View Full Version : What's with the Soviet Billboards?

Bill Lemkey
06-05-2001, 07:21 AM
I came over from DSLR, on the recommendation of member there.
What an unpleasant suprise to see all these banners with the Soviet colors, and the "Hammer and Sycle" type imagery diplayed as if this were some Communist Party rally. Last time I looked, this was America. What is up with all the Red Square homeage?

06-05-2001, 07:59 AM
ALthough they may have been in other ways impoverished, some of the early Russian graphic artists were later discovered by the west, and were found to be pioneers in that field.

I guess the designers of this website were trying to pay homage to those early Russian designers. I've never seen any other sites like it! I reckon it looks pretty good.

06-05-2001, 08:33 AM
I would draw analogies to the PowerComputing ads with their "Pry it from my cold dead hands" graphic and the National Rifle Association's mantra...I don't like the NRA, (I'm a Canuck) but I liked the PowerComputing ads.

I like the 'Gurus' ads - It could be a play on the "Macs fighting back against the oppressive nature of the Wintel world" philosophy (or at least peacefully co-existing)...



06-05-2001, 09:00 AM
something like that, Chris.

regardless, it was always intended to be tongue in cheek, even a parody. And above all, ironically funny.

we are HUGE capitalists. And many of us here are veterans ourselves who make few apologies.


Bill Lemkey
06-05-2001, 09:39 AM
"we are HUGE capitalists. And many of us here are veterans ourselves who make few apologies. "


I make no apologies to Soviet Sympathizer.

Urinal Puck
06-05-2001, 10:26 AM
Looks like it's going to be one of those weeks.

Urinal Puck

06-05-2001, 03:49 PM
Not that this has anything to do with anything.....but this is my 1000th post. I think I will go buy myself a cake.

But seriously....I think the Mac platform has always carried with it some serious political imagery. As a BFA-holder and an Art History fanatic, I absolutely love the thick references brought on by this site. But let's not forget something that happened 17 years and (almost) 5 months ago....the great big first Mac TV ad. Superbowl 1984. The Big Brother images. The huddled, monotone-clad masses being led to an overbearing commentary led by an overlord-of-sorts. The final hurling of the hammer (get it yet?) to shatter the dull simplicity that had come to roost on this planet. No, 1984 definitely was not like 1984 was written. Amen.

And about the Soviet theme...Perhaps it is one of the few nationalities that can be visually linked to a hard-working folk driven to improve society. What exactly would an American theme be? Or a French theme. God forbid we think of a Polish theme (half-Polish me, here) http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ). I think there is a fair amount of light-heartedness here, mixed in with a splash of devout respect for both the diligence of the workforce and the capabilities of the graphic representations. Did I happen to mention that a lot of us are graphic artists?

So let's just relax a little. We all have so many things going on here in this life. The signal:noise ratio is creeping up on this forum the past week or so. This is a place where folks can go for help. I love contributing as much as I love feeling free to ask questions. So if there are worthwhile things you have to bring to the table, please do. But if there are intentions of harm or insult, send it privately. The moderators can wipe out individual posts or entire threads. And that is more work for them. Most of them volunteer here anyway.

So please, people. Respect. We are mostly strangers here...without honor and respect for each other, we really have nothing to do here. Be well, folks.

06-05-2001, 08:35 PM
The faux Soviet-style art on the Gurus website dates from 1995 and 96, when the Mac platform in general was in a fight for its life. As referenced below, that was the era of the "Beat the Machine" Power Computing ads, which, though not flaunting red stars, did have a definite hint of revolutionary overthrow to them. At MW '97, PCC reps dressed in black jumpsuits that looked very Marxist-revolutionary.

Anyway, we are definitely not Communists. Or Marxists. We are, however, revolutionaries, and we chose this scheme to reflect that and the techo-industrialist flavor of our upgrade advice.

We really don't mind the question, but please be polite on here. Thousands of satisfied users will tell you that we are, indeed, raving capitalists, not Commie sympathizers, and our customer service is all you need to worry about.

