Cory Doctorow Verbally Abuses 99-Year-Old iPad User

While most took the recent story of Victoria Campbell, the 99-year old whose first computer is an iPad, as a heartwarming tale of the benefits of technology, one pundit saw the insidious effects of Apple’s closed and DRM-ridden platform.

Open source and digital rights advocate Cory Doctorow — author of not one but two screeds detailing why anyone who buys an iPad is a terrible, terrible person — flew to Lake Oswego, Ore. to personally chastise Campbell.

“Apparently Ms. Campbell is happy inside Apple’s walled garden,” Doctorow said after being ejected from the Mary’s Woods Retirement Community for haranguing the nonagenarian for a full 45 minutes on the moral imperative of open systems, digital rights and steampunk subculture.

“I hope she’s happy in the infantile world of apps only approved by Apple’s jack-booted thugs,” the author of Little Brother said. “I hope she’s happy being forced into being a content consumer instead of a content creator. And when I say ‘I hope she’s happy’ I’m being sarcastic because people like Campbell really are the worst people in the world. And that includes pedophiles.”

Doctorow believes Campbell should avail herself of any one of the numerous open systems that are just as good, just as easy to use and have just as much content as the iPad.

“I explained to her how easy it is to compile and install Debian on a steampunk casemod of a tablet built by a Japanese company I know of that’s run entirely by bloody nurse cosplayers. You have to reset some jumpers and the sound card isn’t compatible yet, but you can run GIMP on it. Try that on an iPad.

“Anyway, she pretended not to understand what I was talking about. Way to buy into the ugly stereotype of the technophobic nonagenarian with glaucoma in a nursing home, Ms. Campbell.”

The staff of Mary’s Woods was beside themselves.

“This is just awful,” said director Patricia Hershey. “We’re not sure exactly how he got in. We think he might have crawled in through a heating duct that’s only a foot and half across. Although he would have had to dislocate his shoulder in order to fit in it.”

Hershey shuddered. “The staff and the residents are all terribly frightened and confused.”

Doctorow, who will be signing copies of Little Brother at the Bloomington Linux Users Group next week, was unapologetic about his methods.

“Digital rights is the most important thing ever,” Doctorow said flatly. “Way more important than cancer or genocide or child slavery. It’s not even close. They’re like way down on the graph.

“If you are not part of the solution — which is open systems using standards-based formats that allow everyone to freely create and consume openly licensed content while wearing brass-rimmed goggles, leather dusters, tightly-laced bodices and gauntlets — then you’re part of the problem. And Virginia Campbell is part of the problem.”

Hershey said that the incident has forced her to rescind her invitation to have Doctorow conduct a dramatic reading of Little Brother next month to the residents.

“That’s just typical of an organization that promotes closed systems,” Doctorow noted, slipping a copy of Little Brother into the basket of a Mary’s Woods resident’s mobility scooter as she left the facility.

Campbell and Hershey have declined to press charges against Doctorow, stating they don’t think they could bear to listen to him testify.

“I already heard him testify for 45 of the longest minutes of my 99-year life,” Campbell said, not looking up from the poem she was inexplicably creating on her closed, proprietary and DRM-ridden iPad. “That was more than enough for me.”

[Crazy Apple Rumors Site is satire. Added for the irony-impaired who are apparently sending hate mail to Cory over this piece. Seriously, people. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to do with you.]

119 thoughts on “Cory Doctorow Verbally Abuses 99-Year-Old iPad User”

  1. And why should you, blank?
    Those lemons practically sell themselves.

    But who will rule the cheese?

  2. You know… it’s bad enough when it’s just the post that doesn’t make sense to me…

  3. iMoo, to confuse you even further, you could head over to The Mega-Post is Dead and catch up on 4400+ comments on a post from over 4 1/2 years ago. Somewhere in there (at least I think it’s in there, one of the other semi-regular folks will correct me if I got it wrong) is the best comment ever on CARS (and I’ll paraphrase since I forget the exact quote):
    “The comments on here are like an amnesiac with multiple personality disorder.”

    (Don’t you just hate excessive parentheticals?)


  4. Mega post, Terra post… cure for cancer, solve world hunger problem..

    Ok, my to do list for today is done.

  5. Whew, I thought for a while that pulling out an old R&S quote killed the conversation. Turned out that it was just stunned, but recovered. Good news indeed.

    More good news: Lemons are plentiful, folks are just giving them away. I’m okay with that.

    I am not the keeper of the cheese.

  6. That is the UGLIEST mouse I’ve ever seen, and look- he’s beating up on our cheese!

  7. Is it just me, or is everyone who doesn’t post on CARS essentially retarded?

    And quite possibly those that do also. But in a different way.

