I question your use of the word VICTIM wrt DVD piracy.
I will try to keep this short as it is a rant, and I am really trying to do less of that now that I’m all growed-up at the old age of 40. But it’s been on my mind for several years and I won’t feel good about it till I dump it off on someone.
So, you know how when you watch movies, there is always that small-print shit at the beginning that, even on DVD, you aren’t allowed to skip past? It’s usually about like regions and ownership and a bunch of bullcrap no one ever reads, right?
Well, there is one line in particular that always grabs my attention, and it ticks me off Every.Single.Time.
Piracy is not a victimless crime.
I know, I know. This is sooooo First World Problems. And artists deserve to be paid, along with all the people who help put art things on the market. I get it. I’m shouting banalities into a dark void. YOU ARE NOT WRONG.
But it still rubs me wrong. I can’t help it. It’s the word “victim” being used to describe someone who is being put out when I pirate a copy of the latest Star Wars movie.
Remember how I mentioned First World? Well, let’s imagine, briefly, Third World people. Starving children. Women who get their shit torn up or sewn shut. Boys pressed into war. Girls forced into the sex slave trade. Now there are some victims, y’all.
Or, closer to home, let’s talk about rape victims. Or folks right here (in what is supposedly the most advanced country in the world) who have no access to decent health care. Women who don’t have any say over what happens to their bodies. People who are violently targeted because of the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation. Victims.
When I think of the word Victim I do not imagine an artist, an executive, a celebrity, a Hollywood image, or basically anyone affiliated with creativity and the marketing thereof.
The word Victim evokes images of pain, degradation, shame, and even death.
The word Victim does not provide my mind’s eye with a picture of financial success narrowly thwarted.
The word Victim brings with it a certain weighty connotation which far exceeds its mere denotation. Which is to say, the dictionary definition might present the word Victim as someone who has been wronged and that is all fine and dandy but how the word makes us FEEL — the emotional reaction it causes — is much more harsh.
To paint connotation versus denotation in another light, let me present the N-word. Its denotation (dictionary meaning) is quite less harmless than the connotation (emotional and cultural usage) it carries. I don’t care what the fucking dictionary says; this is a BAD WORD which shall never escape my lips because I understand how wrong it is for me to use it. Anyone who tries to defend their use of it via the dictionary argument is an ass and deserves to be smacked by that great tome of wordy words.
All of which is to say, I don’t care how the dictionary defines the word Victim because I know how it makes me feel and what I imagine at reading or hearing it.
This isn’t to say that pirating movies (or music, or books, or any other art) is a decent thing to do. Stealing is bad, I think we can all agree. Don’t be a stealer. Stealing: totally a dick move.
But to place, say, J.J. Abrams (whom, let it be known, I love and adore) under the same umbrella as a survivor of rape is beyond ridiculous. It’s downright insulting. And that is how I feel every time I see this printed hogwash at the beginning of a movie for which I have paid — insulted.
I am sure the Thought Police are going to arrest me because I am complaining yet again about something not being P.C. enough; that the word Victim is its own unfulfilled trigger warning. Like I said, I get you. There is so much more to be pissed about than the unfortunate choice of words on my DVDs.
Like the fact that I still don’t have an Xbox One.
Still, can I get an amen?
Or do you think the word Victim is ambiguous and I’m just being silly?