(re: IBM Linux Ads):
It seems like the only way to be a real dissenter anymore is
to be truly subversive. "Image Is Nothing" is it's own
image, and all that bull. Every way you can rebel, there's
someone there to sell you something to express your
rebellion, to profit from your dissatisfaction. So how do
rebel against the leaches that profit off of your rebellion?
If you say they suck, they'll just agree with you and try to
sell you something about how much they suck.
IBM would be happy to sell the idea of the socially
disfunctional hackers with no corporate sensibilities, in
the midst of their almost quintessentially corporate
reality. They don't give a damn.
But they are only willing to go so far. In all the
pandering to rebellion, they still find it hard to consort
with the real believers. They'll never get RMS on an ad,
they probably would never try. He's far too sincere. He
would seem awkard and disjoint from the environment an ad
would place him in; the ad is utterly insincere, entirely
cynical, like all ads (except maybe the ads made from stock
clipart for roofers in the local paper -- they are genuine).
The weird thing is, the advertisers wouldn't look bad in
that ad -- RMS would. The true believer would look stupid
and pointless, utterly unhip. He'd be likely to make
special note of the GNU in GNU/Linux. Not because
he's dumb or doesn't get it, but because RMS doesn't know
how to turn it off. He's so utterly sincere that he can't
play the game and he can't compromise.
Maybe that's the salvation available -- to be so sincere
that the cynicism can't corrupt you. Everyone will laugh at
you and think you're stupid, and it will be like a kid in a
Special Olympic commercial, or the old woman who couldn't
get up, and couldn't act either so that people pounced on
her awkard vulnerability. They can't corrupt that because
to embrace it would destroy their image. Punks tried to
achieve this by flicking off their audience and saying fuck
a lot -- by pissing everyone off -- but they only made it
all worse, helped us all along towards this cynicism which
makes it so hard to rebel. But you can be totally the
opposite and fuck things up a little once again.
It's hard, though, because like all the hardest things if
you try too hard you'll fail.
Anyway, that's what comes to mind. When someone says "Open
Source", tell them "No, Free Software", and when they look
confused say "like speach, not beer", and keep saying that
until you annoy them.
Just walk in and sing, "Join
us now and share the software". You know if one person,
just one person does it, they may think he's sick and they
won't take him. And if two people do it, in harmony, they'll
think you're both faggots and they won't take either of you.
And if three people -- can you image three people walking in,
singing a bar of The Free Software Song and walking out?
They may think it's an organization. Can you imagine fifty
people a day, I said fifty people a day, walking in,
a bar of The Free Software Song, and walking out? Friends,
they may think it's a movement. And that's what it is.
I'd apologize to Arlo Guthrie, but I doubt he frequents