That was a rhetorical question, Sony. We all know what you’re doing. You’re trying to solve the age old capitalist conundrum of 1% of the population controlling 99% of the wealth, and you’re doing it by following in the footsteps of Robin Hood.
“Here, world,” you cry from your glass-faced office buildings, “take these credit card numbers and let the intelligent and the deceitful get a fairer share of the global cash pie. After all, if you are going to be so blasé with your credit card details and to enter them into a computer prompt, you deserve to lose the odd thousand moneycoins.”
And I sympathise, to a certain extent.
I went to Nottingham once. It may surprise you to hear that I did not go on some grand pilgrimage to honour the mythical sheriff. I went to study his nemesis, a man with such command of language that he could convince an entire county of his supposed good intentions. Robin Hood was a man who stole, murdered, threatened and coerced, all in the name of the people. We take that to mean he was a freedom fighter, but consider the other side of the coin: did the people ever ask for his help?
The truthful answer is that we don’t know. The story is so old, so well-told, that the little details are worn away. All we truly know is that a man in a green hat stole money from its rightful owners and gave it to the peasantry, an act that was contrary to the laws of the land, and twisted this in such a way that he became a hero.
That singular control of the collective viewpoint is a skill I have long been developing. It has taken much work, and has backfired a considerable number of times – the less said about my years in Constantinople the better, if you get my drift – but as I hone it I can quite easily talk my way out of most things. And why do I do this? Partly it is for the pure enjoyment of twisting an unsuspecting mind as I see fit, but also it is so I can use it to my own ends.
What happened to Sony was a display of power, and it was a desperate one. They overstretched their reach. Sony have taken a beating for their unbelievable failure, that much is true, but they will recover and the mindless drones will forget and return to Summons of Occupation: Night Surgery. Sony will rebuild, and the police of every industrialised nation will descend upon those who smashed the security like a plague of fat nerds carried by high school rugby jocks. Both parties lose.
I, of course, use a proxy to access the Playstation Network. Upon hearing of the hack, he came to me for permission to cancel and replace his credit card. I politely declined his request, cancelling and replacing my proxy instead – it felt more secure. This was an imposition, naturally, but it was necessary, and that single act defeated the hackers.
While I am not the nicest of men, I am one of the smartest. Over the last week, people have sought my council as to who to hate more in regards to this whole mess, and I have refused to answer on the basis that I would do so in this column. I decree that both should be hated equally. Everyone you do, whether saintly or sinful, should be to your benefit. Every action I take, every life I ruin, every ounce of liquor I consume, all of it benefits me. It fuels me, pleasures me, enriches me or one of any number of other things, but I am never cruel for cruelty’s sake.
Some of you may be surprised by this, but don’t be. Yes, I prefer to take what some would consider the more cruel of routes, but the cruelness of that path is never the reason I do so. I am not a barbarian. I own a top hat.
The actions of the hackers were done purely to irritate, perhaps for some juvenile sense of victory. A true man that was looking to break into the most secure sections of a multi-billion dollar company would have thought things through a little more clearly. The opportunity was there to make a tidy profit, and all it would have taken was the restraint to not crush the system as a whole.
What do I mean? You paint yourself as a hero. The act of theft is a difficult thing to portray in a positive light, but how you deal with what you steal can do wonders. An intelligent man would have taken the credit card details, not destroyed the entire Playstation Network, and siphoned a single dollar/pound/rupee/moneycoin from each account. One by one he would amass a sizeable fortune, which he would then drop right into the bank account of a leading charity. He would then turn himself in.
There would be a court case, a token trial full of confused journalists unsure whether what the culprit had done was truly immoral. This would be followed by a small prison sentence. In turn, this would be followed by a series of television interviews, newspaper articles and, at the end of it all, a well-paid job advising the network security of the very people he had robbed.
The key is to place yourself into the world as a force of confusion. Get people arguing over how moral you are, and you have won.
As for Sony in all this, if you cannot keep your veins safely locked behind your skin, you do not deserve them. I once met a man who worked similarly, not a pleasant sight.
Mercurio Silver is a grumpy misanthropic immortal with bold statements and a narcissistic need to force them on others. With his sharp tongue he shares his most recent realisations and thoughts right here on Midlife Gamer every Sunday.