Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The RMS Tour Rider

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the no-question-unanswered dept.

GNU is Not Unix 373

larry bagina writes "It's no secret that rock stars have riders — provisions on their contractual appearances that require a bowl of brown-free M&Ms or specify the exact brand of bottled water, cocaine purity, etc. Well, Richard Stallman has his own quirky list of provisions." Some of the best stuff is at the end, including: "I do not eat breakfast. Please do not ask me any questions about what I will do [for] breakfast. Please just do not bring it up," and "One situation where I do not need help, let alone supervision, is in crossing streets. I grew up in the middle of the world's biggest city, full of cars, and I have crossed streets without assistance even in the chaotic traffic of Bangalore and Delhi. Please just leave me alone when I cross streets."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

You should change RMS's icon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869252)

To just a stylized version of his giant neckbeard.

Re:You should change RMS's icon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869296)

That's a proper beard, not a neckbeard. Perhaps you'll learn this for yourself when yours comes in.

First post? I brought up breakfast once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869272)

After a night of heavy drinking, I sat down for a bowl of Corn Flakes.... it came back up pretty quick

Re:First post? I brought up breakfast once (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37869418)

His opposition to breakfast completely bewilders me. How much progress has humanity lost because we didn't have a fully nourished rms?

Re:First post? I brought up breakfast once (2)

Xtravar (725372) | about 3 years ago | (#37869488)

How much have we gained!? Notice how much he talks about "working" when he has time aka "furiously posting on forums and writing emails".

I can't believe I read that overly verbose nonsense. He writes about people wasting his time with formalities, but his rider is a waste of time with all that verbiage.

Re:First post? I brought up breakfast once (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37869534)

Well, maybe if he had more niacin, he wouldn't be spending so much time on email.

Re:First post? I brought up breakfast once (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37869676)

Most fatties don't eat breakfast. It's one of the first things nutritionists try to fix. I should know - I used to be a fatty 60 lbs ago. Now I eat breakfast.

Re:First post? I brought up breakfast once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869888)

Every morning when he wakes up, he eats all the shit that's gathered between his toes over the past day, so he's usually too full for breakfast.

Just seems like a well thought out list (4, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 3 years ago | (#37869326)

It reads like a list of his negative experiences. Especially the bit about parrots.

I found myself identifying with a lot of it - I'm obviously just better socially adjusted than he is when I put up with these things.

It's a lot less ridiculous than some of the riders of celebrities - it actually represents his preferences, mostly his preference to be treated like an independent adult, rather than stupid things that crop up on some peoples riders like a bowl M&Ms with all the green ones picked out.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (5, Interesting)

merrickm (1192625) | about 3 years ago | (#37869396)

The Van Halen M&Ms thing wasn't stupid. It was right in the middle of a bunch of important safety stuff that was particularly important due to the huge crowds Van Halen was drawing. If no M&Ms, they knew the venue hadn't carefully gone through the safety stuff.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (2)

squizzar (1031726) | about 3 years ago | (#37869460)

Mod parent up. Everyone whinges about poor specifications: Van Halen had theirs written very clearly, and the M&Ms were a trap to ensure someone had read and paid attention to them...

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (1)

farrellj (563) | about 3 years ago | (#37869474)

That move by VH was the most brilliant single thing that any band/artist has added to the standard touring contract!!! And probably the most misunderstood!

ttyl
          Farrell

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 3 years ago | (#37869496)

Aha, thank you for the enlightenment. That's actually not a bad trick.

I should have fallen back on something like Iggy and the Stones who demand that broccoli and cauliflower should be “cut into individual florets and thrown immediately into the garbage” ...

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 3 years ago | (#37870084)

Aha, thank you for the enlightenment. That's actually not a bad trick.

No, but I really think they should have gone for something more subtle and less "wacky".

It shows they read the rider- but not that they paid attention to it. Something as wacky as no brown M&Ms stands out and is easily remembered.

Yes, they'll remember something as wacky as that - but then they'll forget the mundane details.

They should have used some other less wacky parameter if they wanted to test if attention had been paid.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 3 years ago | (#37869856)

Still doesn't explain why they needed two tubes of KY jelly in the dressing room. :)

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (3, Funny)

The Creator (4611) | about 3 years ago | (#37870474)

To get into the stage costumes!

