Boffo Internet

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What a surprise that the Bible was correct in its fingering Y2K as the End. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have indeed been riding, although not as much as they once did, since they’re in their seventies, and I think it’s harsh to consider Fred Koch as destructive as his brothers.

Judgment Day is every Friday at 9 p.m. on E!; you can find it in your local listings, under “Fashion Police.” Misplaced punctuation has allowed the show to continue airing; if a simple mishap hadn’t retitled “Fashion? Police!”, the authorities would already have arrived, and swept away the mummified mannequin that is Joan Rivers.

And although it’s harder to peg the whereabouts of the Devil, MSNBC has confirmed early reports that, promptly at sunrise each morning, he crawls back into the Speaker of the House via the rear entrance; this accounts for John Boehner’s frequent tears and general fatigue.

Our best strategy for tracking Satan is to remember that the Devil’s in the details: for example, the details of a federal appeal court decision on Jan. 14, striking down net neutrality, the practice by which all Internet content is treated equally by Internet providers. The concept of net neutrality is that Internet providers should not be able to block accessible content or discriminate against potential users–basically, even footing for all Internet users.

After the court decision in question, Internet providers may be able to charge online companies for “prioritized access” (no problem for Amazon.com, but a crippling blow to Average Joe’s Online Shop), and could exclude companies that compete with the provider’s own offerings. If you’re confused, you’re not alone: it seems like we have to thoroughly grasp the workings of the Internet to know the exact danger here. Or we can translate it into this sentence: this decision gives individual, competitive Internet providers more power, not only over each other, but over the Internet, and thus, us.

Following this decision, a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to restore the federal protections for net neutrality that were struck down in the Jan. 14 decision received 1 million signatures. The petition asks the FCC to reclassify broadband Internet communications as “telecommunications services,” which would allow the FCC to pass new, stronger net neutrality protections.

“Without net neutrality,” the petition says, “the Internet as we know it could be a relic of the past.”

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler replied: “A million people? That’s boffo.”

I’m sure Mr. Wheeler would agree there’s nothing more boffo than catching the Devil at His own game, as Mr. Wheeler’s FCC did when Janet Jackson’s satanic nipple was revealed at Super Bowl XXXVIII, and the FCC brought down all the forces of Heaven upon them. Surely Mr. Wheeler must know, deep down in the purity of his heart, that few things are more Heavenly than a nipple (especially one belonging to Ms. Jackson); but he also clearly knows, as we have to remember, that if we don’t keep an eye on what’s going on, what goes on goes on.

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