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Jesus Christ Superstar;
the Beta version
the new and improved libretto

Eowyn W Cenek


The Story ...

The story is rewritten as follows. Everyone is a Microsoft employee. King Herod is the head of the operating systems department, where the pharisees and jesus + apostles form two project groups, the first in charge of Windows 3.1, the second in charge of OS/2. Jesus' new designs threatens to outperform Win3.1, thus threatening the job security of the pharisees ...

The musical covers the project life of Jesus' group, from inital conception to completion. Judas becomes worried about the marketing strategies that will be employed by the IBM Marketing Division, including promising early deadlines and demanding impossible hardware requirements ...(Deadlines on My Mind).

In a meeting, Jesus defends his as yet incomplete specifications (What's the Specs), and Judas complains about bringing a programmer online who programs in the vastly outdated and inappropriate Cobol (Strange Thing Mystifying).

The Pharisees become worried that Win 3.1 will become obsolete even before it comes out. In a meeting between the two groupleaders Caiaphas and Annas the decision is made that Jesus must be stopped. (We Won't Become Dated).

Meanwhile, Mary attempts to soothe Jesus. Judas, exasperated, complains about deadlines that are far too tight, and specifications that are never released on time. Angrily, Jesus assures Judas that the specs will be released when the group is ready (Everything's On Time).

Pan back to a group meeting called by Caiaphas and Annas, where it is resolved that Jesus' Project must be brought to its knees, somehow (This Project Must Die).

Pan to a mob scene where the IBM Marketing Division is holding a PR meeting and making all sorts of wonderful claims for OS/2, including integrated multitasking (Multithreads). A man at the back tries to persuade Jesus that, with only a few well placed publicity reports, the entire Win 3.1 camp can be destroyed (Publicity).

Moving out into the hallway, Jesus becomes introspective, mourning the monster that OS/2 is becoming (Poor OS/2).

Meanwhile, Bill Gates has an odd, foreshadowy dream, in which he sees Jesus devoured by the hordes who are bitterly disappointed when the hype is shown to be just that (Bill Gates' Dream).

Pan back to a computer convention (Comdex?) where conventioneers of all types are trying to sell their software by making outlandish promises. Disgusted, Jesus tries to close down their booths but instead finds his OS/2 hailed as the answer to their software woes (Comdex).

Pan out to Mary, sitting in a cubicle and staring at her computer screen, trying to make sense of the specs she's supposed to turn into code (I Don't Know How To Code This).

Pan out to Judas, meeting with Caiaphas and Annas, where Judas tries to justify both to himself and the world at large why he has come to the enemy camp with specific programs that will always crash the system, scrambling the FATs in the process (Abort Retry Ignore).

Offered money for his information, Judas recoils, but is finally persuaded to accept the money to invest in a new office fridge for his group (Fridge Money).

Pan to a last group meeting, held in the boardroom, where Jesus and the apostles are gathered. At first the apostles seem content, happy even, secure that their OS works. However, Jesus quickly bursts their bubble, complaining that their complacency will kill the project yet and that - in fact - one man - Judas- will betray him, and another - Peter - will try three times try to respec his OS (The Last Meeting).

Pan out to Jesus, later, sitting abandoned in his office, where he contemplates the operating system he has designed. Worried about the demo, he cries out to the fates, wondering why he has to be the visionary (I Only Want To Code).

Shortly after, there is a knock on the door. A messenger comes to call him to a Board meeting called by Caiaphas and Annas where he is required to do an internal departmental demo. Knowing the testing software will exploit OS/2's weaknesses, Peter speaks up, but Jesus quietens his team and assents to the demo (The Demo).

Pan to Peter, working frantically in his cubicle, trying to redesign the system to fix the weak spots before the meeting. Three times he's caught trying to respecify the OS, and three times he denies groupmembership (Peter's Denial).