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (5, Informative)

Darth_brooks (180756) | about 3 years ago | (#37870012)

Just for good measure:

http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp [snopes.com]

Brown Out

Claim: Van Halen's standard performance contract contained a provision calling for them to be provided with a bowl of M&Ms, but with all the brown candies removed.

Status: True.

Example: [Harrington, 1981]

Van Halen tends to make the news portion of radio more often than it gets airplay. There was the M&M riot in New Mexico where the band did thousands of dollars of damage to a hall when they were served brown M&Ms — their contract said the brown ones had to be removed.

Origins: Rock concerts have come a long ways since the days when the Beatles performed in boxing rings and hockey rinks, and made no greater demand of Van Halen promoters than they be provided with clean towels and a few bottles of soft drinks. As the audiences grew larger, promoters stood to make more and more money from staging concerts, which meant that not only could rock stars command higher prices for their performances, but they were able to demand other perks as well, such as luxurious accommodations, lavish backstage buffets, and chauffeured transportation. It was inevitable that some high-demand acts, all their financial and pampering whims satisfied, would exercise their power and start making frivolous demands of promoters, simply because they could.

By far the most notorious of these whimsical requests is the legend that Van Halen's standard concert contract called for them to be provided with a bowl of M&Ms backstage, but with provision that all the brown candies must be removed. The presence of even a single brown M&M in that bowl, rumor had it, was sufficient legal cause for Van Halen to peremptorily cancel a scheduled appearance without advance notice (and usually an excuse for them to go on a destructive rampage as well).

The legendary "no brown M&Ms" contract clause was indeed real, but the purported motivation for it was not. The M&Ms provision was included in Van Halen's contracts not as an act of caprice, but because it served a practical purpose: to provide an easy way of determining whether the technical specifications of the contract had been thoroughly read (and complied with). As Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth explained in his autobiography:
Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We'd pull up with
nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors — whether it was the girders couldn't support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren't big enough to move the gear through.

The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say "Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . ." This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: "There will be no brown M&M's in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation."

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error. They didn't read the contract. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.
Nonetheless, the media ran exaggerated and inaccurate accounts of Van Halen's using violations of the "no brown M&Ms" clause as justification for engaging in childish, destructive behavior (such as the newspaper article quoted at the top of this page). David Lee Roth's version of such events was decidedly different:
The folks in Pueblo, Colorado, at the university, took the contract rather kinda casual. They had one of these new rubberized bouncy basketball floorings in their arena. They hadn't read the contract, and weren't sure, really, about the weight of this production; this thing weighed like the business end of a 747.

I came backstage. I found some brown M&M's, I went into full Shakespearean "What is this before me?" . . . you know, with the skull in one hand . . . and promptly trashed the dressing room. Dumped the buffet, kicked a hole in the door, twelve thousand dollars' worth of fun.

The staging sank through their floor. They didn't bother to look at the weight requirements or anything, and this sank through their new flooring and did eighty thousand dollars' worth of damage to the arena floor. The whole thing had to be replaced. It came out in the press that I discovered brown M&M's and did eighty-five thousand dollars' worth of damage to the backstage area.

Well, who am I to get in the way of a good rumor?
Last updated: 17 May 2007

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869432)

As I understand it, the green M&M thing was a test to make sure the contract had been read. It was a good way to test that the stage was set up to specifications.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 3 years ago | (#37869480)

I'm obviously just better socially adjusted than he is when I put up with these things.

I'm not sure if it's that, or that the minor things add up to a major aggravation if you travel for a living and have to deal with them daily. If you don't like eggs but everyone seems to want to serve you eggs each morning, I could see that wearing thin rather quickly.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 3 years ago | (#37869502)

I agree, it reads like a 'road often traveled' list. He's been there, done that, and here's his quality control list.

I'm lucky enough to say I've met him. He really is *very* well thought-out in his ideas. Too bad I was a college sophomore at the time or I would have said more to him.

PS: I find it hilarious that your repliers are defending Van Halen. I'm not saying they're wrong, I just find it hilarious.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (-1, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 years ago | (#37869996)

Well RMS is really just a big downer/complainer anyways. I personally have little respect for him as a person, he isn't someone I would want to work with or even socialize with. Some one with a brief case of being open minded to come with a new idea, he grasped onto that idea and then closed his mind shut, because he refuses to be proven wrong. To do that he will just discredit any logical argument as just being from someone who has been corrupt.