    A clink-worthy way, most likely.

    Who is ‘Joe Bustillos’? And can he not read. Certainly the ‘CRAZY’ bit.

    I mean, it’s in capitals and everything.

  8. See Brother, this just proves we’re the sane ones, and everyone else is crazy.
    With capitals and everything.

    But what does that have to do with a baseball team?

    (This was posted at 30,000ft above El Paso, TX. Gotta love WiFi on airplanes…)

  9. Is that like rounders?

    Which brings us back to cricket, of course.

    And a cunning opportunity to discuss the débâcle of the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

  10. @iMoo:

    @Brother: I am constantly amazed how you can bring almost any subject back to cricket. Says something about the sport, I suppose.

  11. @Huh?: I have no idea what you are talking about! And coming from me, that’s pretty bad. Go dry out your house.

    Oh look- blue pixely thingys!

  12. Since when has anyone had any idea what I’m talking about? *grin*

    And the house is drying as I type…

  13. I fear Mr Lalit Modi may be encountering some ‘wet work’ at the hands of the Indian security services anytime soon…

  14. Not to be outdone, I am working on a comment full of obscure references that none of you will understand. I will post it as soon as I remove every last vestige of sense. Then I will truly have arrived!

  15. Ace . . . looking back at some of our collective posts, I’d say we’ve *all* arrived.

    Modi is the IPL boss. He’s in deep doo-doo for corruption charges. And for trying to make cricket entertaining to the masses.

    Sounds like a bit of a rum chap if you ask me….

  16. Okay Huh? but was it necessary to use a cricket bat? It is spelt with a “B” not a “P”.

  17. Is a cricket bat wearing black and having wings, but with a kind of weird white cap ? Cricket’s like life, indeed. Obscure rules I never caught.
    But that’s certainly another hoax, what do you think ?

  18. I prefer to think this place just has a higher than normal incidence of silly persons…

    …which broduces an agreeable ambience.

  19. I’ve just been broducing some disagreeable ambience in my computer room.

    Thereby emulating most of the General Election coverage.

    I’m starting a CARS party for the inevitable Lib-Con-Pact-Collapse-Snap-Election sometime early in 2010. Who’s with me!? We have nothing to lose but our dignity!

  20. Er . . . I mean, early 2011.

    Just checking you’re all awake.

    Well done.

    Now return to your mice and prepare for government.

  21. If only we could elect snaps.
    Denis Compton for First Lord of the Treasury.

  22. You should take Maggie back, she seems appropriate now.

  23. It’s marginally comforting to know the televised election coverage is about the same level of inanity on both sides of the pond.

    But at least the Brits have a much shorter campaign season.

  24. That’s true, Steve.

    But, conversely, we have much longer faces at the end of it, so perhaps it evens out.

  25. We tried to take Maggie back the first time but that handbag was deadly.

    BTW:-You should refer to her as Hilda as that is her middle name.

  26. I could refer to her as Hilda, but I never been that close to Mrs Roberts !
    And a dreadful handbag never could hide an abnormal hat, could it ?

    Oh, do these persons have an iPad yet ? I’ll call Cory to make sure…

  27. Why is no-one contemplating an immediate coalition with sexbots?

    I’d vote for that. Indeed, I’m pretty certain I added it as a box on my form.

  28. Well, I do wish everybody across the pond the best of luck with your elections, but I must say, you’d be hard pressed to do any worse than we have for the last 20-something years….

    Now about those sexbots…

  29. I did say to a Gaithersberger mate of mine in your previous election (BushvHaircut) ‘Is it not possible for a vibrant nation of over 250,000,000 to come up with a better couple of contenders than this?’.

    And then *our* lot rolled into view…

  30. Steady on, iMoo – that may just be because I’m so old and knackered that my eyes have trouble focussing.

    Talking of which – I’m 43. And a little bit chunky. And rambly (check out the ‘steps of number 10 ‘speech”). How come the Queen isn’t asking *me* to form a government, eh?

    Cheeky buggers.

  31. The real truth about the Mayorality of Croydon will be published in thirty years time along with all other embarrassing papers.

    That’s ninety-seven. On to the ton.

  32. Now was that photo of Cameron and the Queen real, or was it just one of my fake memories, hmmm?

    Have a closer look. Several times. And then argue with friends over a kebab on the way home.


  33. Coming next week: ‘Where did Ninety-Eight go?’

    Directoral error or Verbal red-herring?

    I’ll have a doner with extra sauce, ta.

  34. I thought one was not allowed to touch the Queen’s personage? Or is that just with the express prior written consent of the Queen and Major League Baseball?

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