Opinions, Etc 03.04.04


Okay, is it any coincidence that WWE announced Pete Rose was being inducted into its Hall of Fame the same day that Marge Schott died? I don’t think so. You can pretty much put the former in there as “cause” and the latter as “effect”. Only one warped megalomaniac can have ownership over Rose at a time, so Marge bowed out of the scene once she knew that Vince had her boy under wing.

And that’s it regarding wrestling or anything wrestling-related, I promise. I am trying to keep that firewall going between the two columns, you know. It’s getting easier with time. I just have to think football today…you know, be joyous that Fucking Kordell is gone, but miss Philip Daniels, welcome Thomas Jones and say bye to A-Train, that type of thing. It’s supposed to delay orgasm too.

Now, on to the content-free section of this missive…


Happy First Anniversary to 411mania. It was a year ago today that we relaunched the site as a general entertainment site rather than just focusing on wrestling as we had been. We’ve seen a lot of changes in personnel and columns over the last year, but that’s normal for any website. Instead, a very, very large and loyal core group of creators have stuck around to create a unified reading experience that has proven itself with an equally large and loyal audience. We’re a fixture in the Alexa 10000, we have six-figure audiences every day…it’s been great.

It was weird for me to witness the transition. I was doing my couple of months of “penal service” in Iowa at the time things were being finalized, and I came back to the site the week after Mania had been launched. Talk about awkward. What happened to this little wrestling site I wrote for? What have you done, Widshish? Well, it took a bit of getting used to, but, damn, once the dust had settled, it was a beautiful thing to see. And it’s just become more and more beautiful as time has gone by. The creation of Black was a risk, but one worth taking. It may not be a smash hit, but it’s got legs, and it’ll also take time to settle and become an organic part of 411 in time.

Just to cite one example, the guys in Games have really become a family, even more so than us in Wrestling. These guys sound like they’re personally tight in their columns, and, let me assure you, they’re not lying; they really are a family. I’m sort of an adopted cousin to them (and have contributed a few things here and there, but we won’t talk about that due to what happened the last time I did so), and they make me feel part of everything. Yeah, Pankonin and I live in the same area code and we’ve never spoken to each other, but, hell, Fernandez and I lived in the same city for the longest time and we’ve never spoken either. That doesn’t mean there isn’t feeling there to be had.

It’s pretty well known that we writers have a private forum that we go to to discuss the site, and that’s really become the place where this unity has developed. We can talk about column ideas and things to improve the site, and everyone gets a voice and a listen. A lot of good ideas for material have come out of there, and there’s more to come (Coogan wants to do a sort of thing like espn.com does with its Writers Bloc regarding sports, which has been given relatively short shrift on the site, and we’re starting that up as I write this). We cross zones at will in there and provide different perspectives or give thoughts and ideas to people to enhance their own work. For instance, I told Lucard about a very old, not-very-well-known computer RPG that I thought he’d enjoy giving a run and where to download it. This development of “family” has helped all of us to broaden our perspectives and, well, let you guys in on a little of it. The readers are part of this family, and we never forget that fact. Of course, I hate most of my family like I do most of my readers, so it’s natural for me.

We were going to do a sort of celebration on the anniversary of Mania, but Ashish talked us out of it, telling us that the site as a whole should be honored by celebrating its seventh anniversary in August. I can understand that, but I really don’t give a f*ck about what happened the first four and a half years, if you know what I mean. Mania’s existence falls within my lifetime, so to speak, and I have no problem giving it a celebratory pimp here. So, to Wids, Ashish, Watters (who’s been a HUGE part of our success controlling that smelly madhouse in the Forums), Pank, PK, Biscuiti (Matt Isomer), the rest of the zone editors, and all of the writers, raise your glasses high and let’s toast our successes. Sto lat.


Baxley also remembered about the anniversary, which was sweet of him. But I do have a question to ask: If Johnny R over at EA thinks the N-Gage is a piece of shit, isn’t it time to start rethinking our congruent position on said piece of kit? If he doesn’t like it, there must be something good in it. And the reason I didn’t do a formal pimp last week is that I submitted early for a change to get the f*cker out of the way, and yours wasn’t up yet. Hopefully the Pimp God Slot this week makes up for that.

