Where Mickey Mouse is as big as a house (Whoa-oh-oh)

I have less of a reaction about Steamboat Willie coming into the public domain than I thought I would.

Copyright fascinates me though. I remember when I was a teenager writing to the Library of Congress to get their publications–pamphlets really–explaining the process. It was fascinating. It seemed straightforward, and yet also their writing managed to convey the complexities of it all. Learning about those nuances is something I’ve been doing ever since.

And I love the mouse. Here’s two random photos of Mickey interest.

Bruce Sterling’s Speech to the Library Information Technology Association from June 1992, San Francisco is something I reread annually. At the very least.

Can you believe that Melville Dewey once said, “free as air, free as water, free as knowledge?” Free as knowledge? Let’s get real, this is the modern world — air and water no longer come cheap! Hey, you want breathable air, you better pay your air conditioner’s
power-bill, pal. Free as water? Man, if you’ve got sense you buy the bottled variety or pay for an ionic filter on your tap. And free as knowledge? Well, we don’t know what “knowledge” is, but we can get you plenty of data, and as soon as we figure out how to download it straight into student skulls we can put all the teachers into the breadline and the librarians as well.

The presumptions that the world is hard and that commercial interests will fight against things like fair use and freedom of speech and clean air and clean water have been ever-present in my life.

But the fatalism of “and there’s nothing that can be done about it”–that’s pernicious. The ever-present avarice and greed of corporate interests has a corollary implication. We The People must be just as ever present to fight those interests. The people have the power in these power dynamics, I don’t care how many yachts and private security guards and cops you have on your side. There’s more of us than there are of the rich.

I had no idea I’d be writing about politics, but apparently thinking about Disney and Copyright has me thinking about politics. I intended my quote of Bow Wow Wow’s Do You Really Want to Hold Me to somehow be apt but that connection is tenuous.

The Democratic Party is not doing all it can to make the world better.

But the Republican Party has been making things worse and continually restates their goals of making everything much, much, much worse. Clean water, why would we need that?–BE AN AMERICAN! WE LIFT OURSELVES UP BY OUR BOOTSTRAPS! QUIT YOUR WHINING AND GET BACK TO WORK.

To which I say a resounding no. I’m not working for the clampdown.

Listen to some Curtis Mayfield. Move on Up

Just move on up
To a greater day
With just a little faith, if you put your mind to it
You can surely do it

There’s no end to struggle. That’s the name of the game.

Curtis Mayfield became a quadriplegic after an injury and kept recording music. He lived 9 years past that catastrophic injury. He’s worth reading about.

Although he was unable to play the guitar, he continued to compose and sing, which he found he could do by lying down and letting gravity pull down on his chest and lungs.

He wasn’t working working for the clampdown.

Kick over the wall
Cause governments to fall–
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour
Anger can be power
D’you know that you can use it?

I want more anthems. There are so many good ones. And not nihilism. A punk ethos can be constructive and creative.

And that’s all I have to say this morning, I think.


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