Fork in the road

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When President Obama delivers his Saturday radio address, it’s also shot on video and delivered over YouTube. When the news broadcasts excerpt from it, they use the Internet version, the one with pictures. It’s no longer a radio address; it’s a Webcast.

This week I tried to record the second season premiere of Damages, a twisty series with Glenn Close and Ted Danson among others on the FX network. No luck on the first try on Dish Network; the recording lasted 40 of the 70 minutes. A second try on Comcast bombed out after 5 minutes, but it may have been a 5 minute recap of the first season that tripped up the “New” show algorithm. Then on a hunch I checked Comcast’s On Demand repository and sure enough, there was not only the first show of the new season but the whole first season.

Today I get an email from a friend with a pointer to a new Neil Young song, embedded below. It’s the harbinger of spring, the groundhog not seeing his shadow or whatever, the fork in the road where we say what we want and who we want it to over the realtime network. It’s got that Crazy Horse feel mixed with a gnarly hip state of the union vibe. As Neil spits out the lyrics amid chunks of an Apple he’s eating (a visual pun?) the bank is busy repossessing a flat screen TV in the background.

Once the Cartel understands the musicians have repossessed the direct connection to the marketplace, they will quickly come to terms with the New Silent Majority. Apple’s nifty sidestep of DRM and the carrier’s download lock on music attacks both Amazon and MySpace Music where they live. Neil Young has been producing music out of his own studio for years, and this video looks like it was shot out in front of the building it’s housed in. It’s an unbroken circle where the artist controls both the means of production and distribution.

Obama and his team did much the same thing during the campaign, harnessing the realtime network via Blackberry and social networks to coordinate fund raising and campaign infrastructure. The party apparatus was sidestepped, crippling the Clinton machinery and undermining the aura of inevitability and its attendant threat of being shut out in the next administration. It’s like what happened with Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone, which obliterated the 3 minute song length of the Top 40 AM radio single and with it the differentiation with the better sounding wide open FM format.

Fork in the road indeed. Laced with obscenities, political commentary, and humor, the 2009 Neil Young has once again found himself back in the center of what’s about to happen. Not bad for someone who falls outside the 18-49 demo and right in the heart of the richest, most desperate to have a good time, and ready to take no bullshit about what we’re leaving to the next generation.

  • Cortland Jeffries

    What’s up with TechCrunch that you post this dribble? How about some professional editing on pieces like this and the basic requirement that it provides useful or slightly entertaining value. It’s rambling and poorly written and Steve is out of touch on so many levels. But, Neil Young is one cool cat. So Steve gets a smidge of credit for dropping his name. But only a smidge.

    • Gilmore: Writing tips 101

      Horrid story presentation. Terrible verbage. Awful transitions.

      Some suggestions:

      1. You know when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea: have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the reader.

      2. Nowhere in your rambling incoherent story did you come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. We are all dumber for having read it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

      3. Go back to fucking chickens.

    • The Schaef

      I’m forced to agree. What does a failed attempt to TiVo Damages even have to do with this?

    • Terry

      Cortland your comment is spot on. Where is the copy editor when you need him. I was absolutely astounded that this incoherent drivel was ever posted.

  • Brent Norris

    Meet ya somewhere in the middle, we’re working this from the local government level, up.

  • J


    • Al Allen

      Daring escape from government-run insane asylum + stolen labtop from murdered co-ed + starbucks cafe w free wifi + hack into Techcrunch + upload unfocused technology op-ed

      = Steve Gilmor’s Most Successful Day Ever

  • DoolBozorg

    Slow news day? Worst. Post. Evar.

  • Howie

    Is that paragraph about Damages supposed to be in this article?

    Other than that this highlights how interesting and important a time we are in where we can communicate so widely and directly

    And Props to Niel Young for not only still being relevant but also still rockin (in the freer world)!

  • Aaron Brethorst

    Steve – huh?

  • Today’s Steve Gillmor Cliff Notes

    […] Steve has a new post up on TechCrunchIT. It’s six paragraphs long, and took me a good three read-throughs before I found the kernel of meaning buried deep within. Steve’s articles remind me vaguely of the high school English class I had about a decade ago where we read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. I’d kinda skim over a paragraph and find myself thoroughly confused by the introduction of two new characters and the death of someone else. I think it took me two weeks to slog through its hundred-odd pages with the barest modicum of understanding. […]

  • Steve Gillmor

    Worst post ever. Wow. Thanks. See y’all Inauguration Day.

    • Homeland Security: STOP Gimor from attending

      Attention Homeland Security:

      A moron in a stupid hat will be skateboarding his way to Washington DC to cover the Inauguration Day.

