20 billion.

Call me funny, but if I can’t get a decent pasta dish in the future because of an olive oil shortage, I may just end up like that lady in the Walmart parking lot, nipping at the ankles of some septuagenarian and beating the balls off a stranger for some Aglio e Olio.

The thought of it is enough to get my pressure up, which is hardly uncommon for an overweight 37-year old drunk with a serious pasta addiction. But you’re at risk too, buddy. That’s right!

No, the kids aren’t okay. Toddlers all across the country are covered in welts and hideous rashes from this thing and the millennials are not impervious. Otherwise healthy thirty-somethings are stroking out, surely from the stress of quarantine as much as the virus itself. Happy Hypoxics (dig that adorable nickname!) who should be gasping or “seizing” are strutting around like they just pounded a six pack of Monster Energy drinks.

If COVID Toe doesn’t get you then you may just drop like a sack of fruit while coping with price gouging. And who could blame you, really? It’s not just Generation Wuss that’s incapable of withstanding these batshit times.

Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy has croaked. The dude who got ate by a giant tiger and survived has succumbed to ‘Rona. Stick that in your skeptic’s spliff and smoke it! Even the Architect of Rock and Roll, Little Richard, has sung, “Goodnight, Irene.”

As the great wicks are snuffed out and the hand sanitizer dries up, we’re left to do all that we can. Hunker down. It’s easier said than done, to be sure. You’ve seen the memes. “Can you blink quieter, you fucking cunt?”

We’re all of us losing our shit. And where there is shit there needs to be shit paper.

It’s like a stranger had a key, came inside of my mind

And moved all my things around.”

Ah, Marilyn. How right you are. Invasive thoughts burrow into one’s skull like tapeworms into soft tissue. If mortality isn’t on your mind right now then you probably don’t have one.

Earlier in the week, I had to make a run to 7-Eleven for disposable masks and coffee. On my way I passed a middle-aged woman in a soiled sweatsuit. She was flailing along Montauk Highway, cursing at someone who wasn’t there.

But of course, I thought.

Now I am the one cursing at all the Sunday drivers flooding the roads on this overcast morning as I make my way to The Botanist with the last of some Rainforest Clarity in my system. If it weren’t for clarity we’d all be setting fires by now, but as a wise cynic once told me, “Why burn when the whole world’s in ashes?”

That was in a different time, a simpler one. It was somewhere after the Y2K panic and before the Iraq War. The sage who spewed it was a crackhead and a known felon, but he was also a gentleman. By that, I mean he shared his drugs and his aphorisms if you were willing to sit through them. And if he spit when he talked, he was courteous enough to keep a wide berth.

The same cannot be said of the denizens of 2020. The Year of the Rat has brought us the Toilet Bowl Challenge, public spit attacks and unbridled gluttony. A man drove to 11 different Wendy’s locations twice in one day when he heard about their free 4-piece chicken nuggets. This tri-state excursion netted him 88 free nugs.

This story was presented in the mindlessly good-humored fashion typical of mainstream news. How quirky and quaint, right? And maybe it sounds pretty silly on the surface…until you think on it for a minute.

The post I came across included a photo of Skweezy Jibbs—the man’s all-too-appropriate Twitter handle—as well as his Tweet which reads, “Times is [sic] tough so when I heard Wendy’s was [sic] givin’ out free 4 piece nuggs today I knew I had to hustle. I hit every damn Wendy’s twice within 17 miles across 2 states. It took 5 hours but now we eatin’ free 4 [sic] a week.”

One look at the gristled face of this gnarly liquid shit, and the man panties draped about his bristly throat, perfectly illustrates the primitive avarice that our gut bug of a president has inspired if not outright encouraged.

This is ‘Merica and it’s great! It belongs to me and I gets mines and if you take everything for yourself and leave nothing in the cookie jar for the next dumb sumbitch? Well, that’s called winning, Loser!

