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Jack Valenti, Dead at 85 650

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the man-behind-the-ratings dept.
saforrest writes "Jack Valenti, a man whose influence in both Washington and Hollywood was profound, died today at age 85. He first became famous as special assistant to Lyndon Johnson: he can even be seen in the famous photo aboard Air Force One. In 1966, he quit this job to become president of the MPAA, from 1966 to 2004."
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Jack Valenti, Dead at 85

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  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joey Patterson (547891) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:38PM (#18895017)
    I say to you that a stroke is to Jack Valenti as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone.

    RIP, Jack!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I won't believe until it's confirmed!

    -Nick
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:39PM (#18895035)
    pwned
  • Frosty piss... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:40PM (#18895037)
    ...right on his grave.

    Rot in hell, you son of a bitch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just use a urinal for a tombstone!
    • mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Travoltus (110240) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:51PM (#18895187) Journal
      He should have been hung as an enemy of our rights as Americans.

      I know some people that were sued by the MPAA under his regime, who didn't have any pirated movies, and who were nearly ruined by legal expenses.

      I don't care about angry MPAA fans and their mod points, he deserves a long line of people waiting to piss on his grave for the laws he and the RIAA have inflicted upon an unwilling majority of citizens in this country.

      It's been ages since I've been to a movie because of him.

      It's all anime for me now.

      Not a dime to the MPAA-affiliated studios until the DMCA is shot down and buried for good.
      • Re:mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:46PM (#18895765) Homepage Journal
        I don't care about angry MPAA fans and their mod points

        I'll go along with SilentChris' incredulity. I don't remember any fans of the MPAA on slashdot, ever, at least since the DeCSS deal, and even then, the general mood against MPAA was chilly before that.

        That doesn't mean the fans don't exist, but I'd think that they would be an insignificant minority. As such, they wouldn't have enough mod points to do anything about the seemingly legions of MPAA anti-fans that are on slashdot.
      • by kypper (446750) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:49PM (#18895789)
        He should have been hung as an enemy of our rights as Americans.
        He may well have been hung, but I believe you meant hanged [wikipedia.org]...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:53PM (#18895835)
        Happy World Intellectual Property Day [wikipedia.org]! April 26th, a day to remember forever!

        For only the third time, the theme of the day is "Encouraging Creativity". Let's all show Jack how creative we can be.

      • by ToastyKen (10169) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:19AM (#18896063) Homepage Journal
        You know, in recent years, I had been feeling that the quality of discourse on /. has been going up. People usually have been taking things in perspective, even when the topic is Microsoft.

        But now there are suggestions of celebrating a person's DEATH, and desecrating his grave, just because he didn't want you to watch some movies for free. Now, I'm a big advocate of copyright reform--I even donate to the EFF--but to show such hatred that you're happy about the end of a human life? Just because you disagree with him about copyright law? Wow.

        Just, wow. Now there's the /. I've always known and loved! It's back, baby! :) :P
        • by LordKazan (558383) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:22AM (#18896099) Homepage Journal
          No, not "because he didn't want you to watch some movies for free". You're clearly ignorant on the entire subject of DRM, the DMCA, etc.

          It's because he participated in the wholesale theft of consumer rights that people are mad at him.
          • by ToastyKen (10169) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:46AM (#18896257) Homepage Journal
            Yes yes, I fully understand the issues involved. AND I DISAGREE WITH HIM. I could quote you Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution. I'm all for treating copyrights as the temporary monopolies they were originally intended to be instead of everlasting rights. I feel queasy when I hear the term "intellectual property". A lawyer friend of mine has even asked me questions about the DMCA.

            Again, the point is that I disagree with him, but I certainly don't think the issues at stake are serious enough to CELEBRATE HIS DEATH over.

            The lack of compassion and respect for human life some people are showing here scares me far more than any lack of compassion for consumer rights the MPAA has shown. Hell, the closest thing I can think of is when one of the RIAA's targets died, and they went after their family. Even they called that off after public uproar.

            And even if they did want all copyright infringers dead, that's no reason to emulate such behavior.

            I respect fair use and consumer rights, but I respect human life even more.

            Now I remember why commenting on /. wore me out back in the day. :P
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by LordKazan (558383)
              I think a lot of people here are incapable of feeling an ounce of respect for someone who did such much damage to their rights, and I cannot say that is an unreasonable feeling.

