Mozilla is messy

March 30, 2014 § 146 Comments

I was a anarchist, lefty, peace movementy punk teenager. I spent my 20s making documentaries with the environmental collective. And the feminist collective. And whoever else I could teach to use a video camera. During my 30s I co-founded Canada’s most popular  left wing news web site, Rabble.ca. I’ve spent all my life being active and public about the causes I believe in.

Needless to say, people have asked how I could work side by side with people like Brendan Eich who seem to have such different beliefs and politics.

For the record: I don’t like the fact that Brendan supported Proposition 8, and I stand strongly for gay marriage. And, while I don’t actually know what Brendan’s politics are, as he is normally quite private about them, I have always assumed they are very different from mine on a wide range of issues.

But Brendan and I very aligned on something very political: defending the free and open internet. This is one of the most important issues of  our day. And it is what Brendan and I — and countless other Mozillians around — the world are working on together.

We live in a great moment in history, where more people than ever before can express themselves wildly and creatively, thanks to the web. As a punk rock kid, it’s more than I could have ever dreamed of. But we also live in a world where Big Brother is among  us and around us. There are governments and companies using the web to  watch us and control us. That’s happening more and more. As billions more people roll onto the web in the next few years, we really are at a critical crossroads for humanity: we have to decide if the web is about freedom or control.

What’s amazing is Mozillians, including me, work side by side with people who have very different beliefs — even beliefs that upset them — because protecting the web matters so much right now. As we do, differing beliefs on issues other than the web almost never enter the fray. In Brendan’s case, I didn’t even know he had taken a position on Prop 8 until it became the subject of public attention. And, as someone with public views that are likely different than his, I’ve never experienced him as anything other than a supportive and hardworking colleague. This ability to set aside differing and diverse beliefs to focus on a common cause is something we as Mozilla stand for on principle. And, in a way that I have never seen in any other organization, this works at Mozilla. It makes us stronger.

But Mozilla is messy. Our ability to set aside differences does not mean that everything is simple or that we’re always civil. In fact, when the topic is the web or Mozilla itself, we quite often get into open, heated and, for the most part, thoughtful debate. Many people outside Mozilla may not understand this. But, again, it makes us stronger.

The community dialogue around Brendan’s appointment is an example of this. People have reflected on the tension feeling of being emotionally effected by Brendan’s donation while at the same time experiencing Mozilla as a supportive and safe space for all sorts of people to work and protect the web. People have said personal opinions and donations are not their business. [corrected link] People have said that a CEO has to be held to a different standard as they are a public figure. People have talked about the tension between inclusion and free speech. And people have talked about forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt and picking your battles. All of this in public on blogs and twitter. All of this, in my opinion, making us stronger as we work through the complex questions at hand.

Which brings me to a worry I have. And an ask.

I worry that Mozilla is in a tough spot right now. I worry that we do a bad job of explaining ourselves, that people are angry and don’t know who we are or where we stand. And, I worry that in the time it takes to work this through and explain ourselves the things I love about Mozilla will be deeply damaged. And I suspect others do to.

If you are a Mozillian, I ask that you help the people around you understand who we are. And, if you have supported Mozilla in the past are frustrated or angry with us, I ask you for kindness and patience.

What Mozilla is about is working through these things, even when they’re hard. Because the web need us to. It’s that important.

Prom playlist: what’s missing?

February 19, 2009 § 15 Comments

Amazing comments = this updated version. Feb 19/09 1720EST.

People in Toronto (and people following me on Twitter) will know that Tonya and I are turning 40 soon … and this weekend is our party. The theme is ‘The Prom You Never Had’, rebooting 1987 and making it what we wished it had been.

