[linux-elitists] The hairball speaks

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Thu Sep 11 22:58:10 PDT 2003

Quoting Nick Moffitt (nick@zork.net):

> Your powers of inference surpass any powers of implication I may
> possess.  I must admit that is quite a creative extrapolation, though
> I don't think I'll use it.  I don't recall any Nick Moffitt making
> that implication.

To defend the honour of the Nick Moffitt clone clan, I offer:

   Blam.  The single most amazing opportunity to get our message
   out, and it can't even be played on daytime TV even if the producers
   wanted to.

Can't?  I don't think so.  Won't is another matter -- and I honestly 
doubt that (in most of North America, at least) the word "asshole" -- in
reference to nitwits as opposed to body parts -- is forbidden from TV
news clips.  The more telling point (which you make separately) is that
it just wasn't a good use of that moment, which also (much more than the
very mild profanity) rendered it not newsworthy.

The surrounding context of this was, you may recall, Mr. Knotzke and a
couple of others griping to the cosmos how they object to this-or-that
aspect of Eric as a public representative of open source.  Your post had
the merit, at least, of being on a relevant aspect, as opposed to
bitching about (e.g.) the man's often out-there essays on non-computing
topics, second-guessing his psychology, etc.  But it's not as if the
"moment" was _that_ precious, and I'm left wondering whether Eric
produced worthwhile soundbites thereafter.  I suspect he did.

And I might point out that television news doesn't tend to air
back-and-forths between two paries, anyway.  They always favour ten
seconds from side A followed by ten seconds from side B, with the
reporter doing the traditional accompanying interpretive dance that is
considered to indicate objectivity.

> He had his moment to reply TO THE MICROSOFT SHILL.  It wasn't until
> later that the press asked some leading questions of each side, and
> got some of the party lines.  

As was probably apparent from my earlier reaction, I completely missed
that initial eschange at the time.  I was pretty busy keeping an eye
around the periphery to make sure nobody was shooting us in the foot.

I'm glad I wasn't called upon to ad-lib for the camera, as I was very
distracted by all the ways things could have been going haywire.  It's a
pity that outburst is all Eric could think of, but frankly none of the
rest of us -- for diverse reasons, I'm sure -- was willing to step to
the fore and say anything at all.  You may recall that we had discussed
a few branches of the anticipated contingency tree, but aside from my
(aforementioned) last-minute written flyer, none of us had any 
rehearsed text, speech outline, or anything of the sort.  

It's a little facile to accuse Eric of screwing up just because he spoke
initially in annoyance when those arrogant assholes delivered a bland,
we-love-our-customers-and-you-should-talk-to-OEMs prepared statement and
then attempted to ignore the entire reason we were there.  I was amused
more than angry, but I wouldn't have known what to say, either.

Rick Moen                                        This space for rant.

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