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The (Un)Wired: A Free Wi-Fi Manifesto
We travelers bear no grudge with you as long as you agree,
But if you're that one schmuck who likes to play it old school,
Charging folks for internet--well, then basically, you're a tool.
Your penny-pinching greed smells just like boardroom boredom.
It's out of touch and backwards, not to mention just plain dumb.
Please get with the program, be ye airport or hotel:
If you don't have free Wi-Fi, then you can go to hell.
Maybe somehow you're still stuck way back in 1999,
But nowadays, we're all online, everywhere and all the time.
We're riding on a bullet train to a place called progress,
Get on it or get off it; win or lose, more or less.
Now don't start waggin' your finger and talkin' 'bout capitalism.
'Cuz what you're doin' and what that is, capitalism it isn't.
You preach that competition matters most in a race,
But Bandwidth Bandit's the losing horse, so here's my trophy in your face.
Don't believe the suits who tell us bloggers we're too sassy,
'Cuz let me tell you dittoheads, "Do you know what's so not classy?"
Welcoming frequent flyers who only wanna soak their feet,
Then telling your five-star guest to go and check his email on the street.
Hey Luddite, while you're at it, dream big, don't stop there--
Stick your dirty hands in the water, in the men's room, if you dare.
You could make a fortune charging for all the stuff that should be free.
A nickel to wipe, a dime to pee, and half a buck to breathe.
An extra perk like cushioned hangars or an ice bucket that's full.
Well, keep your stupid coffee machine and you're fancy new remote.
We watch TV online now, perhaps you didn't know?
Now we've all got 3- and 4G, it's isn't like we need you,
It's just your stupid concrete walls keep the signal from getting through.
So please stop annoying us or perhaps find another hobby?
'Cuz right now I keep running with my laptop to the lobby.
I've been around the world, from Port Harcourt to Beijing,
The third world's better wired than your top floor executive wing.
I can Twitter in Rwanda, get on Facebook and type,
But in your three-hundred-dollar hotel room, I can't log on to Skype.
Now I spy with my bionic eyes the not-so-distant future,
And if you wanna be part of it, then let me offer you this here clue:
Soon every single traveler's gonna check in with an iPad--
If your lousy hotel ain't got Wi-Fi, than watch us get real iMad.
We won't show up with pitchforks or with gas bombs at your door,
The way you'll know we're real pissed off is the way in which we ignore.
We'll take a different airline, find a different place to play,
We'll see you got no free signal, and we'll simply walk away.
Really guys, don't fret too much, it's really no big whoop:
Your hotel will make a nice warehouse, or high-rise chicken coop.
Sit back and enjoy your silly ten-buck charges while they last,
You'll need the cash come winter, when you're freezing your homeless ass.
Sadly, it's not just hotels who behave this way,
Not naming any names, LAX, IAD, JFK,
We're talking to you 'cuz your airports are such a mess.
You're necessary but you still suck, so why not suck a little less?
Give us free Wi-Fi and we won't hate you as much.
(Surely it costs less than nasty airport fudge.)
But you still just don't get it and that's exactly why,
We'd rather fly through Singapore, Portland or Dubai.
So here's the proverbial memo you'll keep swearing you didn't get:
"Give us free Wi-Fi dammit, we deserve our internet."
If not, then don't complain when history adds you to the pile,
With drive-in movies, the horse-drawn carriage, civilization on the Nile.
So kudos to all those companies who know us, love and get us:
The mom and pop joints, B&Bs and dingy Chinatown bus.
You corporate minds should wake up now and please smell the coffee:
Starbucks has free Wi-Fi now, and so does MickeyDees.
What's that you say? You still can't catch the gist?
Of what everyone's been sayin'--your kids and The Economist.
Really guys, it's not so hard and I'm pleading on one knee,
It's already twenty-ten A.D. and Wi-Fi should be free.
(Photo: Flickr Miklo Olivier, Dana-2)