The 3 (or 7) Houses of Parliament

Arrested Development Season 3I tried to upload a video from Arrested Development to You Tube. It was 22.8 seconds long and it was bookmarked between a screen that read, “Sometimes satire just makes things worse.” And “Now millions of ‘hip’ Americans think Parliament has 3 houses. Maybe it’s because Congress has three houses.”

The scene I took was from the episode “The Ocean Walker.” In it, Michael asks Rita, who is mentally challenged, how many houses are in the British Parliament. She replies, “Seven!” And Michael says, “That does sound about right.” Meanwhile, the narrator claims that the number is three. When I first saw this episode, I didn’t get the joke. Instead, I thought, “Wow, I’m stupid! I thought there were only two.” So I looked it up, and sure enough, I am stupid—not because I was wrong but because I’m so gullible; I’ll believe anything Ron Howard says.

It occurs to me that many people watching the show went away thinking that the British Parliament has three houses. Not only did the narrator say it twice, George Michael, the most earnest character ever created, says it as well.

But that 22.8 seconds of Arrested Development violated Fox’s copyright claim and the video was blocked instantly. (Ever notice how when uploading videos to YouTube, most of the time is spent “analyzing”? I believe that is just checking the video against such claims.) I am certain that what I’ve created falls under fair use. It is an outrage that such a tiny section of video is automatically discounted without thought by YouTube. What’s more, such a policy is bad for Arrested Development itself. Little snippets like this are nothing if not commercials.

So until I get a letter from Fox, the video is provided here. If I can figure out how to embed it directly here I will.


I’ve filed a dispute claiming fair use. Our society is screwed up when the onus of fair use is on the user, but so be it. Temporarily, the video is on YouTube. I am not hopeful for my claim—not because it is invalid but because the copyright law is now so skewed that it is hopeless. I’m looking forward to copyright being expanded another 15 years for the sake of Disney.

For the time:

Update (7 June 2014 11:00 pm)

I should have done this update a long time ago. Fox agreed with my claim and it is up for good, I guess. You could help me a little. The video currently has 7 thumbs up and 6 thumbs down. All of those 6 thumbs down came at the beginning. I think this is because they thought I was criticizing the show, which I’m not. I think this is one of the most brilliant jokes ever. So you could give the video a thumbs up.

Happy Father’s Day

Father's DayYou may remember that for Mother’s Day, I posted this really great video Thank You Mom. So I went looking for something similar for Father’s Day. The results were poor. All of the videos celebrating Father’s Day were not only explicitly Christian, they had a very traditional view of fathers.

Even when I was growing up in the middle ages of the 20th century, I could see that the standard line on “dads” was wrong. Fathers were much more involved in the lives of their children than commonly accepted. They were a hell of a lot more involved than the standard line that says that fathers lead by example. This is the “we aren’t reptiles” theory of fatherhood: we don’t eat our young!

The great diversity and fierce attachment of modern fathers shows that men always wanted to be intimately involved in the rearing of their children. The moment that social mores allowed this, men jumped at it. This is one of the best and most enduring results of the feminist revolution.

And this is the text from the supremely silly card I got my father:

On Father’s Day… I wanna thank you for teaching me so many valuable lessons like… Money doesn’t grow on chickens before they’re hatched… The early bird gets a job worth doing well, and… Two wrongs don’t make a penny earned. And you thought everything you said went in one ear and walked a mile in their shoes.

To which I added even more silliness. But that’s private.

Happy Father’s Day!