It's just this little chromium switch, here... (derspatchel) wrote,
It's just this little chromium switch, here...

blast from the past

Wow. Found this bad boy in someone's random archive and now I'm havin' flashbacks. I wrote this particular Usenet song parody one day before my birthday, thirteen years ago. Not one day before my thirteenth birthday, one day before-- oh, you get the idea. Amazingly enough, it works okay today, even though the subject is for all intents and purposes outdated and archaic unless you like downloading illict movie bootlegs from some dude in Russia or illict porno bootlegs from some dude in Czechoslovakia.

Most amazingly (to me, at least) the song quite nearly scans perfectly. "" is a stretch... well, you gotta stretch a syllable or two out, and/or maybe sing the "dot" between "alt" and "tv". If I were a retcon type I'd change the line to something a bit better today and you'd never know the different. But now that I've said that, I can't.

Me, I'm just amazed I was able to take the middle bridge and fit in the classic, loveable "This could cost the net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars" warning that newsreaders such as rn and trn would make you agree to before you posted each message. I am a bit embarassed by the aside at the end of the chorus, but I was impetuous and sarcastic then. I have taken the liberty to remove some punctuation that I don't like looking at, but otherwise, what you see here is what you got back in the halcyon days of 1994, when 28.8kbps was a friggin' luxury.

This song was picked up and published in Wired Magazine's "Net Surf" section in I think August or September of 1994. Nobody bothered to tell me about it, and along the way several lines had been changed for whatever reason -- I believe someone really, really, really wanted the key line in the last verse to actually fit with rhyme and meter.

The thing of it was, I remember receiving an email from a singer who asked permission to perform it at coffeehouses or somewhere around Harvard or Brandeis, I can't remember which. (Shades of a certain Mooninite song 13 years later!) After giving my blessing ("whoa, hey, someone actually wants to SING this?") he later reported back that his performances were well-received and greatly enhanced by adding a completely dramatic pause after the key line, which I have no doubt you will identify. HE got the point, whoever he was. Bless your heart, Mr. Random Coffeehouse Guitarist. I wish I'd heard your version.

So if it pleases the court, may I present

From: (Lucky Seven Spatch)
Organization: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Date: 20 Jan 1994 02:55:44

Here's a song I wrote when I was bored. Enjoy.

"The Flamer"
To the tune of "The Boxer" by P. Simon and A. Garfunkel

I am just a lurker tho' my story's seldom told,
I have squandered my commitments for a terminal and access,
Such are Usenetters.
All flames and jest,
Still a man reads what he wants to read and killfiles the rest.

When I started reading newsgroups I was no more than a boy
In the company of newbies, in the quiet of the on-line helpfiles,
Running scared
Confused as hell,
Seeking out the arcane keystrokes all you gurus knew so well,
Looking for

Li li li (FLAME!)
Li li li li li li li,
Li li li (FLAME!)
Li li li li li li li li li li li.
(repetive lil' sucker ain't it?!)

Asking frequently-asked questions, I come looking for a file
But I get no answers,
Just a come-on from the gang on
I do declare
There were times when I was so bored I read the posts up there


Now I'm sending this across the world,
And costing the net hundreds
(If not thousands)
Of dollars, do I really want to be doing this?
Doing this...
What the hell.

In the carrel types a flamer and an idiot by his trade,
And he carries the reminders of every piece of hate e-mail that he got
Till he cries out,
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, you all suck!"

...but we flame him just the same.

(repeat chorus until you feel the song should be over.)
(repeat it again just to make sure.)

in the WIRED version, the key line was changed to "I am leaving, ego's bleeding". Nice try, I think.

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