Re:Just seems like a well thought out list (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 3 years ago | (#37870278)

Some one with a brief case of being open minded to come with a new idea, he grasped onto that idea and then closed his mind shut, because he refuses to be proven wrong.

"All men are created equal." If you grasp that idea and internalize it, it's going to be pretty hard to convince you otherwise. Well, the equivalent for RMS is "software should be Free". If he believes that wholeheartedly, what compromise position would you suggest he reasonably adopt?

Parrots? (3, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 3 years ago | (#37869330)

What if we all got him a plush toy parrot? Would he be amused or annoyed?

Re:Parrots? (3, Funny)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 3 years ago | (#37869776)

As long as it wasn't made in a third world sweatshop, stuffed with cat hair, or Coca Cola branded you'd probably be OK....

Re:Parrots? (4, Funny)

blowdart (31458) | about 3 years ago | (#37870236)

And the pattern for the parrot must be open and free so others can compile their own parrots from scraps of material and discarded belly button lint.

Re:Parrots? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 years ago | (#37870252)

But is it free? Are you allowed to take the stuffing out, change it and put it back again without voiding the warranty? If not, RMS will refuse to accept it. Although if he's in need of something to cuddle he might borrow yours.

I guess breakfast (3, Funny)

Megaweapon (25185) | about 3 years ago | (#37869360)

is the most proprietary meal of the day.

Re:I guess breakfast (1)

TWX (665546) | about 3 years ago | (#37869442)

Have you ever tried to make cereal yourself, from scratch?

Re:I guess breakfast (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37869456)

He'd farm his own eggs, but then he'd have to distribute the chicken, and the egg, and the chicken...

Re:I guess breakfast (2)

Megaweapon (25185) | about 3 years ago | (#37869600)

He'd farm his own eggs, but then he'd have to distribute the chicken, and the egg, and the chicken...

All modifications to distributed eggs must include the modified chicken as well.

Re:I guess breakfast (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 3 years ago | (#37869770)

I've got some modified chicken that I ate last night...

Re:I guess breakfast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869748)

Would releasing the chicken genome be sufficient? One foreseeable problem, I don't think anyone has a way to compile it. GDNAC?

cheeses (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | about 3 years ago | (#37869364)

you need to know what I dislike ...many strong cheeses, especially those with green fungus

He must have very weak toe cheese.

Re:cheeses (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 years ago | (#37869868)

Everyone prefers their own brand...

Primadonna... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869372)

"A supply of tea with milk and sugar would be nice. If it is tea I
really like, I like it without milk and sugar. With milk and sugar,
any kind of tea is fine. I always bring tea bags with me, so if we
use my tea bags, I will certainly like that tea without milk or sugar."

Outrageous bastard.

Strangely inspirational (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37869392)

RMS gets a lot of mockery for this, but for all the eccentricity, it reveals him as a man who thinks really hard about what he does, and making sure it fits his moral code. How many of us would avoid long-distance trains, or ask conference organisers to use pseudonyms for hotel rooms, because we were so stubbornly committed to the idea of privacy? I'm too much of a pragmatist to put up with that sort of nonsense but I admire the integrity on display.

Re:Strangely inspirational (5, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 3 years ago | (#37869556)

What about the Pepsi which he may or may not like to be offered depending on if he's sleepy or not? What I took away from this is that he wants to be a spokesman for Free Software, but not if it inconveniences him in any way or requires him to leave his comfort zone. The whole thing with refusing to speak if there are sponsorship banners, or refusing to interviews if the interviewer isn't willing to "properly" refer to GNU/Linux or conflates Free and Open Source Software... Arguably such people are the ones who might most benefit from his message. Appearing on stage next to a banner might produce the opportunity to talk about why he disagrees with such things... talking to a reporter who conflates "Free" and "Open Source" might provide an opportunity to talk about the difference. Both could be done in a non-confrontational way that none the less shows what he believes and why.

Most of this stuff says "I don't want to talk to you if you don't already agree with me almost entirely". What's the point? It's more mutual masturbation at that point than advocacy.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 years ago | (#37869598)

I'm by no means saying that his rhetorical approach is effective or justified. He's not exactly software freedom's greatest spokesperson. The extremism of his stance is a barrier to the adoption of his ideas. However you can't argue with his consistency. Many of the entries there are clearly the result of him sitting down and thinking about whether action X really fits with the ideals he espouses.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

ArAgost (853804) | about 3 years ago | (#37870086)

What about “no trains because they spy me” but he's ok with planes?

