There are a multitude of disturbing trends in today's society. One of them is running for president, but that's not the point here. The bottom line is, it's virtually impossible, no matter what one's point of view might be, to watch the news, read the news or download the damn news without being upset (often horrified) about what you see.
And the political or global issues are not the only sources of outrage and anxiety, not by a long shot. There are some wonderful things about the current version of the modern age, and I'd list them here but right at the moment I'm having a hard time remembering what they are. Trust me, I know they exist. I'll think of them tomorrow.
What concerns me at the moment that won't upset people whose ideologies are not in line with my own? The decline of simple rules of grammar, punctuation, usage and syntax, to begin with. I teach people at the college level who can't tell the difference between you're and your. I see posts and documents indicating that even those who have completed advanced degrees don't bother to use apostrophes properly. You'd be amazed how many people think the sentence, "Lots of woman do the same thing" is perfectly acceptable.
And then there is the odd sense of entitlement among those--and I do not limit this to millennials and young people, as I have seen done--who believe that entertainment is a right. These are individuals with working brains who don't see the problem in downloading music off "free" sites, who will buy bootleg copies of movies before they are released to DVD, who steal a cable TV signal and believe they are somehow completing a victory over "the system."
Well, I'm "the system." Nice to meet you.
There are any number of online sites that right now, today, will let you read books that I spent months writing and to which I own the copyrights and they will not charge you for those books because they themselves did not pay for them. The site might charge visitors a fee as a "subscription," but trust me, when they send you the file with my name (or my other name) on it and you read the book, I am receiving a grand total of nothing for it.
The idea that somehow this is a victimless crime, that no one is losing out when you "beat the system" by getting free entertainment, is crap. I hear the argument all the time that there's no harm in a bootleg download of a movie because "Tom Cruise already has enough money." Maybe so, but guess what--the key grip doesn't. The Foley artist needs a salary, and if revenues go down, she won't get any. The guy who cleans the recording studio isn't getting paid when the artist can no longer afford to book the place because nobody is paying for the art.
I have close friends and relatives who see no harm in finding "free" entertainment. They seem to feel they're being clever, winning a victory over a corrupt system. I see them stealing. Period.
Right now, I am contracted to write four separate mystery series which some of you read and hopefully enjoy. If sales don't hit the right numbers--and no, I have no clue what those numbers might be because the publishing industry changes its standards about every 20 minutes--I will no longer be releasing any books at all. Because I need to make a living and pay the bills. This is true of every author, every singer, every filmmaker, every producer, every actor, every screenwriter and all the people who serve the industries they inhabit.
If you're taking copyrighted content from a source that doesn't compensate the creators of that content, you're stealing. Pure and simple. You're not being a Robin Hood outlaw. You're robbing from everybody and keeping everything. At most the only concerns you're keeping alive are the ones that steal from artists.