I seem to have digressed somewhere along the way, perhaps as a result of contemplating this man’s photo which will almost certainly be the one used for campaign purposes when he runs for office in the future. I mean, nothing says American Resourcefulness like a neckbeard wearing a pair of dirty drawers as a face mask.

It isn’t hard to imagine this mugshot of a default pic becoming the face of American Politics or, at the very least, the cover shot on a textbook. This face is Amerika.

It’s the same grill as that demented, flailing woman in the soiled sweatsuit. I ponder this as I scurry out of The Botanist with my indica vape cartridges and lock myself in the relative safety of my ’99 Nissan Altima. And as I load the chamber of my brand-new Ccell ® Palm with revolutionary ceramic heating elements and aluminum alloy housing (Made in China, it’s worth mentioning), I alight on the greatest horror that I’ve faced today.

We are all that slobbering, raving lunatic you see marching along the street, flailing and cursing to themselves.

How can we help it?

Our loved ones have mastered the Art of Irritation while strangers have abandoned fundamental social cues, and it’s the first time in most of our lives where we’ve had to decide whether that extra wipe is worth the cost of running out of hand soap.

What’s worse, we’ve all but lost the industry that we rely on to distract us as reality looses a wet one on our chests. There are only so many stories to binge and only so many times you can hear about 90 Day Fiance: The Other Way before your brain turns to parfait and your tongue flops out.

As streaming services have shit the bed and gullible fools have fallen off cliffs in celebration of illusory freedom, Israel has been carefully coming up with a COVID antibody that will undoubtedly result in another Thousand Year War with Palestine. A cabal of obscenely moneyed Plutocrats will surely buy the rights to their development like that filthy rich dick weevil who owned the lost Wu-Tang album.

As we wait, more black lives are taken by the sort of individuals who always turn national crises into a real world sequel to The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. In Georgia, a 25-year old man named Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot by a father and son who tag-teamed his ass with a handgun and a shotgun … for jogging.

Many see this all as our status quo. Another pair of jingoistic hilljacks running down an unarmed black kid. Business as usual.

I see it as the latest in a series of events which confirm what some of us have long suspected—the earth would be better off without humans.

As I drove home with some fresh Rainforest Clarity and that earthy aroma smacked me in the face once again, I remembered that the grass is screaming and I smiled.

“Maybe the earth is finally getting ready to spit us out.”

Esto perpetua.

Predictions for the week ahead: Walmart employees will get hip to the book section in their store and learn how to fire their own boss. More Amazon executives will resign. A rise in temperatures and a consequent rise in alcohol poisonings, hand sanitizer poisonings and poisonous insects will occur.

Allergy sufferers will go to their physicians’ offices with the sniffles and be told to jerk off in cups. One hundred Coronababies will be conceived while at least fifty existing children will be traded for two-ply.

Monday will see the President declaring a luxury tax on Charmin and a ban on press photographers. The CDC’s top ground personnel will be fired and replaced by former members of America First Action and HFZ Capital Group.

The Lincoln Project will finds its signage vandalized to read The Lincoln Log Losers Club in gold spray paint. Jimmy Fallon will receive Trump’s nomination for the next Mark Twain Award on the same day that he’s caught strangling his youngest daughter to death on the Tonight Show – Home Edition.

Business as usual.

JT Leroy, More Like JT Literary Fraud!

By Ben Arzate

Just a few weeks ago, as of writing this article, the film JT Leroy was released. JT Leroy was allegedly a young transgender woman who came from an abusive household and formerly worked as a prostitute. Leroy released three semi-autobiographical books, but remained reclusive from the 90s, when she first began publishing, until 2001 when she began making public appearances.

The inconsistencies revealed in her interviews began casting doubt on her authenticity. In 2005, it was revealed that JT Leroy was an invention of the author Laura Albert and the person making public appearances was the actor Savannah Knoop. Despite the hoax that Albert and Knoop perpetuated, the books released were, in fact, labeled as fiction and many defended the stunt as performance art.

