The internet used to be cool.

You know, I miss the old days of politics and law on the internet — the days when the big thing was free speech activism, when awesome people like Seth cracked the censorware encryption, when everyone was up in arms over Dmitry Sklyarov… not this stupid DMCA nonsense, record companies suing grandmothers for not closing their ports, all that garbage. But what I really miss is being on the cyberia-l list and reading the occasional beautifully written word salad from the wonderful John Young. I was going through the archives for obscure purposes, and I found this, which is the last of his screeds that I saw, and, I think, my favorite. It’s about the eternal (and terribly unfortunate) feuding between Mike Godwin and Seth Finklestein, but which at least inspired the following from John:

According to wise ones here Seth and Mike have
become hollow versions of their formerly entertaining
personas, or appear to have transmogrified into silly
pretenders of being more mature (spit) and above the
fray (puke), with both issuing unbelievable condescensions
as if unctioning vapidly, vacuously for the record (gag)
rather than continue in their raw-meated, net-loosened
all too long professional-career tied-tongues.

Hardly worth reading, these calls for forgetting
the audacious, literary, eloquent enviable Seth and Mike,
good reading to be reminded of what they did and can
again do best: spout the hardly spitten out loud in public,
without calculated beforehand and afterhand apologies,
no shading the lingo for impresssing judgmental argumentators
and writ-job dispensers and reputation mark-uppers, no fearing
of public resource squandering litigation (loogey), no
hoping, angling for erasure, faint-hearted and auto-second-guessed,
of passionate outbursts — shit, bloviated judges do that to set
the record straight (rip-tongues) after Janusing their
inchoacies at decrypting-genius stenographers.

Out damn decorum, keep that the poker-face lying record in
monocular penitentiary of justicican halls where pantopticonism
terrifies self-over-correcting wutzes.

Up incorrigibles, beyond-median-spiritedly, wine-driven-oracular

Damn, I miss that dude.

(Normally I don’t publish e-mails, but since this was sent to an open list, with open and googlable archives, it seems fair enough game…)


One Response to “The internet used to be cool.”

  1. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    Did you know I did a blog post translating that missive from Younglish into English?

    John Young cypherpunk poetry (about Greplaw Interview discussion)

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