Until Thursday this was the face of evil.Outside of some cackling lawyers who belong to at least three secret societies few would claim that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is anything but an evil cabal bent on wringing music for every cent its worth. A lot of people use the unadulterated malice for the populace with which the RIAA operates as a convenient excuse to pirate ridiculous amounts of music. They would anyway, but they like to say they do it because the recording industry is so corrupt outside of the pure altruism of the artists; all the while they're busy screwing both the evil corporations and their beloved artists out of cash. I know, I do it too on occasion.
The reason I'm bringing all this up is that the evil queen of the RIAA, Hilary Rosen, announced Thursday that she would be stepping down. Apparently all of the artists and consumers she had helped systematically rook over the past five years had caused some sort of blockage in her diabolical endocrine system. Deprived of her glandular malevolence she had no choice but to resign and leave the RIAA in the capable hands of someone more prone to hurting animals and murdering children. That's my theory anyway, according to the press release she wants to spend more time with her family.
Hilary Rosen, chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America, will step down from her post by the end of this year, the organization says.
Rosen is leaving to spend more time with her family, the RIAA said in a statement. She became CEO in 1998 and has spent 17 years overall with the RIAA, the recording industry's lobbying group.
Naturally the RIAA will be on the look out for a new CEO and we, being dedicated sleuths, have uncovered the short list of candidates that will have a shot at filling her shoes. With this information and a little help from our fictitious super computer that I am going to refer to as Baron Circuit Von Data, we have calculated the platforms and reigns of the various successors of Rosen. The good Baron Von Data has also projected their reasons for leaving the position with an accuracy that I am going to arbitrarily say is 100%. Okay, I'll be believable, 99.6%.
The Future of the RIAA Leadership
A Grizzly Bear and Two Mountain LionsUnnamed Bear has a number of issues to address, many of which do not coincide with the normal RIAA concerns.Period of Control: 2003-2004
Profile: Immediately following Rosen's resignation an unidentified wild grizzly bear will ascend to its rightful place at the helm of the RIAA. In short order the bear will prove to be tough on honey containing items, piles of trash, and human skulls, but be exceedingly easy on music piracy. To bolster his position two wild mountain lions will be brought in as assistants to mercilessly pursue piracy while unnamed bear concentrates on lobbying for stricter legislation by chewing on parts of a table in his office and rubbing up against a structural column because his back itches.
Policies Enacted: During his term as the CEO of the RIAA, unnamed bear will prove to be one of the least prolific of the CEOs in terms of policy changes. However, with the help of his imaginary anthropomorphic polar bear attorney J.J. Icecap, several changes will be made.Bees are no longer allowed to have stingers.End of Tenure: Unnamed bear's role as the CEO of the RIAA will come to a dramatic end in early 2004. While speaking at a press conference bear will mistake a microphone for a slab of human flesh and begin chewing on it, causing a short circuit and electrocuting himself. The force of the shock will not kill him, instead sending him on a berserker rampage through the auditorium where he was speaking. After brutally mauling some eight onlookers including overrated musician DJ Shadow, unnamed bear will see his reflection in a pane of glass, attempt to attack it, and fall through the glass to his death in the parking lot. Only two days later both wild mountain lions will be shot dead by a game warden when they are mistaken for other, non-executive, mountain lions.
CD Burners outlawed to prevent forest fires.
Cat give meat back.
All interns at the RIAA are required to cover themselves in blood or have a body surface area that is at least 35% exposed fat and muscle.
Humans shouldn't run fast or hide in small ducts.
ED-209The RIAA were nearly bid-sniped by "~~~0Delt4C1ty0~~~".Period of Control: 2004-2004
Profile: After watching Robocop on TNN late night, RIAA executive Donald Wiesenthal will mistake the movie for a documentary and believe ED-209 to be an actual functioning kill-droid. Two days later Wiesenthal will give a presentation to the RIAA's board of directors in which he suggests the robot as a replacement for the recently deceased unnamed bear and meet with complete approval. He will be given authorization to purchase an ED-209 unit from Omni Consumer Products and, against all laws of rational universe, will find a working version of the robot available on auction web site ebay. The seller named [OCP]dIcKjOnEs187[OCP] will have 243 positive comments and an outstanding seller rating and after the transaction Wiesenthal will comment that he is a "A+++++++++++++++++++++++ seller! Great service!" and will add "Would buy from again!!"
Policies Enacted: Despite the limited amount of time ED-209 will spend in office the robot will manage to get a single policy enacted through the sheer force of its charismatic leadership. This all-encompassing policy essentially forbids any and all activity by humans within sensor range of ED-209. If someone is spotted by ED-209 the robot will approach them and demand that they desist doing whatever it is they happen to be doing in under twenty seconds. It will then begin counting down from 20 to one, at which point it will open fire with its arm-mounted 30mm cannons. While this could potentially have been effective at stemming the tide of music piracy, ED-209 will never actually leave the RIAA home office.
