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How SOPA Would Kill Fun

What we’re facing here is the death of fun, a ban on giggling alone at your desk.


The Stop Online Piracy Act asserts itself so broadly—it aims to regulate everything from counterfeit prescription drugs to intellectual property rights—that it’s difficult to begin to imagine all the ramifications. The only thing I know for sure about SOPA is that it would be a very bad thing for people who frequently use the internet—so, everyone—and that it would sit its big, weighty body on the fragile skeleton of free expression and crush it into a million little splinters. It would inspire fear in everyone who creates content online, even if they’re only doing it for their own Facebook friends, because most of us are ignorantly pirating or consuming pirated best-of clips of Groundskeeper Willie, making the sites we use most liable. YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Google, Wikileaks: What we’re facing here is the death of fun, the end of profound, drool-inducing engrossment in 50 pages of someone’s sporadically-chronicled life, a ban on giggling alone at your desk.

It can hit at any time—checking your email at 10:30 on a Saturday morning or killing 20 minutes before dinner—but it strikes most frequently at night. You open a new tab and wind up here again, a cup of some delicious liquid on the arm of your chair, and think, This is what watching Saturday morning cartoons was like. Mashup videos smell like occupying your own childhood again: that good old brain-churning, zap-eyed wonder at colorful stimuli. David Thorne was right: The internet is a playground, and being entertained by it is an experience that’s difficult to imagine living without.

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How $5 Changed the Way I Read the Internet

What can $5 buy a struggling internet artist?

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About a year and a half ago, I decided to quit my most recent day job, live off residuals from a 30-second toothpaste commercial, and write. I spent most of my time consuming blogs so good that their zero-dollar price tag made me feel sad and hopeful at the same time—and not only because I was writing for peanuts, too. My favorite internet writers didn't seem to be aiming for book deals in their memeless Tumblrs. They were creating those kinds of "art for art's sake" essays that I still think of years later with a tongue click and a "daaaammmmn." The one-sided relationships I formed with these unedited online authors—watching their lives unfold in real time, wondering what happened to them after I disconnected—were profound.

Then I got a note from one of those very people, Jon Schwarz of A Tiny Revolution. He wanted to include me in a project he was working on called Five Dollar Friday (#5df). The premise was simple: Every Friday, #5df participants would take $5 from their pockets and award it to a person who had created great free content on the internet.

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High Minded: Blow This Joint

This is where I stop writing about pot, hand the vaporizer over to you fine dudes, and start writing about other things.


Enter High Minded, where Tess Lynch revisits previously forgotten epiphanies, drags her lazy, leaden body on adventures and—whoa. I think this pudding's texture might improve if I added a handful of popcorn and some, like, canned blueberries:

About a week ago, I read an article in The New York Times by Ethan Nadelmann about the tension between the federal authorities and states that permit the use of medical marijuana (states whose residents make up almost a third of the U.S. population, by the way). This legal disagreement isn’t new; it’s what defines our current marijuana landscape, after all, but recently it seems that things have reached a spookily unpleasant pitch, like a forgotten Halloween sound machine that makes the noise of two entangled gnats.

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High Minded: Joint-Rolling as Performance Art

Joint-rolling is a kind of performance art: You made it. You smoked it. You basically ate it.

At a party last night attended by a selection of like-minded professionals, a curious thing happened when the time for joint-rolling came upon us. Across the board, my peers voiced insecurity regarding their technique. None of us was eager to show off her skills.

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High Minded: Working Under the Influence

I believe that it is impossible not to disintegrate from sadness if you attempt to serve people food when you’re stoned.

Have you ever been high at work? It’s a bad idea, because duh, but it’s especially ill-advised if you are in food service, work in a cubicle, or are required to talk on the phone. While high, the hours from two in the afternoon until five morph into Stretch Armstrong’s long limbs, and you become so discombobulated by the irrationality of the clock, the fax machine beeping its request for you to remove the paper from its guts that it cannot release, the layer of bizarre bubbling beneath the monotony. Like the buzz of the fluorescent lights you discover and then can’t un-hear, there may be a time when you wish you were stoned at home instead, and the thought can’t and won’t be dismissed.

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High Minded: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace My Stoner Lifestyle

Enter the stone zone with GOOD's intrepid pot columnist.



The first time I blogged about pot, I sweated for the next few hours waiting for an email to appear in my inbox from the FBI. There are a few reasons for that: (1) I am a nervous law-abiding person; (2) marijuana is, federally speaking, illegal; (3) I was stoned.

I felt really conflicted, as a former D.A.R.E. ad sponge, about pressing publish on a post that contained the phrase “I smoke pot.” On the one hand, I'd had a California state medical marijuana card for a few years, which I obtained after a rough patch with the prescription sleep aid Lunesta. On the other hand, I felt guilty, because I really really like smoking weed.

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