I’ll just throw out a general pimp to the whole Plays With Dolls Zone because I think PK’s doing a magnificent job over there along with his socially-retarded staff.

Poffel is back, and I actually did miss him.

Haley always gets a pimp regardless, because he took on the job of following me up with gusto and has come through with flying colors. A great read every week. When he shows up. However, I also must bring these particular quotes up:

…whether consciously, subconsciously, or through Pat Patterson’s advice, Dupree has latched on to the perfect template for him to become successful as both a tag and singles star. Every move he made in the Van Dam match reminded me of Rick Martel. And in case you’re wondering, that’s a good thing. – me, June 10th, 2003.

I said about a month or so ago that Dupree is well on his way to becoming Rick Martel (a good thing in my mind, in case you were wondering). – me, August 5th, 2003.

Dupree deserves a singles shot, or at least a shot to work on the Rick Martel mannerisms. – me, September 23rd, 2003.

That’s just the public stuff. I’ve mentioned in a number of mails how WWE should consider hiring Martel to manage La Res if Regal can’t do it. SO WHY THE HELL ARE YOU GIVING SOME GIMP NAMED “MANNY” CREDIT FOR SAYING STUFF ABOUT DUPREE AND MARTEL WHEN I’VE BEEN SAYING THE SAME FUCKING THING SINCE JUNE?! Jesus, Haley, you do have a blind spot for the Little Things if they’re coming from a fellow staffer.

I have one thing to say to Erhardt: when Morse becomes a bigwig over at DC, that bitch had better hire me. I’ve had some things floating around my head for over twenty years on what I’d do with the Legion (been an LSH mark since Bates/Cockrum days)…

Helm doesn’t realize that Comic Book Guy references are not only passe, but absolutely moronic to anyone with an IQ above room temperature. In Celsius. And Eric Carmen’s biggest sin wasn’t anything involving his solo recording career; it was the fact that two of his songs became Shaun Cassidy’s biggest hits.

I’ll ditto Gamble in re the Nike “alternate sports” commercial. If there is justice in this here land, someone, somewhere will send me an Avs 54 Urlacher jersey. Christ knows that Nike’s already selling it. You know, Ron, Nike doesn’t only sell shoes, they also sell apparel, and all of the people in the commercial were, like, clothed. Even Serena. Damn.

For an offsite pimp, head over to Reality News Online, where BFM is doing yet another sports-entertainment-related set of recaps, this time on Dream Job. He’s always a great read, and so is the whole site.

Enterprise gets a general pimp here for a really well-done end-of-original-episode-bloc cliffhanger (the next original episode will be broadcast on April 21st). Its only drawback was the fact that Berman and Braga wrote the script, so their contempt for the regular characters and the audience gets to shine. Archer is more of an asshole than ever (including cold-blooded murder), T’Pol almost has a nervous breakdown…I can live with it if the results are quality. Of course, this episode has one big lie that shows it’s an alternate timeline: the way they go through Enterprises these days, claiming that Enterprises F, G, H, and I will last a total of three hundred years seems a little unrealistic.


The last true challenger has fallen, as John Edwards dropped out after the unmistakable results of Super Tuesday, and I look like a friggin’ prophet by saying a year and a half ago that Kerry was my guy. You don’t know how much heat I took for sticking to Kerry when he was down in the mid-single-figures and Dean was looking like a winner. But I knew, oh, I knew, that he’d come back. You should listen to me more often, you know. I do know what I’m talking about.

