The internet was hopping last night. It was the kind of night joke writers dream of. Comedian Rhea Butcher tweeted gleefully that “this has been the most internetty day of all internet.” Not only did we see the rise of #dressgate and #llamagate 2015 but net neutrality has become the law of the land. This FCC ruling leaves all of us internet denizens free to continue watching videos of llamas roaming free on the highway and to spend hours on Reddit debating the color of a dress, then posting llamas-in-dresses mash-up memes. It’s the internet’s primary function. Also, I can look up that rash I have on WebMD.
I love me a good llama story so watching videos of two llamas (a black one and a white one) running free on the streets of Sun City, Arizona is 50% of what I even have a computer for. The dress, which was a depressed mother-of-the-bride number was photographed in light that made it look blue and black to some people, and white and gold to others. Why the internet cared so much about this ucking-fugly dress, I don’t know, but the debate itself was a shining moment in the newly established rules of internet neutrality, and everyone who’s anyone has an opinion about the dress.
If all of this sounds foreign to you, then it’s because you don’t spend nearly as much time web surfing as I do. That’s fine, and Google is your friend for looking up these “internetty” things. However, even infrequent visitors to the bright lights-big city of the web should rejoice over net neutrality. Why? Because freedom, goddamit.
In a nutshell, the FCC (that federal arm of the government that you give three bucks in taxes to every month on your phone bill without noticing) has ruled in favor of regulating internet service as a utility. While this may not seem like a big deal, trust me, it is. Imagine if you had to pay your phone bill based on who you called or who called you: If the telephone company you were using thought that Aunt Gertrude had a high volume of calls, they could charge her extra to ensure you got to call her regularly and could make it more expensive for her to call anyone else. This is sort of what some big name internet providers wanted the FCC to do with internet service. It would have been great for creating like two or three uber-powerful internet monopolies and terrible for everyone else. You’d be paying for your internet based on which sites you visited and those sites would be paying more to ensure their users could visit the sites. But the FCC said nope (barely, the vote was 3-2) so we can all continue to use the internet for what it was intended: Hotly debating random, meaningless issues and watching animal videos. Seriously, though, sites like Netflix would have been hardest hit: We all would have had to start paying way more money for our on-demand Star Trek reruns.
In summation, the Feds made the right choice and the internet remains freely accessible for the people, I need to see a video of the two llamas set to Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s “Ebony and Ivory” soon, the dress is clearly blue and gold, and according to WebMD my rash is bubonic plague.
UPDATE: Both llamas were recaptured unharmed. The white llama is named Pierre and he’s now seeking celebrity status and granting interviews. A second photograph of the dress has been released to add corroborating evidence to its actual color, but the new image proves nothing since, you know, Photoshop exists.