On Their Minds

A commentary on the Communications Decency Act, and the knee-jerk reactions of a lot of ignorant politicians. Fortunately, it appears that political incompetence stops them doing evil as well as good. This is to the tune of Heaven On Their Minds from Jesus Christ Superstar.

[Early 1996]

Our net is purer now
At last, thank the Lord, we can surf in a sea free of smut.
If you wish away the sex and the porn,
You’ll have clean wholesome fun, nothing but.

You started to believe
The rot the papers say,
You really did believe
You had to save the day.
And all the rights we had
Will gurgle down the drains,
When votes begin to matter more
Than your mortal brains.

Listen, Bill, you’ll soon be searching for work;
In the mean time, must you be such a jerk?
We’ll remember – you were a politician to the end.
You must appease the Righteous horde:
Who needs a brain? They’ve got the Lord!
But they’ll squash you when they round the bend.

I was netting when this whole thing began.
No talk of censors – defense was the plan.
And believe me, the applications there are still around.
But every byte you send today
Gets routed through some other way
And they’ll hush you if you make a sound.

Arpanet, your bastard son should have left enough alone,
BBS for Uni jerks, simple stuff works.
Comp.lang.lisp and FTP, all it really has to be,
That would cause no nasty shocks – no legal blocks.

Listen, users, do you care for the net?
Don’t you see it, we are not beaten yet!
We are destiny, have you forgotten what a force we are?
They are frightened by the crowd
A million voices, roaring loud,
They’ll be dead before they get too far.

Listen, Billy, to the warning I send:
Please remember that it’s your world will end.
And it’s plain to hear our voices strengthening with every hour.
All the internet’s alive
Now it’s happened, it will thrive:
You can battle it or join the power.
You can join the power!