Being a critique, in verse, of the tradition of keynote speeches at technological conferences.
With apologies most sincere to John Donne, CEO, Fixed Form Enterprises
The canned and careful words they speak,
Or parrot off the teleprompter,
Do not waft so much as reek
With all the freshness of a dumpster.
They bear the same relation to
Ideas as an eight-bit version
Of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”
Does to a violent execution.
Keynotes combine the dynamism
Of a Chinese imperial bureaucrat’s test
With the sexiness of onanism
And the elegance of a vulture’s nest.
CEOs and marcom jocks,
Salesmen and specialists:
Spare us all these vapid talks
Before we’re forced to slit our wrists.
And journalists (an you love God)
And bloggers, pod- and broad-casters,
Why must you applaud this fraud?
Refuse and you’ll get drunk much faster!
Keynote speakers, stand relieved
(though not as much as those you’ve bored),
You’ve done your bit, you’ve made your stand,
It’s time to hit the conference floor.
Better yet, the bar’s through there,
Take a load off, grab a beer,
One-on-one, we’ll lend an ear
And face-to-face we might just hear.
Nintendo photo by Matt Williamson