I’ve come to a conclusion: Empirical evidence suggesting that the new age, world-is-connected idea is bullshit, considering that everybody, except those in Tallahassee (who think a football game is more important than morals, accountability, and societal norms) is rooting against the Seminoles. It’s no secret that the quarterback – the leader and face of the team – has been accused of:

1) stealing soda from a Burger King. An employee reported that, after not buying anything, the QB asking for a water cup and continually filled it with soda.

2) the QB was seen on surveillance video shoplifting crab legs. Where I come from, shoplifting equates to more than just community service.

3) the QB jumped on a bench at school and yelled/proclaimed “fuck her right in the pussy.”

4) the QB was handcuffed for shooting a BB gun at squirrels “on campus,” then was released when it was determined he was “not on campus.” “OOPS – THAT’S OUT OF MY JURISDICTION”….. that must happen alllll the time. Dang noobie campus cops.

5) the QB was implicated in receiving money for signing hundreds of autographs (this I’m not opposed to, if a university sells jerseys with your number on it and uses you as a money-making tool… though that still doesn’t mean you have the freedom to do whatever you want.)

6) oh yeah, there’s the sexual assault investigation. Although the QB has never gone to trial or faced any charges, the G.D. primary investigator has done work for the main financing arm of FSU Athletics – the Seminole Boosters. No weird, conflict of interest there at all. No sir! The latest is that the QB’s lawyer is pushing to have the code of conduct hearing being delayed until after the football season. How amazingly convenient that would be. “The prospect of justice can wait…. Now let’s get out there and win some games!”

Maybe the problem is society. It’s that, after the QB’s half-game suspension was announced, fans in Tallahassee were loudly proclaiming “If we lose this game, it’s because you ratted out our QB for asking for EVEN MORE ATTENTION and yelling inappropriate things!” Football is more important than real life, of course! The problem is the lawyers pushing to have hearings pushed. It the university, allowing to have hearings pushed. It’s the Seminole Boosters. It’s the campus police. It’s the TEAM. It’s society, for tuning in, hoping for the worst (including me) and the sponsors, who are making a ton of money because people like me are tuning in, hoping for (finally) a repercussion for one (or many) wrongs. The problem is the coach, for acting like there’s a conspiracy brewing when your team’s rankings drop after the receivers drop passes, the QB throws a bunch of interceptions, and the team has crappy opponents most of the season.

Sure, there’s a conspiracy, and ulterior motive, if you want to call it that. The brewing conspiracy is that the majority wants YOU to fail. People are fed up with this crap, with the complacency and excuses.

If the universe has shown it doesn’t revolve around new age, the-world-is-connected ideas, people are at least waiting for the concept of karma to prove itself.

Personally, given the QB’s ankle issues as of late, I wouldn’t be at all opposed to hearing about an abduction from campus and a “Misery” moment. In good conscious, I absolutely can’t support any S.O.B. who has had innumerable societal infractions. After all, I’ve heard there is some truth to any rumor.

It’s amazing to think that numerous crazies have scaled the White House fence for no apparent, good reason this year but, to my knowledge, no dipshits have tried to bring some vigilante justice to an equally important force in America – football.

A lofty but real dream of mine is to make as much money as possible, then move to another continent, because American football and half of society on that host continent is so occupied with complete bullshit. Check out yahoo.com right now. What you will see is likely this: “news” about how Amanda Bynes is insane or bipolar, Kim Kardashian “breaking the internet,” with naked pics of her huge butt (weird, since she’s not even the most attractive Kardashian, anyhow), or Kristen Stewart suffering a “nip slip” at an awards show.

We think we’re so advanced and ahead of the world, but how can we be when we’re really more like a bunch of neanderthals, getting off on pics of nip slips (how exiting, right?!) I have nipples, and you have nipples, too. We’re also completely obsessed with hoping a bunch of football players lose. I can’t think of anything more inconsequential, except that a single, alpha male in our society is working towards being awarded, at the highest level, with prestige and millions of dollars in his pocket, and it’s driving me crazy that society will likely allow that to happen.

That’s right – “millions of dollars” – just like other alpha males such as Ben Roethliseberger, Mike Tyson, Lawrence Taylor, Tom Brady, and Dave Meggett. Upstanding citizens.

One can only hope that such a person goes the way of recent, polarizing figures and, at most, the QB ends up getting signed at the highest level, and then absolutely nothing comes from it. That would reinstate my believe in not the new age, world-is-connected ideas, but instead, pure karma.

The more I learn about copyrights, social media, and unorthodox business practices, the more I learn how scummy BuzzFeed’s business model is. They occasionally put together interesting, time-killing lists that many people share and talk about, but it turns out that’s often at the expense of copyright holders. I discovered a couple weeks ago that BuzzFeed lifted one of my pictures from Flickr – a place where none of my photos are downloadable, which means they had to screen grab the picture, then upload it to BuzzFeed’s server and to their Twitter page. I already have a decent concept of intellectual property/copyright laws and decided to dig a little deeper into the company’s business practices. What I discovered is that multiple copyright infringement lawsuits have been filed against BuzzFeed.

That company’s stance has generally been that they can grab photos from any source and, by creating a list of “Home Organization Hacks” (or whatever list it may be), the use of the lifted photo as part of a group of lifted photos is “transformative.” By that, they seem to be convincing themselves they are creating a new, unique work that serves the greater good of the world. But would people even be as interested without images that supplement the text? Sometimes it’s not even about the text. How about all of those collections of “12 Amazing Images You Have to See” or “The 10 Best Album Covers”? In those cases, the posts couldn’t even exist based on descriptions alone. That’s because all of those images, even the supplemental ones, are essential in achieving the goal – providing a visual experience that leads to more page clicks.

BuzzFeed’s CEO has even said, “I would love if every image contained some secret metadata and a way to license that image…” Well, my files on Flickr DO include metadata, and that information isn’t retained when you screenshot one of my images because you don’t see a download link. There is no download link as a deterrent. I fully know it doesn’t stop theft, but you also aren’t going to come away with the full-res photo. I’ll provide that to you for a fee. And I obviously have the resources to track down unauthorized use, .

While on the topic, I license photos all the time for work. Once you establish a relationship with a photo provider, it’s an easy process. Depending on the photo, a single one is usually hundreds of dollars for worldwide use but can sometimes cost thousands. In using any photo, I have to get approval from lawyers and a license agreement has to get signed. We don’t even think about pulling any random images from who-knows-where and using them without permission because we would get sued… rightly so because we respect the rights of those who create intellectual property.

So alas, believing in the adage “You use it, you bought it,” I’ve sent an invoice to BuzzFeed. This is me being nice – seeking rightful compensation, rather than going to court. I’m hoping the result is simple enough because I can be a real pain in the ass when the boxing gloves come off.

Bottom line – Don’t enable BuzzFeed. Aside from the deals they officially broker with content providers that have armies of lawyers (i.e. Reuters, Getty, AP), evidence suggests the other part of their business model comes from snagging whatever photos they can quickly/conveniently find and pretend they are in the public domain. They aren’t, and such a business model can’t and shouldn’t be sustainable.