Posted: 12/29/2003 2:52:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2003 2:55:08 PM EDT by Airwolf]
2004 Year in Review
Posted by George D. Ziemann in George's Corner on December 29, 2003 at 3:18 PM
by George Ziemann
After thoroughly bashing the predictions of the people in the business of predicting the future, it is only right that I offer my personal vision of what will happen over the next 12 months. The difference is that I won't charge you $500 to read this fiction.
2004 Year in Review
• Cary Sherman is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Liars Club, having narrowly defeated Donald Rumsfield during the club's voting process. "Sure, Rumsfield had a real gem with that 'what we know we don't know and what we don't know we don't know' thing, but that may have been a fluke," said a Liars Club spokesman wearing a "Joe Mama" name badge. "It just doesn't compare to Sherman's unflagging devotion year after year to an indefensible claim in the face of all evidence to the contrary. And he STILL says the RIAA helps the artists! A real pro."
• In a preliminary hearing, Michael Jackson falls apart on the witness stand. Plastic surgeons are called in and the trial resumes the next day.
• The RIAA files its first "John Doe" lawsuit. Unfortunately, the judge tells the RIAA "It's your own damn fault," citing the list of files "John Doe" was purportedly sharing. "There are some classics in here," said the judge. "You just can't buy this stuff in stores any more and the labels aren't offering it commercially at all. Neither are the P2P sites. No harm, no damage." The RIAA promised to appeal. The judge promised to find out who John Doe was so he could download a couple of his tunes.
• RIAA releases its 2003 Year-End Statistics, announcing that, despite another sales decrease, they have shipped out a record number of CDs, many of which may be arriving in stores as early as 2005, with a total combined value of 73 skazillion dollars, based on the suggested retail price for people in Antarctica with weighting provided for descendants of hobbits. In short, 2003 was the best year ever for the recording industry in terms of lingerie sales.
• Another action-packed Grammy awards show, with a total television viewership of 357 households within the Neilsen sample market of customers at a Safeway in Long Island. This translates into a national total of almost 1.3 people who actually paid attention to the broadcast. Competition was fierce, with the awards show up against the new blockbuster shows like "Survivor -- Beverly Hills", "Real World: Ethnically Ambiguous" and the venerable leader, "Big Breasted Women in Underwear."
Among the big Grammy winners...
• Best Album -- The Best of the Best of the Best We Could Scrape Together Without Licensing Hassles -- Various Artists
• Best Song -- "Yo, U (expletive) (expletive)" -- Da (expletive) (expletive)
• After hearing the RIAA's appeal, a Washington, D.C. District Court panel of judges decides that Metallica still sucks, Kazaa rocks and sums up their one-page ruling with, "It's not like there's really a law against it..." The RIAA intends to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which, in turn, immediately responded with a press release advising that "we've been waiting for this one."
In anticipation of the summer blockbuster films, the MPAA announced that it will beef up security in movie theatres by installing cameras in the back of each theatre seat, enabling them to film each and every customer watching the movie. Claimed to be an anti-piracy measure, the announcement is greeted with a backlash from movie-goers, who somehow seem offended that someone will be watching their every move. The Dept. of Justice supports the move, proclaiming it as a "major step toward eliminating foreign terrorism." In response, the Dept. of Homeland Security downgrades the national threat status to "Toxic Waste Green".
Meanwhile... BMG releases its new copy-protection technology, banning the sale to college students with technical degrees, "especially those assholes at Princeton." Despite the highly touted to DRM scheme, a kindergarten student in Lawrence, Kansas accidentally leaves the Caps Lock key down on his keyboard and discovers how to bypass the new technology.
After breaking an ankle stomping his foot, a BMG executive decided not to file DMCA charges to recover the "willful and intentional damages" caused by the student's "unethical behavior" in causing a copy-protected CD to actually play.
In the largest arrest of its kind, police seize a counterfeit CD manufacturing plant in Seacaucus, NJ, where two CD burners and a jewel case of 100 blank CD-Rs were recovered. The RIAA estimated the apprehension of the two teenage sisters who were arrested has saved the industry approximately a billion a year in counterfiet goods. "These were 32X burners," said Cary Sherman. "And there is a WalMart right down the street. They could be downloading legal music for $1 each or burn their own songs for about a penny. They chose the low road, irreparably damaged the career of the girl who sings the "Kim Possible" theme song and now they have to pay the price."
The Supreme Court delivers a stunning blow to the recording industry, deciding in an 8 to 1 decision that the RIAA was "misguided, anti-competitive and not terribly bright" if they intended to litigate non-commercial use by consumers. "How many times do we have to tell you that you just can't do that? Piano rolls, radio, tape recorders, television, cassettes, VCRs... every time someone rolls out a new technology. And every time, we have to tell you 'no.'"
Daniel Souder wrote the lone dissenting opinion, stating that, "I really wanted to let them have a trial so that when it came to us we could award a huge sum of money to the defendant."
The latest music craze sweeps the nation as radios everywhere are replaced by small chips embedded in consumers' brains. The "Chip Generation" is identified by the small scar in the center of their forehead in the shape of a smiley face. The free implants are being sponsored by Clear Channel, which has adopted the new marketing gimmick, catapaulted by the catch-phrase, "You Weren't Using It Anyway." When consumers begin to complain about repetition and quality, CC responds with a new campaign, "What Do You Want For Free?"
The year's biggest new hit dominates the album charts, a collection of multi-platinum artists covering the Hansen song, "Mmm Bop". Industry spokesperson, Sella Downarode, called the CD the "fastest-mover of the year" noting that the song had already been downloaded 17 times on the iTunes music service, after shipping more than 500 copies to retailers. "And that's just the first month," Downarode said, portraying the current industry optimism.
Retail suffers a blow when Homeland Security issues a "Whorehouse Red Alert" and demands all retail packing must be changed to contain radioactive pellets emitting a trail which can be tracked by sophisticated electronic gear the CIA discovered at Radio Shack last week.
Despite this bad news, retailers plunge ahead, announcing the beginning of the Christmas season on October 2. Duct tape sales surge.
Incumbent President George W. Bush loses the election in a surprise finish, with SpongeBob SquarePants capturing the Florida and California electoral votes. Although exit polls had determined that the voters had apparently elected Joe Walsh (with Dave Barry making a strong showing in the Miami area), Diebold stands by the accuracy of their e-voting system, which showed that 127 percent of the population in both states had cast ballots in 2004.
Months after suffering their Supreme Court decision, the RIAA decides to officially change its name to reflect its new status, becoming the RFB (Rich Foreign Bastards). List prices for CDs drop again, with list prices starting at $49.99.
Bring back Ryoko - your everchanging avatars confuse me [:D]
We just finished watching Bebop over 3 straight nights so I'm on an Ein kick right now [:D]
What about the civil war that starts in 2004???
Gee...and I thought it was going to be interesting. Great subject matter...poor execution. So much potential...so little substance.
WTFCs about the recording industry, the RIAA, burning CDs, Grammys, cheesy, shitty Hollyweird "artists", and pirated music?
Maybe I'm so old, I just can't grasp the important points in life any more.