I’ve been compiling the party soundtrack for a while now. Some of it’s stuff I love. A bunch of it is stuff I know people want to hear, and dance to. This is what’s on the list so far (new or re-added stuff in red):

54.40 – Baby Ran
ACDC – You Shook Me All Night Long
Aerosmith + Run DMC – Walk This Way
Aha – Take On Me
Alarm -Sixty Eight Guns
Alphaville – Forever Young
Art of Noise_04_Close (To The Edit)
Art Of Noise – Peter Gunn

B52s – Love Shack
Bananarama – Cruel Summer
Bananarama – Venus
Bangles – Walk Like an Egyptian
Beastie Boys – Fight for Your Right to Party
Big Country – In A Big Country
Billy Idol – White Wedding
Blondie – Call Me
Bobby McFerrin – Dont Worry Be Happy
Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy
Bronski Beat – Smalltown boy
Cameo – Word Up
Clash – Clampdown
Clash – London Calling
Clash – Police & Thieves
Clash – Rock the Casbah
Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go
Clash – (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais
Cramps – Goo Goo Muck
Crowded House – Something So Strong
Cult – She sells sanctuary
Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Culture Club – Karma Chameleon
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
David Bowie – Lets Dance
Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Right Round
Depeche Mode – People are People
Devo – Whip It!
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
Dire Straits -Money For Nothing
Doctor and the Medics – Spirit In The Sky
Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town
DreamWarriors-MyDefinition

Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran – Rio
Eddie Grant – Electric Avenue
English Beat – Can’t Get USed to Losing You
English Beat -Mirror In The Bathroom
English Beat -Save It For Later
English Beat – Twist And Crawl

Eurhythmics – Would I Lie To You
Eurythmics – Sweet dreams
EWF – Wanna Be With You
Falco – Rock Me Amadeus
Ferris Bueller – Oh Yeah!
Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
Flying Lizards – Money ( That’s what I want )
Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Relax
George Michael – Faith
Go Gos – Our Lips Are Sealed
Go-Go’s – We Got The Beat
Guns n Roses – Sweet child of Mine
Human League – Don’t you want me
Husker Du -New Day Rising (Live)
Jesus and Mary Chain -Just Like Honey

J Giles – Angel is a Centerfold
Joan Jett – I Love Rock And Roll
John Cougar Mellancamp – Jack and Diane
Joy Division Cover – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
Kim Mitchell -Patio Lanterns
Kool and the Gang – Celebration
Laura Branigan – What a Feeling
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven
Level 42 – Something About You
Lionel Richie – All Night Long
Lipps Inc. – Funky Town
Loverboy – Everybody’s Working For The Weekend
Madness – Our House
Madonna – Holiday
Madonna – Like A Prayer
Madonna – Like a virgin
Madonna – Papa Don’t Preach
Madonna –  Vogue
Maestro Fresh Wes – Let Your Backbone
Martha and the Muffins – Echo Beach
Men At Work – Land Down Under
Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance
Michael Jackson – Bad
Michael Jackson – Beat It
Michael -Jackson – Billy Jean
Modern English – I’ll Stop the World and Melt W
Motorhead – Ace Of Spades
Murray Head – One Night In Bangkok
Musical Youth – Pass The Duchie
Nena – 99 Red Balloons
Pat Benatar – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Peter Schilling – Major Tom
Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
Pogues- Fairytale Of New York
Police – Every Breath You Take
Police – Roxanne
Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong
Prince – Kiss
Prince – Let’s Go Crazy
Prince – Purple Rain
Prince – Raspberry Beret
Prince – When Doves Cry
Pursuit of Happiness – I’m An Adult Now
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
Queen – Flash
Ramones – Bonzo Goes To Bitburg
Ramones – Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?
Ramones – Rock N Roll High School
REM – End Of The World
Rick James – Super Freak
Rush – Tom Sawyer
Sade – Smooth Operator
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love missle F1-11
Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me
Simply Red – Holding Back The Years
Sinead Oconnor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Soft Cell – Tainted Love
Spandau Ballet – True
Specials – Free Nelson Mandela
Specials – Ghost Town (12″ Ver.)
Specials – Too Much Too Young (Live)
Styxx – Mr.Roboto
Talking Heads – Burning Down The House
Talking Heads -Once In A Lifetime
Tears For Fears – Shout
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science
Toni Basil – Hey Mickey
Toto – Africa
Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
U2 – In The Name Of Love
UB40 – Rat in mi kitchen
UB40 – Red red wine
Van Halen – Jump
Vapors – Turning Japanese
Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun
Violent Femmes – Gone Daddy Gone
Waitresses – I Know What Boys Like
Wall of Voodoo – Mexican Radio
Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight
Wham – Careless Whisper
Wham – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
ZZ Top – Legs
ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man

What’s missing? If you we’re rebooting a 1987 prom, what would you want to hear? What’s so lame we should dump it?

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