"Robble Robble YOINK!" (3/22/04)
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Oh, so you don't think there's a cosmic force of balance in the universe, huh? When Steve Jobs says that it's "bad karma" to steal music, you just chuckle condescendingly and keep right on illegally downloading Whitney: Greatest Hits, do you? Well, you may well be in for a shock when the universe makes you pay for those songs by giving you (dun-dun-dun-DUNNNNN!!) an uncomfortable skin rash. Or something. We just picked that as a random example, but it could be anything. Really, we haven't a clue how this stuff works, but we now have rock-solid evidence that the cosmos does dole out justice, and if you commit acts of an icky nature, they will indeed lead to a state of ickiness being thrust back upon you.

For one thing, you'll be listening to Whitney Houston. 'Nuff said.

Need a clearer example? Well, do you remember those rumors of an iTunes-McDonald's team-up that were floating around a few months back? The deal was supposed to be something along the lines of the current Pepsi promotion, whereby the Big M would give away free song downloads with the purchase of certain food items, that sort of thing. McDonald's denied that any such deal had been made, but wouldn't deny that talks were in progress.

Well, a downloadable music promo with McDonald's has now reportedly been signed-- only not with Apple. Faithful viewer bo forwarded us a Los Angeles Times article which reports that Mickey D's was on the verge of inking a Pepsi-sized deal with Apple, but "switched plans after a last-minute pitch from Sony." So now Sony's upcoming download service gets about $30 million from McDonald's and the massive exposure of "more than 100 million Sony Connect songs" being given away free with Big Macs and Royales with Cheese... and Apple gets zilch. Gee, how do you suppose this might affect all those "joint projects between Sony and Apple" that Sony's CEO was gushing about? Because, you know, we can't imagine that Steve's all that pleased with this turn of events.

Then again, it was Steve who brought up the whole "karma" thing in the first place, and Sony swooping in like the Hamburglar to yoink a McDonald's deal away from Apple at the last second sounds an awful lot like cosmic payback to us. Don't forget that Apple's sweet deal with Hewlett-Packard was originally going to be a deal between HP and Napster-- until Apple swiped it. And okay, we realize it's not quite the same thing, since Sony reportedly made a pitch to McDonald's, while HP came to Apple, presumably when it finally realized just how badly Napster stunk up the joint. But still, you have to admit, there's a definite whiff of karmic realignment coming off this whole thing.

So there you have it, folks: incontrovertible evidence that karma does exist, and it keeps track of the naughty/nice thing like Santa wired on pep pills. So the next time you're tempted to do something a little on the not-so-peachy side, remember-- it'll come back to haunt you, and probably sooner rather than later. Oh, and you might wind up reincarnated as a vole or something. We're a little less clear on that concept.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 3/22/04 episode:

March 22, 2004: McDonald's finally signs a deal for a downloadable music promotion-- but not with Apple. Meanwhile, Apple chooses not to consider the possibility of a post-Steve era, and the iPod has officially become a social appendage in New York City...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4584: Speaking The Unspeakable (3/22/04)   Prepare for a quick trip through Disturbingville, folks, because every discussion of karma eventually comes around to the subject of death-- and while it doesn't come up often, we admit that we get awfully nervous when someone makes us think about Steve Jobs's mortality...

  • 4585: Food, Water, Air, iPod (3/22/04)   Woo, what a downer that was. What say we lighten things up a bit with a little wacky pop culture hoo-haa before we sign off? Now, we all know that the iPod officially made the leap from "cool product" to "wide-ranging social phenomenon" sometime within the past year or so, but we have to admit that we weren't quite aware of just how deeply entrenched this whole thing has become-- possibly because we don't live in New York City, where the iPod has apparently welded itself permanently to the city's gestalt consciousness to such a degree that it's always hovering at the edge of everybody's mind...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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