Linux Melodrama

You're not a full-fledged citizen of the Internet unless you've done at least one of the following:

  1. Had somebody publish embarassing pictures of yourself doing something sexual with lawn furniture.
  2. Pretended to be the ghost of a 9/11 victim.
  3. Participated in an open source community's flame war.

I suppose we can now call Ishy a thrice-good citizen of the internet because that last point has finally been fulfilled.

What you learn as you earn your citizenship is that everything that constitutes the material on the Internet sucks. Especially the software that drives the Internet. No matter what the zealots of Distro X or Call of Duty tell you, software is the Chief of Staff of the Internet's army of suck.

Once you realize that the feelings you have for that plastic flamingo don't change how much your footage of it sucks, you start to look for ways that the Internet can cut the Internet out of your life.

You start down this slippery slope of abandoning the most obviously sucky stuff for using sucky software that names itself after some African hippie cult. You may think yourself dapper as you obsess with other corporate shills over hats. Before long, you are likely to stumble upon the little piece of architecture which seems to embrace the truth of its own suckyness and embarks on a crusade of astronomical nihilism.

Arch was attractive to me because it had no features to ruin. At least, so I thought. Some called it difficult but it really wasn't. All you had to do was read the wiki and the process was easier than most other distro's I'd used. It was really my kind of lawn furniture.

Trouble is that as you adapt to this mentality, you start seeing all the little details of your system as "features." Kernel modules? Features. Config files? Features. /lib directory? Feature. Init system? Feature. Look at all this sucky stuff that has to go!

It's a darn good thing that Arch is here to help you do that. Leon Trotsky urged the Soviets to embrace a constant philosophy of Revolution until the day that the new socialist man was born and there was no more need for Revolution. Arch urges users to embrace the philosophy of constant reconfiguration until you realize how much it sucks and stop configuring your system entirely.

If you check the mailing lists, you'll find that there are some members of the community about to get banished to Kazakhstan. The present Arch civil war looks a little something like this:

init scripts advocatessystemd advocates
Change is scary, scary is bad!Change is implicitly good!
I don't want to changeYou have to because of NEW
You're being a fascistYou're a cry baby!
I'm contentContentment is moronic
I tried it your way, it sucksYou didn't try hard enough
It's un-arch-likeYour mom's un-arch-like
You're wrongNu-uh! YOU ARE

If you didn't realize that Arch is actually a part of the software equivalent of the Voluntary Extinction movement, you might think that these people are attempting and failing to argue the merits of a software system.

No, this community is far too apt to be accused of such astonishing failure. What the lay person may see as a pathetic attempt at argument is actually a masterful success at self-obsolesence.

The Arch community, in its genius, is fulfilling the purpose of their distro with masterful grace by sliding effortlessly into a civil war that will tear their nation apart. Refugees like me will flee to California or someplace in lizard country because we are too weak to go down with this ship.

Date: 2012-08-15 21:11

Author: Anthony "Ishpeck" Tedjamulia

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