Meanwhile, Jesus has been dragged into Bill Gates's office, where Bill Gates wonders audibly why he is involved at all, questioning Jesus as to the validity and value of the project. Jesus defends neither himself nor his OS, and Bill finally, in disgust, sends him back to Herod who is Jesus' department head (Bill Gates and Christ).

Herod, in turn, expresses sardonic joy at the pleasure of meeting this vaunted designer face to face. Here, too, Jesus fails to defend himself, and Herod sends him back to Bill Gates to fire or discipline as he chooses. As Jesus leaves the office, escorted by a lackey, he runs into Judas who pales at the implications. (Manager's Song).

Waiting in the cafetaria to find out Jesus' fate, Mary wonders if it would be possible to start the project over, reworking the specifications and code so that the bugs can be avoided (Could We Spec Again Please).

Judas remonstrates with the Pharisees, worried that the project will not be improved, but will, instead, be killed completely. When Caiaphas and Annas praise his efforts to kill the project, Judas repents. Knowing he can't save the project he makes a last symbolic gesture - resigning (Judas Resigns).

Jesus is again brought before Bill, who is less than impressed. Given one last chance, his software is tested against 39 benchmarks, each of which causes a general protection fault/core dump/crash of some sort. At last, in despair, as the mob of PR flacks howls for Jesus' blood, Jesus is stripped of his stock options, and fired for incompetence - an informal form of blacklisting ... (Demo For Bill Gates).

Judas is last seen at home, trying to connect to AOL and wondering where everything went wrong (Superstar). Jesus, meanwhile, is last seen at his desk, packing his belongings, and commending himself into the hands of fate as flacks the world over post derogatory articles about his OS (Vilification).

The Libretto



Deadlines On My Mind (Judas)

Deadlines are clearer now, at last, all too well,
I can see where they all soon will be.
If you strip away the dreams from the plans
you will see where we all soon will be.
Jesus! You've started to believe
The promises they make
You really do believe
These dreams will soon come true.
And all the code you wrote
Will soon be obsolete.
Dreams begin to matter more
Than the now, concrete.

Listen Jesus I don't like what I read,
All I ask is that you e-mail to me
Explanations - The specs of what you think we hope to do
You have set the team on fire,
They think they're led by the Messiah,
And they'll hurt you when they find they're wrong.

I remember when this project began,
No talk of dreams then - we worked with a man
And believe me, my admiration for you hasn't died.
But every spec you write today
Gets mucked about some other way
And they'll hurt you when the system's fried.

MIT, your famous son should have stayed a great unknown,
In the basement hacking code - he'd have made good
Tables, lists, and large arrays would have suited what he plays,
He'd have caused nobody harm, noone alarm ...

Listen Jesus, do you care for your group?
Don't you see, there are costs to recoup?
We are all employed - have you forgotten why we need our pay?
I am frightened by the hype,
We can't deliver on the hype
And they'll crush us if we go too far - if we go too far.

Listen Jesus, to the warnings I mail,
Please remember I don't want us to fail,
But it's sad to see our chances weakening with every deadline.
All those programmers are blind,
Too much money on their minds,
It was workable but now it's buggy
Yes it's all gone buggy (buggy)

Listen Jesus, to the warnings I mail,
Please remember I don't want us to fail
So come on, come on,
He won't answer my mail ...

What's The Specs

Apostles: What's the specs,
Tell me what's a happening

Why should you want to know,
Don't you mind about the future,
Don't you try to code ahead.
Save tomorrow's code tomorrow,
Code the current specs instead.

What's the specs,
Tell me what's a happening

I could give you charts and outlines
Even give you specs and deadlines
Even tell you what you're coding!

When do we
Need to have the system up ...

Why should you want to know?
Why must you always be coding
Plans and specs that aren't defined
If you mapped the code we're writing
You'd understand it less than I

What's the specs,
Tell me what's a happening

Mary Magdalene:
Would you like
to recap your plans a bit?

Mary - mmm - that is good.
While you prattle through this meeting -
What and when and who and how
She alone has thought to ask me
What I know right here and now!

