Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mystic Bourgeoisie: beyond Cluetrain and Gonzo

Mystic Bourgeoisie is a new book-blog by Christopher Locke. A blog about a book, a blog that will become a book, a book that's evolving out of a blog.


I love the fact that it's a brother blogspot blog, but I have great misgivings about the "bourgeoisie" part of the title of both book and blog. This is one of the hardest words to spell in the Frenchified English language.

Christopher Locke, aka Rage Boy, operates two blogs:

* Chief Blogging Officer

* Entropy Gradient Reversals ("the zine for discerning internet surrealists")

Chris is one of the co-authors of the classic revolutionary seminal webonomics theory text The Cluetrain Manifesto. Another book of his, Gonzo Marketing, is one of my biggest influences and inspirations.

Christopher Locke, Jakob Nielsen, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Lacan, Seth Godin, Tom Peters, John C. Dvorak, Evan Williams, Nick Usborne, Robert Scoble, Mac Swift, Paul Woodhouse, John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong, these are among the super special, heavy duty, hardcore role models and gurus of Vaspers the Grate.

Here's a tiny taste of Gonzo Marketing...


"From an internet perspective, web micromarkets don't think of themselves as markets at all, but rather as nascent communities of interest. They tend to gravitate around articulate, knowledgeable, entertaining voices--individuals or groups driven by a passion to communicate their views." (p. 13)

"Companies talk about branding products, but what mass marketing is really about is branding people--stamping product impressions onto as many forebrains as possible as many times a day as possible. The product is boring? No problem. Get a bigger hammer to drive the message home." (p. 27)

"There has to be some sense of going over the edge, taking a leap into the unknown, going against all those internal alarms that pose as instincts but are really just paranoid defense mechanisms....To speak from the heart is to become who we truly are, and that's always risky, or at least surprising. If I strategize my speech, anticipating what I think you want me to say, things may go more smoothly on the surface....But we haven't really met." (p.32)

"As networking replaces broadcasting, communication must become richer and more interesting--not just louder and more insistent. It must have character, invite participation. Must differentiate itself from the plethora of uncommunicative corporate blather..." (p. 120)

Gonzo Marketing (Perseus Publishing, 2001)
Christopher Locke


Gonzo Marketing is one of my favorite marketing books, right up there with Seth Godin's Free Prize Inside and Al Ries and Jack Trout's Marketing Warfare and Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.

For some reason, he's been engaging in blogo-combat against the occult New Age movement, examining the pseudo-scientific roots of its practices, the watered down faux philosophies of its ideals, and the brainwashed frenzies of its proponents.

While I appreciate Christopher's zeal and intentions, I find it hard to psyche myself up to rail against the hoaxes and hucksters of the New Age.

Like morbidly boring Harold Potter, I find it all so irrational, medieval, and superstitious, I just ignore it.

However, this new book-blog may prove to be interesting, and will definitely be stamped by Locke's unique, flambouyant, confrontational writing style.


Chris Ritke said...

Ok, I'll admit it - I didn't know about any of this.

Thank you Steven for this!

I'm actually right in the middle of reading The Cluetrain Mainfesto - I'm speachless. Maybe I'll get some of the stuff sorted out in my brain tomorrow when I take Mikey for a walk.

I don't want to overdo it here - but this is pretty much the best stuff I've read since reading Richard Feynman and some of those other guys who really seemed to know what they were talking about. (disclaimer: I studied physics in a past life, sometimes I miss it)

Paul Woodhouse said...

Honestly...half of those folks aren't fit to lace my boots....and you know it. ;-)

I found The Cluetrain Manifesto and Gonzo Marketing in a local cheapo bookshop last week.

I cannily hid them in the women's health section and shall be going back today to purchase.

All this online reading gives me eyeache.

steven edward streight said...

Dude, I passed Eyeache Level many months ago. Wait till you reach Neck Spasm Level, then Lower Back Herniated Disk Level, after which you get More Virtual Than Real Semi-existent Self Syndrome Level, and still later comes, well, I'll let that pixelated nightmare come as a surprise like it comes to all of us, and then there's no turning back, off, or in.

No turning in, sleepless in See Addle.

Take an expression clumsily self-originated, then start using it all the time everywhere.

New posts occur in comment threads and may never rise to the semiotic surface of main index page post.

Interest arresting, huh?

Cluetrain and Gonzo, plus Marketing Warfare and Positioning:

y'oll then have a PhD mentally of all you need to know about modernissimo marketing psychology and the whirled why'd web.

I create my own clutter here.

john cass said...

Steven, did you hear David Weinberger's presentation in France on the idea of the fortress company. Adds something to the conversation.


steven edward streight said...

Fortress Company?

I walk long walks all the time, to help heal my twice broken lower back.

Also for all the health benefits, for contemplative time, idea generation is better outside on your feet moving than sitting in a chair inside stationary. This is proven cognitively.

And As I Walk, I pass hou'ses. I go to areas where the mini-mansions are, one looks like the White House, with a long slender diplomat type flag...a secret hideaway looking like a dead giveaway, sore thumb sticking out, have no idea what it is, but it's spooky, so federal looking.

This is by the park associated with the local university.

But as a military child, I look at all houses as defensible or not in case of guerilla warfare. An idiosyncratic oddity of mine.

I see all houses as good or bad fortresses.

I imagine defending it from roofs and gutters. I imagine scaling it, and by that I don't mean re-sizing.

So Fortress Company is interesting, if you mean hardening the network security.

Is that what he means?

clocke said...

Thanks for all this wonderful praise. I'm basking in it. You can't imagine how totally weird it is reading about oneself this way. or maybe you can. as to the why of my NewAge++ obsession, all will be explained in the book. I think. gods willing. you may ignore this shit, but only at your peril -- it's not ignoring you. it runs deeper and further back into our collective history than I would have guessed when I started peeling back the layers, of which there are many many. and it's shaping our forward history bigtime -- especially so because it looks so silly and innocuous. that's part of the appeal. just found a quote to that effect yesterday -- it was in reference to fascism, but fits the New Age as well. it's the ++ part that gets really interesting. this stuff is not about UFOs and tinfoil pyramid hats. think something much spookier and more sinister that creeps into your head while you sleep. sort of a Body Snatchers thing. sweet dreams! -RB

steven edward streight said...

C Locke:

I take it all the way back to Cain killing Abel: the first political act, act of commerce, and religious cult leader.

"Follow, respect, and kiss the ass of my religious ritual, or I'll appear to be rejected and dejected, and you'll have to die. I'll kill you if you look better than I do. My customers are watching."

--Cain to Abel just hours prior to the homicide.

All war is Cain killing Abel, for religious, economic, and sexual motivations.

All war is ravishing, rape, retrogression to primitive ape state, or splitting amoeba, auto-division.

Cain as first cult leader, first anti-hero, first first class jerk.

As Emmanuel Levinas says, self is obligated to other, prior to self existing.

We are our brother and sister's keeper, protector, benefactor, but not slave or dupe.

So I applaud your brazen and belligerent combat against a great metaphysical evil.

It makes perfect sense actually, when you consider the web as a mesh of angry abused questioners, a tapestry of radical uprisers, seizing control of the Me Media, as a recent Readers Digest article, August 2005 issue, p. 117 ff, states.

Readers Digest confirming and accolading what you and your genius buddies wrote in Gluetrain Misfitesto.