In Moe's Humble Opinion
by Moe Comeau, MLMUG's Chief Curmudgeon
Illustrated By Matt Mucha

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Conveniently, another queen's birthday falls in May, which dovetails nicely with the smashing success of QE2 last month. Yea, verily, her reign coincided precisely with the Victorian era; she was the longest reigning British monarch ever. Yet, she was almost entirely German, being grandma to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany.

The Victorian Era straddled the peak of the Industrial Revolution, and was a period of significant social, economic, and technological progress in the United Kingdom. Victoria's reign was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire; during this period it reached its zenith, becoming the foremost Global Power of the time. At least, so sayeth Wikipedia.

But it also gave us typhus and cholera, crop failures and economic collapses. There were riots over enfranchisement and the repeal of the Corn Laws. Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species. Women's rights to property, divorce, and child custody emerged. The Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, and the Boer War occurred then; in fact, Britain was at war every year during VictoriAge. Incandescent electric lights were installed on London streets, and prostitution increased dramatically, as did, predictably, venereal disease. Hey, thanks, Vicky!

Click to play
God Save the Queen (Encore)

Gates Proves Himself a Fool — Twice Over

As you have probably figured out from that title, the IMHO topic this month has nothing to do with Queens nor eras, but instead laffs at our favourite billionaire's reactions (plural) to Apple's current ad campaign. You know — the ads that feature Justin Long — "I'm a Mac" and John Hogeman — "I'm a PC." Referring to the one about PC having to undergo surgery just to upgrade to Windows Vista, an ad which Gates admits that he hadn't even seen, BillyBoy takes exception to that depiction of the PC:

"And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it's superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?...Does honesty matter in these things, or if you're really cool, that means you get to be a lying person whenever you feel like it? There's not even the slightest shred of truth to it."
That was quoted from a February 9, 2007 Daily Tech Blog, which you can read at Evidently, when Billy got back to Redmond, Microsoft lawyers cautioned him about calling the competition liars.

So he got the opportunity to do better in early March at the Corbis Creativity 2.0 panel, in an interview with Bob Garfield. You can read it (and link to a download of it at the iTunes Store) at Here's the meat:

GARFIELD: I want to ask you one more thing: Those Mac ads — how do you feel about the John Hodgman character?

GATES: I can't comment on someone else's ad.

GARFIELD: OK ... but he's you.

GATES: Yeah, I'm not gonna comment on someone else's ad.

This was Garfield's "one more thing" in closing. What followed was Garfield's attempt to close the interview. This is even more telling about Gate's demeanor at that point:

GARFIELD: OK, well, Bill Gates, thank you so much for joining us.


GARFIELD: Can I just have a clean goodbye?


GARFIELD: OK, can you just say goodbye? Thank you or goodbye or something like that?

GATES: Goodbye.

The man should not be let out alone without adult supervision.

— Moe Comeau
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©2007 by Matt Mucha, Moe Comeau & MLMUG
Posted 05/08/07
Updated xx/xx/07