Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Thursday, February 28, 2002
What did Cluetrain actually say?
Most of the most rabid criticism of The Cluetrain Manifesto has been written by people who clearly never read the book. Dozens of posts to Slashdot, for instance, argued -- using the title alone as "evidence" -- about whether the authors (of whom I am one, in case that might be unclear) were in fact Communists. (Uh, no.) And John Dvorak's latest diatribe hardly rises above the level of the Slashdot-posterboy rhetoric, if I can call it that without impugning my own craft. (In contrast to Dvorak, the actual Slashdot reviews by hemos and Jason Bennet were models of critical intelligence.)

Roughly half of these sorts of attacks accused us of being excessively harsh to business. Well, yeah, of course we were. How many manifestos treat their subjects with kid gloves? Oddly, the other half accused us of pandering to the very same audience -- as if the book constituted an underhanded program intended to aid business in its nefarious plans for the stealth penetration of virgin "new economy" markets.

I have put the full text of the entire book online, so you can decide for yourself which of these wild-ass guesses were more true. However, this clip from my chapter titled Internet Apocalypso may be all you need to make up your own mind whether we were being: a) unforgivably rude or b) cynically manipulative. fwiw.

To find anything that isn't overtly complicit with the Great Technology Sitcom, you have to dig down to the underbelly of the Web. You have to get past the sites with commercial pretensions that are slicing and dicing you, counting the legs and dividing by four, bringing in the sheep. You are being incorporated into their demographic surveys. And, predictably, the lowest common denominator is getting all the juice. You are being packaged for advertisers by some of the hippest hucksters on the planet.

Dig deeper. Down to the sites that never entertained the hope of Buck One. They owe nobody anything. Not advertisers, not VC producers, not you. Put your ear to those tracks and listen to what's coming like a freight train. What you'll hear is the sound of passion unhinged, people who have had it up to here with white-bread culture, hooking up to form the biggest goddam garage band the world has ever seen.

What are these underbelly sites about? What's a rock concert about? How about creation, exploring a visceral and shared collective memory we've been brainwashed into believing never existed?

Conspiracy theory, my ass. Schools and teachers, the motor vehicle bureau, the IRS, the military, the line at the bank, the television set, the newspapers at the checkout stand, the news on your radio, the billboards along the highway, and now a hundred thousand cold-comfort web sites. All are tuned to your brain at the deepest level and you have lined up for the coolest, latest-model implant. The carrier wave has been tuned at huge cost to deliver a single message: you are not free, you desire nothing but the products we produce, you have no world but the world we give you.

If you're OK with this, then eat it up. There's a bulimic's dream-feast of killer kontent on the way. But if it already makes you want to puke, get angry. Write it, code it, paint it, play it -- rattle the cage however you can. Stay hungry. Stay free. And believe it: win, lose, or draw, we're here to stay. Armed only with imagination, we're gonna rip the fucking lid off.

There's your market.


12:27 PM | link |



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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

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Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.


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