No Jedi: Mark Hamill slams FCC chairman Ajit Pai over net neutrality
The repeal of net neutrality last week was arguably one of the low points of the internet’s short history, but buried deep within this nadir was one moment of such pure awfulness, that I apologise in advance for digging it up again. Still, for the purpose of this story it’s essential, so forgive me.
For those that didn’t press play on the video above, I’ll give you a quick synopsis. It’s a YouTube clip produced by The Daily Caller which is so bad that at first, I thought it was a spoof.
In it, the FCC chairman Ajit Pai tries to explain to the youth on their walkmans and Snappety Chats that they’ll still be able to do all the things they love doing on the web when net neutrality is repealed. What follows is a series of uncomfortable vignettes where Pai “‘grams his food,” dresses as a Santa while online shopping, and “drive memes into the ground” – something demonstrated with Pai doing the Harlem Shake with, it turns out, a Pizza Gate conspiracy theorist. He also reassures those avocado-loving millennials that they can still enjoy their favourite fandoms – a point he makes in the same way anyone trying to have their argument taken seriously would do: by dressing in a black hoodie and posing with a lightsaber.
It’s this last point that awoke Mark Hamill from his slumber. It’s been established that he is no fan of Trump’s White House, but trying to co-opt his movie for something as egregious as the repeal of net neutrality is not something Luke Skywalker would take lying down. Hamill opened fire upon Pai with the following tweet:
Pai seems to have sensibly realised that this is a battle that can’t be won. But former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is no stranger to fighting losing battles with a total lack of self awareness. Nobody asked for his view, but fresh off the back of calling critics of the scheme easily-led “snowflakes” he decided to tell Mark Hamill about this Star War he’d heard so much about:
According to Cruz, Darth Vader would have rejected net neutrality because it’s a form of government control, which is what the Empire was all about. There are many layers of stupid to this – not least the fact that Cruz can’t spell Hamill – but honestly, none are as significant as an elected official trying to justify policy via a science fiction franchise, so I’ll let Hamill take over here.
That last point relates to Cruz’s Twitter account favouriting a porn tweet earlier this year, something the Texas senator blamed on his staff. That was especially bad, as Cruz had campaigned on such hot-button issues as banning sex toys. The worst thing that’s ever happened to Mark Hamill through a Twitter-like, on the other hand, is accidentally becoming a fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers.