If dead people can vote in Chicago, East St. Louis and Miami, why can’t they express political support for Microsoft?
That seems like a reasonable question in wake of Thursday’s Los Angeles Times report that lobbyists had orchestrated a “grass-roots” letter-writing campaign — not for the first time — on behalf of our favorite monopolist, and that at least several of these letters to state officials were sent over the signatures of people who were no longer living.
Sleazy? Of course. What’s new?
Actually, Microsoft’s big mistake here was that it didn’t tell its opinion-laundering organizations to use better dead people.
The should have signed Abraham Lincoln’s name to one of the letters, for one, explaining why all the break-up-the-company stuff was so wrong. Honest Abe surely would have said, “An operating system divided against itself cannot stand.”
Or this from Napoleon, who understood the nature of power: “God is always on the side with the biggest market share.”
Or King Solomon’s certainly negative view of a corporate dismemberment: “We looked at this idea. Trust me. It won’t work.”
JFK: “Ask not what Microsoft can do for you. Ask what you can do for Microsoft.”
Microsoft’s failure to use really great dead people in its defense just goes to show the company’s lack of innovative thinking. If I, a fellow journalist and my brother, Wiley, could come up with those examples off the top of our tiny-brained heads, imagine what the combined mental firepower of Microsoft’s well-funded political supporters should have done.
No doubt you, too, can think of some dead people to rally in support of Microsoft and its continued push for domination of not just computing but all communications and commerce.
Send me your ideas. I’ll post my favorite ones here.
UPDATE: Well, some great submissions are coming in. Here are my favorites so far:
“We have not yet begun to test our legal budget.” — John Paul Jones
“Give me Microsoft, or give me death!” — Patrick Henry
“An OS is able if Microsoft releases it.” — Buddha
“The only thing we have to fear is competition itself.”
“The only thing we have to fear is open source software itself.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“I have a dream that when we let the freedom to innovate ring from every PC, all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing ‘Windows at last! Windows at last! Thank Gates Almighty, Windows at last!'” — Martin Luther King Jr.
“Let them eat Service Packs.” — Marie Antoinette
“There are only two truly infinite things, the universe and Microsoft. And I am unsure about the universe.” — Albert Einstein
“Two roads diverged in the woods,
and I took the one Microsoft traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost
Many thanks to all the contributors!