And that ends another primary season, unfortunately. Before the Iowa Caucuses, I was prepared to hunker down for a long slog, thinking that, at that point, with Dean riding his horse for everything it was worth and Edwards starting to come up, that Super Tuesday might not be enough to solve the problem. I was actually, in a way, hoping for a deadlocked primary season so that we could have our first Convention Fight in the space of my lifetime. But that wasn’t to be. Kerry shocked everyone by doing better in Iowa than expected, and then taking New Hampshire in what was a big surprise at the time. At that point, I knew that Super Tuesday was a formality. Even the hardest-core Dean partisans who wrote me, previously bitching me out for not supporting their man and not being “progressive”, were treating Kerry’s nomination as a given. It was a nice one-month spasm of hardcore politics, I must admit, but now it’s achieved its premature ejaculation, and all I get to talk about is the election and the choice of VP. Too bad. I’m going to miss the weekly political spiel, but it makes the convention coverage that I’ll be doing and the screeds coming up to Election Day seem more pertinent and immediate.

The results of Super Tuesday only left me with one qualm about Kerry’s strengths: the results from Georgia. Kerry, like a lot of New England politicians, doesn’t play well in the Deep South, especially with another candidate who can be regarded as Southern on the ballot (technically, this might include Dubbaya despite everything). He’s going to need some help down there in order to make inroads. It’s making me think about Bob Graham for VP more and more. There are very few high-profile Southern Democrats who would fit the bill as being both a positive for Kerry and a good fit for the ticket. Graham is both, and I think he’d take the job. I’d reserve Edwards as a trump card. He’s young enough that he can be hauled out for 2008 if something should go wrong (anything to avoid the spectre of Hitlary). This was a dry run for him, like the Senile Old Fuck in 1976. He’s shown that he can get support and be an asset to the party.

All in all, now that the preliminaries are ended, it’s looking good for the Good Guys. On to the convention, then on to November.


I didn’t bother watching the show, choosing instead to concentrate on finishing the original of Dungeon Siege before moving on to the expansion pack and user-created materials available for download, so, in general, I’m taking away one thing from the Academy Awards: eleven for eleven? Yeah, Return of the King was great, but this level of great? I dunno. If there had been acting nominations involved, maybe I’d be a little more firm on its place in history. But I have this feeling as history looks back, we’re going to see more and more comparisons to Ben-Hur as a movie unfit for this many accolades. Considering the epic nature and mass battle sequences of both, it’s a valid comparison to make. At least it won’t have to suffer over having a very inappropriate Best Actor winner as a millstone like that film does.

But let’s talk about me. I regard my predictions as a good 3 for 6 (unlike three years ago, where I had a bad 3 for 6), especially since I made them the day after the nominations were announced, before any kind of momentum could be discerned. In two of the categories I missed, I at least went public with my backup picks, who both won, so I give myself half a point…actually, I shouldn’t, because those categories were down to two picks when the nominations were announced. However, I did say that if Keaton didn’t win Actress, Theron would, and I made a good case for Penn before putting my chips down on Murray for Actor, so I’ll pat myself mildly on the back anyway.

Now, the pick I totally blew was Supporting Actor, and here’s why. I f*cking hate Susan Sarandon with a passion. I’ve only liked one movie she’s ever done, and, let’s face it, there are a lot better reasons to love Rocky Horror than her. She’s also a major political liability with her opening her big f*cking yap every single chance she gets, and totally destroying the credibility for the sinistral side of any argument. This hatred extends to her boy-toy as well (and his one movie that I love is Bob Roberts). This creates a gigantic blind spot whenever Tim Robbins gets in the vicinity. I dismissed him out of hand due to this. I did know that the Academy was going to do a Career Achievement thing with Supporting Actor, though; I just had the wrong Hollywood veteran in that slot for the honor. I did state, though, that Supporting Actor was the hardest big award to handicap. With all of the nominees as viable candidates, missing that one is no sin.

Congratuations to the winners. Yeah, even Finding Nemo, which I still don’t like.


And speaking of the company that distributed said film…

The real big entertainment story of the week wasn’t the handing out of little gold statues. It was the story in Philadelphia, of all places, where Disney shareholders were having their annual meeting. For those of you who have been under a rock the last few months, Andre the Giant has been under siege from every single direction. First there was the defection of Roy Disney in November as a protest against the closure of some of the company’s traditional animation studios and the general decrepitude of the theme parks (along with Eisner’s piss-poor performance in opening brand extension theme parks). Then there was Steve Jobs and Pixar telling Disney “we’ve got two films left to go on our contract, but after that, we’re out, assholes”. Then there was the truly evil Comcast attempting a hostile takeover and getting rebuffed, but buying enough shares to stay under the five percent SEC filing limit yet still have some sway over any general shareholder revolt (hell, they even own more shares than Fleabag). It all came to a head Wednesday. And in order to cover this, I delayed finishing and submitting, because this is a big story that’s directly in my area of attention.