Probably the most infamous case of literary fraud in the United States was James Frey and his memoir, which turned out to be complete fiction, A Million Little Pieces, released in 2003. The book followed Frey’s supposed time in rehab after drug-related criminal charges.

A Million Little Pieces received mixed reviews, with the harshest review coming from author and critic John Dolan, known for his War Nerd column, who lambasted it as the worst book he ever read, calling it complete fiction. Despite this, it became a best seller and was selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2005. Shortly thereafter, an exposé was published in The Smoking Gun, showing that nothing in the book was true.

One of the most ridiculous cases of literary fraud was the 2008 fake memoir, Love and Consequences by Margaret Seltzer, writing under the name Margaret B. Jones. She claimed to have been a half Native American girl who was an orphan and was involved with the Bloods gang in LA. In interviews, she even talked in Ebonics. Not long after it was released, the publisher had it recalled when Seltzer’s sister exposed it as a complete fraud. She was white, not mixed, and grew up with her biological parents in an upscale suburb.

With Leroy, one could see how people bought into the fraud. The books were fiction and couldn’t be fact checked, and the author kept out of the public eye for a while. Frey and Seltzer, however, were much more obvious cases of fraud.

The characters were overt stereotypes that didn’t ring true and many parts were flat ridiculous. Frey, a curly-haired frat boy, painted himself as a tough guy who did a ton of drugs including sniffing glue, despite coming from a rich family who could afford decent drugs. Jones/Seltzer was obviously a white girl putting on an act. Why did people believe such things?

It’s no secret that people enjoy stories of overcoming adversity, especially personal adversity. The vast majority of books, memoirs especially, are about just that. The rub is what kind of adversity. Frey’s story fit a sexy narrative that drugs will ruin your life and make you a hopeless addict, but you can climb out of it with the help of the benevolent rehabilitation industry.

Seltzer’s fraud was a bit more multi-layered. The obvious aspect is that there is a wide audience of white Americans who have an interest in things perceived as being “black,” but like them even more when they don’t have any actual black people. Not to mention many true narratives about gang life, especially in LA, tend to be very cynical and unsentimental. Seltzer injected her narrative with bathos and sentimentality, as did Frey, which opens it up to a much wider audience.

This may sound like a pretentious thing to say, but it seems that most readers do not want to be challenged. They want their worldview confirmed. I’d argue that nearly everyone is guilty of this at at least one point. It’s no wonder a huckster who has their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist can put together a narrative that will confirm it to rake in money and fame. Much like many of the mostly now-forgotten authors who, in their time, wrote to please the people in power, even if they had to lie.

It’s a noble thing to have convictions, but it isn’t to follow them so blindly. We see this now with many people buying into fake news stories that confirm their bias or putting themselves into social media bubbles where they hear no opposing opinion. Liars and frauds who can string a sentence together will always have a lucrative market, so keep your critical eye open.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish my memoir about growing up as a lesbian in a family of undocumented immigrants.

In Defense of Conspiracy Theorists

by Zakary McGaha

Although I’m an accounting student I’ve taken, and passed, many college-level science courses, including two astronomy courses. If you’ve taken astronomy, you’re probably aware that physics plays a HEAVY part.

Why am I pointing this out? Because, apparently, if you’ve taken science classes and have a knowledge of physics, you think “social media platforms where you can spread disinformation at will would have to go right off the bat (Lelievre)” in order to keep flat earthers from dumbing the world down. Well…I must be the black-sheep of this proud few, because I don’t believe that at all.

A hot topic nowadays is whether “conspiracy theorists” should be allowed to theorize publicly on the internet. To me, this is a non-topic: of course they should. Dissent and speculation have pretty much given us innumerable gifts. Without the ability to question, test stuff, and prove/disprove theories, we wouldn’t have gotten very far as a species relative to every aspect of our existence.