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

Jose (15075) | about 3 years ago | (#37870222)

refusing to interviews if the interviewer isn't willing to "properly" refer to GNU/Linux or conflates Free and Open Source Software... Arguably such people are the ones who might most benefit from his message. Appearing on stage next to a banner might produce the opportunity to talk about why he disagrees with such things... talking to a reporter who conflates "Free" and "Open Source" might provide an opportunity to talk about the difference. Both could be done in a non-confrontational way that none the less shows what he believes and why.

did you see the part where rms asks that the journalists actually attend his talk? and the references he gives to the GNU website talking about the difference between Free Software and Open Source software?
by the time he finishes his speech, he has spoken at length on the differences. why repeat it to a journalist?

Re:You misunderstand (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 3 years ago | (#37870502)

You misunderstand his position. He does not want to be the guy who goes around rehashing all of his ideas and convincing people of the same things over and over. He would prefer other people do that, and leave him time to think about and respond to new situations.

He is a trailblazer, and wants to dedicate his time towards new trails, not old ones. Have the same argument with different people over 20 years, and you'll tire of it too.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 3 years ago | (#37869570)

For him, it's pragmatic as well. I'm sure that there would be no shortage of parties who'd be happy to stoop to smearing his integrity by claiming that he didn't really believe in what he professed to believe.

Either way, I agree. It must take some serious dedication.

Re:Strangely inspirational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869592)

RMS gets a lot of mockery for this, but for all the eccentricity, it reveals him as a man who thinks really hard about what he does, and making sure it fits his moral code. How many of us would avoid long-distance trains, or ask conference organisers to use pseudonyms for hotel rooms, because we were so stubbornly committed to the idea of privacy? I'm too much of a pragmatist to put up with that sort of nonsense but I admire the integrity on display.

I noticed that about the trains, too, and, though I rolled my eyes as soon as I got to the words "Big Brother", I had to admit that sort of thing is exactly what he generally talks about, so I can respect him for that, despite the knee-jerk Big Brother references.

Of course, the part about the the trains came two sections after a part about air travel, and he never mentions anything about not giving his ID to airlines, which I think is somewhat required nowadays. That caused a wee bit of cognitive dissonance to me.

Re:Strangely inspirational (4, Insightful)

Trolan (42526) | about 3 years ago | (#37869618)

Alas, it's also suitable to modify his moral code when it's convenient.

Big Brother has no right to know where I travel, or where you travel, or where anyone travels. If they arbitrarily demand a name, give a name that does not belong to any person you know of. If they will check my ID before I board the bus or train, then let's look for another way for me to travel. (In the US I never use long-distance trains because of their ID policy.)

And yet he's fine with planes...

Re:Strangely inspirational (4, Informative)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | about 3 years ago | (#37870076)

He also refuses to have a cell phone [stallman.org] because "they are tracking and surveillance devices" and "most of them are computers with nonfree software installed". Except if he needs to make a call, he has no problem borrowing someone else's.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 3 years ago | (#37869780)

But if he stays with you and you have a friendly parrot he will be very, very glad.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

sartin (238198) | about 3 years ago | (#37870134)

How many of us would avoid long-distance trains,

Yet he's perfectly willing to give in to the same requirements in order to fly in a plane. I guess pragmatism wins over principle at some level of inconvenience.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 3 years ago | (#37870416)

Yet he's perfectly willing to give in to the same requirements in order to fly in a plane. I guess pragmatism wins over principle at some level of inconvenience.

Well, of course it does. In his own words [stallman.org] :

I firmly refuse to install non-free software or tolerate its installed presence on my computer or on computers set up for me to use.

However, if I am visiting somewhere and the machines available nearby happen to contain non-free software, through no doing of mine, I don't refuse to touch them. I will use them briefly for tasks such as browsing. This limited usage doesn't give my assent to the software's license, or make me responsible its being present in the computer, or make me the possessor of a copy of it, so I don't see an ethical obligation to refrain from this. Of course, I explain why they should migrate the machines to free software, but I don't push so hard it would be counterproductive.

Likewise, I don't need to worry about what software is in a kiosk, pay phone, or ATM that I am using. I hope their owners migrate them to free software, for their sake, but there's no need for me to refuse to touch them until then. (I do consider what those machines and their owners might do with my personal data, but that's a different issue. My response to that issue is to minimize those activities which give them any data about me.)

