The Developers’ Revue

I started working for an IT company during the Y2K fears. We fixed a number of issues for some large corporate entities, leading to a few lucrative contracts that lasted for a year or two. Then the ownership got caught up with internet start-ups and other tech ventures. We were done within a couple years. Just before leaving, I created a mini-Broadway musical to memorialize the experience.

I have edited the original to protect the foolish.

Copyrights for the original songs that are parodied remain with the current owners, obviously.

[Three developers enter, Juan, Dawn and Leon. Dawn begins meditatively]

I Don’t Know Internet Start-up
(I Don’t Know How to Love Him
Original by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice)

I don’t know Internet Start-up
Where they are, they keep moving.
We’ve been ripped, yes really ripped.
In these past few days, when I’ve met with them,
They seem like something less.
I don’t know how to bill them.
I don’t know why they’ve moved again.
They’re a scam. They’re just a scam.
And I’ve seen so many scams before,
Like an a$$h*le,
They’re just one more.
Should we bring them down?
Should we scream and shout?
Should we speak of court,
Let our lawyers out?
We never thought it’d come to this.
Where is their Sales Lead?
She was just a little funny
It was good to hear her words
Yet I’ve never met someone
So rude, so full of so much bull.
Asking for our dough-
It’s always no.
We never thought it’d come to this.
Where’s their sales force?
Yet, if they hired anyone,
They wouldn’t sell. They could not sell
In person or on the phone.
Are they defunct? Or just bankrupt?
We really do care.
Since they still owe.
Oh, how they owe.
They really owe.

[Juan and Leon immediately launch into a new song]

Jellicle Sites
(Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats
Original by Andrew Lloyd Webber and T.S. Eliot)

How much food can you eat? How about a whale shark?
Which is the biggest part? Your ankle or wrist bone?
How old is Dick Clark? Who starred in Wait Until Dark?
How many people have married Sharon Stone?

Because trivia is and trivia does
Trivia does and trivia would
Trvia would and trivia can
Trivia can and trivia does

How much saliva does Steve Ballmer secrete?
How many times does he wipe his face on his sleeves?
Is your trivia knowledge always incomplete?
Then you should learn to Google or Yahoo or Ask Jeeves.

Because trivia can and trivia does
Trivia does and trivia can
Trivia can and trivia does
Trivia does and trivia can
Trivia can and trivia does

[Enter Dawn, who changes the song mid-stream]

Can you take your new browser to places far distant?
Familiar with keyboard, with mouse, and with screen?
You can cut back on your staff- fire your assistant.
Think of all of the profits that this could mean.

Does your office have kinks? Do you want to store links?
Are you keen to be heard via Internet chat?
For a low, low price and a round of drinks
We can make you into the ultimate Internet cat.

Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats

We can do javascript, we can do ASP
And just like that your application will be done
We’ve got two UPS and one Pentium III
We have got our own NOC, we’ve got a T1

Intranets can and Intranets do
Intranets can and Intranets do
Intranets can and Intranets do
Intranets can and Intranets do
Intranet sites for Intranet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats

Can you have a website and an intranet too?
Can you schedule office appointments online?
Can we save you from what worms do to you?
Hold your hand and say that all will be just fine?

Intranet sites are king of the nights
Loading files and securing the rights
Handling files from everywhere
Hallelujah, jellical choir

We’ve an infinity of programmatical affinity
We can do Visual Basic
And then it will be way so quick!
Hasty, happy, happ’ning and true
To others who do – sick

Intranets do and Intranets can
Intranets can and Intranets do
Intranet cats sing Intranets chants
Internets old and Intranets new
Intranet shirts and Intranet pants
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats

Practical sites, Trivial sites
Mercury Print-ical sites, Fanatical sites
Oracle sites, Educational sites
Skeptical sites, Dispeptical sites
Romantical sites, Penantical sites
Critical sites, Parasitical sites
IBC-ical sites, Metaphorical sites
Statistical sites and Mystical sites
Political sites, Hypocritical sites
Clerical sites, Hysterical sites
Cynical sites, Rabbinical sites

Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats
Intranet sites for Internet cats

There’s a man over there with a look of surprise
As much as to say Well now, how about that?
Do I actually see with my own very eyes
A man who’s not much of an Internet cat?
What’s an Intranet site? What’s an Intranet site?

