I was naked in the clothes you made
This is believe is the best way for me to introduce my thoughts on Chapter one of The Cluetrain Manifesto. Normally, I would just start up with saying, “I liked his points, blah, blah, blah….” BUT, because I enjoyed Christopher Locke’s words so much, I decided to start my post like he started his chapter. The previous two lyrics I wrote are the next lines to the song “Trip Through Your Wires” from U2’s album The Joshua Tree. The two lines before the ones I’ve listed are the one’s Mr. Locke uses to intro Chapter one. Any author who starts a piece of writing using song lyrics, let alone U2 lyrics, is smart as a whip in my book.
What I enjoyed so much about Mr. Locke’s thorough look at the Internet was how visibly blunt he was about our society. We die, he says. True that, son. But he speaks for us when he talks of the longings that we have- going back to our old childhood haunts, how we can’t freeze time, and how we shouldn’t worry about the “wicked witches” but the bazooka that a kid can pack at recess. We are so high-strung about the world that you start to feel sentimental. Like Archie and Edith Bunker, “Those were the days…”
I really took an interest in Mr. Locke’s assessment of how excited America was when the Internet first caught on fire. I remember when I first got AOL- version 3.0, slow as hell, but I didn’t care. I was finally online, going into chat rooms, sending e-mail, and visiting my first website ever (a Spice Girls fan page-give me a break I was 13). It took FOREVER to load up, but who cared?! Everyone thought the Internet was this secret that only the Trumps and Murdochs of the world used. Ha ha, we got your secret you stupid moguls!!
Mr. Locke was true when he said that the Internet is a cheap form of data and transport. Like American freedom and opportunity, it’s ours as a public for the taking. We need to seize it, the way companies seize control of each other and our money. He is right in saying that many corporations aren’t paying attention to the increased consumption of the Web. They might be here now, but later on we’re going to be saying “A Honda Civic? What’s a Honda?” They won’t have the credibility they once treasured.
Mr. Locke discusses corporations as being the wall that divides technology from further expanding into our culture. He talks about tearing down this wall and letting us stomp on its rubble. The one thing that, oddly, popped into my head that reminded me of such was Howard Stern’s debacle with the FCC. He spit in its face and crossed over to satellite radio, further trashing the government and keeping a ticking clock on his website HowardStern.com as to when he is leaving normal radio. To me, he tore down the censorship wall that separated him from doing his show, his way. And now, he’s moshing on their crumbs and using the Web as his ticking bomb of what will surely be an extreme departure from normal radio. And just to go back to Mr. Locke’s points about how nothing is ever good enough, (the car needs to be bigger, the girl needs to be blonder) I thought I should bring up my employer Shop Rite Supermarkets. We’re in a competition with a better store right now, and the owners believe that we need to redo our floors and change our structure to try and top them. I equate it to getting plastic surgery when you don’t need to.
My fellow classmates also shared their opinions on Mr. Locke's writing. Jessica's post Let's get connected really struck a chord with me because I use the Internet in the same ways she does (e-mail, blogging, etc.). And with the way the media juices the Web for all it's worth, you can't help but wonder what will become of it years from now. Deanna's post We die~ The Cluetrain Manifesto spoke of what I previously stated. You look at your neighborhood and wonder "Where did it all go?". But what I really liked was the way we as a society use the e-mail to talk about people without their knowledge. We can "talk" about them, but it's in words and it's not being "spoken". Also, with Instant Messages, we can truly peel away our protective layers because we are not speaking to someone face to face, just computer to computer. No hidden identity, just an online alias for which we speak from.