That reasoning is based on the fact that I was not responsible for setting up those machines, or for how that was done. By contrast, if I were to ask or lead someone to set up a computer for me to use, that would make me ethically responsible for its software load. In such a case I insist on free software, just as if the machine were mine.

He'll use non-free systems whenever necessary if there's no alternative. There's not a good non-free alternative to air travel in the US, or to travel abroad in a timely manner.

Benign psychological disorder ? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 years ago | (#37870214)

RMS gets a lot of mockery for this, but for all the eccentricity, it reveals him as a man who thinks really hard about what he does, and making sure it fits his moral code. How many of us would avoid long-distance trains, or ask conference organisers to use pseudonyms for hotel rooms, because we were so stubbornly committed to the idea of privacy? I'm too much of a pragmatist to put up with that sort of nonsense but I admire the integrity on display.

I'm sorry but all this sounds more like a benign psychological disorder than some sort of moral code. Perhaps a little mania exists in many uncompromising crusaders.

Re:Strangely inspirational (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 3 years ago | (#37870270)

Most of us wouldn't, because we're not insane.

just a bit too long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869430)

But nothing unkown

This kinda pissed me off (4, Interesting)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 3 years ago | (#37869448)

I saw a lot of RMS haters posting this and making fun of him for being a demanding ass. In particular, a lot of popular Mac people on Twitter were laughing at him for being a prima donna. I just don't get it. His requests are basically:

  1. Don't misrepresent my position by describing me as advocating something I'm not.
  2. I'm not rich, so don't make me pay for stuff out of my own pocket because I can't afford to.
  3. I'd much rather sleep on someone's couch and hang out with locals than be chauffeured around and entertained constantly.

I don't think any of those are unreasonable at all. And as to the "parrot" part? Dude likes parrots. He goes out of his was to say not to buy one for just for his benefit, but if someone already has one he'd like to talk to it. I can't imagine a personal preference request being more accommodating.

A lot of people disagree with RMS and that's fine. But there's nothing in his tour rider that deserves derision, and I'm not sure why so many people are having fun at his expense when everything he asked for seemed perfectly reasonable.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869546)

RMS has accomplished nothing, he's notoriously an asshole and a misanthrope. People are pointing out his weirdities, get over it. He probably doesnt even want your help defending him :P

--Open source but not 'Free Software' developer

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

djsmiley (752149) | about 3 years ago | (#37869670)

He achieved having his rider appear on slashdot infront of hundreds of thousands of geeks... and you achieved a +1 on your Karma.

Congrats, your a true man of the world, you have truely lived and he has not.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 3 years ago | (#37869952)

He posted AC - not even a karma boost.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869876)

Accomplished nothing? He substantially wrote the first generations of emacs, gcc, and gdb, among many others. Get back to me when you found a software ideology and then write your own editor, compiler, and debugger that go on to be some of the most widely used in the world.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (4, Insightful)

Stone Rhino (532581) | about 3 years ago | (#37869610)

He goes into a level of needless detail that makes it obvious how he can be obsessive and self-absorbed. He uses paragraphs to say what a sentence could. He focuses on little distractions and loses sight of how people actually work. It reflects a lot of problems with the FSF's approach and RMS's shortcomings as a public face.

This is a man who eats things off of his foot while giving a speech. He's shockingly out of touch with the world and sometimes all you can do is laugh.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869934)

1) NEEDLESS DETAIL. Where? Which detail was needless? This was a list a A) personal preferences and requirements and B) professional requirements. He was very straightforward and professional about both and did not insists that his personal requirements be met.
2) LENGTH OF WORDS. I assure you that, in sending instructions to someone, more words are better than fewer.
3) HOW PEOPLE ACTUALLY WORK. This is a document about how RMS works, not the rest of the world.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | about 3 years ago | (#37870162)

1) and 2) are related - describing how MAYBE he wants a Pepsi and maybe not, but only if he's sleepy, and following with comments on his sugar intake are unnecessary. Just say "have regular Pepsi available in case I would like some" and be done with it. Makes it much easier for those arranging the event to accommodate his requests.

As for 3), well that's the crux of the issue isn't it? It's clear RMS doesn't get how the rest of the world works.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869660)

Parrots... yeah... I've seen him enter a pet store and ask the manager if she would mind him playing the flute to her parrots. Weird stuff I tell you

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about 3 years ago | (#37870494)

What was the performance like? How did the parrots react?

