Thursday, February 28, 2002

I dunno. I think maybe Chris (Locke) is a bit misguided in asking "What did Cluetrain actually say?"

Who cares?

Well, he does, of course, (and you or I might, too) but my point is really that Chris is confronting the outliers of imperial power, the half civilised tribes on the borders of the pax mercantila.

These are not the people who profit most from the mere existence of the imperium, but they are the people who desperately *want* to.

These are the believers in the American Dream, these are the quintessential Joneses, these are the people for whom it simply *must* be true that all glory, honour, and goodness resides in the god of constant consumption, for these are the people who have sold their entire lives to the service of this particular beast.

They have no choice but to believe, and in believing to take up arms against the occasional infidel who comes to threaten their long cherished dream of attaining citizenship in the earthly paradise.

But they are *not* the beast itself. At worst they are its whores, at best its half-willing victims.

If Cluetrain, Gonzo, and Rants and Screeds are assaults on the paradigmatic gates of Rome, then the ripostes of Messrs Dvorak et al are simply the flailing sympathetic galvanic responses of the vassal legions. Engaging with them is not engaging with the beast itself, slaying them does not weaken the beast, nor breach its walls, nor threaten its power.

They do not need to know what Cluetrain says to know that it threatens their comfortable illusions. It is arguable whether it is even desirable for them to actually know what Cluetrain says. As is typically the case with martial religions, the more ignorant they remain the more effective they are as the shock-troops of god. As vassals of the Divine Emperor they know that it is their sacred duty to execute anyone who points out that he has no clothes. (It helps that their sacred duty is in complete congruence with their perceived self interest, of course.) They are not restrained by due process of law, nor by any quaint notions of rules of engagement, for their visceral barbarian emotional response is itself their primary value. It is part and parcel of the terror that holds the world in continuing thrall. The fear of provoking them, even on slim and unwarranted hearsay, is a means to an end that is not theirs.

Don't waste your time or your efforts on them.

Don't waste your words on them.

Don't waste your fear on them.

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