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The Holy Brothel Interview

Copyright © 1999 Holy Brothel Magazine. All rights reserved.

This interview took place in the Vanguard of Vigilance Control Room on December 1, 1999. It was conducted by Catherine Parker of Holy Brothel Magazine. Beelzebub and Fidel were present for the entire interview; Blofeld was in and out (he was on duty in the VoV).

Catherine comments:

I've been asking my editor at Holy Brothel for permission to do this interview for over a year. I first heard about the Bloatbusters™ back in 1996, word had it back then that they were a kinky militant group on the UNIX fringe. I've been collecting photos (there are not many to collect sadly) of Beelzebub ("The Prince") and Fidel ("Brother in Arms") ever since - and I knew, I just knew, I would someday have the privilege of meeting them.

The whole VoV experience is so unreal - when you first walk into the main hall, well you've seen the pictures so you think you know what to expect, but it's just so different, so eerie - and these guys - the closer I thought I was getting to them, the more larger than life they became.

I could not get over the lack of overhead light everywhere. They told me they keep the overheads at a minimum or completely off to improve concentration and reduce eye strain. It's like a darkroom in there! Like eternal night... Then again, that's what they call it - "commercial software has taken the day away" is how they put it.

It was Fidel that came to meet me. At over six feet tall he is very imposing, yet he had a quality about him, a quality I've noticed in great people before. It's a calm of a sort, and it draws you right into their warmth - I know that sounds stupid, but I really don't know how else to say it. My woman's intuition told me straight away that this man was someone I could implicitly trust in all matters. It's this kind of man that women have always found it so hard to resist.

I'd hardly caught my breath and regained my composure after shaking Fidel's hand when Beelzebub walked in and greeted me, and this heart of mine was all pitter-patter all over again. The few pictures we have of him do give promise, but they don't do him justice. This man is simply gorgeous! He's a dream, a complete Adonis, perhaps not quite as tall as Fidel, but with rugged yet somewhat impish good looks. His eyes - when he looks at you his eyes seem to penetrate right into your soul - I felt myself go naked under his gaze - and he had the calmest smile, just like Fidel. What a treat - two men like this - what if... oh what a terrible thing, to have to choose between them!

Speaking of calm, I had planned on suggesting we do the interview poolside at the Bloatbusters™ famous Sea of Tranquility®, and thereby get a look at all the computer science artifacts we've heard so much about, but as it turned out time would simply not permit.

Blofeld was in and out as we spoke as well. He's such a character I've heard, but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to meet him properly. He looked very busy.

The crowd in the VoV shocked me too - I figured this was a small time operation - ten or twenty people at the most, but I could swear there were over two hundred people in the main hall when I passed through... So much about this organization remains a mystery, and as I get a feeling that they want it this way, I led off my interview with a directly leading question:

Catherine: Who are you guys - really?

Both: We're the Bloatbusters™.

Catherine: How long have you been in existence?

Fidel: We've always been in existence, and we always will be. Bloat is cosmic, and so is the fight against it. We're confident that it's not eternal, but of course the vigilance against it must be.

Catherine (troubled laugh): Are you guys saying you're immortal?

Both: No comment.

Catherine: Uh, ok - maybe we'd better move on.

Both (chuckling): Yes, maybe we'd better.

Catherine: Ok. Is it true that you abduct bloatware offenders and try to turn them?

Both: No comment.

Catherine: I'm not exactly off to a good start here!

Fidel: Easy, Catherine, you're doing fine. You're ok.

Beelzebub: Relax honey. Fidel's right. Just relax. It's going to be fine.

Catherine: Do bloatware offenders - bloataholics - ever come to you and ask for treatment?

Both: All the time.

Catherine: Is it true that you use brutal methods to extract confessions from bloatware offenders?

Beelzebub: Brutal and brutal. Bloatware itself takes no prisoners, so why should we? But we're trying to help people, not hurt them, and even the worst bloatware offender is "people", or used to be. It's our job to restore the "people" in them.

(Blofeld steps in.)

Catherine: How do you find the bloatware apps you attack in the Hall of Bloat?

Blofeld: They come to us. Or rather, their victims do. Then, if we think the matter is serious enough, we sent out a Bloatbusters™ S.W.A.T. team.

Catherine: What is the difference between bloatware and hellware?

Fidel: It's degrees. Hellware is just so horrible in every possible way, including bloat, that there is no better way of describing it.

Catherine: Have you ever gotten into trouble for one of your reviews?

Fidel: No. But there's always a first time. But we're not worried. The bloataholics are the ones that should be worried. Some of them get death threats after people read our reviews.

(Blofeld steps out.)

Catherine: How do you feel about that?

Both: How do we feel about what?

Catherine: About the death threats? Against bloataholics.

Beelzebub: Well, not good, but maybe it will shake them up a bit. And not many people who threaten them really mean it, even in the heat of the moment. All we do is expose the truth. People who find out the truth have a right to be upset. But we're not advocating physical violence of any sort. Violence is not the answer.

Catherine: Will you tell that to your readers? There are several ISVs who have received these calls and they're worried.

Beelzebub: Sure. We just did. But if ISVs are worried, then begging us for forgiveness or asking us to take the pressure off is not the answer. Tell them to stop selling bloatware.

Catherine: Why don't you tell them?

Both (laughing): We just did!

Catherine (laughing): Ok. Here's a question I'm personally interested in getting an answer to - do you see a connection between lean and mean software and a vegetarian diet?

Beelzebub: Of course. Don't you?

Catherine: Do you think the condition of commercial software is likely to improve?

Fidel: Everything points in that direction right now. The DOJ has inadvertently sideswiped the planned obsolescence in use in the commercial software industry without even knowing it. Without Microsoft there to bully ISVs around, the likelihood that the industry can relax a bit and concentrate on quality again is good.

(Blofeld steps in.)

Catherine: What are your working hours like as members of the Bloatbusters™ team?

Blofeld: Working hours? This is our life. Or put it this way: we have no leisure time. We have to protect people, we can't worry about selfish things like our own leisure time.

Catherine: Do people ever ask you for autographs?

Beelzebub: It happens. But most people who meet us have too much respect. One guy got Fidel to autograph a cast once. The poor guy had dropped a piece of bloatware on his foot and broken it. Fidel felt really bad for him.

Fidel: He said it fell right out of the box and down on his foot. Fractured it in several places. He hadn't even known the package contained bloatware.

(Blofeld steps out.)

Catherine: What are you guys doing later tonight? I don't have any plans myself.

Both: We're working in the VoV. The Bloatbusters™ are never off duty. Actually we're in a bit of a hurry now.

Catherine: What a shame! How about a raincheck?

Both: Call us!

(End of interview.)

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