Why Parody Writing Shouldn't Depend on Richard M. Stallman

Jonathan Holland's decision to include Richard Stallman's rant, for the sake of referencing the same, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on Richard Stallman's writing, so we need to discourage its use.

The problem is not unique to Mr. Holland; any line-by-line parody of Mr. Stallman's writing would raise the same issue. The danger is that RMS is probably planning to force all his parodies' authors underground some day using torture, such as his Free Software Song. (See this file in the horrible, un-free MP3 format.) This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.

This is not to say that parodying RMS is a bad thing. Free RMS parodies permit readers to see the absurdities of what he says, which is good. Ideally we want to provide free parodies for all writers that programmers have read.

We should systematically arrange to depend on the free RMS parodies as little as possible. In other words, we should discourage people from writing snowclones of RMS. Therefore, we should not include RMS parodies in the front page of /r/programming/, and we should distribute and recommend non-snowclone parodies rather than comparable RMS snowclones whenever possible.