06-05-2001, 08:52 PM
Man.....you gotta love the the week...first scotw craps all over you guys for trying to sucker him into buying "speedtools" so you could line your capitalist pockets with his hard earned $40 bucks.....and now you have this guy acusing you guys of being "the dark side"...gotta love THAT irony huh?? And did you also see Scottw accused me of being a right winged racist because of the 311 thing....i had to look that one up to see what he was taliing about...i think k is the 11th letter of the alphabet 3 that would be 3 k's.....crazy stuff....i only used it because years ago i needed a number for an aol account and "311" was jamming on my CD player at about 10!!! I am a right wing conservative.....but hardly a racist. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-05-2001, 09:33 PM
311 is a band too

06-05-2001, 09:57 PM
Some people just take themselves WAY too seriuos..... http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif

I must admit I too was a bit put off by the look of this site, but upon closer inspection I found it to be extremely informative & filled with helpful people of integrity.

You can't always take things at face value.

BTW I am a registered Republican. http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/tongue.gif

Too bad ignorance isn't painful.

[This message has been edited by M.Brane (edited 05 June 2001).]

06-06-2001, 12:29 AM
oh, brother!

this is killing me!


DogSM, you are a beautiful human being.

I really miss Dave from KS....where the heck is C8 anyway?

he would love this.


06-06-2001, 09:17 AM

Hahahahahahahah!!! I'm sorry, Bill, but you sir, are quite silly. My father comes here quite often, is more Republican than I'm comfortable with, and served 3 tours in Vietnam. He doesn't seem to have a problem with it, why should you?

And yes, FYI, a lot of the artistic styles here reflect Russian Futurist stylings which were in vogue BEFORE the October Revolution, so perhaps you're a bit misguided?

06-06-2001, 09:45 AM
Wow! Leave you guys alone for awhile and the next thing I know you're communists.

Tsk. Tsk. Alright.......and this is an order....EVERYONE....POUR OUT YOUR VODKA!!!!

But seriously, no need to worry about Bill Lemkey anymore. I've got a couple of the guys putting a tail on him, and we have all his phones tapped.

A friend of mine who writes conservative commentary for a couple of new media websites said to me recently "I listen to some of these folks and think 'this is who's on my side?' and I realize how much trouble we're in".

I guess we can only be grateful to live in a country where even bongo's can say what they will.

(I am presuming this guy's for real, right?)

Good to see some familiar comrades...er....I mean faces.......on here.



[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 06 June 2001).]

06-06-2001, 01:28 PM
damn, dave---where you BEEN?

there's been more fireworks here the past two days than in the past year!

did you go on vacation or something?

Captain Ahab
06-06-2001, 01:32 PM
??? ???????? ???????????? ????????? ???????????. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ataman Georgi
06-06-2001, 02:29 PM
C'mon guys, I am sure the design is more eye-catcher than for "real".
Don't take it very seriously.
I am sure, the involved people aren't communists. Apple does have an image of a "revolutionary" or "rebel" or "jihad against the ordinary". What you see on MacGurus site has more to do with the (really amazing) Russian/Soviet art of 1920-s, Apple's image and MacGurus effort to serve the Mac commuity, than with the conservative reality of the life behind of Iron Curtain.

Everybody knows that the image of "coolness" and "revolution" the countries behind of Iron Curtain tried to transmit to the world was a b.s. Everybody knows, they had instead:
- Food shortage (in most countries)
- Severe travel restrictions
- Severe banking restrictions
- Severe technology restrictions
- Ultra-conservative ruling party which called itself "communist" and invaded all their citizen's private life. This party was a corrupt maffia-like organization, not a "revolutionary".

The countries behind of Iron curtain weren't "cool" at all.
Some may think about them as of "lost paradise" or "revolutionary movement" or "rebels". The reality was just opposite.


06-06-2001, 04:11 PM
i should take off my headphones now and then........

the more things change the more they remain the same.

i guess marx had a point. never overestimate the intelligence of the huddled masses.......


06-07-2001, 10:40 AM
First off.. Bill Lemkey, please go fuck yourself right fucking now. Oops. Sorry. That wasnt nice.

Second. I find the gurus web art to be riotously funny. I love the whole scheme ! I take it to be indicitive of the REVOLUTIONARY support and class the MACGURUS shows.

Remember, kids, 9 out of 10 Mad Scientists think Mac Gurus is da BOMB !

