I don’t expect to be treated better than Robert X. Cringley…
So this guy, Juan Devis, reminds me that the politics of the middle-school lunchroom is alive and well in relatively old-ass people. He recently sent me an email response to a previous Blog post calling me “bitter.” This dialectically implies that he is ‘sweet.’ What does that mean?
Calling me bitter is no different from the Bush administration calling Jimmy Carter “increasingly irrelevant.” The message that all of these political appointees want to send to us “bitter” losers is ultimately existential and immediately cynical. The message is that there are no universal laws—except those made by dominator, warlike, flesh men. And nothing else matters but what these dominator, warlike, flesh men want at the time. So we go from French fries to “freedom fries” because that is the imperial mandate at the moment. Being “smart” means that you know that moving from one imperial moment to another imperial moment is “a game” and this game is the only game in town. As the line reads in Blade Runner, “If you’re not cop you are little people.”
Compared to IBM—a company with upwards of 300,000 employees worldwide—Robert X. Cringely (the person under this pseudonym now writing at PBS.org) is “little people.” What a “smart” person is supposed to do, is count the number of bodies snuggling at the bosom of IBM and then count the number of bodies kicking it with Mark Stephens—or whoever this guy is writing weekly for PBS.org. Clearly, to any elementary school student, IBM is the winner: more people “on your side” means you “win.” This is power to the people, right?
The “winning” IBM employee needs the outside world to be impressed with the mystique of IBM. This is just like Juan Devis needing me to be impressed with the mystique of KCET. My not being impressed must come from some “little” egotistical place that we “little people” are all supposed to have. As the thugs say, my non-compliance is simple “player hating.” This is a consoling egocentric interpretation from the egocentric. This is a politician interpreting the world through a political lens. This is a fantasy lover who assumes that “political climates” are acts of nature instead of the craftwork of serious media scientists controlling the weather.
According to “Risk Is for Losers,” here is the real weather report from an IBM employee on the ground in the trenches:
It is hard to say if it will be worse to be laid off or be stuck working your ass off in a demoralized, understaffed environment in which benefits, training, and pay are shrinking and never increased. The real cuts need to occur at the management and executive levels, which are bloated with clueless business school types whose benefits, training, and pay are constantly increasing. This is really a class issue: the executive class constantly reaps benefits while the bottom feeders do all the work. The bottom line is that the people writing these memos are protected and don’t care.
Now fast-forward to the world of Leo Laporte. This the world of the TWiT clique, the TechCrunch.com clique, the Digg.com clique, the CNET clique, the Ziff Davis clique—Leo Laporte has demonstrated his casual acquaintance with all of these “power players.” Now all I have to do is step out of my ego and count the number of times NerdTV is mentioned by these self-described nerds. My count is zero. Out of several years of net-cast rambling, only the likes of John C. Dvorak invoked the pseudonym Robert X. Cringley once on one of Leo Laporte’s shows—to not much reaction. However, the opinion here is that NerdTV and the PBS-broadcast documentary Triumph of the Nerds represent the creative predecessor of all that is “pod” casting and net casting out here today. NerdTV, Triumph of the Nerds and the weekly column on PBS.org all are under the umbrella of a single pseudonym, Robert X. Cringley. But in the world of Leo Laporte, this name really doesn’t exist. I can’t expect to be treated better than Robert X. Cringley…
To me (“little” me), what Juan Devis and his crew are doing with KCET Web Stories in the year 2007 is what kintespace.com has been doing since 1998! Like Leo Leporte, Juan and his posse have better connections than Bryan Wilhite in particular and the kinté space in general. My testimony from this lowly ground and these worn trenches is that the only reason why KCET can, say, obtain digital media from HBO—especially the media from Def Poetry Jam—is because HBO does not consider the material that valuable. My “evidence” comes from one domain that is still marked “under construction” and has been for years. That domain is http://www.defpoetryjam.com/. My other “little” bit of evidence comes from the rule that says when a producer makes a deal with a “major” label that label often completely controls the marketing of the material. This means Russell Simmons most likely cannot launch his own Def Poetry Jam web site until HBO thinks it is kosher. (In the mean time Def Poetry Jam is all over YouTube.com.) One day you should be able to click on this link and it will show something more than a “coming soon” message. (It may be possible that a third party with respect to Russell Simmons and his affiliates hijacked this domain and is holding it for ‘ransom’—but, until one of you insiders will be kind enough to teach us “little people” the true way, we have to spout “garbage” like this.)
The deeper question that we little people are never supposed to ask ourselves is, ‘What does it really mean to be recognized by the “power players”?’ Is Bryan Wilhite “bitter” because he was not cold-called by Russell Simmons, and Mos Def, and invited to appear on Def Poetry Jam? Is Bryan Wilhite “bitter” because kintespace.com was not even mentioned in passing on KCET Web Stories? The universal rule is to look for what the lookers were looking for so you can understand why you were overlooked. It is an egotistical waste of time to spend time reacting to being forgotten. It is better to take note of what the people who forget about you actually remember. It is better to study how the people that they appear to respect are actually respected. This long-ass Blog post is my study of this kind of respect…
My being “bitter” about being ignored by KCET Web Stories or Def Poetry Jam is like me being an actor who did not audition for the new Battle Star Galactica and being pissed off because I was not chosen to play Boomer. What right do I have to be angry for not getting something I did not work for? That sounds like the whining of a thief! Now I really, really liked the old program from the seventies but clearly the new program is not featuring my concept of what a Black male is. According to the aesthetic clearly (but tacitly) presented, the truly great Edward James Olmos combined with exquisitely constructed Korean-Canadian and African-American actresses sufficiently addresses the “Black man issue.” It also follows that Mos Def (who has my sincere respect) hosting Def Poetry Jam can ‘allow’ the producers of that show to dial down the Black man presence because he is so conspicuous. This allows Russell Simmons to “prove” to people who really don’t care that he understands how to market “universally” and it allows a new and improved version of Saul Williams to remain unknown. And, of course, KCET is serving the city of Los Angeles—and Los Angeles is a Latino city—even though Val Zavala has black boyfriend (or husband?)—the priority is to pacify the Latino under classes with programs (on the Web and on television) designed to “address their needs”—we Black folks were dealt with during the 1970s when Morgan Freeman ran the Electric Company and when Lena Horne did my ABCs after a talking mop out of a trashcan. Everyone now is looking for “the new Black,” right?
When you need to call what my talent produces “art work,” then you also need to understand that everything associated with my “art work” must also be artistically coherent as well. This means that Bryan Wilhite is not in “the business” of poetry. (By the way, putting Google Ad Words on a poetry Web site is not a poetry business, folks.) By respecting those that came before me, it has been my strategic fortune but my egotistical/political misfortune to be able to make a living independently of selling “art work.” To the cynical creative professional, what I just told you in the previous sentence is that I am not a “real artist.” According to the “political climate” of the year 2007 (and probably until the oil runs out) a real literary artist performs in front of bands in bars—they get record deals and wear tight clothes. They become a poet laureate for a hotel. They spread their ass cheeks in features films and take acting jobs until Bill Cosby is put back into his place. Does that sound “bitter”? Hah! Watch out for those cavity creeps from all those sweets!