Posts Tagged 'Social Commentary'

Editorial 4.15.08

Our time has come watch me set it off
It’s been a while but we back
So you can count it loss
We lie and wait don’t hesitate
When opportunity knocks
Break the locks and rush the gates
Seize the day we got moves to make
It’s got to be now
Cause we’re half past late
P.O.D., Set It Off

Fuck, shit, ass, bitch, cunt, whore! Ok I think I’ve adequately expressed my frustration and gotten it out of my system, so with that in mind it’s time for another editorial from me: Th0r4z1n3 the “Editor and Chief” (if you will) here at The Restricted.

Editor and Chief? WTF? That term couldn’t fit me less, if Clark Kent himself had to submit his stories to me. I never in my life would I have imagined myself in a position where that title could even remotely be appropriate. I jokingly use it as a nod to a conversation that I had with our newest writer, who coincidentally now solidifies my being able to use the term our/we rather than mine/me.

As you may have noticed there is a new face here at The Restricted, so I’d like to take the time to introduce you to Tony Glasses; a long time friend and original member of The Restricted (from its original incarnation as a hacker based pod cast). Over the past week or so I’ve been in almost constant contact with him as we discussed what our plans are for this little endeavor, started laying out a game plan, and giving a little forethought to the future. As always “Pod cast” is defiantly on both of our minds, but for now we are going to focus on content and as this thing grows, so shall we. We have however taken the steps, again in forethought, to start filming all of our meetings and discussions for future use… but I’m getting ahead of myself, right here-right now here’s what’s going on:

In an effort to not let this project spiral out of control (again) we’ve decided to lay down some ground rules and limit our topics of discussion to things that will fall under the categories:

  • Editorial: A place for me, or one of the other Editors to post information about what’s going on with The Restricted and keep people informed on up coming events.
  • How To: Simple “How To” guides that will cover everything from Linux, Windows, and Mac, along with tips for hacking everyday devises like your iPod, PSP, and anything else we can justify talking about. The only restriction we’ve put on this topic is that there has to be a legal reason for wanting to do it, some of the thing we cover may be used, or misused, for illegal activities, but if we cannot think of a legal reason to discuss it we will not cover it… for now.
  • Music: A place for us to discuss music in general (artists, albums, and songs) and pass our recommendations and thoughts on all music both new and old.
  • Movies: Pretty much the same thing as the Music category but for film
  • Social Commentary: The area in which we both seem to excel, a place to give our take on current events and society in general.
  • Crème de’ le’ Crap: Well I’m sure most of you have stumbled upon our first candidate for the “Crème de’ le’ Crap” award, Ms. Cristina Garcia, and with its success we’ve decided to keep it around on a monthly, weekly, whatever basis. Pretty much an “Ass Hole of the Month” column where we can highlight the worst of the worst people to come to our attention.

As our reader base grows and we add more contributors we defiantly have plans to expand our topics and other content, so if you’d like to bring something to our attention feel free contact us via email or give me a shout on Twitter. My contact information is in the sidebar and Tony should have his up very soon (if he hasn’t done it already).

In closing I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read The Restricted, and give a very special thanks to those of you who have taken the extra step to subscribe to us either through RSS or Email: “Thank you all for a great first week!”


I’ve also taken the liberty to attach some video footage from our original project for those of you who are curious…

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Death Of A Bag Boy

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin whiskey and rye
Singin, “this’ll be the day that I die“.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Don McLean, American Pie

As we commence with the first installment of The Restricted, and my declaration that “the old business models just don’t work”, it’s kind of ironic that one of my first topics of discussion is about a fast fading job title that I just don’t want to see disappear…

In this day and age of self-checkout lanes, Wal-Mart Super Centers, and getting things done in a fast and cost efficient way, this can only mean one thing: the death of an American icon and the end of something as American as apple pie… the bag boy.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those nostalgic types that longs for the days of yesteryear. I’m just fucking tired of getting home, opening my newly acquired bag of potato chips, and finding that they’ve all been smashed to hell. All because the cashier (who also serves at the person that throws all of my belongings into a plastic bag and spins it around for me to load into my cart for myself) is so focused on getting me in and out as fast as possible, that she couldn’t take the time to make sure that she put all of my fragile items in one bag, even though they were neatly placed together on the conveyor belt just for that reason.

It’s obviously more cost effective (for the store) to have their cashiers franticly grabbing at whatever items cross their paths with little or no regard for what they are and bag it all themselves, all while trying to keep the line moving as fast as possible; because out of the 80 check out lanes that they‘ve so prestigiously lined the entire front of the building with, they only ever open up three.

I came to this conclusion while standing in line, believe it or not, at my local Wal-Mart. (Yea I know, shame on me for supporting the evil tyrannical super chain, but like Tom Hanks says in You’ve Got Mail: “That’s right. They’re gonna hate us at the beginning, but… but we’ll get ’em in the end. Do you know why? Because we’re going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants.” – and like most Americans I find it hard to say no to their prices. If you want to discuss how Wal-Mart is the devil and responsible for the end of all civilization feel free to stop by, you’ll find many like-minded individuals there.) As I’m standing in line I couldn’t help but notice that everyone is getting noticeably annoyed (including my wife), but what they didn’t notice was that this little old lady with the slowest line in Wal-Mart is actually take the time to “Bag” my groceries. I don’t just mean putting them in a bag for me, but she took the time to neatly place my eggs, bread, potato chips, and other fragile items in their own bag and warn me that it contained fragile items so that I wouldn’t inadvertently place other bags on top of it. So amidst the overly exaggerated sighs and groans coming from the other customers, I stood quietly with a smile on my face because for the first time in years I didn’t just watch the young lady at the register put my bag of Ruffles in a sack, and then nonchalantly toss three cans of green beans on top of them; reducing them to a four dollar bag of crumbs. (he he hell!)

Thanks to this little old lady whose name I don’t know, but like to imagine that the biker gang she runs drugs for calls granny, I have seen the error in my ways. “The old business model just doesn’t work” may be something that we are coming to accept, but doesn’t always hold to be true. So like a Bud Lite commercial: “Here’s to you Mr. Bag Boy Position Inventor Man, may your way of thinking live long and die hard.” *cheers*

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The Rebirth

I lay here lifeless in this cocoon
Shedding my skin cuz I’m ready to
I wanna break out; I’ve found a way out
I don’t believe that it’s gotta be this way
The worst is the waiting
In this world I’m suffocating

Skillet, Rebirthing

Greetings and welcome to the first installment of The Restricted. I’m starting this little project for several reasons, but the most important one is to give me (and hopefully soon a few others) a place to put my own (often long) bitter diatribes and commentaries on society in an organized manor.

I’m calling this the “rebirth” of The Restricted for one reason, I feel like it’s a continuation and expansion of project that few others and I started quite a while ago. The original idea was to have a weekly/monthly hacker based pod cast, but inevitably it soon grew to encompass so much more than that, and eventually became too large a task for us to handle; killing it before it even really got off the ground. By scaling back the production, and shifting from a weekly video based pod cast, to a simple weekly blog post or postings I hope to be able to concentrate more on the content and less on what would have been the production. Hopefully this will also have the added effect of making such a project much more manageable for one person to do and still leave room for expansion if others would like to get involved.

First and foremost: this is a project/labor of love, I’m not getting paid for this and for anybody interested in getting involved… I don’t have the means to pay you either. This may or may not change, depending on the success, but I wouldn’t count on it.

So without further a due, I give you the original “mission statement” that guided us though our original endeavor:

The Hacker Manifesto
The Mentor
Written January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today; it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested After Bank Tampering”…

Damn kids. They’re all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s techno brain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world…

Mine is a world that begins with school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. What a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… or feels threatened by me… or thinks I’m a smart ass… or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetence’s is sought… a board is found. “This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear form them again… I know you all…

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…

You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… After all, we’re all alike.

The origin of this document may have been geared towards the hacker and computer communities of the time, but just as The Restricted has grown to encompass so much more than it was intended to, so has this. I’ve always felt that it was the perfect light to guide our ship by; I find it amazing that a document written more than twenty years ago can still have so much relevance in our lives today. This small statement, this bitter rant, this attempt by one single individual to explain what motivates him and the forces that molded him has, rather you like it or not, been able to capture the mentality of an entire sub-culture, so much so that it has become indoctrinated into our entire way of life.

While seemingly hacker/tech oriented, a friend of mine upon first read summed it up perfectly by saying “This is the most punk thin that I’ve ever read”, and that’s what I want to give you… the most punk thing that you’ve ever read!

Just like The Hacker’s Manifesto, punk has also evolved to encompass more that it was intended. By definition, punk is the anit-establishment mentality, and as members of the “technology generation” we are the embodiment of “anti-establishment”, taking away the old mold of how things work and rebuilding them to suite our own needs. The perfect example of this is Eric Alterman’s recent article in The New Yorker, Out of Print: The Death and Life of the American Newspaper, or even Trent Reznor’s recent experiment in music distribution with The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust… the old business models just don’t work!

As we cruse along in this “strange new world” where we are constantly killing the old business models that everyone has become so accustomed to, I invite you to come along and view it from one average American’s perspective, rather it be for good or bad we will find out together… Enjoy!

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