Flea, being the good financier that he is, decided that he’d use his shareholder power to cast a vote for Eisner. He believes that Roy and Comcast have cut some kind of deal, and that Roy’s the front man for the asshole cable monolith. I don’t think it goes that far. It’s more like the US and the Soviet Union in World War II with Comcast playing the role of Stalin; there’s a common enemy but no common ground. ‘Bag makes the claim that all Comcast wants out of Disney is the broadcast properties, and they’d abandon the core Disney business to Roy and his people. I can see that, if I take the view that Comcast wants desperately to be Time-Warner. Getting a broadcast network and a number of cable channels would bring them a long way toward that goal (they’re already f*cking over their Internet customers more than AOL ever has). But the counter-argument I can see is the fact that they’d be buying Disney. That name is magic. That name will do things to a hardened corporate brain, turning it into mush. It’s one of the most respected and most well-known brands in the world. The Mickey silhouette is a better-known corporate symbol than the Nike swoosh or the Coke logo. Any corporation would sell their souls to get hooked up with that level of public attention. So, in the back of my mind, I think that Comcast is in this for the whole schmeer, which would definitely be against Roy’s stated goals. This is simply a marriage of convenience, the same direction needed to be taken to reach different end. Roy will take any ally he can get at this point, and, like Churchill, he’d even cut a deal with the devil, which Comcast certainly resembles.

Comcast wasn’t the only big shareholder of Disney to express qualms about Andre’s leadership. Within the past week, both CalPERS and the comptroller of New York State (no, not Noo Yawk; that only refers to the city and environs) have publicly displayed a lack of confidence in the Eisner regime. They control two of the biggest state pension funds in the country, and are heavy-duty voices that other institutional investors listen to (thus enabling the head of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System to join in on the fun). That helped to galvanize the opposition.

And the opposition was indeed real. Marcelo Prince of Dow Jones pointed that out:

On the eve of Disney’s annual shareholder meeting, several hundred people gathered Tuesday at a rally organized by two dissident former directors to voice their concerns about the venerable entertainment giant and call for the ouster of its longtime leader, Michael Eisner. Hundreds more were turned away, unable to enter the crowded hotel conference room.

The crowd gave a standing ovation to Roy Disney, nephew of the company’s co-founder*, when he took the stage. Flanked by two banners proclaiming “Restore the Magic,” the former Disney director rallied the crowd and repeated his calls for Eisner’s dismissal.

At one point, he compared Eisner’s departure to the death of the Wicked Witch in the “Wizard of Oz” movie. Later, Roy Disney jokingly added, “if we had enough rifles we’d have this thing over with.”

* – and son of the other co-founder, but, hell, pimping Walt is better from a public standpoint, since the senior Roy wasn’t very well known. It was kind of like the Warners. Jack was the public face of the company while Harry did all of the grunt work.

In the meantime, the immediate future doesn’t look too good. The company will have a Pixar offering later this year(The Impossibles), but they have to get through next month’s impending bombing of Home On The Range. This one is, for lack of a better simile, Chicken Run with cows, a distinct lack of wit, and shoddy animation to boot. When ‘Bag and I were talking over the weekend, up popped a pimp for this one on Disney Channel, which I just happened to have switched to at the time, and when I told him about the one minute of torture that I was witnessing, I could hear the low moans emitted from the direction of a certain resort on the Eastern seaboard. I almost sold him on an anti-Eisner position with that alone. I didn’t succeed, but this one’s going to make Brother Bear look like The Lion King. Someone has to take the fall for it, and an ex-CEO who decimated the only internal animation division that was turning out winners is a good scapegoat.

