[linux-elitists] The hairball speaks

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Thu Sep 11 15:48:25 PDT 2003

Quoting Andrew (akohlsmith-le@benshaw.com):

> First impressions count.  Big time.  ESR took a ton of air out of the
> sails with that opening remark, robe or no robe.

Not quite so fast, there.  

The original claim (Nick's) was that Eric's use of the word "asshole" at
the end of the first sentence precluded use of his remarks on daytime
television.  Now, I vaguely recall from Press Manipulation 101
instruction at the CoffeeNet that you should plan on television guys
using some 20-second (at best) clip from whatever you say.  You
therefore make sure your remarks include the soundbite you intend them
to use, make it the logical thing to excerpt, and possibly even say
minor variations a few times.  If you grant Nick's assumption that an
initial reference to corporate flunkies being "assholes" is unthinkable
on daytime television[1], that begs the question of all the other tape
they shot.  

You say "first impressions count".  On _reporters_ who are present to
get a soundbite for the tail end of the evening news?  Doesn't sound
like any of the reporters I met.

Now, I became extremely busy immediately following Windows Refund Day,
and so didn't have time to monitor the resulting coverage, but if any
reporters (as opposed to random goofballs on svlug@svlug.org) showed an 
adverse reaction to passing averments of corporate assholedom or
anything else from Eric, I can't find signs of it.

> I have to say that this cements in my mind the number one reason why
> ESR shouldn't be within pickup range of any microphone.

Ah.  Any resemblance to celebrity gossip-mongering, in these casual
displays of opinion about the doings of others, must be coincidental.

> With the angst out of his system, he makes very eloquent prose.  The man 
> should be a speech writer for someone who knows how to behave in front
> of a camera and act as a figurehead, but he shouldn't ever be in front
> of said camera.  He comes across as the kid who opens his class speech
> by armpit-farting to get your attention.  Effective, but
> extraordinarily juvenile.

I've heard him speak in front of crowds quite a few times, and have
found him to be an exceptionally effective speaker.  Having heard only a
little of his remarks on top of the garage structure in Foster City, and
remembering those as being OK for the occasion, I'm left to conclude
either that you're speaking solely of parts I didn't hear, or that you
have bizarre standards, or that you're mistaken.

We'll obviously have to leave that question unsettled.

[1] Not being acquainted with it myself, I'll have to assume that Nick's 
well briefed on daytime television, and that he's correct about it being
a Methodist's paradise.

Rick Moen                         This .signature intentionally left blank.

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