And do you consider yourself observant/aware?

Re:This kinda pissed me off (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37869764)

But there's nothing in his tour rider that deserves derision, and I'm not sure why so many people are having fun at his expense when everything he asked for seemed perfectly reasonable.

It's his tone, not the content. These days, in our times of bully hating, if you 'sound' arrogant, then it is enough for people to not like you, even if you're actually the nicest guy in the world.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 3 years ago | (#37869850)

I guess you read it the way you want to. I interpreted his tone as "let's get down to business; here's what I need".

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37870040)

Maybe you're old. If you talk to teenagers or even college students these days, you can't say, "A, B C." You have to say, "A, and how do you feel about A? B, and what do you want about B? C, and is C alright for you?" If you don't take the other person into consideration, it will often be interpreted as arrogant.

This list is entirely about Richard Stallman. He doesn't apologize, doesn't inquire about the feelings of the other person, he states directly what he needs, and that's it. A lot of people will take that to be self-centered and arrogant.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 3 years ago | (#37870180)

The problem isn't really the 'demands'. At least, not for me. It's the ranty unnecessary amounts of detail. The guy doesn't seem arrogant, necessarily. I mean, he'd rather just bum in on the couch for fuck's sake. He just seems like he has a disturbingly small grip on reality. I didn't need a paragraph on how awesome parrots were. "I like birds, but don't get one on my account, because I don't want you to be responsible for taking care of him for the rest of your life hours later when I leave." Simple.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (0)

PCM2 (4486) | about 3 years ago | (#37870442)

This list is entirely about Richard Stallman. He doesn't apologize, doesn't inquire about the feelings of the other person, he states directly what he needs, and that's it. A lot of people will take that to be self-centered and arrogant.

What's arrogant is asking someone to do something for you -- for free -- but not being willing to accommodate what they want in return.

Maybe you're old. If you talk to teenagers or even college students these days, you can't say, "A, B C." You have to say, "A, and how do you feel about A? B, and what do you want about B? C, and is C alright for you?" If you don't take the other person into consideration, it will often be interpreted as arrogant.

Ah, youthful inexperience. What you've mistaken for arrogance is actually contempt. You'll figure it out when you grow up.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | about 3 years ago | (#37870232)

But there's nothing in his tour rider that deserves derision, and I'm not sure why so many people are having fun at his expense when everything he asked for seemed perfectly reasonable.

It's his tone, not the content. These days, in our times of bully hating, if you 'sound' arrogant, then it is enough for people to not like you, even if you're actually the nicest guy in the world.

But Steve Jobs, as we have learned AND as we have known while he was alive, was a grade-A arrogant self-centered narcissistic megalomaniac asshole, straight up, openly and proudly, without any regrets or concern for anyone who wasn't him or — heaven forbiddisagreed with him, and people not only liked him, they worshipped the very ground he walked on. How does that fit in your model?

Re:This kinda pissed me off (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 3 years ago | (#37869944)

But there's nothing in his tour rider that deserves derision

Yeah, there is. RMS doesn't like beer. WTF? First computer geek on the planet who doesn't drink beer.

Maybe that explains his constantly surly attitude.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37870300)

I guess you'd be surprised how many computer geeks care about their health.
Or are underage.
Or are Mormon.
Or just don't like the same flavors and experiences you do.
It's a big world, and diversity is a good thing.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 3 years ago | (#37870324)

I guess I'm the second, then. I don't drink beer because I don't like the taste.

I'm OK with alcohol (Love me some Jack Daniels), but I can't stand the taste (and aftertaste) of beer.

Re:This kinda pissed me off (2)

demonbug (309515) | about 3 years ago | (#37870080)

  1. I'd much rather sleep on someone's couch and hang out with locals than be chauffeured around and entertained constantly.

The temperature must be perfectly modulated. If it climbs so much as 1 degree above 72, you must supply an electric fan. God help you if the temperature reaches 75.

Also, no using any internet access that requires him to log in. His preference is apparently for you to give him your credentials so that he may log in to your account whenever he feels like it.

Those were two that just jumped out at me. Not saying these are entirely unreasonable, he just doesn't sound like someone I would have any interest in dealing with. I'm glad I have absolutely no interest in inviting him to speak anywhere (or listening to him speak), I don't think I'd be able to resist screwing with him and taking his lists of don'ts as a list of to-dos.

