SUGARY MUSINGS, Uncategorized

IN DEFENSE OF THE PIRATES | SUGARY MUSINGS by NegrosSugar

They swooped.

Like the pirates of yore with their cutlass and their cannons and their eyepatches, they plundered and pillaged all the booty their paws could find. They did everything that Blackbeard and his minions did to the galleon and trading ships – everything except rape the women on board (or at least as far as I know).  And unlike Blackbeard and uh, okay, Jack Sparrow, the ones doing the plundering carry with them government badges.

Yup.  They did the raids all in the name of public service.

PIRATES! | But they're the ones in the movie | Image from http://bit.ly/jaJSYo

The sound you heard just now were the keening of pirated DVD owners everywhere.

But what exactly just happened here?  I have compiled my thoughts on the raid as I try to put things on perspective – and why, though I love movies, my heart doesn’t exactly bleed for the movie industry right now.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on the matter:

  • Piracy is stealing. Stealing is wrong.  But who exactly are we stealing from?  Definitely not the taxpayer. Definitely not from government. We are stealing from a multi-billion dollar industry that has helped dumb down an audience with images of blue aliens, green ogres, boy wizards and Ralph Fiennes camping it out as the Noseless Wonder.
  • The OMB managed to seize P14 million worth of merchandise from three malls.  Fourteen million.  That sounds impressive. Convert that to dollars and it’s a mere $318,000+. That’s chump change, the kind of money you can get from Angelina Jolie’s couch.  That doesn’t even cover the budget for the sandwiches they serve in A-list productions.
  • What happens to the vendors? Surely, they had gone unemployed.  What of their families? My heart ain’t bleeding for the producers of the pirated DVDs – they’re probably millionaires by now. I’m more concerned about those who suddenly found themselves unemployed. Life just ain’t fair.
  • AVATAR | Image from http://bit.ly/momQDx

    The movie industry is dying? Check the figures. The top-grossing movie of all time is Avatar, which earned more than $2 billion. Two friggin’ billion – that’s how much money we spent to see Zoe Saldana and non-actor Sam Worthington get rendered in blue pixels in a Dances with Wolves rip-off. Two friggin’ billion! That’s enough to end world hunger.

  • SI AGIMAT AT SI ENTENG KABISOTE | Image from http://bit.ly/k3y4hk

    What about the local industry? Surely, that is dying.  Well, last Metro Manila Film Festival raked in during its first five days P350 million from filmgoers who went to see movies with titles like Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote (yeah, well, we’re not exactly an intelligent bunch, ain’t we?).  That means that despite the presence of the pirates, movie-goers would still watch movies for as long as producers can hit on the right formula: throw in homoerotic hobbits, boy wizards with lightning scars, figurative and literal fairies, robots beating the crap out of each other and Vic Sotto in tights.  Don’t believe me? Wait for July 15.

  • Okay, so you still want to raid those pirated DeVeDeh lairs.  Or at least solve the piracy problem. How about going after the source? Somewhere in the fourth circle of hell, there’s a bodega-like structure where all those pirated DVDs are churned out by the thousands (have no time verify if this is true).  Go after them, if you really want a crackdown.  Or failing that, why not sell original DVDs at P50 per copy? That should teach ‘em pirate scums!
  • While we are at the topic of illegal goods, how about going after those God-darned sugar smugglers, eh? Don’t know much about economics but I think those people can do a lot more damage to the economy than a pirated copy of Jingle All the Way. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a lowly pop culture observer.

OUR SLIM CASE DVDs | All bought from the pirates' lair

Bacolod Spice and I are making a bet. He believes that in two months, the pirates will be back – with a vengeance and with more selections of Manny Pacquiao Fights and more versions of that Freddy Krueger franchise than the actual franchise itself.

I say, bollocks!  Two months?  Give it two weeks – and my DVD shelf will not be a lonely place ever again – complete with the second Deathly Hallows installation BEFORE the movie can even come out.

Now, ain’t that just dandy?

Bacolod Spice’s Take:  “Kanugon.  Wala ko pa na kumpleto ang Slim Case Editions ko.”

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About Hannah|JuliusMariveles

English instructor and broadcast journalist

Discussion

6 thoughts on “IN DEFENSE OF THE PIRATES | SUGARY MUSINGS by NegrosSugar

  1. It didn’t even take a month. When I visited 888 last night our beloved DiViDi vendors are back at their posts. =)

    Posted by Dave | May 1, 2011, 12:26 am
    • Hehehe… So I won the bet! Really? Just last night? I guess it has become an industry in itself. I’m not condoning stealing. However, unless the prices of original DVDs are driven down to reasonable levels, pirated ones will still continue to crop up. Thanks for dropping by, Dave! Good morning!

      Posted by negrossugarbacolodspice | May 1, 2011, 1:37 am
  2. So true! I f*cking hate those hypocrites going on and on about piracy and how it’s “hurting” the movie and music industry. au contraire, mon frere!
    Mayo lang sila mag hambal. Kami ya nga indi kasarang mag bakal orig? Sorry na lang kami ya eh noh?
    Love this post!

    Posted by Ayn Denise | May 1, 2011, 1:48 am
    • Right! How much does an original DVD cost these days? The most reasonable (read: least expensive) price is P150, and that’s for five-year-old movies. You can buy TWO collections of DVDs at such rates, with change pa! Thanks for dropping by Ayn! Good to see you here!

      Posted by negrossugarbacolodspice | May 1, 2011, 9:42 am
  3. lol..raiding these DVD vendors is like killing a tree by cutting off its branches. dumb dumb dumb.

    mas mayo pa ang pirated DVDs damu choices. LOL

    Posted by cherish07 | May 1, 2011, 2:30 pm

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