              He worked to undermine their rights (and succeeded) - why should they consider him anything other than vermin?
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by gordo3000 (785698)
                in the same way that new laws benefits some groups to the detriments of others(global warming regulations), he did his job. You may disagree with him, but to consider him vermin for taking a different stand than you on an issue(he isn't a public official, it isn't his job to try and do what will make the majority happy) is basically the mindset of dictators and mass murderers, not participants in a democracy.

                Your rights haven't been breached by him. what the law allows has changed. It happens all the tim
                • by node 3 (115640) on Friday April 27, 2007 @03:26AM (#18897199)

                  to consider him vermin for taking a different stand than you on an issue(he isn't a public official, it isn't his job to try and do what will make the majority happy) is basically the mindset of dictators and mass murderers, not participants in a democracy
                  He's not considered vermin for simply "taking a different stand", but for having an active role in screwing over the American people (and indirectly, the entire world). Disliking the man (and celebrating his eternal absence from our lives) has little comparison to a dictator or a mass murderer. I find your attempt to paint people who actually *wish* well for We The People as similar to dictators and mass murderers disgusting.

                  Your stance, on the other hand, is patently sociopathic (and that's *not* hyperbolic vitriol, unlike your abject comparison of dictators and mass murderers). Just because his actions were entirely within the rules of the system, that does not mean his actions or his character are beyond reproach.

            • by Travoltus (110240) on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:12AM (#18896411) Journal
              The French, back in the day, had a better way of handling people like that.

              It was called the Guillotine.

              America's problem is we hate the French and did not learn to emulate them in this case.
        • by evilviper (135110) on Friday April 27, 2007 @02:02AM (#18896751) Journal

          Just because you disagree with him about copyright law? Wow.
          /.ers don't disagree with his personal views, we disagree with his actions... the things he did to corrupt copyright law in this country, ruining much of the entertainment industry as a whole.

          Sure, it's not as bad as murder, rape, etc., but taking significant steps towards destroying the whole system of "art" of every kind is a pretty damed-able offense, which easily overrides all else. I mean, we're not talking about murdering someone, just glad to see one going away, who made his money in the most cynical and destructive way possible.
      • Re:mod parent up (Score:5, Informative)

        by slughead (592713) on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:14AM (#18896417) Homepage Journal
        It's been ages since I've been to a movie because of him.

        It's all anime for me now.


        Now that really IS a travesty.

        Personally, I disliked Jack way before any of YOU people did... well I hated him for stuff he did earlier, at any rate.

        I'll always remember him as the SOB who helped the (even bigger SOB) LBJ win office by really shady tactics. In a documentary about Barry Goldwater (LBJ's opponent), Jack basically said "yeah, it was messed up, but it's OK cuz it worked!" Yeah, thanks for Vietnam, cock.

        Of course, the MPAA rating system (which has a really Excellent documentary [imdb.com] written about it) has pretty much borked the movie industry.
    • by sterno (16320) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:17PM (#18895491) Homepage
      The man's dead, show some respect. Let's have a moment of silence in his honor. Oh... wait, my moment of silence is actually encrypted using DRM that I lost the license key for. I'd reverse engineer it but I don't want to get in trouble...
    • by biocute (936687) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:31PM (#18895635) Homepage
      Well, I guess all modern days villains' first request in hell would be "May I read the Slashdot homepage?"

      That'd be their final judgement.
    • Re:Frosty piss... (Score:5, Informative)

      by BlackSabbath (118110) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:35PM (#18895667) Homepage
      Where my dad comes from in Greece (Lesbos - yes, my Dad is a Lesbian), they have a saying.
      phonetically: "Homa sto kolo tou, zoi se logo mas"
      which roughly translates as "Dirt up his arse, life to us"

      It is typically said when learning of the death of someone you prefer in their new state.
    • Re:Frosty piss... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Benaiah (851593) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:45PM (#18895741)

      ...right on his grave.

      Rot in hell, you son of a bitch.
      the first post was so much more insightful than this.

      Velenti was famous for this quote.
      "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

      And thus the first quote can be seen as quite hilarious.
  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515)
    Or, at least, it's a good start.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:45PM (#18895095) Homepage Journal
      I don't think thats fair; take a look at the man's bio on wikipedia, he was at one time a valuable member of the human race, and flew 51 combat missions as the pilot of a B-25 during WWII.
      It wasn't until he got into politics that he turned evil, and after all, didn't we forgive Darth Vader at the end?
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:53PM (#18895207)
        Darth Vader did something at the end to earn our forgiveness. As far as I can tell, Jack Valenti didn't kill the Emperor.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <.slashdot.kadin. .at. .xoxy.net.> on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:42PM (#18895719) Homepage Journal
        It wasn't until he got into politics that he turned evil, and after all, didn't we forgive Darth Vader at the end?

