Saturday, November 26, 2022

Conventionally

 Every racist, fascist, bro dude who likes drugs will tell you he’s not “conventionally” right-wing.

Muskie is no different.

See also “libertarians”.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

More Bullshit Arguments

The Colorado nightclub shooter’s father and grandfather are both vile, virulent, violent homophobes of the highest order. So on the off chance the shooter is in fact enby, and it’s not just a lawyerly ploy from a group of people whose entire thesis is that people can and do identify that way frivolously, casually, falsely, and for personal gain, the shooting was STILL the direct result of right-wing homophobia and hate and the environment that creates.

They pulled this shit with the last (for a sufficiently loose definition of last, as must be said with mass shootings) right-wing mass shooting terrorist. Find a thing they think is exclusively identified with liberals (last time it was “from Berkeley”), and loudly proclaim that despite all the obvious evidence to the contrary, it couldn’t possibly be their fault.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Accountability

 “Look, all we said is that they’re destroying an entire generation of children with their sexual perversion and that they must be stopped by any means necessary. We never meant ‘shoot up a nightclub full of them’.”

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Plan Going Forward

OK. Here’s the deal. I cannot in good conscience keep provicing content to Twitter now that Trump’s back on it. They brought him back for the engagement boost and the only way to counter that is with engagement removal. 

So. The Not A Blog is back, and it’s a fucking blog now. Twitter is microblogging, this is macroblogging. Unleess I only have a little to say, at which point it’ll be a tweet-length micropost here.

Posts and content will continue to be linked to on Twitter but that’s it, until the site burns to the ground or I’m confident the tiny audience has moved on to other platforms.

One of those platforms is Mastodon. Yes, the carob of social media. Some of my weeks-old follow requests finally processed, so maybe it’s working better? You should be able to search me there with You Are Dumb or my official Mastodon address, @youaredumb.net@mastodon.sdf.org

I may, in fact, have to fuck with Instagram, at least for Oldnderd, but we’ll see.

I believe you can “follow” Blogger blogs and also RSS them and over the next few weeks I’m gonna see if there are things I should be doing to make that work.


Something To Say

Memo to Muskmelons: YOU ARE DUMB.

Coming out of retirement because, frankly, the possibly fatal wounding of Twitter gives me some stuff to say that I’m not necessarily seeing said a lot of other places, so I might as well say it myself.

And one thing Elon Musk has accomplished, for a sufficiently loose definition of the term, is to have a group of followers with worse arguments than Trump’s. It’s hard to believe, but hear me out. It’s a lot like the arguments of Trump supporters, but with less variety. It’s a small, shitty subset of the Trump arguments, which makes it even more repetitive.

But my “favorite”, that we’ll be discussing today, is “And yet here you are, USING TWITTER!” to anyone complaining about how Musk is treating Twitter’s rules, policies, pricing, or employees. Oooh, you sneaky Musckvite, you’ve caught me, a Twitter user, using Twitter to complain about Twitter, which I use. Clearly, you’ve won the day.

Twitter, you see, is a social media site. And every single social media site is a Faustian deal with the forces of evil. Facebook’s litany of evil is well documented, but if that’s where your family posts its news, you shake hands with Zuckerberg and count your fingers after. 

You use Reddit? Welcome to a lifetime of explaining to people you don’t spend any time on That Part Of It. Instagram? You’re shaking hands with Zuck again so that’s more finger-counting. Plus I think everything has to have a photo? I don’t know. I don’t fuck with Instagram.

Mastodon? Guess what, you’re now the Carob Person. Using Mastodon is constantly insisting to everyone who loves chocolate that once you get used to the weird taste and texture, it really is superior to chocolate in every way.

Twitter’s Faustian bargain, pre-Musk, was fairly standard. Twitter is an aggregation of the comments section every news article used to have before they decided that was too much work and they could just post the article on Twitter and let it happen there. Inadequate and inconsistent moderation meant a constant stream of harassment if your account or your tweet saw enough eyeballs. 

