Broadcasting "Beating the Brand"
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
(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
Sitting outside on Cybernation's front porch with this cat named Lowell. Lowell slept on a bean bag in Cybernation's office. We were playing chord games, and we sung up a couple real stories, and eventually the song came out of it. Although I know who "Virginia" was, she wasn't me, and I ain't saying who he was. As for the Princess of Morocco, well, I never saw her online again. Someday, though, I will get to France.
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...
...they wouldn't sell me any spray paint, because I didn't have ID on me.
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