So, what happened?

Forty-three percent against. Not enough to unseat him, but it sure as hell puts the whole thing into a new state of confusing limbo. It’s obvious he no longer has the confidence of the shareholders, and it’s simply likely to get worse. The Disney board could have done a duck-and-cover in an easy fashion by making Eisner simply the CEO and having George “I Brought Peace To Northern Ireland, So How Much Worse Can Disney Be?” Mitchell become chairman. But then Mitchell became not-an-option by getting a quarter of the shareholders to say no to him too. The guy running CalPERS has said straight out now that Eisner must go, and go now.

There’s only one solution left: make Flea Chairman and CEO, then he hires me as President. I reopen the animation studios that were closed, bring back Roy, cut a new deal with Jobs (I have a good chance at being immune to the Reality Distortion Field), and ‘Bag and I have a meeting with the boys from Comcast where we end up waving our dicks at them. At the very least, it’d be fun. And fun is what Disney’s supposed to be about.


From the AP Wire:

A woman charged with causing a fatal car crash in 1999 says that she couldn’t have been behind the wheel because she was performing a sex act on the driver at the time.

Someone’s read or seen The World According To Garp. I wonder if anyone in the press is going to remember and label this the “Garp Defense”. You know, like the “Chewbacca Defense”, but with an open question: does she spit or swallow?

Heather Specyalski, 33, was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the crash that killed businessman Neil Esposito. Prosecutors allege that she was driving Esposito’s Mercedes-Benz convertible when it veered off the road and hit several trees. But Specyalski claims that Esposito was driving, and she was performing oral sex on him at the time, said her attorney, Jeremiah Donovan. He noted that Esposito’s pants were down when he was thrown from the car.

Presumably the smoking gun in this case wasn’t available. If my car hit several trees and I was thrown from the car, I imagine that I’d lose my erection pretty quickly.

Naturally, the prosecution scoffed at this. Let’s hear what the Assistant DA had to say:

Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen Platt said the defense is flawed.

“His pants could have been down because he was mooning a car he was drag racing,” Platt said. “His pants could have been down because he was urinating out of a window. His pants could have been down because he wasn’t feeling well.”

Oh, yeah, this is definitely a woman talking. There are certain things that guys either know instinctively or are taught at a very young age that contradict every single part of her allegation, almost as ingrained in us as “You do not talk about Fight Club”. These reasons wouldn’t have been brought up by a male Assistant DA, especially with a male judge like this case has.

1) You do not moon someone during a drag race unless you are behind a piece of glass. The other driver is very close, and he will attempt to shove something up the presented opening if given the opportunity.

2) You do not take a piss out of the front seat of an open convertible, because you will wreck the upholstery in the back seat. This means big cleaning bills, especially for a Mercedes. You don’t need to be an expert in fluid dynamics to figure this one out.

3) Presumably, “not feeling well” is a euphemism for some kind of gastric distress that would behoove you to keep your pants in the down and locked position. No matter how well you’re feeling, if you’re even getting the urge to have to take a shit in a Mercedes, you stop the f*cking car and head to a convenient bush. You do not stick your ass out of the window, let yourself go, and take the risk of even bigger cleaning bills for your German luxury scoot, and ones that would be very embarassing to explain to your detailer (not to mention that due to the semi-solid nature of the matter in question, a car wash is a definite must afterward, especially if you have gossipy neighbors). Also, guys don’t take their pants down when they’re not feeling well. They lay back and bitch and moan about it.

4) Blowjob? Who cares if I’m driving? Sure! I think that P.J. O’Rourke covered this issue very well over thirty years ago, and men haven’t changed.

Rich guy, hot chick in convertible, a nice night, she offers a hummer despite the ironic discrepancy in corporate ownership. Yeah, I see it. I also see him losing it during the activity in question and crashing into a bunch of trees. Guys do things during sex that Og the Caveman would look at and go, “Man, that’s crude”. Keeping control of a moving vehicle is something that requires mental precision at the best of times. It’s not something you perform under conditions when you have to allow your R-complex to take charge of your brain. I’m buying this completely.