It’s Twitter behavior that led to the coining of “reply guy”. You’re welcome.

The point is, there isn’t some magical non-Twitter place to go to interact with people  the way you do on Twitter, which is why Twitter still even fucking existed for Musk to buy. This is how all social media companies of any size retain their position - by creating a web of connections that makes it very difficult to leave no matter how bad the experience gets or how toxic the ownership becomes.

That paradigm stops applying, of course, when some dipshit takes over and fires everyone who keeps it running properly because they refuse to be hardcore serfs in his dudebro fiefdom. Which is another reason to dust off the ol’ URL and point it somewhere moderately functional.

Friday, December 31, 2004

The Fifty Hates

And so, 2004 and the first year of YAD comes to a close. Two hundred and thirty six columns. Even knowing how many days there are in a year, two hundred and thirty six seems like a lot. Yet my work has just begun.
Many moons ago, I had the idea of the Map Of The Fifty Hates, a US map showing just where my wrath has fallen. So, to celebrate YAD's first year, I went ahead and took a whack at it. I make no assertions as to its absolute accuracy, my methods were both painstaking and crude. But they'll give you a pretty good idea. I was harshest on my home state, but, you know. I live here. I have to deal with its stupidity first-hand. Plus, our governor is a fuckhead, and so is at least one of our senators.
So here you are, the annotated Map of the Fifty Hates.

ALABAMA: Homophobia, racism
ARKANSAS: Homophobia
CALIFORNIA*: Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax, Schwarzenegger, terror-panicked LA mayor, erototoxins
COLORADO: Rabid pro-life Catholics, BULLDOZER RAMPAGE!, Creationist tour guide
FLORIDA: Low-carb potato, Creationist dinosaur park
GEORGIA: Creationists (2), banning genital piercings, Zell Miller
ILLINOIS: Senator Jack Ryan, Alan Keyes (4), Pledge of Allegiance poster, another politician, crossdressing kiddies
IOWA: Used as punchline once, taco hurler
KENTUCKY: Burning ice cream, Jim Bunning Senate race (3)
LOUISIANA: PIGFUCKING! Also, the Magical Bathroom Cross
MARYLAND: Suing Wal-Mart over Evanescence
MICHIGAN: Stupid article about "Friends", "four more years", undecided voter
MINNESOTA: Taxpayer's League, Ten Commandments, Mark Dayton, Rich Stanek, Tim Pawlenty (2), the Star-Tribune Variety section, the State Fair, the Homer Hankie, Mark Kennedy, Norm Coleman, Mankato bumper stickers, guy in line, chick in line, guy in line, Paul Douglas, Ushers of the Eucharist, gas protests, asshole who wrote a letter (2), smoking bans, IKEA, and Lisa Wright (2). And probably about a dozen more
MISSOURI: Rep. Tom Akin on "Under God"
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Asshole pro-life pharmacist
NEW JERSEY: "Four more years"
NEW MEXICO: Zero tolerance school
NEW YORK: Post VP fuckup, RNC protests, iPod-related wankery (2)
NORTH CAROLINA: Zebra Cake violence
OKLAHOMA: James Inhofe
PENNSYLVANIA: Gas protests, Groundhog Day, crazy Easter play, Intelligent design
TENNESSEE: Janet Jackson lawsuit, gay-banning, Ten Commandments tour, Arab-fear (2), eugenics-loving politician, Scopes Monkey Trial
TEXAS: Nudist barge, french fries, Jap Road, Dazed And Confused trial, Heloise, cross-dressing kids
UTAH: MORMONS!
WEST VIRGINIA: Gas protests
WISCONSIN: Creationists
WYOMING: Kevin Carr's movie reviews, Alan Simpson
There you have it. Twenty seven down, twenty three to go. Thanks to everyone who's stuck with me, whether it be from Day One, or from last week. You all share the common bonds of boredom and a love of free Net content. Never forget that. And I'll leave you with one last bit of wisdom as we head into 2005.
IT'S NOT A BLOG, FUCKERS! IT'S A COLUMN!
*Not including the entertainment industry. I'd need a bigger map, and it wouldn't be done until fucking March.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Not One Damn Lick Of Sense

