Fun_People Archive
2 Apr

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sun,  2 Apr 100 23:53:08 -0700
To: Fun_People
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X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Neil Gershenfeld <>
Forwarded-by: Brian Noonan <>
  (with apologies to Allen Ginsberg)

  - - - - - - - - - - - -
  By Thomas Scoville

  March 22, 2000

I saw the best minds of my occupation destroyed by venture capital,
burned-out, paranoid, postal,

dragging themselves through the Cappuccino streets of Palo Alto at Dawn
looking for an equity-sharing, stock option fix,

HTML-headed Web-sters coding for the infinite broadband connection to that
undiscovered e-commerce mother lode in the airy reaches of IP namespace,

who poverty and ripped Yahoo tee shirts, cubicle-eyed and wired on Starbucks
sat up surfing in the virtual ether of one-million-dollar, one-bathroom
condos next to the railroad tracks, skipping across the links of killer
Web sites contemplating ... Java,

who rammed their brains into compilers and saw Intel angels staggering on
microchips under the insane weight of investor expectation,

who blew off the search for Truth for as-yet-undreamed New Economy scams,
business models hallucinating infocapitalist messiahs on clouds of market

who abandoned lucid dreams of a Better Way for Shockwave fluff and RealAudio
baubles dangling from the buggy venality of digital commerce,

who, while haunted by the scowling ghosts of hackers past -? Stallman,
Nelson, Engelbart ?- auctioned their immortal souls on eBay, with
documentation and a full year of support included, of course,

who got busted in their spotless Nike cross-trainers traveling through
cyberspace with a file of illegal crypto for Open Source,

who ate sushi in Austin or drank microbrews in Silicon Alley, jousting with
bad mojo funk of layoffs, Chapter 11, or diluted company stock night after

who chained themselves to start-ups for the endless ride from San Jose to
Wall Street on adrenaline and Evian, laptop batteries flaming out over
Oklahoma, no more vegetarian entrees, sir, would you like the latex omelet

endless nights of keyboard grinding and corporate microwave popcorn and
Jolt Cola until the noise of their own deadlines brought them down, gawping,
convulsing, mute, crushed beneath their own project plans,

who talked continuously about convergence and distributed control and
cluetrains and Y2K and extropians and Libertarians and Microsoft and Linux
and slashdot and wouldn't fucking shut up,

who pointed their browsers at Red Herring and Slate and hoping
against hope that somebody might be able to make sense of the infinitely
perverse, ball-busting, soul-scorching, silicon-supernova black hole that
kept them awake all night every night and wouldn't let them alone long
enough to find dates in this lifetime,

who tattoo'd and pierced and dyed and branded themselves in a desperate
act of self-mutilating cyber-hepster cool, all the while wearing a suit
and tie on the inside they could never, ever take off, and praying nobody
would find out about the MBA,

who renounced the smokestack relics, the old guard and their father's
Oldsmobile only to find that they had been replaced by artifacts even less

who chanted the free market mantras of laissez-faire and techno-darwinism
and Adam Smith's invisible hand-job except when Big Bad Bill the Bully
Gates-of-hell came to take away their -- and became Socialists

who stalked investment bankers through Bistros and wine bars and martini
lounges, begging pleading groveling for one more hit of funding from the
luminous check-book oh please oh please oh please

ah, Bill, you are not safe, I am not safe, and now we languish in the dot
com pressure cooker hoping for one last buzz of the old hallucinations.

The wrecked avenues, the sullied conduits, the pinched pipes of a
quadrillion dropped and ruined packets.

The world wide waits, the denials of service, the infinite hosts of hardcore
farm-animal boredom, ghoulish domain-name squatters jumping out from behind
every virtual tree.

These failed revolutions, these paradigms lost, the end of Web Time, and
P/E ratios good to last the next thousand years.

Dot com! Dot com! Dot com!
forever, and ever, ka-Ching

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