Before I get into the content of the Intro and first chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto
, I must take a bit of time to hype up the author. The writer behind this interesting piece is a man named Christopher Locke and one, I believe of impeccable genius. Sure his ideas are shared by many, but the man delivers his argument differently than most. I call him a genius because he actually inspires me to read every word and cuts the ridiculously pretentious vocabulary and mumbo-jumbo bullshit that is presented in most works by high-end scholars. To that alone I sing “Halleluiah!” at the top of my lungs.
In almost everything that Locke says, I think he has great points!! I applaud Locke’s writing skills though I really think he should step into the field of comic commentary. In addition, I agree with my good friend Danielle
, who acknowledges that Locke’s intelligent sense of humor and sarcasm contribute significantly to the success of his argument. This is why I have to jump the gun on Julia
who believes that Locke’s over-zealous use of language did not parallel his technical ideas. Sorry girl, but I think that the author wrote in this way to even make a further point: that anything, no matter what topic, and of whatever nature can be presented with humor. Locke’s toy with life and death is tended to be taken more figuratively and he is definitely over-dramatizing his ideas for a very clear and specific reason: One, to not bore us and two, to do exactly what you did Julie, that is make us question how we live our lives. He is over-dramatic and needs to be because people don’t get it otherwise. I'm not trying to be a bitch you did have some really good points.
Locke is right. Even though we are not living under a totalitarian government we are living under totalitarian business. Locke’s critique against big businesses and their obsession to maintain control by rejecting change and preserving traditional custom is not a new one. George Orwell even brushes up on this sort of idea in his novel 1984
. Both works propose that we have become mindless, dependent and robotic forms of society whose belittled purpose is to only serve and produce more funds for our Big Brother- the deep-voiced fat cats in the designer suits. With the ultimate success of command and control (I am laughing as I write this) we have become these pathetic puppets and the ones controlling our strings are the ones draped in Versace. Command and control has created a world with in the workplace much how I envision purgatory to be- that actually might even be a bit optimistic, more like how I envision hell to be. Anyway, I must not get beside myself. I have a mission to elucidate my response to Locke’s argument:
The future business of businesses that have a future will be about subtle differences, not wholesale conformity; about diversity, not homogeneity; about breaking rules, not enforcing them; about pushing the envelope, not punching the clock; about invitation, not protection; about doing it first, not doing it "right"; about making it better, not making it perfect; about telling the truth, not spinning bigger lies; about turning people on, not "packaging" them; and perhaps above all, about building convivial communities and knowledge ecologies, not leveraging demographic sectors.
Locke emphasizes in his introduction that since the beginning of civilization we (man that is) have been obsessed with storytelling
. He goes on to describe how the marketplace has been replaced by the factory and as a result our storytelling skills now suck and the essence of community has been lost. It is true, since the “factory” took over, and I use the word factory to represent all corporate business, a lot has become lost in the need to establish control and make money. The workplace has made life become utterly tedious, utterly boring and utterly restricting. I would rather be burned at the stake than become an anonymous grey blazer wearing employee who hides in a cubby hole and whose highlight of the day is drinking cheap coffee. I promise myself that I will not die with out my voice being heard! And, I will not by any means die bored and wishing that I would have given the fat-cat the finger! I thought we live in the home of the free? That Francis Key
guy who wrote the Star Spangled Banner was a real idiot! Today, no one is free unless you are the corporate head-honcho, the president or God. It has gotten to be totally ridiculous that in being different one will lose their job. You might as well JUST SHOOT ME
In his novel, Locke stresses that we, the common-folk, have become the product of business. I definitely agree. Though if this is true, what do we do? How do we hold onto the little humanity we have left? Locke suggests that we turn our faith towards the internet. I hesitate at first, though I think Locke has a great idea that in embracing the internet and using it to connect with other people again, maybe we can save ourselves. The internet, for one, is the one place where we have “complete” freedom. We can voice whatever opinion and express it with such vigor and crass language as we desire. Locke says that not only does the internet allow us to speak freely, start telling stories again like in the good ol' days, voicing our opinions and beliefs for all to hear. Locke presents this obscure irony that the internet will one day help us to become human again. It might be too soon to tell though I really hope this man will turn out to be right, for it has been such a long time since I heard a really good story.