Today in Cognitive Dissonance

Here's a particular contrast that I found to be mildly interesting. Take two articles from the same website, back in February. First comes this random note about the state of the American DVD industry. Four days later, we see another article that criticizes a hacker for promoting video game piracy. (And if we look two months forward, there's the doubling down in April, calling out Anonymous this time!)

I'm not really sure what to make of this. I could ask myself how much we actually need the American anime market to exist, but that's a fairly dark line of thought. Condemning the author of those posts is right out; partially because that's a weak contradiction, but mostly because I feel like I have the exact same level of cognitive dissonance here.

I like anime, of course. (Although I post about it less than you might think.) And I like watching new anime just as much as anyone else. The problem is that new anime doesn't exist in the United States. Broadcasts in Japan are so rarely shared with the United States. (Although, streaming is becoming more and more common. That's another interesting essay that will have to go unwritten for now...)

I want new anime. But I don't want to pirate it, which is what fansubs are, in the end. That leaves me with zero palatable choices. I mean, even Japanese fans would have to wait for the DVD releases, and I waited with everyone else for the OreImo Japanese DVDs when I was actually there. (Sadly, I had to leave before all of them were released.) But usually American DVDs are even more delayed than that.

So what do I do? If I download a fansub, I am essentially stealing the anime, much as anyone who simply downloads a game is pirating the game. I can't condemn the latter without damning fansubs with it. If I wait for the DVDs, I end up being a month behind everyone else if I import them from Japan (which is hideously expensive) and several times that long if I wait for American DVD releases.

According to Wikipedia, "cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously." I want to maintain my personal moral code; I don't want to have to wait to watch new anime... that's an accurate description of my current state of mind, all right.

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