Mad Dog


06-07-2001, 12:09 PM
Open note to Bill:

I may be mistaken, but i think you're missing the point Bill.

communism was/is a political ideology. a seemingly good idea someone had about how to govern the ungovernable. it has nothing to do with who a person is. it's an idea and ideas are amoral. neither good nor evil. what's good or evil is how ideas are put into practice. in fact, a case can be made that to hate or denigrate someone just because he espouses some philosophy is evil. if one steps back and looks impassionately at human history, one sees that all political ideologies have some merit in principle. the problem always lies in the implementation. humans are basically selfish in motivation. unless taught otherwise, their concern is always 'what's in it for me?' first. this seriously hampers ANY sincere effort by ANYONE at implementing a fair, just system of government.
to suggest that the West's so-called democratic system is vastly superior to any other is think a little disingenuous. (Plato called democracy-glorified mob rule) communist governments do not in any way have a monopoly on oppression, exploitation, or tyranny. the fact is, there are huge groups of disenfranchised individuals in democratic societies that are discontented and oppressed.
besides, the soviet system did not accurately represent the ideology of communism any more than the US accurately represents democratic ideals. this is because humans are not cogs that seamlessly and quietly fit into an idealogical structure no matter how good it looks on paper.
read history. the sordid facts are there for all to see.
man's attempts to rule himself are one long, sad litany of cruelty,mistakes, and injustice. millions upon millions have died for some ideology that no longer exists. pretty futile don't you think Bill?

if you don't want to deal with the gurus because they are cheats or immoral that's one thing. but of you don't want to deal with them because you think they are 'communists' then that is your loss. in the end, we are only responsible for our own actions and deeds. and when we are lying prone in that 6 foot long pine box, will it really matter what political ideology anyone had?

so is there any cause for anyone to feel superior? i don't think so. all we can do as individuals is work to make sure that we espouse human dignity and respect in our personal sphere of influence. that we honor others the way we would like them to honor us. we need to work for good as best we can.

in that light, then wouldn't you agree Bill that your diatribe was uncalled for and regrettable?


06-07-2001, 12:43 PM
What's with the all the hostility Bill?

News Flash: The cold war is over (btw, we won).

From the first day I found the Gurus site, I have loved it. The knowledge, the support, the reviews, the products, and yes, even the cool Soviet style graphics.

We as Mac users have joined together in mutual support of a different, maybe even revolutionary way of computing. It's us against Big Brother, Big Blue, Big Bill, or the computing status quo of your choice. We are the peasants and the workers and the underdogs fighting "the system"; we are actively pursuing a different and better way for us. Not for them. For ourselves.

Gee, can you see any similarities to the actual idea of the Marxist revolution? If you are still hung up on the communist thing, then you need to realize that any notion of real communism in the soviet union was dead before Marx was. It should be obvious to all that the gurus seek to revive the ideal of a revolution by the people for the people, not of Soviet oppression.

Try a class or a book, or at least the history channel. Revolutionaries are every bit as important (if not more so) to our great nation as any other.

You are way out of line.

Gurus: keep up the great work and the great site. Don't change a pixel.

"A little blood on the tree of liberty now and then is a good thing" Jefferson

06-07-2001, 02:17 PM
Howdy there Mag............and company!!

Yeah, I've been up to my eyeballs in all kinds of stuff. Admittedly, a vacation is not something I've yet done.

I've been really busy catching up with work and doing all kinds of stuff at the house here, as well as dating a pretty damn nice woman http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif (heh heh). Now I remember who gets tied up!!!!!!!

Man, you guys have been shovelin' some major s**t around here. You must have re-arranged the furniture in Wilmington in a non-auspicious manner.

I really am going to need one of those cheetah x-15's soon. But I've been freakin out about the discovery of the fact that I, truely, am no longer a teenager, and damn well better do something about retirement age.

When you buy some ground in Montana, make sure you save me a spot for a straw bale house and a PV array........ http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/tongue.gif

I'll try to stick my head in a little more around here. I'm still far from caught up on what's been going on around here.

Hope you and your little doggie, wife and of course spud, are all doing well. Same to Louie, Kaye and the other Guru Mods around here.

Interesting. I never knew there were so many folks of a conservative persuation around here. I seem to be morphing into an anarchist myself, if only ideologically. I voted for the guy that's in now, but the worst of what he could've done is what he seems to be doing. Wish I had oil company stock. I seem to be getting even more cynical. Sheesh.

Alternative energy technology is an area where some folks could make a shit load of money right now, and with the current attitude in Washington, it looks like we're just going to stand around and let the rest of the developed world evolve and cash in on the technology. What a shame.