        "He's more politician than man now, twisted and evil ... "

      • by twitter (104583) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:09AM (#18895987) Homepage Journal

        he was at one time a valuable member of the human race, and flew 51 combat missions as the pilot of a B-25 during WWII.

        He did his duty and that is admirable, but his record for oppressing others afterwards leads me to believe that his choice of sides was an accident of birth. Good and evil involve more than bravery and sacrifice.

      • Re:Good ?? (Score:3, Insightful)

        Okay, we all hate the guy, or at least what the guy stood for: money. But really, all he was doing was trying to keep himself employed. His tactics sucked ass, and his technique was a little bit... sub-par, but what I've seen of this story so far, the reader-base response has been pretty ugly.

        The guy is dead. No need to be disrespectful of a dead guy. Don't send flowers, that's fine. But no need to piss yourself over it.

        just my opinion, feel free to disagree.. it's your right. Someone out there proba
    • I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JemVai777 (411658) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:53PM (#18895215)
      While Jack was quite the luddite in his waning years, he was instrumental in replacing the movie industry's repressive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Production_Code [slashdot.org]">Hays Code [no sex, nudity, excessive violence, etc.] with the less-evil MPAA classification system. He also opposed the "clean DVD" proposal which would've seen sanitised versions of films -- a dangerous idea, if there ever was one.

      Not all of us are pure evil, and Jack has to be applauded for moving the industry in the right direction. I only hope his successor is a forward-thinking visionary.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        He also opposed the "clean DVD" proposal which would've seen sanitised versions of films -- a dangerous idea, if there ever was one.

        If you are refering to Clearplay [wikipedia.org] and the variations on that theme from other companies then you don't really know what you are talking about. Ultimately all of these censoring systems are about the people who buy a DVD being able to watch it in whatever fashion they feel like. Valenti was entirely consistent in his anti-consumer approach with his attempts to kill off Clearpla

  • by Anonymous Coward

    May Satan put you in a screening room with nothing but heavily blocked and poorly encoded DivX movies playing 24x7xInfinity.

    Rest in Peace, sweet prince.

  • He will be missed... better the enemy you know, than the unknown that will rise to take his place.
    I think that's about all my Karma will allow me to say.
  • Good riddence (Score:5, Informative)

    by schwit1 (797399) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:43PM (#18895081)
    "If you want to have a backup of a movie you should go out and purchase another copy of that movie." "The VCR is akin to the Boston Strangler." - Jack Valenti
  • C'mon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illegalcortex (1007791) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:44PM (#18895083)
    There's no point in acting like most of us liked him, even a little. We don't have to celebrate his death, but we also don't have to pretend he wasn't a douche.
    • Re:C'mon (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The_Wilschon (782534) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:53PM (#18895211) Homepage

      We don't have to celebrate his death, but we also don't have to pretend he wasn't a douche.
      First comment I've read that didn't repulse me... Most people are celebrating his death, and that's just a little bit sick.
    • Re:C'mon (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lisandro (799651) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:08PM (#18895399)
      We don't have to celebrate his death, but we also don't have to pretend he wasn't a douche.

      Mod parent up, way up. First sane comment for this article. Sometimes /. comments manage to give me the creeps... so, you're all dancing arround his grave because he didn't want you to enjoy your movies the way you see fit? Grow up. Seriously.

      My condolences to his friends and family, if any manages to read these lines.
      • Re:C'mon (Score:5, Insightful)

        by miskatonic alumnus (668722) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:46PM (#18895745)
        so, you're all dancing arround his grave because he didn't want you to enjoy your movies the way you see fit? Grow up. Seriously.

        If you think that's why people are dancing, then you are the one who needs to grow up. Piss on that bastard and more generally on what he represented --- that if you have enough money you can buy the laws in our "democracy". May he roast in hell.
      • Re:C'mon (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday April 27, 2007 @09:39AM (#18899435)

        so, you're all dancing arround his grave because he didn't want you to enjoy your movies the way you see fit? Grow up. Seriously.
        No. We are all dancing around his grave because he was the loudest and most effective voice advocating complete corporate ownership of culture - an idea that ought to be abhorrent to anyone with even a single creative bone in their body. Furthermore he was one of the prime orchestrators of the 1998 Copyright Extension Act which amounted to the absolute largest theft from the public domain in recent history.

