Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Death watch: That Russian music download site

Since I started this blog the most common question I get from my readers is "how do I become a death watcher like you?"

It's really quite simple: To be a death watcher all you have to do is identify an appropriately famous person who is old or ailing and be on the look out for articles that suggests his or her ultimate demise.

For example, today I noticed that Fidel Castro -- who has
been in the death watch cross hairs for some time -- did not attend his own 80th birthday party because he is ill.

Now that's textbook death watching, and anyone can do it.

What I should add is, despite its ease, death watching is not for everyone. It is exhilarating at first, but you soon realize your success as a death watcher is dependent on a flip indifference towards human life. It is a realization that sneaks up on you, because why should you have feelings for famous people you don't know at all?

They call that a slippery slope, and soon enough you stop caring about the people around you, and eventually you stop caring about showering or changing your clothes.

That's where I was as of yesterday. Today it is a whole different story as something has entered the death watch cross hairs that has made me feel again.

I have been downloading music from a certain Russian website for a year now. The music costs about a tenth of the price it would cost through American download services such as itunes. While there have always been questions about the Russian service's legality, there is a pretty compelling
argument that it is quite legal when downloading to the United States.

Because of this, the American government has been putting pressure on the Russian government to use their legal system to eliminate this "pirate" website. It appears that the US government, dangling the carrot of World Trade Organization admission, has finally
succeeded and Russia has agreed to take the site down.

And thus begins the most harrowing death watch I've ever been involved in. I frantically emptied my account's balance last night, but the site remains up today. Should I put in more money and get more music at low prices I'll never see again, knowing that money and the site could disappear at any moment?

Usually I would believe there would be months, or even years, of lawyering before the site goes dark. But with President Putin's recent showcase of a new, painful
way to deal with dissent, I could see a scenario where the site's proprietors come to the conclusion it is in their best interest to go down without a fight and allow Russia to enter the WTO.

So I'll be checking constantly, with bated breath, for stories on the demise of this certain Russian music download site. With each new piece of information providing a jolt to my once dormant humanity.

3 comments:

jdmain said...

Do you have any Go! Team. If not, I highly recommend the song Huddle Formation off the Thunder etc. album.

jdmain said...

Also, Pavement reissued a 50 song Wowee Zowee and it's on allofmp3.

JT said...

I do have the Go Team! It looks like allofmp3 will be up until at least the summer.