Fortunately, the judge in this case, as said above, is a man, and he understands better. He’s allowing this to be a defense. Good for you, Your Honor. You’re upholding the Sacred Male Code passed down from generation to generation (however, he is still allowing women to be on the jury, despite the defense argument that women would be more likely to convict, which is true under this defense; well, the judge does have to uphold the law in some instances despite the Sacred Male Code). Sounds like Ol’ Girl’s gonna get off. Presumably unlike her date that evening.


Special thanks to Old Friend Charlie Owens, who somehow saved my reasons for hating Flex that I originally published more than three years ago. Yeah, it needs a little updating, but not much, because they’re still doing the same old shit with him.

Big Daddy chimes in and asks a pertinent question:

The following are all interminable, but I’m asking you to rank in order what’s the most boring: The Road To WrestleMania, Major League Baseball’s regular season, or the playoffs in the National Hockey League.

In order of most to least boring: MLB, WM, NHL. Baseball’s regular season lasts forever and ends up with one of two things happening: an anticlimax in a good portion of the divisions, or a sprint to the finish. It’s like sex stretched out over six months. Now, the NHL playoffs are the only time when hockey is really watchable. The regular season is utterly horrid, but the playoffs get down to the nitty-gritty right from the start. There’s always the enjoyment of seeing a eight seed knock off a one seed, which seems to happen every year. Of course, I don’t care about hockey either.

Semi-Regular Sam Hough gets all political in my area:

I had a question about the ’68 Convention. What exactly was the reason for the riots/police attacks? We learned about what happened in history, but not why. Seeing as how I wouldn’t be born for another eighteen years, I’m not really in the know.

We Chicagoans don’t like to talk about that, you know. Okay, here’s the short version. When Dr. King was killed earlier in the year, the Chicago cops took a lot of heat for their actions during the subsequent riots. This included Mayor Daley’s infamous “shoot to kill” order, where he supposedly informed Police Commissioner Conlisk to have his men use deadly force against anyone with anything that could be construed as a weapon. The criticism started getting to the police force as a whole. The first time it bubbled up was during an antiwar protest during, I believe, June of 1968, where, to put it mildly, the police ended up using an excessive degree of violence against what was a completely peaceful and non-confrontational march. Naturally, they caught more heat for that. Then guys like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman decided to play with everyone’s heads by threatening to do things like spike the city water supply with LSD. By the time the convention rolled around, the police were ready to snap. They eventually did when someone, whether at police headquarters or City Hall, told the police to enforce a law that had never been enforced in the past: no sleeping in Lincoln Park, where a lot of protesters had put up tents. The cops ended up going batshit on those people. Now the hippies were pissed, and tensions kept building on both sides. That led a couple days later to the Battle of Balbo, where the police went after anyone and everyone they considered an enemy, from hippies to the press, because they had dared to enter the downtown area. And, as the hippies said, the whole world was watching. Not something we like to reminisce about, really.

Memo to Semi-Regular Matt Sforcina: When you fire up Shareaza, are you connecting to Gnutella as well as to G2? That should solve a good portion of your music problems, since Gnutella is one of the best sources for music. Also, old versions of KaZaA Lite are floating around everywhere (the last “real” version was 2.43), and they’re still working pretty well, so I’d download another copy of that just to be certain. Never restrict yourself to one P2P program.

Continuing in this vein, someone who I’m going to keep anonymous, because you never know who’s out there, has a quandary:

I started a thread talking about internet piracy – kind of in the same vein as one of your articles on 1ryderfakin. In the thread, I even cite your article as recommendation for folks wanting to get started w/ BitTorrent, etc. My point is – my other co-admin is pestering my about locking / deleting the thread out of fear of being sued. I on the other hand want to at least TALK about this stuff on MY forum…I guess I just like my free speech too much. So am I gonna get sued? Will I have to resort to looking under Pepsi bottlecaps for the rest of my life to get music?