        Valenti was a dinosaur of protectionism who worked tirelessly to hold the country back in the pre-internet era, seeking to do with legal means what could not be done with technical means. Instead of encouraging Hollywood to embrace new technologies and develop new business models incorporating them he pushed to outlaw them - trying to make the vcr illegal with his boston strangler quote is one example of just how far he was willing to go to distort the truth to repress technology. Regardless of one's beliefs about copyright and culture, he was no friend to nerds.

        The best thing that can be said about his passing is that if we are lucky, his death will mark the end of the era of the copyright dinosaurs and the beginning of one in which creative artists are directly compensated and society stops paying enormous taxes to distributors whom have set themselves of up as tolltakers without providing any significant value in return.
    • What! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Eric Damron (553630) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:48PM (#18895775)
      "We don't have to celebrate his death..."

      Okay, that's it... You're out of the club!
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:46PM (#18895111)
    Why did the media leave out the part about someone driving a wooden stake through his heart?

    Until I see that footage, I'm not going to believe tha...

    (Hold on - someone's at the door.)

    AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH.....
  • rest in peace (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:48PM (#18895143)
    Ahh, poor Jack. A nice guy who liked movies but didn't have a clue about how other people enjoyed them in the 21st century.

    Rest in peace Jack.

    (In heaven, there's no copyright law to violate. Everything is P2P. For reals!)
  • To share your memories or express condolences, there is an online guestbook [legacy.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:53PM (#18895217)
    I know this man wasn't exactly our mascot, but can we please not celebrate the death of another human being?

    I'm not asking for a moment of silence or anything. I'm just saying that the man deserves some dignity. He was misguided, at least, but he was a human being.

    • I know this man wasn't exactly our mascot, but can we please not celebrate the death of another human being? I'm not asking for a moment of silence or anything. I'm just saying that the man deserves some dignity. He was misguided, at least, but he was a human being.

      I'm sorry if this comes as a surprise to you, but many of us on Slashdot are assholes, and honest enough to admit it to ourselves. Furthermore, to paraphrase Ecclesiastes, there is a time and place for everything. I trust no-one here would di

  • by Rupan (723469) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:55PM (#18895257) Homepage
    I'll be sending your wife and children burned copies of my DVD collection to include in your casket. May you be infuriated by them for eternity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by plover (150551) *
      As long as they're all MPAA-certified-genuine DVDs, his body will be at peace because you already paid for them.

      Now, if you were to send him copies of your movies, or better yet, copies of your friends' movies, we might want to attach magnets to his body, mount coils in the coffin, and use the spinning to generate enough electricity to power The Pirate Bay for the next year.

  • Even though (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Cohen (1027542) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:57PM (#18895279)
    Even though he lobbied for the the DMCA and is a proponent of DRM, he did however start the rating system which replaced the much more militant Hays Code, allowing movies to be less censored.
    • Re:Even though (Score:5, Informative)

      by A beautiful mind (821714) on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:26AM (#18896485)
      Sadly the new system results in ugly censorship too. That is what you get when there is a monopoly like the movie industry. One arm is the ratings board, telling you what their other arm, the movie theatres and DVD stores will carry. Independents get harsher ratings which makes Walmart and the likes not carry them in some cases. The ratings board is secret (only in the USA, other rating systems in the world, something like 20 that were studied for comparison don't hide the raters). There are no standards by which the ratings board works, appeal is done in-house and is merely a formality. Jack Valenti was shown to be personally managing the ratings board, the whole ugly mess is his brainchild. It is a form of less inconvenient and public censorship. There is nothing to be hailed about it.

      For further information please watch the documentary "This film is not yet rated".
  • by shaitand (626655) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:59PM (#18895299) Journal
    If you are a part of the RIAA and/or MPAA copyright regimes. Do you want to end like Hitler, Castro, or Valenti with large numbers of people celebrating your death? I don't mean in a HAHA way either. I wanted to be respectful and not to spit on the graves of the dead but I couldn't help but smile when I saw this headline.

  • I'm so relieved! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nebenfun (530284) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:07PM (#18895391)
    I was worried that the /. community would go overboard in their artificial hate for a man they never met or knew.
    I'm glad we save our energy to tackle real problems like world hunger, war, government encroachment, etc...

  • by catbutt (469582) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:14PM (#18895453)
    A human being died. Show some compassion.

    Oh who am I kidding. He was an asshole.
  • I wish his family solace at this time.