Van Halen "no browns" explaination (4, Informative)

Le Grande Raoul (1726988) | about 3 years ago | (#37869452)

To be fair, the "no brown M&Ms" requirement for Van Halen had a practical purpose. They were finding that a lot of their technical requirements- power supply, lights, venue personnel- were being ignored and problems cropped up when they came to a gig. Sooooo... Near the end of the contract rider- after the technical requirements- they put the 'bowl of M&Ms with no browns' item in as a check. If they found a bowl of M&Ms *with* browns in the dressing room, they directed their guys to go over anything with a fine toothed comb to make sure technical requirements were met because, obviously, the venue setup people did not read the entire rider. And, yes, they found technical problems when they had the "M&Ms with browns" in the dressing room.

Re:Van Halen "no browns" explaination (1)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | about 3 years ago | (#37869586)

Clever. It's like a checksum.

Re:Van Halen "no browns" explaination (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 3 years ago | (#37870274)

Yep. And what are they going to do, tell everyone that it's part of their show technical blueprint and it's a check on the venue management? That would kind of ruin their rock star image.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869470)

I recall reading this on varlinux [varlinux.org] many years ago (unfortunately, the internal link is now gone, but Stallman's list was probably pretty similar, maybe a couple pages shorter than it is today).

Please refer to the #1 free software OS as "GNU/Linux", and please don't call it "open source"...

pronounciation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869482)

> "GNU" is pronounced as one syllable with a hard g,
> like "grew" but with n instead of r.

One syllable? Clever troll.

Love this guy. Better than Comedy Central (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869484)

I don't care what people think of RMS. I love him even when I disagree with him. His quirkiness always makes me laugh:

The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, typically used together with the kernel Linux.

Reference:
https://secure.mysociety.org/admin/lists/pipermail/developers-public/2011-October/007647.html [mysociety.org]

Free Software (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 3 years ago | (#37869526)

The whole thing has an excessive amount of "I don't like the open source movement, so even though the GNU stuff satisfies the definition of open source, don't you dare call it that."

Oh, the pronunciation of "GNU" is also stupid. Telling people to not pronounce it like the word reminds me of Raymond Luxury Yacht in Monty Python, whose name is pronounced "Throat Warbler Mangrove".

I can't decide (1)

Minter92 (148860) | about 3 years ago | (#37869536)

I can't decide if he's awesome or nuts. I am going with awesomely nuts.

Tour riders are fun (1)

Animats (122034) | about 3 years ago | (#37869564)

That's pretty mild as riders go. I used to have a girlfriend who was a roadie for heavy metal groups, and I've seen far more elaborate tour riders. If you live on the road and don't do that, you will be jerked around. Guaranteed.

The "no brown M&M" thing has a reason. One band did that as a quick check that their requirements were being met. They had a long list of technical requirements regarding stage equipment. If they showed up and there the M&M requirement had been botched, that usually meant something more important had also been botched.

Re:Tour riders are fun (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869626)

Jesus christ. Anybody else want to explain what the brown M&M thing was about too? I don't quite feel like I get it after reading about it 27 times in the comments.

Re:Tour riders are fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37870078)

Well, van Halen used to use that as a way to see if the rest of their requirements had been followed. If they found brown M&Ms in the bowl, it was a pretty safe bet that something else had been ignored too and they could then check over the equipment very carefully to avoid problems during the show.

alot of these can be likened (0)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 years ago | (#37869620)

to the van-halen-esque"m&m" clauses of large bands or performance artists. some of it may seem pedantic, but its designed to ensure everyone on every level of the event is fully briefed and understands the context of the event. for Van-Halen it was to ensure things as simple as stage security and crowd safety didnt get overlooked. RMS is likely doing this to ensure miscommunications through the chain of event sponsors and organizers dont turn him into billy mayes, alienate his audience, dilute his message, or disappoint his sponsors.

music tastes (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37869714)

I thought this one was interesting:

I tend to like music that has a feeling of dance in it, but I sometimes like other kinds too. However, I usually dislike the various genres that are popular in the US, such as rock, country, rap, reggae, techno, and composed American "folk". Please tell me what unusual music and dance forms are present; I can tell you if I am interested.

Re:music tastes (1)

demonbug (309515) | about 3 years ago | (#37870158)

I thought this one was interesting:

I tend to like music that has a feeling of dance in it, but I
sometimes like other kinds too. However, I usually dislike the
various genres that are popular in the US, such as rock, country, rap,
reggae, techno, and composed American "folk". Please tell me what
unusual music and dance forms are present; I can tell you if I am
interested.