[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 07 June 2001).]

06-07-2001, 09:34 PM
I'm not sure why I decided to read this thread...but I did. To start with I will provide a bit of vague background about myself. I was raised by a father, who's job included but was not limited to, undermining the "Soviet Threat". Mine was a hard-core anti-communist upbringing, followed by a stint in the Armed Forces for good measure. Having said that, I believe my experience has trained me to be more suspicious of the communist way of life than most Americans. The first time I visited this site, I couldn't help but notice the Soviet type imagery on each and every page. I found it amusing, unusualand for the most part pretty cool and definately radical. Not once did I perceive any of the art work as a promotion for the communist way of life, nor do I suspect any of the Gurus of hanging pictures of Lenin in their dens or holding midnight rallies in hidden basements to stir the hearts of "comrades".....I do believe the Gurus are extremely good at what they do. I also believe, that at least some of them have wit. something I for one admire. I have no doubt they are as much capitalists as any of the rest of us flag waving Americans. But beyond the political and economic shadowing, this forum is here, for us, those who have a common interest and need help and advice or just want to share. I dont recall the Gurus requiring me to pay them a fee to become a memeber when I signed up, because they didn't (though knowing what I know now I would have paid one). In my book that is something "good" people do. Of course the forum helps their cause, its not a one way street. It can be called a smart business practice, but no less a kindness, and that comes back to them 10 fold, I highly suspect.I admire their bravery in standing up for a technology(SCSI) that has all but been abandoned by the rest of the world (a non-conformist thing I personally appreciate). I am sure others that have been around here much longer than I have, could make the list of postive attributes the Gurus have go on indefinately. I would like to think that the Gurus got a good chuckle out of the rantings of some malcontent who I hope was just having a bad day and isnt really that tight-a*sed........Oh well, this is what happens when indivduals make judgements without having sufficient information to come to a rational conclusion.(I have another word for it, but I think thats best left unwritten......Hey Bill, dont let the door hit your a*s on the way out. dasvadanya! ok, theirs my 2 cents.

06-09-2001, 03:05 AM

you guys make me glad, all over again, that you let me hang out here with you.

I deeply appreciate the support!

gotta tell you....I almost think Bill Lemkey was trying to joke right along with us.

I definitely consider myself a revolutionary.....remember when Gurus started: there WERE no internet vendors. We were among the first. (Everyone else got funded by VC's and then went public, but we've been doing this on the net since Nov, 1995).

I used to worry that the look and feel of the site was too obnoxious....to my delight, the vast majority of Mac users, our customers, get it.

About once a year we'll get a Bill Lemkey.

oh, well.

back to the study circle to plot subversion against the Wintel order....


Urinal Puck
06-09-2001, 10:36 AM
"gotta tell you....I almost think Bill Lemkey was trying to joke right along with us."

I don't think he was kidding...just crazy. He posted in another thread, which wasn't quite as obnoxious but had the same psycho tone. It wasn't up for much more than a minute before, I assume, he deleted it. I might have been the only one to see it, because by the time I responded to it, it was gone. So I deleted mine, so that I didn't look nuts!

Anyway, his post count is 3, so at least I know I wasn't seeing things.

Urinal Puck

[This message has been edited by Urinal Puck (edited 09 June 2001).]

06-09-2001, 08:52 PM
on reflection, I feel sorry for the guy.


06-11-2001, 01:53 PM
Damn! What all have I missed?

06-11-2001, 05:50 PM
a guy basically said we're all commies, Louie.

no big deal.

06-11-2001, 06:17 PM
The asshole wouldn't know a real commie if it bit him. I spent almost 50 years keeping real commies from taking over his neighborhood. I'm in no mood to be called one. He'd best stay away! Back under the rock!

06-14-2001, 01:24 AM
Hello there Louie. How the hell are ya?

I've been AWL (abesnt with leave) for awhile. Someone tipped me off that there was some entertainment action going on around here, so I wandered back over.


06-14-2001, 01:43 PM
You're too late; the asshole must have gone back under his rock.

Late return from leave is AWOL. If there was intention never to return, it's Desertion. The later offense calls for the firing squad in time of war.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 14 June 2001).]

06-15-2001, 03:50 AM
that's Louie's touchy-feely way of telling you he missed you, too, dave.