Friday, July 16, 2010

Bill Gates at the AFT - 1984 - UPDATED

UPDATE: July 17 2pm

This comment from TFA Friend... This comes from 1984? Wow, I wasn't even born yet. -- made me think I have to do some background on the historical perspective of the Orwellian year 1984 and the brilliance of the Apple commercial in that context - an attack on the corporate culture of IBM - Gates and Microsoft were just a short time away from replacing IBM as the monopoly power. There is so much irony in that commercial, which was shown only once at the Super Bowl. It was the first shot in Apple's introduction of the mouse and the graphical interface on the MAC - revolutionary. More irony in that Gates copied all the ideas from the Mac for Windows - another term for the graphical interface. So the idea to use that commercial to parody the Gates appearance at the AFT seems magical.

Reminder to the younger gen - Orwell wrote "1984" in 1949 pointedly directed at the totalitarian regimes - Hitler, Stalin, etc . and how they controlled the minds of people. When we actually reached 1984, the corporatization was becoming more of a threat, as we have seen in education.

I may put up a longer historical retro this weekend on Norms Notes and link back here.

July 17, 1am
The brilliant idea was hatched over dinner Sunday night in Seattle with George Schmidt and some CORE members — to use the famous 1984 Apple Super Bowl commercial, an intro to the Macintosh and a takedown of IBM and Microsoft, to parody Bill Gates' appearance at the AFT convention where Unity Caucus drones cheered him on while a small band resisted. What a perfect metaphor for what occurred. Monday AM I emailed David Bellel with the idea and voila, by the time I got home Tuesday morning he had it ready. A few refinements on my end and here it is. All you Gates Windows supporters, come on over to the Mac and see how easy all this stuff is to do. Enjoy!



  1. This comes from 1984? Wow, I wasn't even born yet.

  2. Truly fabulous! As a Mac user for well over 20 years, I never was very fond of Gates. But then again, Steve Jobs has made a few anti-teacher, pro ed-deform comments as well. Anyone own Apple stock? Time to nominate David Bellel for CEO at the next shareholders meeting. Or at least bring back Steve Wozniak. I hear he's a mensch.

    Did Mulgrew and Ellie Engler cover up for the principal at the drowning school? That is what was being discussed all day yesterday in a furious exchange of emails and phone calls at 52 Broadway. Top union staffers even reached out to Randi to get Mulgrew out of his pickle-or was it to hang him? Mulgrew doesn’t know which back stabber on his staff to trust. Engler is “this close” to Randi.
    Today’s Post said teachers sent the UFT information about safety issues-before the drowning- involving the principal but that the union did not forward to the complaints to DOE.
    For real?
    So the family should know they can now sue Mulgrew because he covered up for the principal (nothing new there; his motto is “Principals Rule. Teachers Suck.”)
    The question is what did Mulgrew and Engler get out of the deal? Jobs at the schools? Jobs at other schools?
    This is a major, major cover up story. Mulgrew has no interest in going after horrible principals but this time it appears to have bitten him on his ass.
    What did Mulgrew and Engler ( a non-teacher by the way) know and when did they know it?
    The Times and Wall Street Journal reported that two days after the drowning, teachers met at the UFT and gave the union documents about the principal, which the union kept at 52 Broadway and did not forward to Condon!
    Is this a bad movie?
    Mulgrew allows a teacher to get fired but doesn’t demand that the principal walk the plank?
    Wow- all this for double zero raises?
    Mulgrew and the a..s s.. kissers in his circle must be getting more out of these cover ups than flying on the mayor’s jet.
    This is what happens when Mulgrew hired a CSA person as his Chief Bottle Washer.
    Teachers should post the documents they sent to the UFT.

  4. Gary
    I split the difference. I own both Apple and Microsoft stock. Helps pay for trips to Seattle.

    At least Jobs doesn't use his money to kill public schools. Not yet at least.

  5. Norm,

    You know I am with you 90+% of the time, but I do think you have a blind spot when it comes to Apple.

    Jobs hates teacher unions... Apple is a corporation who puts the bottom line first as all corporations. Indeed, if there were no PC/IBM alternative, PCs would be a yuppie indulgence, as Apples would have remained prohibitively expensive for most people.

    Apple chooses AT&T as the required service for its iPhone; the primary agent of the Bush and now Obama domestic surveillance program.

    I understand Gates is horrible for education. The problem is that they are all corporations and they also share in the ideology/mythology of the market. The difference is just a matter of degree. Yes, Gates has done more damage to education than Jobs. Perhaps if Jobs' health was better he'd be off doing the same kind of damage; his perspective on teacher unions surely wouldn't hold him back from doing so.


  6. John, you are correct about my blind spot for Jobs. I have followed the computer wars since 1983 - read Steve Levy's wonderful book Hackers which laid down the base - IBM/Gates corporate world vs. Apple/Creative types. Now Jobs is certainly on the dark side - look at his shirts. But the world of apple for users seems so much more benign - as a techie in the schools in the 90's it was a much easier system to deal with.

    Funny how BloomKlein immediately lined up with Windows/Gates and pressured schools to give up the Apples - and it has happened in many former apple NYC schools.


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