Halp! Is It OK To Download "Games Of Thrones" For Free If I Tell Everybody How Great It Is?

Stealing is wrong. Unless it isn't, maybe? The ethics of downloading free TV, plus how far you should go to include weird people who don't have Facebook in your life.

I can't afford HBO or iTunes but I really really really love Game of Thrones and tell everybody to watch it. Can I feel okay about downloading it from the internets for free?

Game of Thrones referenced AGAIN! If this show had been around when I was in middle school, would it have been safe for me to be an out collector of Warhammer figures? Do the popular high school kids these days sit in the cafeteria comparing Skyrim achievements? I was born at the wrong time, I think.

Look, stealing is wrong. Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s not a nice thing to do. Paradoxically, that same exact pretty-much-everyone agrees that individually downloading entertainment is totally fine, as long as you don’t get caught. This makes us all free riders, and too many free riders are bad news. Think about it this way: the National Park Service Organic Act says you can’t take rocks from national parks. Now, you or I could probably go to Yosemite, take a rock each, and nobody would be the wiser. We would be happy with our new free rock friends. But if everyone starts to do this, we’re going to have a rock distribution problem. Do you see where I’m going with this? By downloading Game of Thrones, you would be literally destroying America’s national parks.

I can’t afford HBO either. I have the patience of whatever the animal with the least patience is. (…A hedgehog?) I feel your pain. All I can say is that you should try your best to avoid the illegal download, because it’s not very nice. Really really really loving something is not really an excuse for obtaining it illegally. (See: drugs.) [Ed. note: What?] What you should REALLY do is join a local D&D group – I guarantee at least one of those nerds has HBO.

Facebook abstainers – i.e. “Facestainers” – how far should one go to include them? I recently created an event in Facebook and sent the Facestainers a screenshot without comment. Was this rude? Another example: one half of a committed couple is a Facestainer and I wanted to share a picture of him/her, so I tagged his/her partner, who does have a Facebook. Right or wrong?

You’re really proud of that term, aren’t you? I know – making up words feels great. I just think you should know that yours has some potentially troubling alternate meanings that I don’t even want to think about right now.

It is rude to send your friends a screenshot of an invitation to an event they aren’t invited to, but it’s not rude to send your friends a screenshot of a Facebook event in lieu of emailing them a separate invitation. It’s a little weird, though, and definitely passive-aggressive! But not “rude.” Nor is it necessarily “rude” to tag someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend/partner to a picture of his/her significant other, but again, it IS weird. They are individuals, for one thing. If someone tagged me but the picture was actually of my partner, I’d be like, “What am I supposed to do with this?” Then I’d de-tag it, and then I’d be like, “Daryl, why are your friends soooo weiiiiiird?” [My partner in this scenario is the dirty and strong yet sensitive Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead.]

I get that Facebook event planning makes things easy and I also get that it can be annoying to have friends who insist on living like cave people. But I mean, come on! They must have email addresses, right? Do you know how long it takes to just write out, “Hey, come to my party this Friday, it’s at 10,” or “Hey, here’s that picture of you throwing up off the roof” to your friend? 22 seconds, I just counted. Pull yourself together and send an email next time. If you must, the postscript can read “P.S. Get a Facebook account already.”

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