Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Wednesday, June 11, 2003

 

Broadcasting "Beating the Brand"



Doc and Evan Hunt and Unlocking the Air have some great commentary on Beating the Brand. I've also had a lot of great email on it...

One of the things I still enjoy about the Internet is meeting new people, like Pericat. It doesn't happen often enough... She wrote: Often we don't realize just how much noise is abrading our senses unless we can find time to get out of the city and head for the backcountry, where all we have to deal with are the logos stitched onto our packs, tents, hiking boots, polypro, sleeping bags... Amen. I'm taping those out, too.

Surfing I have to stare at "Freeline" all day. Why? Why? Why?

Then there's Jude's page on Unbranding Resources. :whew: it's not just me that's suffered a branding meltdown.

Doc suggested that a song is in the offing... well, um, maybe. But I'll be damned if I write a jingle, and the very idea of having to practice a new song with brand names in it gives me the heebie jeebies. I'd rather perform John Cage's 4'33".

Evan wrote about the profound moment he first used my server's junkbuster proxy to strip out banner ads. "it was like I'd been living in a vast cloud of poison, and never noticed it until I walked out of it one day, and breathed fresh air for the first time in years.".

I was dealing with some heavy personal dissonance then and was glad I could unplug a battery at 00.01% from the Matrix... I'll write more about surreal experience of learning to loathe the banner ad some other time.

There's a scene in Beating the Brand - with "Ham" the marketing monkey on our backs, on the radio to the "Closed Software Foundation"... I lifted the idea of a Closed Software Foundation from one of Evan's plays, the Phantom of The Operation. Thanks.

(PS: Tell bruces to send some of that great gonzoid random co-incidental cosmic communications my way, I miss that crazed harp player, his wit, his screeds, and wisdom. For insane writing style - me at 4AM vs the immortal Bruce at any time of the day - disaster film at 11 - compared to Bruce I am brain-burnt. The talking trips that dude could lay out still resonate. Dig it? Why the hell ain't he blogging? He could be one bad-ass blogger - as far as I'm concerned he laid out some of the tracks for the cluetrain - hell, he harvested some of the lumber...)

Another friend wrote in and mentioned that I have coffee mug with "Cybernation" on it, a brand, and thought it ironic I'd written a song about it. Cybernation wasn't a "brand" to me then - it was a concept - a meme - that "We all live in Cybernation/In mystical magical wall-less cohabitation". I wrote that song in 1996.

I was Johnny Net back then, bringing the Internet to the People with a sort of missonary zeal I haven't felt before or since. I was on fire with all the possibilities there were in connecting people to other people all over the world. I was delighted, amazed and overjoyed at all the cross pollination that was taking place, the incredibly mixed crowd that Cybernation, the internet Cafe, drew: Geeks, geezers, punkers, businessmen, strippers, boy scouts, and girls dressed to the nines...

Channel 7 used to make a point of filming computer related issues there - everybody was turning on, logging in, meeting people, websurfing, thinking, playing computer games - and sometimes they even turned and talked to each other.

It was a wonderful, inspiring place and time. So I wrote a song about it. In the long version of the song I do a Alice's restaurant sort of rap on what's happened since - I'm still upbeat about what the Net has done to reshape global society - to connect all of us - I love getting email from strangers and from friends that think they're strangers.

OK, OK, now and then I get a bit cranky about what's gone wrong since those days... but I remember



I've loved living in Cybernation. Download yerself a copy and have a listen. One day I'll get in the studio and record it right.

The day after I posted Beating the Brand, and tired of the post-its - I biked down to the hardware store. I wanted to get some black & silver tape, and some spray paint. I got the tape, but...


You just have to laugh, belly laugh, at a world where spray paint is a controlled substance.
I gotta log out now, I have some more heavy personal dissonance to deal with.

Thanks for listening. mike
 
Comments:
An interesting blog...I want to share with you my latest post about favorite coffee mug...Share your mind too...
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
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Prior Rants - Laid off When you're staring at a brick wall's worth of wri... Intro to: Beating back the brand (& avoiding the r... Chipper comments on my de-clutter the user interfa... Wednesday Finally got to the sleep apnea doc we... Mac-unkindness I was a little unkind to the mac... Clue-Entrainment I haven't written any code in ... Entrainment Entrainment is when your body syncs... Thalmus, theories, redux After eating: 97.9F. ... Hypothermia One toe is 30% larger than it needs...
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
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Where's Cherie?
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The Cubic Dog
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