Memo to Bored Lefties With E-Mail: YOU ARE DUMB.
You may have gotten an e-mail or seen a message board posting about "Not One Damn Dime Day". It's been making the rounds of the usual places this week. The idea is that on Inauguration Day, as a protest, people don't spend money on anything for 24 hours. Not food, not gas, not toilet paper, not a single quarter in a single soda vending machine.
As far as I can tell, the idea behind it is that a couple hundred thousand Internet liberals not shopping for 24 hours will send an incredibly powerful message to our Bush-supporting, corporate overlords and, according to the e-mail, try to "shut the retail economy down". There are a number of small problems with this plan, unfortunately. The most significant and glaring flaw, of course, is that it is FUCKING STUPID.
It's not that I'm opposed to protest. It's not that I'm opposed to the taking of action to effect change. I am, however, opposed to a handful of idealistic wankers running around in circles for a day then patting themselves on the back thinking they've won the New York Marathon. Allow me to present you with the official stated objective of Not One Damn Dime Day.
"The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it. 'Not One Damn Dime Day' is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics."
There are two possibilities here. First, that this will work, and second, that it will not. For it to work, the idea has to become widespread enough, and participation high enough, that the drop in economic activity is noticed. So let's say this happens, just as a lark. Let's say the idea gets out there to tens of millions of people. Let's say these people are swayed by the charm of the awkward wording. Moved by the passion of the slightly addled rhetoric. Let's say that, in a success beyond the wildest wet dreams of a Seattle anarchist blogger, this campaign reduces all economic activity in the nation by 65% for one day.
Who will notice? Who will be hurt? Remember, this will affect everyone by the same percentage, from the Alcoa CEO who rapes dolphins on his lunch hour to the mom-and-pop hemp store down the block. Remember why, as progressives, we're in favor of PROGRESSIVE tax structures? it's because when you take the same percentage out of the income of a poor person and a rich person, the poor person is hurt more.
Ergo, the radical left has just, in essence, proposed a protest that inflicts a flat tax on the nation for 24 hours. BRILLIANT.
But that's only in the incredibly unlikely scenario in which NODDD would work at all. The numbers just aren't there, people. Nineteen percent of the actual U.S. population voted against Bush. Around 30% if you only count eligible voters. How many of that 30% will even hear about the "boycott"? How many will care? How many will care AND decide to participate? And then be able to?
How much money do they have? What would they have bought that day? Will they just buy it the day before or after? Do corporations even take note of one-day aberrations in sales trends? And even if they do, how, exactly, will that be translated into an anti-war message in their minds? One that they'll pay heed to, and do something about?
What it boils down to is that the left would like to show our rulers just how much power and influence they can wield. And unfortunately, they will. Like a four-year-old hitting his father in the shin with a couch pillow, the shin of authority will remain intact, and the worst that could happen is that a hand-made vase from Berkeley might get knocked off the coffee table. It's stupid.
I understand you feel powerless. I know you want to stick it to The Man. But the world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. The playing field is no longer on the streets, because they've shown they can ignore the streets. Remember what the various Million Blank Marches were supposed to accomplish? Me neither. Folks protested at the Republican National Convention, and were ignored. Folks protesting the inauguration are going to be ignored, too. You know why? Because it's the INAUGURATION. And while you're standing outside in your black hoodie in the cold with your sign and your Hey Hey Ho Ho, the people in power will be inside, spending more money on this party than they're committing to Asian disaster relief, and they will be laughing at you.
The battle is for eyeballs. It's for eardrums. It's for the vaunted "hearts and minds". The right wing has systematically, for three decades, controlled the public image of the left. And anything that reinforces that image, like Not One Damn Dime Day so patently does, just plays right into their hands. And is DUMB.