    Speaking to those of you who have expressed distasteful feelings here, try to remember that there is such a thing as "winning gracefully," "being a good sport" or whatever you wish to call it.

    I don't like Valenti on the balance. He did some good things, but his last actions in life were, in my opinion, bad. This isn't the time to debate them.

    One of the great measures of a person throughout our history is how they treat their fallen enemies. Take care how you treat yours now. Don't debase yourself, the community or "the cause" with your immature comments.
    • by twitter (104583) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:59AM (#18896341) Homepage Journal

      Speaking to those of you who have expressed distasteful feelings here, try to remember that there is such a thing as "winning gracefully," "being a good sport" or whatever you wish to call it.

      The most disrespectful sentiment is that his death is some sort of victory. It's not because the bad policies and laws he fostered and believed in are still here. His passing brings some hope of change and that is what we celebrate.

      This isn't the time to debate them [unAmerican laws].

      On the contrary, now is the perfect time to reflect on the man and his beliefs and what he accomplished. What better time will there ever be?

      He believed in digital restrictions until at least 2004 [mit.edu] and probably went to his grave without understanding the real social cost of such control. To this day, I'm forced to chose between digital freedom and participation in popular culture. There is no middle ground because people like him considered you and me an insignificant minority who should use other options. Rights don't work like that. You can't violate people's rights because few people would bother to exercise them. While many of the things he said have been repudiated for 20 years, the logic he used never changed and he continued to say things we all hate. Those things hurt all of us every day.

      The passing of generations is often the only way real change happens. Mr. Valenti was a product of a different time. His loyalties reflect those times but his intransigence is timeless. The run away success of the VCR was helpful to those he professed loyalty toward, and his opposition was harmful to them. It is surprising that he never learned the lesson. We can all feel sad for his family but we can also look at the world as a place that's a little less hostile.

    • by cgenman (325138) on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:29AM (#18896507) Homepage
      I totally agree with the sentiment that Valenti's family deserves respect, and should be allowed to mourn.

      But that having been said, we're not talking about a "fallen enemy." He never lost. Valenti pretty much won the vision that he had. And that vision included heavy lobbying for the eggregious provisions of the DMCA, which to this day put people in jail for things that otherwise are defined as their right to do. Leaders still lionize him.

      He instituted the hollywood ratings system, true, but he also ensured that the body was the most secrative and uncontestable organization inside the US. He also ensured that the people within that body followed his viewpoint about the world, and that it basically carried the weight of law, and as such became the most censurious organization in America. One could argue that, more than any other single individual, he's the reason why you can blow someone's head off in an R rated movie, but you can't show a woman touching herself through her clothes... Why violence is A.O.K. but physical intimacy is just wrong.

      "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." When asked about using 4 second clips in a home movie project, he replied "There's no fair use to take something that doesn't belong to you."

      And people really do go to jail over this stuff. We're talking about someone whose paranoia and lack of knowledge led to unbased responses which are now routinely taking chunks of people's lives away. And even before he was responsible for the death of real security research in the US, he was already the father of modern censorship here. Let's not forget his help in selling the Vietnam War to the population.

      This is the perfect time to debate his actions. This is the only time to debate his actions. What is the measure of a man? Here was a man who repeatedly prioritized business over freedom. And while he may have had his own reasons for doing so, this is not the sort of thing we should be pointing to our children and saying "be like that."

      There is, by and large, no such thing as evil people. Jack was not an evil person. But he did many, many bad things with the combination of misdirected intentions and personal charisma. And now, with the US forcing other countries to synchronize with our draconian copyright laws, his legacy will belong to the world too. This is the perfect time to acknowledge that good people do bad things, and frequently the people whom you would define as the best people have the power to do the worst things. Also, this is the perfect time to reflect upon how our modern culture is owned by large corporations in a similar fashion to how midevil culture was owned by the church. If we're to prevent another mickey mouse copyright extension, [wikipedia.org] now would be the time to harden our resolve.

      One may complain that we demonize the man because he took away something as trivial as movies. This is not true. We demonize the man because, for something as trivial as movies, he was willing to take away our freedom.
  • by isotope23 (210590) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:50PM (#18895805) Homepage Journal
    And in other news, Satan has relocated to Arizona. When asked to comment on the change of venue,
    he stated : "There's only enough room for one of us down there, and though I invented Lawyers this guy owns them all."
  • by saforrest (184929) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:08AM (#18895981) Homepage Journal
    I'm the submitter of this article. In an effort to bend over backwards to be fair to Valenti, I included a link to the MPAA's own obit of him, as well as an interview where he talked about working to implement Lyndon Johnson's civil rights program.