No, you will not get sued for talking about this subject. If so, places like Zeropaid would have been plowed under a long time ago. It’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another to do it. Besides, courts have held that P2P and other form of file transfers have legitimate use. It’s not a piece of software whose sole purpose is violation of copyright. Thus, the programs I talk about are legal. And talking about violating copyright is legal as well. It’s only when you do it that you’re in trouble. The BSA and the **AAs have thrown so much bullshit into the air on this issue that it’s easy to get confused. So you’re in the clear talking about it in a thread. And tell your co-mod that he’s a f*cking pussy.

Marco Van Gelder continues on the same vein:

.Based on your advice in earlier columns, I’ve downloaded a bit torrent client from SuprNova.org (They reccomend the Shadow client) and have been introduced to the wonderful world of torrents. The way I understand it then, is that most clients are essentially the same and once one has a client installed they can can go to any site that offers torrents and download them. I have a couple of questions I need the answers to yet, however.

1. What exactly is the theory behind torrents? Are they technically legal? Will they be shut down under the same legislation that looks to be shutting down things like Kazaa?

2. Secondly, where can I find a good list of sites that offer torrents to download?

First of all, there’s no legislation going on to shut down KaZaA. There are court cases filed by the RIAA and MPAA that, they hope, would lead to a shutdown. That won’t stop anyone, though. Torrents, like all P2P methods, are legal. Their contents are sometimes illegal to download, though.

Personally, I’d get rid of Shadow. It’s not a very good BT client. Since you’ve acquired some knowledge about torrents, go and grab a copy of Azureus. It’s now regarded as the best BT client available. It’s freeware, open source, cross-platform, and works very well. It’s the BT client that I use.

As for places other than Suprnova to find torrents (and considering that ‘Nova went down yesterday again thanks to another DDOS attack, this might be a good thing), I’d recommend btsites.tk. It’s a huge clearinghouse of torrent sites. It was from there that I found out that certain Suprnova mirrors were working yesterday, which is how I got to see Enterprise last night.

Just to clarify it a bit more, here’s a guy named “James”:

Sorry to trouble you with a computer question (you only receive 10 a day I’m sure) but recently I got a warning from FOX delivered through the campus security guards. I downloaded a DVD rip off of emule (I’ve pulled down many) and was caught for this one.

My questions to you are: a) is there any way to stop from being monitored like this and b) will I be safe if I just stick to using bittorrent for tv shows and forget about movies off emule?

The oligopoly is monitoring (or to be more precise, paying someone else to monitor) the eDonkey network. The only warnings I’ve ever received have been from downloading off of eDonkey (Universal, twice, but they’re owned by the f*cking Frogs, so screw them). Supposedly, they’re not monitoring BitTorrent, which is far too chaotic for them to get good results from. There are ways to cut down the chances that you’re being monitored, though.

I googled for a bad IP blocker because a long time ago I remember you saying that. But all I could find was stuff related and built in to kazaa lite.

With the crazy stories you hear about lawsuits at college kids I’m a little worried. At the very least it would suck to get my internet connection terminated.

What you’re looking for is PeerGuardian. Download it, install it, update the database, and it’ll cut down on the bad guys who are monitoring you. It’s a mini-firewall that shuts out the known IPs of various and sundry media organizations and the people they hire to monitor P2P networks. It works outside of all programs. Its database, using Bluetack’s Blocklist Converter can be adapted and included into individual P2P programs that you use, including Shareaza, KaZaA Lite, and all known variants of eMule, among many others. It can even be adapted into certain firewall programs like Sygate and ZoneAlarm (I use the PG block list imported into Sygate). The list is updated frequently, and there’s a huge community effort to identify and isolate new IPs. Download it today.

In a related piece of information, Memo to Joseph Bowersox: yes, I’ve said nice things about Orrin Hatch, but he’s an old Mormon, so I take anything he says about technology with a ton of salt, and that includes things about filesharing. He really should stick to areas where he has a clue. Besides, his website boys got caught with their hands in the piracy cookie jar last year and he’s never lived that down.

A lot more letters are available, but I’m going to cut it off here in order to get this thing in and up while there’s still a chance of it being Wednesday. See all of you next week.