February 19, 2006

Free software's obligation

Author: Joe Barr

With sincere apologies to Pablo Neruda for this parody on "The Poet's Obligation."To whomever is not using free
software this morning, to whomever is cooped up
in Windows or Office, Adobe or Symantec
or street or mine or harsh prison cell:
to them we come, and, without speaking or looking,
GNU arrives and opens the door of their prison,
and a migration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great whirlwind of packets set in motion
the rumble of the router and the modem,
the raucous torrents on the Internet,
freedom vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and Apache keeps beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by its destiny,
GNU Linux always must listen to and keep
the unfree's lament in its awareness,
It must feel the crash of the BSOD
and gather it up in a perpetual cronjob
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the EULA's castigation,
It may be there with a flippant WAV,
It may move, passing through Windows,
and hearing it, eyes will glance upward
saying, "How can I too become free?"
And it shall broadcast, saying Gnuthing,
the starry echoes of the pings,
a breaking up of FUD and of quicksand,
a rustling of encumbrances withdrawing,
the grey cry of Redmond's empty boast.

So, GNU, and Linux, and all free software
make their answer to the shuttered PC.


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