[Juan struggles to the front of the stage and sings plaintively]

Don’t Cry for Us Temp Agency
(Don’t Cry for Me Argentina
Original by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber)

It won’t be easy
You’ll think it strange
When we try to explain how they work
Their owner needs our love
After all that we’ve done
We could not believe
All we would see
Is a man who couldn’t do
The simplest things for you or me
There was nothing that he knew

We had to let it happen
We had to leave
Couldn’t talk about his youth again
Staring out of the window
Running out of the door
But we worked some more
Running around finding something to do
But none there impressed us at all
We never expected them to

Don’t cry for us temp agency
The truth is we never left you
You grew and grew
Ignored signs of trouble
Fueled by the nineties
Internet bubble

And as for custom developers
You never should have brought them in
It’s us you should’ve hired
We were all you desired
They were illusions
They’re not the solutions
They promised to be
The answer was here all the time
You were blind and would never see

Don’t cry for us temp agency
Don’t cry for us temp agency
The truth is we never left you
You grew and grew
Ignored signs of trouble
Fueled by the nineties
Internet bubble

Have we said too much?
There’s nothing more we can think of to say to you
But all you have to do
Is look at us to know
That every word is true

[A stranger, possibly, bounds onto the stage; he kicks things into high gear for the finale]

Jesus Christ Microsoft
(Superstar
Original by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Ev’ry time I click on Start
I don’t understand
Why I have to buy your stuff
Again and again
You’d be better loved
If you had a plan
Now we’re stuck in a backward time
in any-key land
But your products
Should be cheap and easy to get
The nineteen-seventies
Didn’t have the internet

(Don’t you buy Red Hat) Don’t you buy Apple
(Don’t you get Red Hat, now) Don’t you get Apple
(Don’t you buy Red Hat) Don’t you buy Apple
(Don’t you get Red Hat, now) Don’t you get Apple
(Only use Windows) Only use Windows
(Only use Windows, now) Only use Windows
(Only want Windows) Only want Windows
(Only want Windows, now) Only want Windows

Microsoft
Microsoft
Antitrust- it let’s you overprice
Microsoft
Microsoft
Antitrust- it let’s you overprice
Jesus Christ
Microsoft
Does Steve Ballmer dream of Lara Croft?
Jesus Christ
Microsoft
Lotus never should have scoffed

Hey, Bill, what d’you think
About your friends at the top
Now who d’ya’ think besides yourself
Is the pick of the crop?
Paul Allen buys sports teams and is
A philanthropist
Apple never will go away
They’ve got too many patents
Did you mean to buy Foxpro?
Why’d’ya start MSNBC?
What about Crystal Reports?
Did you know that your IE
Would land in federal court?

(Don’t you get Netscape) Don’t you buy Mozill’
(Don’t you get Netscape, now) Don’t you buy Mozill’
(Don’t you get Netscape) Don’t you buy Mozill’
(Don’t you get Netscape, now) Don’t you buy Mozill’
(Only want IE) Only use IE
(Only want IE, now) Only use IE
(Only want IE) Only use IE
(Only want IE, now) We Only Use IE

Microsoft
Microsoft
Antitrust- it let’s you overprice
Microsoft
Microsoft
Antitrust- it let’s you overprice
Jesus Christ
Microsoft
Does Steve Ballmer dream of Lara Croft?
Jesus Christ
Microsoft
Lotus never should have scoffed
Microsoft
Microsoft
Antitrust- it let’s you overprice
Microsoft
Microsoft
Antitrust- it let’s you overprice
Jesus Christ
Microsoft
Won’t let anyone else stay aloft?
Jesus Christ
Microsoft
Gates was built by Sid and Marty Kroft

[Bows]
[Curtain Calls]

(2002)

Rolling Stone (YGtCTO #174)

Magazine founded by Jann Wenner

I have a vague memory of the Saturday Evening Post popping up on the coffee table when I was quite young, sort of like Life Magazine periodically resurrects in supermarket checkout aisles these days. I suppose a century ago when magazines were the hot new media, maybe The New Yorker, Punch, or American Mercury would have been the thing, though I have jumbled some dates there.

When I got a bit older and could tear myself away from the comic book racks, I was amazed by the profusion of magazines. Many were stuffy or boring or glorified newspapers. Let’s face it, they had to compete with Mad Magazine if they were going to garner my attention. National Lampoon was asking too much. Cream and the other rock rags walked a fine line- they looked like the teenybopper drivel, but sometimes had decent writing. They were brief preparation for that giant magazine printed on cheap paper. Remember how Rolling Stone always seemed to sit by itself, because it was the wrong size? Also, you weren’t going to read their magazine surreptitiously.

Rolling Stone

The dam burst when my oldest brother moved to California and started shipping care packages home. Through the goodness of his heart, he crammed all the magazines that came his way into a giant envelope, after he was finished with them. There was a lot Billboard, as I recall. Nothing was absolutely current, but neither was it so out-of-date that it seemed like old news.