According to the person who wrote the article “Flat Earthers and the Problem with Internet in 2019,” we’ve reached a point in our evolution in which we have to turn back the wheels of time: we need to shut people up and keep people from questioning things, because all the questions are already answered. Oh yeah, and we should all watch some YouTube channel called “Wisecrack.”

More than anything, this article asserts that we need to prioritize getting degrees at universities as oppose to…to…hearing people talk on the internet? Now, remember, they told you to look up “Wisecrack.” Apparently, that channel emphasizes good ole book learnin’. Okay, so what should we not do exactly?

With a little bit of independent thought, it becomes increasingly clear that the author of this article doesn’t want us to engage in independent thought.

This author believes that the democratization of the “web has created a lawless wasteland where every source of information is equally accessible,” which has made people settle for “entertaining” knowledge as opposed to…real knowledge? “And a conspiracy theory is way more fucking entertaining and easy to understand than a physics class.”

This dude either hates people theorizing about conspiratorial issues, or he loves physics so much that he can’t fathom people having other interests. Either way, he’s essentially saying that knowledge should be learned in a “going-to-church” sort of way, wherein the university is the church, and that any independent thought outside of the orthodoxy should be discouraged, and that platforms for people to discuss these topics “would have to go right off the bat.”

There are many flaws with this argument. Let’s assume our society devolves into an authoritarian nightmare and all “questioners” are done away with, along with all free-speech internet platforms. The only people left are akin to babies salivating in eager anticipation of University Mama’s next spoonful of 100% accurate information.

Would these salivating sycophants be able to take the torch and update the dogma? Would there be room for discussion that goes above and beyond what University Mama put on the spoon? Who knows, but I’m thinking not since they wouldn’t even be allowed to talk about their repressed questions on social media.

So I’m assuming they’d have to be “elected” into Pope-like roles if they wanted to do anything beyond updating whatever was on University Mama’s spoon…and we all know that people with such positions of power never do anything for reasons beyond the public good (sarcasm very much intended).

Another flaw in the article’s argument rests on the fact that it doesn’t point out exactly who the stupid people are who need to be oppressed for the common good; the people who are referred to in this ominous-sounding sentence: “We’ll eventually get rid of them, but the problem is going to persist if we don’t act on it.”

Is it just flat earthers we should fuck over? Trump is brought up too. I guess everyone who voted for him is just as stupid as a flat earther, so we should take away their internet privileges as well. What about other college-educated people who don’t agree with our college-educated collective on a whole slew of various issues? University Mama says your ass is grounded!!!!

So, in essence, anyone who doesn’t agree with the mainstream institutions on everything needs to be isolated from the rest of the population because they haven’t been baptized. And they’re stupid. And they’re ugly. And University Mama knows all! Repent! Repent! Join us or perish!

You may not believe it, but I’ve met several people at university who were either pro-Trump or conservative…and that includes professors. I even had one who talked about listening to Alex Jones, although he disagreed with his comments on 9/11.

Taking away people’s internet privileges because they might ask uncomfortable questions or talk about uncomfortable topics isn’t going to solve anything: it’ll only create resentment that’s bred from repression. Professors shouldn’t be the fucking rulers of public discourse. Newsflash: THEY DON’T ALL AGREE WITH EACH OTHER…especially physics professors.

Independent thought is not only possible: it’s probable. Books can be purchased and read by anyone with the brain and the means; same thing with religion: anyone can read the Bible, Quran, etc.

Anyone who assumes they have the authority…cough cough divine authority gurgle…to tell other people what they can and can’t talk about on the internet is tooting their own horn. No one is going to repress dissent; no one is going to repress speculation.

These things, I would argue, are inherent to humans. I don’t know about you all, but anyone who groups all conspiracy theorists into the “flat earthers” category in order to justify regulating speech on the internet sure draws dissent from me.

The Importance of the Public Domain

by Ben Arzate

When the United States entered 2019, several prominent works came into the public domain. Some of these include the films The Ten Commandments and Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim, the books Jacobs Room by Virginia Woolf and New Hampshire by Robert Frost, the song “Charleston” by Cecil Mack and James P. Johnson, and the musical London Calling! by Noel Coward. This marked the first time that published works entered the public domain since 1998.

