Afgncaap Investigates

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For centuries, tyrants have had to deal with people speaking out against them.

Some of the most popular folk heroes and fictitious rebels that may be familiar to researchers out there could be 'Robin Hood' and 'Ivanhoe' who stood out against Prince John, or the fictitious 'Zorro', the original caped crusader who worked against the tyranny and oppression that came to his town of Los Angeles in early Spanish California.

While these stories are remembered with some charm as they are read just before heading off to bed, rebels are always fighting for justice somewhere in the world. While the BBC is not exactly what we would think of as a 'Mad Dictator' or 'Iron Fisted Tyrant', many researchers are becoming more and more frustrated with the new 'House Rules' that were implemented when the new management finally let us back online. One such researcher, G. Roberto Deidzoeb, has taken upon himself the task of organizing our own 'polite rebellion.'

Below you will find the results of an interview I conducted, on behalf of The Post, with this particular rebel.

Afgncaap5 While your postings are based on actual rebellions, that's not the message I got from reading your articles. They actually remind me of a very angry Ghandi, if you will. How would you phrase your methods?

Deidzoeb The comparison with the Zapatistas is just a joke. I really don't mean to imply that our little disagreement over BBC restrictions is anywhere near as important as indigenous people in Mexico fighting for their rights and getting massacred. The similarity is that we are a small group, almost a lost cause, fighting against a monolithic force. The Zapatistas believe that their government maintains Neoliberal policies that will lead to the downfall of their nation, helping the rich get richer, the poor poorer and more desperate, until revolution will inevitably erupt (or debatably already has?). I'm certainly not suggesting we h2g2 contributors need an armed uprising against the BBC. But I similarly believe that the Beeb's current policies will lead to the downfall of h2g2, as contributors become increasingly frustrated with the restrictions on their free speech, and turn to the hundreds of other message boards and online communities that don't have these limits on speech, what language we post in, use of external pictures and URLs, and all the specific c*nsorsh*p. Civil disobedience seems like the best method to accomplish our goals at this point. I think the BBC and the h2g2 staff are reasonable, and may change policies if we show them a unified group that describes our views rationally, and if we don't rant... much. But we really have to work within their rules if we want them to reform the system. Breaking rules will just get us kicked out, which won't get anything changed. Now if they did something really nasty to us, like drop a North American Free Trade Agreement on us, then an armed uprising would make sense.

Afgncaap5 It's obvious that you dislike the new management's changes. That's what your protest is all about, right? What is your ultimate goal for the Zaphodista movement?

Deidzoeb I'd like to see the House Rules change back to as close to the old pre-BBC rules as we can get. Not because I'm just nostalgic about the good old days or unwilling to face 'Change', but because the old rules seemed to match the freedom found on most other online communities. The new rules are so far out of line with standards of most other message boards and fora, I don't see how a restricted community like this one will last.

Afgncaap5 You're definitely someone who was on h2g2 before they pulled the plug all those weeks ago, and there is some speculation that you're actually from the days when Alabaster wasn't an option and the fish still looked like they came from Pepperidge Farms. I don't suppose you could say what your original identity was, could you?

Deidzoeb I wish there was some secret I held that would give me the mystique of Subcomandante Marcos, a virtual ski-mask, but no such luck. My original username was G. Roberto Deidzoeb, so I'm not hiding anything there. It's a pseudonym, but it has remained pretty much consistent for my entire time on h2g2. It's still on my U96220 page that way somewhere. I think I've been a researcher since October 1999 at least.

Afgncaap5 How much community support are you planning on getting? How much do you anticipate needing?

Deidzoeb As much as we can get. I suppose if there are only three or four loonies like me after several weeks, the group wouldn't have much credibility. But if we get a few dozen people to actively identify themselves as standing behind our 'demands' (or 'heart-felt suggestions' listed at A520769), and a few dozen or hundred more who would be willing to petition the BBC for change, then maybe they will listen. The more the merrier.

Afgncaap5 Do you have any messages for the community, especially to those who may want to join the Zaphodistas?

Deidzoeb I've seen many people posting their complaints on message threads across h2g2. As individuals, we continue to be characterized as cranks and whiners, people who can never be satisfied and have difficulty accepting any kind of change. If we band together, they will take us more seriously. As for a message to the rest of the community that may not be interested in joining our group, I can only say: 'THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELE-TUBBIED.'


05.04.01. Front Page

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