They didn’t just talk about music.
Who knew? They had humor and film and politics and all of it seemed to be written for me. I had not fully grasped how much I had been missing. Of course, I hadn’t fully grasped that I was part of a viable demographic, either, but that happened soon enough. I also started to grasp a few things about discernment in choices, whether they were about record purchases or political support.

What I most took away from digesting those magazines was the quality of the writing. This was long before the 500 word blog post, but fully in the deep end of the 500 word record review. Yet, whatever the length, whatever the subject, the writer had to care about it. Otherwise, it wasn’t worth publishing.

I went away to college. The packages continued with all my gratitude. I moved off campus into a three story campus ministry building. They rented out the top floor. We didn’t have a television, let alone any sort of computer in the apartment. I found work and stuck around campus during breaks. It… was… so… boring…

Don’t tell anyone, but I wandered the building at night, poking into closets. The basement turned out to be a torehouse for stuff. In retrospect, it was probably for a thrift sale. I’ll assume that so I don’t feel bad. You can only imagine my joy at finding a box of Rolling Stone‘s. I must have studied the articles, because I still remember details about Neil Diamond and Warren Zevon and Bob Dylan that no brain should store.

You’ve Got to Check This Out is a blog series about music, words, and all sorts of artistic matters. It started with an explanation. 126 more to go.

New additions to You’ve Got to Check This Out release regularly. Also, free humor, short works, and poetry post irregularly. Receive notifications on Facebook by friending or following Craig.

Images may be subject to copyright.

François Rabelais (YGtCTO Words #58)

Gargantua and Pantagruel


Book written by François Rabelais

It has been a few decades, but the truth of the matter is that I did not read everything assigned in high school English class. I read a lot of it, but sometimes it was just too much to ask. I specifically remember two works: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Gargantua and Pantagruel. No doubt I remember both lapses because the teacher made the pieces seem worthy of the attention of a teenager like me. Wilde will have to wait a bit more, but I have now read the Rabelais’ entire masterwork. Let English teachers everywhere rejoice!

In school, we actually read a few mere excerpts from Gargantua and Pantagruel from one of those Norton anthologies that were everywhere at the time. I checked both volumes of the Everyman Library version out of the local library for this go-round. I mention this because it has an interesting introduction about the translation (the originial was written in Renaissance French), which was done in the 17th century, nearly a hundred years after Rabelais’ death. It seems Thomas Urquhart, the translator, tended to expand on the jokes. So, the numerous funny lists could always use a few more puns. For that matter, Rabelais’ may have been making up words. I wouldn’t know, but the English text is littered with unexpected terms. Let me open at random. Pages 322/323 of Volume One contain the following words: chironomatic, culbutizing, ithyphallos, Jack-pudding, sempiternal, etc.

Yes, we’re all wondering why someone would read all of that. The fact is that the books are funny. The pages are littered with jokes, many of them filthy. Rabelais’ made fun of the Catholic church, lawyers, doctors, soothsayers and bureaucrats endlessly. He had no patience for bad rulers or pointless wars. Relations between men and women provide endless fodder for ribald humor.

François Rabelais

Written as five books filled with short chapters,
the plot moves along at a staggering pace. Halfway through, I realized that it felt most like reading someone’s blog as a long-form work. In this case, it was not exactly autobiographical so much as an unending work of fiction.

Also, the perspective gained is truly remarkable. This was written before Shakespeare and Cervantes. The reality is that people were fed up with hypocrisy and stupidity five hundred years ago. They did see all the ways that warmongers took advantage of people’s credulity. Getting married was a shot in the dark for happiness. Monks (like Rabelais) had children and did much worse things. There are no original sins. Our fault is refusing to recognize them when they reappear before they do more harm.

What’s weird is that I can’t justify encouraging anyone to read this. It is definitely hard work. The references to contemporary events are beyond anyone but a true scholar of the period to comprehend (I am not one). The jokes were written long before modern theories of humor took hold. For instance, the idea that the best jokes list three things was a long way off. Any funny list for Rabelais started somewhere around ten and ended upwards of a few hundred.

Lastly, the books end with… well, let’s just leave it at they do end.

What’s it all about?

You’ve Got to Check This Out is a blog series about music, words, and all sorts of artistic matters. It started with an explanation. 127 more to go.

New additions to You’ve Got to Check This Out release regularly. Also, free humor, short works, and poetry post irregularly. Receive notifications on Facebook by friending or following Craig.

Images may be subject to copyright.