What's the specs,
Tell me what's a happening

Strange Things Mystifying

It seems to me a strange thing,
That a man like you can waste his time
on coders of her kind!
Yes I can understand that she amuses
But to let her code thus, run these tests,
that's hardly in your line.
It's not that I object to her obsessions
But she doesn't write her code with
standards that you set
It doesn't help us if you're inconsistent
They only need a small excuse
to shuffle us away!

Who are you, to criticise her?
Who are you, to despise her?
Leave her, leave her, let her be now,
Leave her, leave her, she's with me now.
If your tests run clean - then you can complain,
If your compiles fail then leave her alone

I'm amazed that men like you can be so
shallow, thick and slow,
There is not a man among you who
knows or cares how the projects flows

All (except Judas):
No, you're wrong! You're very wrong! ...
How can you say that?

Not one, not one of you!

We Won't Become Dated

We've been sitting on the fence for far too long

Why let him upset us? Caiaphas, let him be.
All those imbeciles will see he really doesn't matter.

Jesus is important! We've let him go his way before
And while he starts an OS war, we theorize and chatter.

He's just another OS thumping hack from MIT ...

The difference is they bought his specs,
the difference frightens me
What about the vendors? When they see OS/2 crowned?
Do you think they'll stand around,
cheering and applauding?
What about our people? If they see we've lost our nerve?
Don't you think that they deserve
something more rewarding?

They've got what they want, they think so anyway.
If he's what they want, why take their toy away? He's a craze.

Put yourself in my place. I can hardly step aside.
Cannot let my hands be tied, I am project leader.
What about our project? Don't you see that we could fall?
If we are to last at all, we cannot be divided.

Then say so to the chairman, but don't rely on subtlety.
Frighten them, or they won't see.

Then we are decided?

Then we are decided.

Everything's On Time

Mary Magdalene:
Try not to get worried,
Try not to keep reading
Reports that upset you.
Don't you know
Everything's compiled
Yes everything's fine
And we want you to sleep well tonight
Let the code run without you tonight
If we try
we'll compile
So forget all about us tonight

Everything's all right
Yes everything's all right yes.

Mary Magdalene:
Rest and I shall help you,
Take these, and distribute,
Updates and new deadlines,
Then you'll see
Everything's all right,
Yes everything's fine.
And it's done and the deadlines set,
For the specs that you wrote tonight,
Close your eyes,
Close your eyes,
And relax,
Think of nothing tonight.

Everything's all right
Yes everything's all right yes.

Woman, this fine re-plan,
And all that it entails,
Should have been halted in place,
Why have we all wasted
Time better spent coding
Debugging, reproofing our code!
Code that is still buggy
Code that isn't working
That matters more
Than your bells and whistles

This Project Must Die

Good Caiaphas
The Chairman waits for you
The projects Leads and Sales
Are here for you.

Ah gentlemen, you know why we are here
We've not much time, and quite a problem here

Journalists Outside:
Multithreads! OS/2!

Listen to that howling mob
Of blockheads in the street
A trick or two with threading
And the whole town's on its feet

He is dangerous! He is dangerous!

Journalists Outside:
Multithreads, OS/2
Tell us it does what they say it should

That man is upstairs right now
To whip up some support
A money raising mission
That I think we must abort
He is dangerous

Journalists Outside:
Multithreads! OS/2!

Look Caiaphas
They're right outside, you see,
Quick Caiaphas,
Go call Security

No wait, we need a more permanent solution to our problem.

What then to do about Jesus of MIT?
Miracle wonder man, hacker or fool

No riots, no gimmicks, no fighting, no slogans

One thing to say for him, Jesus is cool

We dare not leave him to his own devices
His half-witted team will get out of control

But how can we stop him, his glamour increases
By leaps every minute, he's top of the pole

I see bad things arising
The crowd loves his code
Which the chairman would ban
I see loss and rejection
Our elimination because of one man
Loss and rejection
Because of one man

What then to do about this OSmania?
Now how do we deal with the multithread king?
Where do we start with a spec that is bigger
Than Steve was when Steve did his Macintosh thing?

