Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little Google Boxes: A Nymwars Protest Song

Time flies! It's been about two months since we started protesting Google's anti-pseudonym policy. I want to thank Google for the heavy-handed indiscriminate expulsions of so many great people. Their ongoing PR double-speak, bureaucratic bumbling and complete lack of change management has roused the community and turned practically all of the mainstream media against the policy.

My fellow activists have been keeping the pot boiling with exceptional work such as the My Name is Me site and hundreds of posts, articles and visual works. But yesterday, it occurred to me that there was one important thing missing: a protest song.

You can't have a great protest movement without a protest song, right? Since the metaphor of the 50's suburban dream is a perfect fit for Google's attempt at creating a Wonder Bread social network, "Little Boxes" seemed like the ideal song. I took the traditional liberty of rewriting the lyrics to better fit the current issue:

Little Google Boxes

Little real names on the profiles,
Little real names made of ticky tacky,
Little real names on the profiles,
Little real names all the same.
There's a Larry and an Eric
And even a Zuckerberg,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all sound just the same.

And the people with the real names
All talk about transparency
As they look out of their boxes
Wanting us to do the same same,
And there's coders and marketers,
And Google executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all sound just the same

And they all use first and last names
And avoid unusual characters,
And put nicknames and psuedonyms
In the designated fields
And their profile and user names
Represent just one individual,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the Nyms all get suspended
And lose other google services
Because they won't live in boxes
Or agree to all sound the same.
There's a Skud and a Violet Blue
And an Identity Woman too,
You should follow them on Twitter
Cause they're not all the same.

Original song by Malvina Reynolds. New lyrics by Botgirl Questi. Performed by fourworlds. Video clips from In the Suburbs.

No comments: