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The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of Rageboy Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 31, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With The Bombast Transcripts, Christopher Locke (a.k.a. RageBoy, that iconoclastic cybervoice of dissonance, disdain, and all things provocative) is leaping from your screen to your bookshelf. Look out. The scathing rants from the creator of Entropy Gradient Reversals--probably the most wittily outrageous, cryptically observant, and eagerly puzzled-over Web zine ever to pollute the airwaves--are explosive.

As a tag, screed is only partly accurate for the contents of this volatile collection; they're long harangues, all right, but by no means monotonous. Listen in as Locke lets his alter ego loose in friendly chat with IBM's Lou Gerstner (well, actually an exit interview with Lew Firstner, pompous and clueless chairman of the 666 Corporation). As he not-so-clearly illustrates what "getting it" means (by pondering T.S. Kuhn, voodoo ceremonies, and a sacred space you can't enter with your mind on, let alone your shoes). And as he gleefully admits that most of his readers "seem to enjoy abstruse and obfuscatory exegeses on themes that utterly elude them" but apparently "alleviates their anxiety about not knowing anything that wasn't covered by Geraldo." Don't be insulted; be alleviated. Locke may indeed be the Web's most acerbic gonzo journalist and techno-semiotic social critic, but he's also written for Forbes; worked for MCI, Ricoh, and the Japanese government's AI project; and been named one of the top 50 business thinkers in the world. If you missed out on this cyberpundit's irreverent rants the first time around, catch him now (if you can). As Locke himself reminds us, "Being totally insane is hard work. People don't realize that." They should now. --S. Ketchum --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

RageBoy, the cyber-handle of gonzo-journalist Locke, has collected here his online columns, mostly from his Web zine, Entropy Gradient Reversals. Entries range from the autobiographical (his LSD and drinking years, followed by his own weird version of sobriety) to mock-interview (his chats with TV horse Mr. Ed or "Moe Ron Hubbard, father of Diuretics and Sayonaralogy"). Favorite targets include corporate culture (which he'd consider an oxymoron) and academic posturing (his "Snack with Andr‚" imagines situationist philosopher Guy Debord as Port Authority panhandler DeMerde; his piece "deriding Derrida" exposes French postmodernists as so many "petty control freaks"). While his rants take potshots at a variety of cultural sacred cows (including a wicked analysis of America's fondness for the Weather Channel), it's Locke's own history as an early artificial intelligence/cyberspace pioneer that informs his most damning critique the co-optation of the Internet. In the early days, people who knew how the Internet worked "were mainly using it to fuck off We thought it was important to fuck off." They wanted the Internet to be different from all the other media, a place to "tell stories" about things that mattered, like "heaven, earth, man, woman." But it wasn't long before the "marketing boys" took over, reducing the Net to just another way to sell product. Resurrect William Burroughs, Charles Bukowski and Ken Kesey, add a dash of Dilbert and that's RageBoy. Though it's not for everyone, this "browser-free format" may bring in new audiences. (Feb.)Forecast: This work will be popular with college kids at places like Berkeley readers of Locke's earlier Gonzo Marketing may not get these rants.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738206334
  • ASIN: B00006B6VO
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,020,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am RageBoy, hear me roar. I write Entropy Gradient Reversals, EGR to you, and think about gonzo marketing in my spare time. I'm also co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, which you can look up here on Amazon or at cluetrain.com. In reality, I'm a meek and unassuming person. Your Mom would probably like me.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Ritchie on September 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the crash course in understanding the fundamentals of the necessity of change as seen through the eyes of the author, Christopher Locke. Everything you previously thought was lore is turned on its head in riotous fashion in The Bombast Transcripts. Each chapter takes apart some standard you thought was a given, an immutable and constant attribute of practically every aspect of life in the western world.
The best part is that Chris does it in so many different ways in one book. There's flat out ranting and there's cutting ridicule including interviews with himself, Rupert Murdoch and the famous one with Mr Ed. (Yes, the horse.)
Using those cliched critic's terms of rollercoaster ride or rollicking good yarn don't do this volume any justice whatsoever. In fact, this book defies any label you might care to ascribe.
In fact, I defy anyone to come up with a label for this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've liked reading Chris Locke (aka Rageboy, aka Chief Blogging Officer) since he and fellow authors Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger showed how the Internet was turning business upside down with their original publication of The Cluetrain Manifesto about a decade ago. They had argued that commerce should be about conversations, no matter what the medium, and should not be about transactions. This was pretty heady stuff a decade ago, and this book did cause a number of CEOs to examine their own businesses... but maybe not enough of them.

I was working for a now-defunct "Internet Super Carrier" (google that one) located in Northern Virginia about the time of the paperback release of that title in 2001. My associates and I quoted regularly from our copies as we watched our 'Net worlds sinking around us in that strange financial collapse of so many of the telecoms and ISPs during that year.

Shortly after getting and reading my original hardbound copy of Cluetrain, I found that Chris Locke had a number of regular online journals to be found, especially his "Entropy Gradient Reversals" and his "Mystic Bourgeoisie." Google them and you'll see that they are still running to this day. (The author of these is also the Chairman Emeritus of "The Titanic Deck Chair Rearrangement Corporation" NASDAQ:TDCRC, but that's another story in itself.) Chris was already quite experienced at publishing on the Web when some were asking "What's a blog?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Oneill on January 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
That was my introduction just over a year ago to Entropy Gradient Reversals and the evil genius mind(s) behind it, Christopher Locke/RageBoy. From that first mind-blowing, breathless reading of his newsletter, I was alternately charmed, alarmed and disarmed by the decidedly unpretentious Chris Locke. His new book, the Bombast Transcripts, a collection of essays previously published to the Entropy Gradient Reversals mailing list, contains that first newsletter that caught my imagination, and so many more.
As I've read through this book, I have found myself again reacting to it in the visceral way that I had to become accustomed to as one of his faithful Valued Readers at EGR. While some may call him pompous and crass, I find him to be merely open and honest. Then again, I've always had a soft spot for intelligent, over-indulgent, semi-vulgar Don Quixotes. His chosen windmills are big business that don't have a clue (IBM et all, no small potatoes here) and, while a book about business practices would normally make my eyes glaze over while putting me in a semi-catatonic state, I find this book to be human and engaging at every turn. Each essay stands on it's own as either a rant or a screed, yet each could also be expanded into its own little book. Irreverent, engaging, transforming, contemplative, hilarious....and each page is more of the same.
While I read Locke's words, I get the feeling that I am a part of something much bigger and more important than anyone can guess, especially those that think the internet is nothing more than a collection of chatrooms and porn sites. No, I get the feeling I'm getting a glimpse of a creation, a rapturous inferno of truth and emotion, two key elements that, when exposed to each other under the heat of RageBoy's passion, cause a brilliant flash of evolution that could change the world as we know it. What a wonderful world that would be.
Idealistic? Maybe. Bombastic? Hardly. Evil Genius?? Indeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I only have one thing to say about this: "The Solution is Poetry". Excellent reading. Warning, you may not get it if you consider yourself too smart and significant.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Daedalus on January 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Chris Locke gets me moist.
Something about this man's extraordinarily vivid prose, salty vernacular and plangent intelligence just does it for me.
I'm freaking oozing here, just reading this thing. It's getting embarrassing.
The Bombast Transcripts will rip your head off and wee Veuve Clicquot down your neck.
It is your duty as a citizen of the world to buy this book right now - pay as much as you can for it and then forward all of your remaining money to Chris Locke immediately. The future health, freedom and sanity of the human race depends entirely on our ability to make Chris the richest human on the face of the planet, so he can buy up Microsoft, GE, Ford, Berkshire Hathaway - all of them - and bitchslap some sense into them before it's too late.
You know it makes sense.
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