Fools! You have no perception
The stakes we are gambling
Are frighteningly high.
We must crush him completely
So like Steve before him
This Jesus must crash
For the sake of the nation
This Jesus must crash
Must crash, must crash
This Jesus must crash


Multithread Multithread Multi Multi Thread
Multi Thread Multi Thread Multi
Hey J C, J C won't you smile at me?
Multi Thread Multi Thread OS/2

Tell the audience be quiet,
We anticipate a riot
This common crowd
Is much too loud
Tell the mob who sing your praise
That they are fools and that they chase
What cannot be
As they should see

Multithread Multithread Multi Multi Thread
Multi Thread Multi Thread Multi
Hey J C, J C your spec's fine by me?
Multi Thread Multi Thread OS/2

Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd
Nothing can be done to stop the process
If every pen was still the spec would still be out there
The integrated threads themselves would start to sing!

Crowd, with Jesus:
Multithread Multithread Multi Multi Thread
Multi Thread Multi Thread Multi
Hey J C, J C please design for me?
Multi Thread Multi Thread OS/2

Lend me your help, but not for me alone,
Program for yourself, for you are blessed,
There is not one of you who cannot code a program,
The slow, the suffering, the quick, the dead!

Crowd, with Jesus:
Multithread Multithread Multi Multi Thread
Multi Thread Multi Thread Multi
Hey J C, J C won't you code for me?
Multi Thread Multi Thread OS/2


Man, you know I dig it
Did you see I tried?
I believe in what you've spec'd
So tell me that I'm hired

Jesus, I am trying,
Take my code please, Jesus
Jesus, I am on your side,
Trust me, trust me, Jesus

Christ, What more do you need to convince you
That you've spec'd it and it's easily as strong
As the filth which gives us daily blue screens
And who've terrorized our laptops for so long?

Man, you know I dig it
Did you see I tried?
I believe in what you've spec'd
So tell me that I'm hired

Jesus, I am trying,
Take my code please, Jesus
Jesus, I am on your side,
Trust me, trust me, Jesus

There must be over fifteen thousand
Screaming love and more for you
Every one of fifteen thousand
Would code whatever you ask them to
Keep them yelling their devotion
But add a touch of hate at Bill
You will rise to a greater power
IBM will be our home
You'll get the credits and the glory
For ever and ever and ever
You'll get the credits and the glory
For ever and ever and ever
Amen! Amen!

Poor OS/2

Neither you Simon, nor the fifteen thousand
Nor the Chairman, nor his flacks,
Nor Judas, nor the twelve,
Nor the hacks, nor the press,
Nor doomed new OS/2 itself
Understand what threading is
Understand what users want
Understand at all
Understand at all

If you knew all that I knew
Of my poor OS/2
You'd see the truth
But you close your eyes
But you close your eyes

While it lives
Our troubles are many
My poor OS/2
To conquer core
You only have to crash
You only have to crash

Bill Gates' Dream

Bill Gates:
I dreamed I met a Project Leader
A most amazing man
He had that look
You very rarely find
The haunting hunted kind

I asked him
To say what had happened
Where it all began
I asked again
He never said a word
As if he hadn't heard

And next the room was full
Of wild and angry men
They seemed to hate this man
They fell on him and then disappeared again

Then I saw thousands of users
Crying for his code
And then I heard them mentioning my name
And leaving me the blame


Moneylenders and Merchants:
Roll on up, it's Comdex time,
Come on in, it's Comdex time,
For this week we go again,
Leave your work for Comdex time,

Here you see my Comdex booth,
Here you see my Comdex booth
While my booth is still online,
All my software runs just fine.

I've got code you won't believe
Name your problem, I will sell,
I can fix your biggest woes,
I got heaven I got hell.

Roll on up - for my price is down
Come on in - for the best in town
Take your pick of the finest wine
Lay your bets on this code of mine

What you see is what you get,
Noone's been disappointed yet,
Don't be scared give me a try
There is nothing you can't buy

Name your price I got everything
Come and buy it's all going fast
Borrow, cash, on the 90 net,
Hurry now while my stocks last

Comdex used to be a place of promise
But you have made it a den of thieves
Get up, get out

My work
Is almost through
Little left to do
After all
I've tried for three years
Seems like thirty
Seems like thirty

See my specs I can hardly run
See my code I can barely work
I believe with OS/2
All of this can be overcome

See my threads, I'm all tangled up,
And my windows all confused,
I believe with OS/2
All of this can be overcome

Will you use, will you install me?
Won't you try, won't you debug me?
Will you fix, you can cure these bugs,
Won't you fix, won't you pay me, Christ?

Oh, there's too many of you, don't push me
Oh, there's too little of me, don't crowd me
Fix your code!

I Don't Know How To Code This (Mary Magdalene)

I don't know how to code this,
What to write, where to start this,
It's a bug, a silly bug,
And I've had so many bugs before,
In very many ways,
It's just one more.

I don't know why he wants this,
I don't see how it helps him.
It doesn't work, just doesn't work,
In these past few days
When I read these specs
They seem so very strange
They just won't work.

Should I burn the specs?
Should I scream and shout?
Should I speak of code?
Toss my COBOL out?
I never thought I'd code like this
What's it all about?

Don't you thinks it's too ironic
I should use this old compiler?
I'm the one who'se code has seen
Such loops, such halts, segmenting faults,
Cores that will not dump,
It scares me so.

I never thought I'd code like this
What's it all about?
Yet, if this wasn't buggy,
I'd be lost, I'd be frightened.
I couldn't cope,
Just couldn't cope.
I'd blank my screem,
I'd r-logout,
I wouldn't want to know.
It scares me so.
This code won't work.
Why won't it work?

Abort Retry Ignore/Fridge Money

Now if I help you
It matters that you see
This sordid kind of code is
Coming hard to me
It's taken me some time
To code this code for you
I worked the whole thing out
Before I came to you
I had no thought at all
About my own reward
I really didn't come here
Of my own accord
Just don't say I'm
Damned for all time!

I wrote this code, I had to,
I'm the one who saw
Jesus can't design now
Like he did before
And furthermore I know
That Jesus thinks so too
Jesus wouldn't mind
This code I'm giving you
I have no thought at all
About my own reward
I really didn't come here
Of my own accord
Just don't say I'm
Damned for all time!

Annas, you're a friend
A sysadmin and wise
Caiaphas, my friend
I know you sympathise

Why are we the testers?
Why are we the ones?
Who build the suites of testing,
Know what must be passed?
I have no thought at all
About my own reward
I really didn't come here
Of my own accord
Just don't say I'm
Damned for all time!

Cut the protesting
Forget the excuses
We want your software
Get up off the floor

We've made the arrangements
We need to entrap him
You know his codebase
We know the law

Your help in this matter
Won't go unrewarded

We'll pay you in dollars
Cash on the nail
We just need to know
How the software can trip him
With no fixes
Then we can't fail

I don't need your blood money

Oh, that doesn't matter
Our expenses are good

I don't want your blood money

But you might as well take it
We think that you should

Think of the things
You can do with that money
Choose any model fridge
Give to the lab
We've noted your motives
We've noted your feelings
This isn't blood money
It's a fee nothing more

On this floppy
You'll find the code you're wanting
And it will
Abort Retry Ignore.

Well done Judas
Good code Judas

The Last Meeting

I Only Want To Code

The Demo

Peter's Denial

Bill Gates and Christ

Manager's Song

Could We Spec Again Please?

Judas Resigns

Demo For Bill Gates



About this document ...

Jesus Christ Superstar;
the Beta version
the new and improved libretto

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 2002 (1.62)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.
Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

The command line arguments were:
latex2html -split 0 jcsuperstar

The translation was initiated by Eowyn W. Cenek on 2003-05-14

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Eowyn W. Cenek 2003-05-14