      The idiot’s name: Steve Gilmore.

      Please pull his jacket, locate him, and arrest him on the spot. He is a danger to all lucid technology readers everywhere.

      Without question, this moron will ruin a very important day for all of us.

      • coldbrew

        You really don’t get it? Gillmor has to connect the dots for you to understand, apparently, and he just won’t do it (for whatever reason). I believe that reflects on your intelligence (not his).

        Maybe I’ll do a bullet point version for those that find his stream-of-consciousness method elusive.

  • RottenCore

    Speaking of Apple

  • Simon

    Do I need to be drunk to understand this?

    • whiskey

      Nope… Been there, done that, to no avail…

      Can somebody tell us if it’s weed, crack or meth what we need to “get” this?

      Steve, take no offense but… The message gets lost in between so many ideas that you wanted to not only convey but connect… It’s like you are trying to say something really simple but had to fill your post with “this” many words…

      An update on how’s rehab would be nice!

  • Will Johnson

    I tried very hard to understand this post, and failed repeatedly.

  • Josh

    Worst post ever indeed.

  • Robert Basil


  • Jon S

    I don’t normally comment here, but I agree, worst post ever. You lost me at some rant about Tivo/Comcast.

    Fork in the head indeed.

  • Fire Gilmore: Hire Monkey in Diaper

    Please fire Gilmore. Or kill him. Just get rid of him.

    Go to the zoo and hire a monkey in a diaper. Just from a mathmatical standpoint, his various slaps to the keyboard–in between feces throwing–would be much more enjoyable reading than the post above.

  • I will pay TC $1,000 to punch Gimore in the balls

    Hey Mike:

    Any chance TC will start online bidding auction to punch Gilmore in the balls?

    His drug-induced posts should be considered acts of intellectual terrorism.

    Place this retard on a watch list. Take away his ice cream and stupid hat.

  • Gillmor's stupid article just killed my grandma

    Thanks for making zero sense, moron.

    You just killed my grandma.

  • I understood Steve's article

    It made sense to me. I don’t see why everyone is making such a fuss.


    Charles Manson
    California USA

    PS: Twinkie bicycle mouthwashed in my dad’s band camp chimmy chunga zipper loto ticket Carter Ford Nixon zgreee doodah nazi tramp steamer.

  • Richard Carter, FCD (@gruts)

    Ignore them, Steve, they don’t understand. Neither do I, but I’m just here for the ride. We’ll all catch up eventually.


  • coldbrew

    Fork In the road: the hand-holding version

    Theme: The web makes production and distribution of content more democratic.

    -State of the Union is now a webcast, on a two-way medium (the web) not a one-way radio rebroadcast

    -Content on TV is not only available when the channel owner/ content producer dictates, but on-demand as the consumer dictates (or cable provider)

    – Professional artists (in this case Neil Young) are producing content and delivering it in near real-time in way where the consumers can directly talk back to the producer without the traditional gatekeepers in the way

    – Obama’s campaign effectively used technology to take the message directly to voters and get them excited without having to be entrenched within the DNC (i.e. 8 years ago Clinton would have one because of political connections)

    • Chris

      Just because *you* get it, doesn’t mean it’s good writing. Even if the rest of us *are* drooling morons, the article still sucks.

      Steve, you’re fired.

    • bghutchins

      Smart people expect decent writing. Your “hand holding” bit is truly lame.

  • Charles Lawrence

    I really don’t mean any disrespect, but Michael come on. I think we, your readers, have had enough of Steve Gilmore on Techcrunch. I cringe every time I see that you have let him post anything on your site. 95% of the time, I start reading a story without looking at who wrote it and know from the style if it’s you, Eric, JB, or Robin. Or Steve. … or Steve. He is incoherent and rambles. I just don’t see people commenting that counter my point. Millions of your fans love your site for what it does, and this just doesn’t fit. I wish you would post more.

  • Joel

    At first I thought the same thing many of you are thinking – is Steve smoking pot? But I’ll tell you this: I read only the one and half paragraphs in Google Reader and it’s the first time I’ve clicked through on a blog in months – good work. There’s a difference between being a “tech blog” and getting people excited about things. You’ve done both.

  • Joel

    I would love to see an analytics breakdown of Gillmor’s posts – I bet the doubters would be astonished.

    • still doenst understand

      only because we have to read it a billion times to understand the post

  • Well then

    Steve is like Andy Rudey from 60 minutes just rambles. More power to ya Steve, keep it up.

  • zet

    Steve Gillmor has my personal permission to post any nonsense he want as long as it will have songs as good as the one from Neil Young here attached to it

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