The long-anticipated Mega launch may be the most awkward event in the history of tech releases, as Kim Dotcom presided over one of the most embarrassing and silly displays of pompousness in recent memory early Sunday morning Eastern Standard Time.
The event, which came more than 12 hours after the launch of Mega, the eagerly-awaited, secure successor to the wildly-popular Megaupload.com, was one of the most over-produced and self-masturbatory displays in the few decades since the Internet became ubiquitous.
Amid a display frought with sad techno montages and odd local dance routines, Dotcom showed his true colors by casting himself as a Christ-like figure aiming to ressurect the free Internet and play the part of an indispenable hero of free speech.
Attempting to convert what was cast as an understated launch event at his Auckland-area estate preceded by friendly drinks into a concert event of "Tibetan Freedom Concert" caliber, Dotcom re-established his stature as the creepiest freedom fighter the Web never asked for.
After a strange display of local music that wouldn't have seemed out of place as an opener for Phish, Dotcom ostentatiously launched a site that he claims will revolutionize filesharing.
The Mega logo blasted from a massive screen and eclectro blaring, he seemed sure that he was introducing the second coming of free speech, all through the guise of a retooled site, more secure yet just as dubious as Megaupload.
Though he faces a raft of charges ranging from copyright infringement to money laundering, Dotcom cast Mega as the saving grace to a corporatized version of the Web, the one place where freedom and creativity can thrive.
After being introduced by a couple of two-bit actors riffing on virginity and "how to connect to the Internet" - "step one, you're gonna want to ask your mom to borrow her computer" - he emerged to a thumping soundtrack that wouldn't seem out of place in a Berlin hotspot.
"That's a lot of people. That's awesome. Wow. That's nice. Welcome to Mega launch," he said, in the opening remarks of his much-hyped media event.
He went on to tell the sad tale of his arrest a year ago by New Zealand authorities, explaining that Mega was the resurgence of a dead ideal.
"Sometimes good things come out of bad events," he said, adding, "If it wasn't for the raid, we wouldn't have Mega."
He then embarked on a loose defense of Mega, centering on questions of free speech and the concept that he is the only person capable of bringing equality to the Web.
"I am convinced that the Internet is the key to the betterment of mankind," he said, adding that, "Our case is bigger than us. When we win, not only do we protect our rights, we protect the rights of everyone."
He then went on to describe what he considers the unique aspects of his new filesharing site, and the important mission he has set out to accomplish.
"Mega believes in your right to privacy. Mega has created an ecosystem that keeps your data private and safe," he told the crowd of gathered media and other attendees. "By using Mega, you say 'no' to those who want to know everything about you."
He then succumbed to a staged moment in which he feigned shock as faux law enforcement authorities "raided" the event.
"This is a crime scene, and an illegal gathering, and you're all being detained, nobody move," an unseen actor intoned, as Dotcom and others onstage reacted with false fear in furthering their contention that they are the freedom-fighters of an Internet that considers intellectual property an inviolable resource.
In what may be the most over-produced product launch in a long history of over-produced product launches, a menagerie of club girls danced to the beat as lights flashed and money went down the drain.
He laughed like Santa Claus as the display drew to a close, then made a final call for all those assembled to join his school of thought, before embarking on a meandering question-and-answer session that dragged on well into the night.
It was an event frought from the outset, with an indicted criminal launching a site he suggested he never would, and it was a revolution. It's just another day in the weirdness that is the cutting-edge of Internet supremacy.