Polka it is, then.

first rule of breakfast club (2)

cthlptlk (210435) | about 3 years ago | (#37869754)

1. Do not talk about Breakfast Club.

The best part for me was (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 3 years ago | (#37869790)

This:

In some places, my hosts act as if my every wish were their command. By catering to my every whim, in effect they make me a tyrant over them, which is not a role I like. I start to worry that I might subject them to great burdens without even realizing.

Ironic?

GNU/Linux (1)

MSesow (1256108) | about 3 years ago | (#37869812)

I get that it is an important distinction between GNU/Linux and Linux, but there are very few things I find more difficult to pronounce in English than "GNU". I always feel like saying that is like tripping over a slightly raised edge in a sidewalk: moving along quite well until I suddenly stumble and feel like I am making some mistake as if I was just learning to walk (or talk). That is why I tend to just say, "Linux" (additionally, GNU/Linux will confuse a lot of people, and I do not always want to educate someone on the difference).

Re:GNU/Linux (1)

demonbug (309515) | about 3 years ago | (#37870280)

I get that it is an important distinction between GNU/Linux and Linux, but there are very few things I find more difficult to pronounce in English than "GNU". I always feel like saying that is like tripping over a slightly raised edge in a sidewalk: moving along quite well until I suddenly stumble and feel like I am making some mistake as if I was just learning to walk (or talk). That is why I tend to just say, "Linux" (additionally, GNU/Linux will confuse a lot of people, and I do not always want to educate someone on the difference).

What do you mean, GNU is easy to pronounce. All you have to do is ignore the self-absorbed ramblings of a semi-literate, and say "new".

Not that it is less confusing when pairing it with Linux, but then nobody outside of a dedicated few actually care if you include GNU anyway.

Life on the road (2)

guanxi (216397) | about 3 years ago | (#37869824)

Traveling is wearing. Every little thing -- finding food to eat, a comfortable place to sleep, privacy, people to talk to -- is difficult. Usually you have to compromise and accept things you wouldn't do at home. If you travel a few times per year, it's no big deal; it's even part of the adventure.

If you travel continuously, and you've been doing it for years and that's all you have to look forward to, you might to try to find a way to obtain some reliable comforts of home while on the road and without the extra effort.

The legend of the no-brown-M&Ms (0)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 3 years ago | (#37869878)

"It's no secret that rock stars have riders — provisions on their contractual appearances that require a bowl of brown-free M&Ms

In an interview, Eddie Van Halen revealed the story behind the "no brown M&Ms" and it's not "OMG!! Wacky rock stars making crazy demands!!"

While on tour, Van Halen was having a lot of problems with the stage not being setup properly, particularly the electrical wiring, and they were concerned for the safety of their crew. So they put specific instructions in their rider, followed by "bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed". If they got to the venue and there was no bowl of M&Ms in the dressing room, they would know that nobody had bothered to read the stage setup instructions in their rider.

WHAT?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37869902)

Ok now I definitively hate that hippie.

Folks seem pretty on board with this, but this one (1)

spads (1095039) | about 3 years ago | (#37870136)

just made me laugh:

"Another method, which works very well in some places, is to allow people to attend gratis but charge for a certificate of attendance. If the certificate is given by an educational institution, many will find it useful for career advancement,..."

Wow, I would just love to find me one of those careers that would be helped by this RMS certificate THAT I HAD TO PAY FOR!!! lol

trolldot (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | about 3 years ago | (#37870176)

This site is becoming little more than flamebait. I have an idea, how about we post a story about RMS's views on climate change! That should really get some informed discussion going!

Sorry, you can go back to hippie-punching now.

it's not a rider. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37870202)

it's a gig offer.

The M&M's weren't about being quirky (1)

griff199 (162798) | about 3 years ago | (#37870298)

In an interview on This American Life, John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants explained how the brown M&M's that Van Halen famously forbid were more like a "canary in a coal mine" - to ensure that all the stuff that *really* mattered had been read and taken seriously. If they screwed up something that simple - who knows what they had botched.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/play_full.php?play=386&act=0

sounds kinda like a DIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37870366)

u can be picky, like things ur own way, but dont be a dick about it, especially before u even get there.
RMS = DIA (dick in advance)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?