End of Tenure: During its first day in office ED-209's rampage through the RIAA offices will butcher some 106 employees and interns and wound another 200. While these statistics would be impressive if applied to the war against music piracy, the deaths of so many non-pirates will actually be considered by several people as a tragedy. Ten minutes into hour three of its rampage ED-209 will inadvertently hit a break room containing a gas oven with a spare round of depleted uranium ammunition. The ensuing fire and gas main explosion will cause the sprinkler system to trigger and short-circuit the improperly all-weather sealed droid. With a sizzle and pop ED-209's brief reign as the CEO of the RIAA will come to a close.
Active Volcano Mount MugatugaNot even this lego incarnation of Indiana Jones could prepare us for the terror of Mount Mugatuga!Period of Control: 2004-2007
Profile: One of the most active volcanoes in the Western Hemisphere, Mount Mugatuga will be the next logical choice to head the RIAA following the ED-209 debacle. Located in Peru, far away from their headquarters, he poses little risk to the RIAA and could threaten music pirates with annihilation at the hands of his choking clouds of noxious gas and rivers of searing magma. In 2004 alone he will smother an entire village of pirates with a mile high fountain of earth and hot steam. Later that same day he will deforest an area ten thousand yards in every direction with massive floes of lava in his tireless search for those who would rob the industry of revenue. Even though he will only find a single family living in a shack inside his shadow no effort will be spared in obliterating them entirely.
Policies Enacted: Through the legal arm of Mount Mugatuga, a Byzantine organization called "The Cult of the Fire God", a large number of policies will be created to stem the tide of music piracy throughout the United States. Behind each of these policies will lurk the threat of legal action and the threat that Mugatuga might erupt furiously and consume those who would defy his edicts.The "Trial by Fire" will be created to test the innocence of accused music pirates. It consists of submerging them in lava until they admit to pirating music or somehow accidentally perish. If they do admit to pirating music they will be submerged in lava until they perish.End of Tenure: While both popular and successful as a CEO, Mugatuga will be forced to retire in 2007 when a government seismic survey declares him to be inactive for the foreseeable future. His threats rendered impotent by the declaration, Mugatuga will sink into obscurity until he is little more than a really big rock covered with trees and houses.
In a class action lawsuit that will be held in the Smoke Hut of The Cult of Fire, EMI and Sony Music Group will successfully sue 1250 defendants. The medicine chief will rule that each of the defendant's first born should be hurled into the mouth of Mugatuga to appease the God of Fire.
The three villages nearest to Mugatuga will be declared the mortal enemy of the spirit of the volcano and burned down by Peruvian troops to prevent incurring his wrath.
Water is illegal in a two-hundred mile radius around Mugatuga and two rivers shall be diverted and an entire lake filled in with dirt. This will be done because water is believed to lead to music piracy.
CD burners are to be considered false prophets and replaced with a new version of CD burners that are made entirely from magma.
Lee Allen Barry
Period of Control: 2007-2008
Profile: Intent on having a human CEO for the first time in almost half a decade, the RIAA will turn to the recently institutionalized Lee Allen Barry. Considered to be one of the most dangerous men in human history, Barry will be arrested in 2006 for a string of murders that involved farm equipment and cannibalism. In addition to being extremely evil, Barry will also be extremely fucking crazy, making him a perfect choice for the position. During his inaugural press conference he will leap over the podium and attempt to find the prizes hidden inside the skull of a reporter, only to give up and insist on systematically defecating onto every chair in the conference room.
Policies Enacted: Barry will be called "The Tyrant" by many who know him only through his numerous and often completely irrational polices while those who do know him personally call him "The Face Eater" or "Los Staberos". Insisting on writing all of his own rulings, Barry's haste to enact any policy that pops into his mind will ultimately lead to his downfall.CDs will be developed that will delete tracks as they cue up in your player, preventing you from even starting to pirate the songs. Once the whole CD is finished deleting the player will catch fire so that it cannot be used to pirate music.End of Tenure: Lee Allen Barry's term as the CEO of RIAA will be one of the most successful in recent years in terms of number of policies made law through heavy lobbying of the legislative and judicial branches. Unfortunately, these policies will lead to mass chaos throughout the United States and will earn him the enmity of the entire RIAA board of directors. While he wreaks havoc throughout the country they will plot to undo him, ultimately taking steps to create his successor who will murder Barry in the autumn of 2008.
Listening to music will be considered a form of music piracy and after hearing a song you will be required by law to undergo shock treatment or trepanation to remove the memories related to any copyrighted music.
A pile of tractor tires will be erected in the parking lot of every CD store to prevent software piracy. When Barry is asked to explain how the tires would achieve this he will draw a picture of scorpions emerging from a jar of mayonnaise and attempt to attach the illustration to an intern with a ten-gauge shotgun.
