The Five Stages of SOPA-Related Shock

A quick post tonight, one that I would have taken more time with, had I learned earlier that WordPress would be joining the numerous sites that are said to be participating in the internet blackout to protest the SOPA.

I understand the reasoning behind the blackout, and personally am all about saving freedom of speech – which has, I believe, been in hospice for quite some time, dwindling toward its unfortunate demise – but can’t say whether or not I agree with all of these sites (Oh my God, WordPress? Google? What are we going to do?) blacking out at the same time. I’m still trying to digest the fact that they will be gone at all, let alone for an extended period of time (which, according to my daily use, would equal anything upwards of oh, say an hour without them).

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but have been very preoccupied the past week trying to tame a frustration that has blossomed into something, you know, a little stronger, and consequently haven’t paid much attention to anything outside of my bubble.  Now the clock is ticking and little time remains to communicate with you, My People.

It is truly amazing how fast one can move through five stages of grief (defined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross), five stages that I’m finding with every minute, apply elsewhere in life too.

First, the denial:

WHAT? No way, man. They can’t. They simply can’t. They won’t do it for that long. Maybe after an hour or so they’ll realize how much people need access. They’re not just going to let us all, well, whatever we would do without access to these sites. Perish, or something. It’ll be okay. (Note: Begin pacing here) Sure. It won’t. Last. Long.

Then, anger:

I can’t believe this! (Bleepity-bleep bleep!) They can’t do that.  Too many people will be affected.  Businesses. (Me) Organizations. (I need access) People with, I don’t know, some urgent need to communicate with their people, if something drastic has happened. (Like me. Sort of.)  Everyone. The world. (Note: Look at your screen. Imagine it blank. You can’t – it’s unfathomable. It makes you nervous. Stand up. Look around the room as though the solution were there, on a shelf maybe.)


(Note: Sit back down before working on a bargain. You need to catch your breath.) Okay, I know it’s for a good cause and all, and I’m all for fighting for what you believe in, but maybe they could just do it a little differently. Like, maybe they could do a site-rolling black-out, you know, like first Craigslist, then Wikipedia, followed by Reddit, and so on.  Mozilla can’t participate though.  No, we’ll all need Mozilla so we can get on and check to see which sites went through with it. Or Google. Same reason. (Note: Pitch forward slightly in your seat, closer to the keyboard.  Now you’re onto something. You’ve got some decent ideas. Doable stuff.)

Or, even, um, Twitter.  Twitter could just take it all on by itself, ‘cause really, come on – who needs all those updates from every Jo and Bob and Susie every two minutes? Aren’t we already all having enough of an attention deficit experience, with our Smartphones, Ipads, Kindles, and whatnot? We can give up Twitter for a while, but keep the others. (Note: Lean back in your chair. What did you think you were going to do? Write to someone, the CEO of these sites and convince him or her, in the next couple of hours?)


(Note: here, your first of several sighs. This will go on until the sites come back up, so practice until you are doing it with style.) All that work I was going to do, all those emails I was going to send, all those articles that have nothing to do with what I need to be doing that I was going to waste two, three, maybe even four hours reading (Oops! Stop before someone hears you, for the love of Pete* – you’re not supposed to openly admit to this. Get a grip, for crying out loud).  I guess I could pay the bills.  But I don’t feel like it. This is hard. Who knew it would be so hard? Maybe I’ll just go to bed and hopefully everything will be back to normal by the time I wake up. Like a bad dream or something. I hope. Oh God, I hope. (Note: Shuffle slowly to your room, put on your biggest, most comfy socks and most cozy pjs, because you need all that comfort stuff now. Sit on the side of your bed. No, slump. That’s better.)

And finally, Acceptance:

(Essential note: Let out a deep sigh of resignation here. Acceptance won’t be complete without this.) Oh, (pause, for effect)  well (add another sigh). It’s not like I don’t have other work to do. Or household chores. Or even – and I know this is a stretch for a lot of us, myself included, but bear with me – catch up on some sleep. What a concept!

One final note: Repeat to self, as needed: It will be over soon. They’ll be back up and we’ll be back on in no time. It will go quickly. Now remember to breathe deeply (hyperventilation is never a good thing), and try not to worry.  If nothing else, maybe read an article on practicing mindfulness. For example.

See you soon, everyone.


*Who is Pete anyway, and why is everyone always dragging him into these messes?


About lauracgardner

Laura lives in an undisclosed location with her adopted dog.

Posted on January 17, 2012, in This Just In..., Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great Post Laura. I love this – so true. So you.

  2. I woke up all ready to participate today … thinking of all the wonderful things I was going to do with my day … turned on the Wii, got stuck on a level and realized that the only way I was making it through Bowser’s castle was with youtube guides … needless to say I failed in my attempt to protest, lol. Absolutely love this post – so true and so funny! I’m going to try this again (now that I know the secret passage way). We’ll see if I make it past step 1!

  1. Pingback: SOPA PIPA BLACKOUT | The Next Bold Move

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