March 20, 2008

Revolution is Not An AOL Keyword

Eddan Katz wrote this piece: Revolution is not an AOL Keyword, and I acted as his editor, 5 years ago. We posted it to the bIPlog on the first day of the war in Iraq.

We had a real uphill-behind-the-scenes fight about it at the Journalism School, where the blog was then hosted, because some of the other folks on the blog thought it wasn't really under our mission to publish something about the war and culture and the internet. But we convinced them; we knew we would get it published when John Battelle, one of the profs, lent his support for us. And it got slashdotted. And Revolution was made into a tshirt. Which was all a blast after working on it all night messing with the language and placing links ... some of which are broken but I think it matters to keep them intact and original. I think the linking is a kind of expression in this piece.

Eddan and I thought up what Napsterization could be here at this blog, but in the end only I've posted to it. I still wish Eddan would, and maybe someday he will. He's really great.

Anyway.. here is Revolution. I got all misty-eyed when I reread it and moused the links, because it's passionate and it means something, even if some of it is a little out of date. Cause the war ain't over. I can't believe it. I just didn't think things could get this fkedup. But as Robert Fisk says, The only lesson we ever learn is that we never learn. Right on.

Revolution is Not an Aol Keyword*

You will not be able to stay home, dear Netizen.
You will not be able to plug in, log on and opt out.
You will not be able to lose yourself in Final Fantasy,
Or hold your Kazaa download queues,
Because revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.
Revolution will not be brought to you on Hi-Def TV
Encrypted with a warning from the FBI.
Revolution will not have a jpeg slideshow of Dubya
Calling the cattle and leading the incursion by
Secretary Rumsfeld, General Ashcroft and Dick Cheney
Riding nuclear warheads on their way to Iraq,
Or North Korea, or Iran.

Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.
Revolution will not be powered by Microsoft on
The Next-Generation Secure Computing Base
And will not star Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
Or Larry Lessig and Martha Stewart. Revolution will not promise penile enlargement.
Revolution will not get rid of spam.
Revolution will not earn you up to $5000 a month

Working from home, because revolution is not
An AOL Keyword, Brother.

There will be no screen grabs of you and
Jeeves the Butler one-click shopping at My Yahoo,
Or outbidding a shady grandma on eBay for
That refurbished iPod 20-gig.
MSNBC.com will not predict election results in Florida
Or fact-check the Drudge Report.
Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

There will be no webcast of Wil Wheaton boxing
Barney the Dinosaur on the dancefloor at DNA.
There will be no mob- or wiki- blog of Richard Stallman
Strolling through Redmond in a medieval robe and halo
As St. iGNUcious of the Church of Emacs
That he has been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Survivor, The Osbournes, and Joe Millionaire
Will no longer be so damned relevant, and
People will not care if Carrie hooks up again with
Mr. Big on Sex and the City because Information
Wants To Be Free
even while Knowledge Is Power.
Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

There will be no final pictures from inside the
World Trade Center in the instant replay.
There will be no final pictures from inside the
World Trade Center in the instant replay.

There will be no RealVideo of 2600-reading,
Linux-booting white hat hacktivists
And Mickey Mouse in the public domain.

The theme song will not be written by Jack Valenti or
Hilary Rosen, nor sung by Metallica, Dr. Dre,
Christina Aguilera, Matchbox 20, or Blink-182.

Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.

Revolution will not be right back after
Pop-up ads about eCommerce, eTailers, or eContent.
You will not have to worry about a
Cookie in your browser, a bug in your email, or a
Worm in your recycling bin.
Revolution will not run faster with Intel inside.
Revolution, dude, is not getting a Dell.
Revolution will increase your Google rank.

Revolution is not an AOL Keyword, is not an AOL Keyword,
Is not an AOL Keyword, is not an AOL Keyword.
Revolution will be no stream or download, dear Netizen;
Revolution must still be live.

*See generally Gil Scott-Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Posted by Eddan Katz at March 20, 2003 05:45 AM

Posted by Mary Hodder at March 20, 2008 08:55 AM | TrackBack
Comments

I really love this poem. I may not have been involved in its creation, but it still managed to bring a little tear to my eye as well.

Posted by: Aaron M Gustafson at March 20, 2008 02:55 PM

Sorry, but what is mariburjeka?

Jane.

Posted by: sweet-ry at March 26, 2008 01:34 AM