All playground slides will be legally allowed for uphill traffic only unless the playground is under attack by Shiite Muslims.
It will be made illegal to comment about hot weather by saying "it's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk". If someone is caught saying this they will be fined ten dollars and forced to fry an egg on the sidewalk under penalty of tickling.
Tickling will be made a crime punishable by death through elephant stampede.
Elephants will be hunted to extinction by robotic helicopters and replaced with four gorillas tied together and placed inside an elephant costume.
It will be legal to marry your own cousin if he or she is at least 50% concrete.
Murdering someone by sawing them in half and replacing half of their body with a slab of concrete will not only be legal, it will be considered heroic and the president will give you a Congressional Medal of Honor.
Knit caps and mesh-backed hats will finally be given the right to vote.
Hospitals will be replaced by law with large warehouses containing crates that break when hit once with anything. Inside the crates will be a package of oregano, a bottle of Gatorade, or a white box with a red cross on it. Doctors will advise you to walk over the top of these items to absorb them into your blood stream to heal injuries.
Recortor: Emperor of the RIAAHe's the evil E-Z Bake cupcake of sinister CEOs!Period of Control: 2008-????
Profile: When the board of directors at the RIAA realizes that Barry is out of control they will set into motion a plan to remove him from office and provide a replacement in the form of Recortor. Cloned from the genes of five of the greatest villains of human history he will embody the worst aspects of mankind and be the perfect RIAA CEO. From Transylvania RIAA operatives will attempt to recover the remains of Dracula and pour them into the clone-o-matic. Unable to locate the skeleton of a fictional character, they will fill a bag with sand and pour that into the clone-o-matic instead. Getting access to the few surviving bones of Adolph Hitler will prove almost as difficult for the RIAA, so they will settle instead for DNA taken from a man with moustache who died in a car accident in Virginia in 1978. Fred Durst, killed in a tragic grease fire will working in a Popeye's Fried Chicken in 2005, will have his corpse scraped from his casket and used to provide another component in the deadly recipe for Recortor. Insisting that all Mongols look alike, the team tasked with recovering Genghis Kahn's remains will instead shoot and kill a twelve year old with cerebral palsy and feed his head into the clone-o-tron. Finally, the greatest evil of all time will be added to the clone-o-tron to create Recortor. Serial rapist, cannibal, presidential assassin, and inventor of HIV Walt Disney will provide the final piece to the puzzle of evil. With the cloning process completed, Recortor will rise from the clone-o-tron and murder Barry to assume his place as the CEO of the RIAA.
Policies Enacted: My ability to make stuff up about things yet to come does not extend far enough into the future to see the end of Recortor's reign over the RIAA. For decades he will hold the title of CEO and Emperor, lording over his underlings and intimidating the entire world with terror squads. Much like any good dictator, Recortor will create hundreds of ridiculous rules and laws that must be obeyed, giving him a record that tops even Lee Allen Barry. We won't cover every single one of these policies, choosing instead to focus on a selection of "greatest hits".Following the principle of "fight fire with fire" the corpses and skeletons of pirates will be reanimated through dark sorcery to hunt down and kill music pirates.End of Tenure: It is not known when, or even if, Recortor will be replaced as the CEO of the RIAA.
New encoding methods on CDs will prevent copying of tracks and, if copying is attempted, will actually cause thousands of locusts to issue forth from your CD drive.
Copying song lyrics and posting them on the Internet will become so illegal that even thinking about the act of doing this may cause you to burst into flames.
The gates of hell will crack open and demons will rise from the abyss to terrorize mortal men. This won't have anything to do with music piracy but it will look really cool with lightning and shit like that flying around.
A plague will strike down all those who dare to tape songs from the radio. And women. It will also kill all the women.
All copyrights on recorded music will be extended "until the sun dies and the universe is swallowed by the crawling chaos".
I hope you enjoyed this little look at the future leadership of the sinister organization that stands up for the rights of massive corporations that milk artists like cattle at a dairy farm. Things may seem a little unstable for the RIAA for the time being, but I see predominantly good things for them and I think we could look forward to brighter days with much less copyright infringing and a lot more arbitrary brutal punishment. Thank you RIAA for teaching us to save ourselves from ourselves!
AROOGA! AROOGA! Phriday!
Mad props, yo. Josh "Lipstick" Boruff here to let you know there is a new shipment of Photoshop Phriday in stock. You can, like, look at it. This week's topic is none other than abortion and the growing poverty gap. Seriously!
I kid, the real topic is "tech toys from hell" and features the latest high tech gadgets designed to keep you from living a normal human life.
This is your typical consumer model throne. If you just want a cheap prop, it's fine. If you want to actually sit like a king, pony up the cash and get yourself a prosumer model. This entry level stuff is more for a duke or baron at best.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.