driscoll + poetry   43

The Satellite Rebellion
The shows you watch on PrimeStar and DirecTV as well
May seem to fall from heaven, but they rose up out of hell.
The tale of how they got here is a story worth the telling,
As long as you don't take off points for scansion, rhyme or spelling.

Who was it who developed home satellite TV?
Libertarians and hackers thinking programs should be free.
"If photons from your satellite are falling on my head,
You can't stop me from intercepting them," is what they said.

CHORUS:

And it's point your dish up to the Clarke Belt and see
How a crew of crypto pirates brought you satellite TV.

The early program vendors, HBO and MTV,
Sold signals at a flat rate to the cable industry.
The cable downlink stations cost a hundred thousand bucks,
But hams could do it cheaper with some cunning and some luck.

Though amateurs, these microwavers, military-bred,
Had come to see that off-the-air and cable were both dead.
If networks could use satellites to beam their shows around,
Then why not intercept the parts that chance to run aground?

CHORUS

A ham named Robert Cooper is who gathered us together.
Before he skipped the country seeking tax breaks and warm weather,
He ran a cable TV rag in Oklahoma city.
Then Coop discovered satellites, and now he's sitting pretty.

We met in Oklahoma, vendors, hackers, and the suits,
Attempting to legitimize our technical pursuits.
We formed a trade association, acronym of SPACE, *
And even hired a lawyer in attempting to save face.

CHORUS

The first to pull in video and synch it on the screen
Was a double-E from Stanford. We were envious and green.
Though others were attempting it, Tay Howard won the race,
And that's how Tay became elected President of SPACE.

Three times a year at seminars he called SPTS,
Coop brought together those who wanted video for less.
Our trade association was a small, cohesive group,
With Coop our inspiration - and then he flew flew the coop.

CHORUS

Soon ten and twelve foot dishes came to dot the countryside.
When they saw their profits tumble, the cable vendors cried.
Their only recourse seemed to be a brave and costly gamble:
To save themselves from piracy, they had to learn to scramble.

Our best response was standard military ECM.
If they scramble to defeat us, we can just unscramble them.
So what if it's illegal? You think we give a damn?
It's much easier and safer than the shit we pulled in 'Nam.

CHORUS

Just open up the classifieds. A hundred ads you'll see,
All selling tricks to help you pull in programming for free.
The backyard dish phenomenon had spread across the land,
A challenge just as blatant as a line drawn in the sand.

The amateurs and hackers appeared to win the day,
Until the final battle, won by Hughes and RCA.
Our analog decryption skills were better from the start,
So DSS went digital, and shot us through the heart.

CHORUS

* Society of Private And Commercial Earthstations
seti  satellite  hacking  hacker  radio  amateur  ham  hack  filk  folk  parody  music  song  singing  poetry  fun  weird  fandom  technology  tv  television 
9 weeks ago by driscoll
Poetry Bailout Will Restore Confidence of Readers—By Charles Bernstein (Harper's Magazine)
We estimate that for the buyout to be successful, we will need to remove from circulation all poems written after 1904.
humor  poetry  economics  literature 
september 2008 by driscoll

related tags

aaronsw  abuse  academia  activism  adaptation  administration  advertising  ai  algorithm  amateur  america  american  archive  art  automatic  automation  babel  basic  blackness  blahblahblah  blog  book  borges  bot  broadcast  c4bull  campaign  ccs  code  compsci  computerscience  computing  copyright  critcode  critical  criticism  cs  culture  cybernetics  death  description  economics  election  email  english  fairuse  fandom  fantasy  fear  feedback  feminism  fiction  filk  flarf  folk  forum  freeculture  fun  gaming  generator  google  graphicdesign  hack  hacker  hacking  ham  hate  highway  hiphop  history  homepage  howto  humor  hypertext  if  illustration  inauguration  indie  industry  interactive  internet  interview  kids  la  language  law  learning  listserv  literature  lol  lordoftherings  losangeles  magick  mailinglist  management  masculinity  massachusetts  megadik  memory  men  messageboard  metaphor  mind  minitel  mobility  moderation  modernart  music  musicvideo  myself  netart  nlp  nostalgia  obama  obit  occupyboston  occupyIreland  occupyLA  of  openaccess  organization  panic  parody  people  performance  permutation  persia  philosophy  pixel  pixelart  poem  poet  poetics  poetry  politics  pop  popculture  procedural  programming  protest  psychology  publishing  race  racism  radio  rap  regret  remix  research  road  rock  rulemaking  sad  salem  satellite  science  seapunk  search  self  seti  sex  sexism  sexuality  siliconvalley  singing  slam  socialmedia  software  song  spam  startup  studies  teaching  tech  technology  telecom  television  text  theatre  theory  tolkien  translation  travel  tv  twitter  usa  vector  video  videotex  violence  visual  walt  war  web  weird  whiteness  whitman  witch  witchcraft  witches  women  writing  wtf  www  youth  youtube 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: