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la cosa nostra nova
e-gambling, e-prostitution, e-drugs, and virtual alcohol!
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
pop culture

So I was thinking the other day (yes, I do that on occasion), and it occurred to me a) how much the Internet has become part of our lives, b) how much you can do with it, how far-reaching it is, and c) that I'd put my shoes on backwards.

Seriously, think about it. I can sit down at my computer, bang out a column in 15 minutes - 20 if I want it to be good - and within days, upwards of 100 people (some from outside my family) will have read it. I heard a rumor that someone from Canada even once accidentally clicked onto one of my pieces. Someday maybe someone will even pay me to write these things....

The entire world is available out there, via the Web, and I think that's amazing. Who knew, just seven years ago, that nearly every human vice would eventually be sated by simply sitting down at a computer? While my friends and I were first experimenting with e-mail and talking to people we'd never met (hint: she's probably not nearly as attractive as she says she is), someone out there was thinking "If only there were a way to show the entire world these photos of my girlfriend fellating the neighbor's dog." Thanks to the magic of the Internet, now there is.

It's more than that, though. You can now bet on-line, play roulette on-line, commit credit card fraud on-line, even rent hookers on-line (yes, "rent"; and if you don't believe me, check out g-roses.com. And don't give me that "they're not hookers" crap). It's like if they made a "Goodfellas 2." And I love it. I love that there's still so much of the 'Net that's uncharted and unregulated.

That's the beauty of it all. While I choose to write a little monthly diatribe, hoping people will see it, remember my name, and take me out to dinner, someone else can be learning how to make bathtub gin or how to talk to women or how to play the piano or how to remove his own spleen. And the thing is that other people out there have taken the time to post the answers to those questions (turns out that Chinese bathtub gin differs from Lithuanian bathtub gin in very subtle ways).

A friend of mine just gave me Reason Number Five not to check out random Web sites unless you're sure they contain something you want to see: she found a guy documenting his personal quest to contract athlete's foot. In color.

All I'm saying is that we tend to take the Internet for granted these days. Remember when writing to someone actually meant you had to lick a stamp? Or when doing research actually meant leaving the house? Or when getting published actually meant an editor had to approve your work? Or when gay actually meant happy?

Okay, I don't even remember that last one, and it's totally off-topic, but I assume you get my point.

Of course, any time there's this much freedom, people get scared. Heck, any time the sun goes down people get scared. So it comes as no surprise (to me, anyway) that there are those out there who are trying to regulate Internet content.

Yeah, that's a good idea.

I mean, I agree that there are certain things that should not be on the 'Net, mainly because the act of doing them is illegal. I'm talking about kiddie-porn, directions for blowing up government buildings, Intrepid Media, stuff like that. But beyond that, the good that can come from so much liberty and exchange of ideas seems to seriously outweigh the bad. Or at least it doesn't add to it. People would be doing these things anyway, only now they can do it from home, and I don't have to walk past them on the street.

Here's an example: The House of Representatives was recently presented with a bill to make online gambling illegal. How retarded a plan was that? Vegas is losing money, so they pay Congress to attack vice. Ironic much?

And don't even get me started on Napster (and don't get our illustrious publisher started on Napster, either).

[Publisher's Note: Sunsabitches! I can't believe they shut it down. Boycott, people, if you care about the - ]

[Editor's Note: Down boy! Where'd I put my tranq darts?]

I'm not sure why, but the government can't seem to figure out that, in most cases, prohibition of human "immorality" does not, in fact, work. Telling people they can't do something that doesn't really hurt anyone else (drinking, cursing, gambling, lawn darts, etc.) will just make them come up with more devious ways in which to do it. We can thank the government for organized crime since the '20s, the '60s and '70s destroyed our trust in our leaders, and we can all pretty much see how enormously successful and brilliantly executed the current "war on drugs" has been. You can understand my skepticism.

So what am I saying? Good question, huh? It's not quite as good as "What was the second video shown on MTV?" but it's much more on topic.

The point is this: I think it's time we start organizing the Internet underground. None of this Melissa Virus crap - we need to use the Web to build an organization whose sole goal is to play on people's weaknesses and take them for all they're worth. I think there will always be (and by always I mean until 2012, when the world ends) a constant market out there for computer-accessible vices. The public doesn't want to even try to resist the lure of sex and money.

And we need to pounce on it now, people! We need to create a way to hijack Amazon.com orders. We need to create password protection for www.loseallmymoney.com so strong that even the FBI won't be able to break the code. We need to be ruthless in killing off our competition's e-mail addresses. And we need a cool acronym.

But until my vision is actualized, made real, I guess I'll just keep writing these columns. My other goal is to be a household name in Yemen.


A native of Elkins Park, PA, Adam Kraemer spends way too much of his time repeating "K-R-A-E..." He moved to New York City in 1998 and earned Master's in Journalism at NYU; don't let his writing fool you. He feels he is best known for saying the things no one is thinking, but afterwards wish they had been. He spends his free time wondering where all his free time goes and why he can never come up with a decent kicker for the ends of his articles.

more about adam kraemer


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adam kraemer
8.10.00 @ 12:21p

Wait a minute - Jael, you have tranq darts? I wonder what you use those for....

lila snow
8.13.00 @ 5:31a

Adam, I had no idea we were neighbors, but it is good to know why Butch has been in such a good mood lately.

adam kraemer
8.14.00 @ 10:08a

I'm just happy I got to become the first Intrepid writer to use the word "fellating" in a column.

And I think Butch is a lot more interested in that male labrador down the street than he is in my girlfriend.

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