    I see both these links were removed. Did that really need to happen? Yes, we all hate Valenti, etc., etc., etc. Does this article really need to be nothing other than a collective bitchfest? The man was a big fat jerk, but do we really need to talk about nothing more than that?

    In that case, here is Lord Byron's poem on Lord Castlereagh [wikipedia.org]:

    Posterity will ne'er survey
    a Nobler grave than this:
    Here lie the bones of Castlereagh:
    Stop, traveller, and piss !
  • out of touch (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nanosquid (1074949) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:18AM (#18896049)
    Looks like in the early days of his MPAA presidency, he was fairly reasonable (as reasonable as anybody can be in that job). But he seems to have had a complete inability to comprehend and deal with the realities of 21st century technology. He should probably have stepped down from that job 20 years ago. The fact that the MPAA didn't make him step down 20 years ago tells you how troubled and outdated that organization is itself.
  • by tehwebguy (860335) on Friday April 27, 2007 @12:44AM (#18896247) Homepage
    ...to everyone at the MPAA / RIAA: We are younger than you, you will die before us. After that, we will change the laws you purchased.

    Every time these organizations cycle out officers, there will be younger, 'hipper', more intelligent people taking their places.

    Sometimes you just have to let a few generations die off to make progress.
    • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Friday April 27, 2007 @01:48AM (#18896653)
      Sadly true. Mindset can be the hardest thing to change in the world. This is how dictatorships live on, in the sociology and in the people's mind, long after they have been overturned. I'm from an Eastern European country, so I feel this firsthand. Progress is greatly hindered by the fact that at least the third of the voting population became a pensioner before or around 1990.

      It is a problem, because in a lot of these people's minds there is no moral difference between the two systems. In other words, they live by the patterns they learned in the dictatorship, while enjoying the benefits of a democracy. Thing is, this doesn't really work, because they don't understand the fundamental issues of living in a democracy, like making the leadership accountable. That is the duty of everyone that lives in a democracy. This is a price we have to pay for enjoying the benefits of democracy. It is not a convenient thing to do, to carefully evaluate and then elect the best candidate and if he messes up, hold him accountable.

      That was the theoretical part, but it has very real consequences and it is a very real problem. The people who spent most of their lives in a dictatorship, combined with a democrafically aging society makes a very bad match for democracy. Most of these people still evaluate parties based on who will give them the most gifts, who appellates more on the 'politics' of their youth, which was a dictatorship. They aren't troubled if some politician (dare I say prime minister) acts like as if he's still back in that dictatorship. It is the "we'll throw you some bones, just don't question the leaders" philosophy of a dictatorship. I'm sick of the way it permiates into and poisons a would be democracy through the minds of people who have suffered in the previous system.

      The future is more hopeful though. The youth who didn't live in that system rejects those ideas with a big majority. The age line which divides the younger people and the more democratic parties from the old people and the ex state party is going up. Normal thinking is slowly spreading as people are born who were not poisoned by a regime.

      This might not be too closely related to the MPAA, but should tell you something about the power of the mindset and it's effects.
    • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday April 27, 2007 @03:01AM (#18897063)
      ...to everyone at the MPAA / RIAA: We are younger than you, you will die before us. After that, we will change the laws you purchased.

      ...until we get offered 7-figure salaries and power - in which case we'll just end up lining our own pockets and being no different from you.

  • Folks? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Friday April 27, 2007 @04:48AM (#18897619)
    I find it as funny and satisfying as the next guy, but what's really accomplished? Jack was just a stick figure in the game, take him out and put the next crook, erh, rook in, and the game's on again. It's not like anything changes just 'cause one finally croaked.

    Yes, it's refreshing to piss on the grave of people we really, really, really hate. Too bad that they don't care about it, or they might stop doing what they are doing. I mean, I for one wouldn't like to have a funeral with a ton of people coming just to check personally if I'm REALLY dead and it isn't just wishful thinking.

    But I doubt that Jack cared, or that his successor will. They know we hate them. They know we'd at best offer them a glass of water if they were drowning. Still they continue. If we want them to stop, we gotta make their life miserable, not their death. They don't care about us as long as they're living, how much less do they care once they're dead?

    But, you know, nothing but good about the deceased and all that, so I want to end this with something good about Jack: He was ... umm... Yes. That's about the best one can say about him: He was.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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