Archive - Jul 5, 2006

Fax Me That Internet, Whippersnapper! (Day One)

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Memo to Ted Stevens: YOU ARE SPECIAL.

The last time a single person uttered a collection of statements so absurd they warranted the complete attention of this column for as long as necessary, that person was Halle Berry, and she managed to string her retardation over the course of weeks of interviews promoting "Catwoman".

You, on the other hand, in a single shining moment, have shattered all previously known records for saying stupid shit. Somebody call Guinness and get them out to the U.S. Senate.

You all remember Ted Stevens, right? Senator from Alaska? Bridge to nowhere? Wants to censor cable? That dickwad. Anyway, he's on the committee currently looking at the idea of "net neutrality". For those who don't know, "net neutrality" is the idea that telecommunications companies are in the business of pumping ones and zeroes from place to place, period, end of, full stop. What the ones are and who's providing the zeroes doesn't matter. Your blog comment, your aunt's picture of her dog in a tutu, Rush Limbaugh's V1A GA RA procurement e-mail and that episode of Lost you just spent two bucks for off iTunes all count the same.

Since I am not a wealthy multinational content provider, I'm all in favor of net neutrality. But Ted Stevens isn't. And he told us all why, in a rambling dissertation that sounded for all the world like a member of the Greatest Generation explaining to a two-year-old how to program a Betamax VCR to record Hogan's Heroes.

So without further adieu, I give you Senator Ted Stevens, in a very special edition of IDIOT SAID THE DAMNDEST THING!

"There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right."

I have to assume here that Ted is talking about Netflix. I have to assume, because already, listening to Ted Stevens is like looking at a police lineup populated by six circus clowns and being asked to identify the linebacker.

But this service isn't going to go through the internet and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

I don't know where Ted Stevens ate dinner last week, but wherever it was should probably be inspected, and the other diners notified. Assuming they're not wandering across the tundra, naked, looking for copies of the Forrest Gump pan-and-scan DVD they requested telepathically from the Netflix mothership.

"Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?"

I don't know. I heard the concept of my own personal Internet, and spent eight hours in a blissful fugue state dreaming of digital utopia.

"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially."

This is the bit of Stevens' insane ramblings that's been the most widely quoted, so I'll just leave it where it stands.

TOMORROW: We continue our journey deep into the Twilight Zone of Ted Stevens' mind.