Despite having been involved in online publishing for almost as long as there's been such a thing, and being a real-life Professional Blogger today, I am pretty skeptical of claims that New Media has Totally Changed Our Discourse, Forever. But there is one radical change that online publishing has brought, and that's the ability for anyone to comment on a published story, instantly. In many cases this democratizing factor has changed a one-way lecture into a two-way dialog; but it has also provided a platform for all manner of crazies to share their deranged thoughts with the world.
This occurred to me because I was doing research for this post about Apple laptop sales (which I've decided that I'm never going to write, because it's boring and covered better elsewhere, so nyah) and reading a ZDNet blog post on the subject (quick version: sales kinda meh, but not anything to panic about); for some reason, I decided to read the comments on the post, assuming they would be amusing. But boy was I not prepared for this gem, from "Mike Cox", entitled "Apple officially finished"!
My rep and I met this morning with our Zune players "locked and loaded". After an hour of taking in the ambiance at Starbucks, we got down to business. On the list was the official demise of Apple. My rep and I wrote an internal memo MANDATING all employees to migrate their home machines to Windows 7. We shut off VPN access with an OS level less than Windows 7 build 6956. Vista is officially legacy here although we will support it for a few more weeks. Of course my rep and I will not provide Windows 7 media; we are telling employees to pay for their own MSDN Universal subscription and get the bits that way. With Apple teetering on the brink, now is the time to go for the kill with Windows 7. As my rep says, "Windows 7 has us all in heaven!".
What ... what could this even mean? Who is this mysterious "rep", and why are he and Mike plotting to force some poor saps to use an OS that's a year or more away from being sold commercially? And why does he deem Apple's softening laptop sales to be some kind of an endorsement (or incentive?) for this insane scheme? It seems to be part of some larger narrative that we're supposed to be privy to, but aren't, and yet there's something almost poetic about the scene set: a couple of dudes rockin' out with their Zunes at some nameless exurban Starbucks before planning the promotion of Windows 7.
I was almost a little sad to find out that "Mike Cox" probably doesn't really lock and load his Zune in real life, but is rather some kind of elaborate performance art construct who's been posting over-the-top pro-Microsoft diatribes on ZDNet for years. Still, that's a project requires even more insane dedication, and I'm glad someone is doing it. So why not you? Come on, join the conversation! It gets lonely in the comments; we could use a few oddballs.