Copyright law is complicated and I’m not a lawyer, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes, but to my understanding, a work owned by a corporation in the United States automatically enters the public domain after 95 years. Works owned by individual creators enter 70 years after the creator’s death. Already we can see who these laws are meant to favor.

This used to be 75 years and 50 years respectively until 1998 when the Copyright Term Extension Act was passed. This law is sometimes called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act because of the role the Disney corporation played in lobbying for it to keep the earliest Mickey Mouse films from becoming public domain.

The irony of Disney, a company that built itself on film adaptations of public domain fairy tales, lobbying to gut the public domain isn’t lost on me. Don’t let the cute mascots fool you. Disney is the Great Satan.

Copyright on an international scale is even more confusing. For example, as of right now James Bond has been public domain in Canada since 2015 but that will change as of next year, 2020, with a new trade agreement. This will force non-authorized authors who have published books in that time with Bond as a character to take their books out of print.

My own viewpoint is that ideas and concepts are not something that can really be “owned.” This isn’t to say that I support plagiarism, ripping off artists, or the like, but it seems absurd to me that an abstract like a fictional character can be “owned” the same way as a car, a phone, or your extensive dragon dildo collection.

This is why the things I’ve self-published are under “anti-copyright,” which is essentially the same as putting it directly into public domain. This is a somewhat radical view, I admit, so I’ll focus on why the public domain is essential even in the context of a system of copyright laws.

As I pointed out before, most of Disney’s classic films are based on fairy tales and stories that have been in the public domain for decades. They put their own spin on them, but it’s safe to say that Disney became the juggernaut it is on the backs of those stories.

Despite this, they’ve maintained an iron grip on their own copyrights, lobbying to extend the laws and even suing daycare centers for unauthorized murals of Disney characters. I told you they were Satan.

Let’s take an example of a character that’s been in public domain for a while now. Dracula was published in the U.K. 1897. It was published in the U.S. in 1899, however, because Bram Stoker and his publisher didn’t properly register the copyright, it was technically in the public domain in this country since. Though this wasn’t discovered until Universal bought the rights for an adaptation. Dracula went public domain in the rest of the world in 1962.

At least one classic film, Nosferatu, was adapted from the novel without permission and was nearly destroyed because of a lawsuit from Stoker’s estate. Thankfully, copies of it survived, but barring that, think of how many interpretations of Dracula have been created; over 200 films, several books and plays, the Castlevania video games, porn parodies.

Yet, despite all those adaptations, the original novel remains a well-loved classic and has never been out of print. One of Stoker’s descendants has even written an “official” sequel. Here, the public domain allowed many interpretations of a beloved work and has kept the original in the public consciousness.

When the public domain is undermined, it doesn’t incentivize innovation, it incentivizes creating works which are much more limited because there’s only so much one creator or company can do on their own with an intellectual property.

A work which may be loved by the fans will eventually fall out of the public’s consciousness if there’s nothing to supplement it. Fan works may help, but they’re generally only accessible to hardcore fans and the powers that be are apparently working to undermine those as well with things like Article 13 in the European Union, though that’s an issue of fair use rather than public domain.

While I would propose getting rid of copyright altogether, I realize that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. Until it does, I believe it’s important that a robust public domain is maintained. Here are some ways to do that. Make it known to the people in political office that they should oppose trade agreements that undermine it.

In addition, if you’re able to support online services that maintain public domain material like, UbuWeb, and Project Gutenberg with either donations or volunteering, do so. If you’re a creative type, consider putting at least some of your work in the public domain or stipulating your work to enter it sooner than the default 70 years after your death.

All creativity is building on ideas that already exist and putting them in a straight jacket with copyright laws undermines not only the writers, artists, filmmakers, and so forth of the present, but the future ones as well.