Saturday, November 25, 2023

Your Absolution For Enjoyment

Memo to Moral Scolds: SHUT UP AND LET ME HAVE MY NUANCED FUN.

It didn’t take long. Hours after it was reported that Derek Chauvin was seriously injured  in an inmate-involved stabbing, I was being informed on social media that, well, actually, prison violence is bad and prison conditions are awful and we shouldn’t be celebrating it.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Good Fucking Riddance

When you see a post about Joe Manchin not running for re-election, remember ths.

Joe Manchin’s entire career was built around either being the reason for, or the excuse for, Democrats HAVING power without ever USING that power.

So when you see a post that is, essentially, “good fucking riddance, asshole”, that person values the second thing more than the first thing. Posts about “but.. but.. but… HIS SEAT!” are from people who value the first more than the second.

Good fucking riddance, asshole.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Rhetorical Analysis

Been seeing a lot of this this week, and I wonder if all the people on social media insisting “there must have been a tunnel under it” even realize they’re giving off big “I’m sure the officer feared for his life” energy.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Missing Out

Haven’t checked in on social media in about six hours. Sure hope everyone didn’t decide who’s solely responsible for the Gaza war and also figure out how to resolve it without me!

Friday, October 13, 2023

Excuses

 “They war crimed us first.:”

“What’s your non-war-crime solution, smart guy?”

“If they didn’t want to be war crimed they should have overthrown their government.”

“If they didn’t want to be war crimed they should have heeded the logistically impossible warning.”

“They created the conditions under which a war crime is the easiest solution. It’s their fault.:”

“If they just complied, they wouldn’t be war crimed.”

I don’t know, it kind of seems like you have a boner for war crimes. Or at least some of them.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Notes On The Current Discourse

This is not a commentary on the things that have happened, but something that’s important to note when perusing the discourse around the things that have happened.

For a few decades now, some of the absolute worst people in the world have been demonizing Hamas. They weren’t doing this in a good-faith attempt to warn us about how bad Hamas was and is. They were spelling it Hamas, but they were pronouncing it, to varying degrees, “Palestinians”, “Arabs”, Muslims”, and “brown people”. They were running a playbook built on disingenuousness to enhance their own power, influence, and geopolitical agendas.

The fact that they were technically correct doesn’t change this.

One of the things these people do is they take a thing that should be fine for everyone, and they poison it so that you have to qualify it. For example, you can’t just make an “OK” symbol anymore, you have to say “And I mean this in the traditional sense, not the white power sense that also now exists because white nationalists have co-opted the hand gesture.”

Similarly, the very simple, true statement “Hamas are monsters who need to be stopped” now carries with it a metric ton of extra baggage, because even now, people are using “Hamas” to mean the terrorist organization, people who voted for them 17 years ago, people who live next door to people who voted for them 17 years ago, and the children of people who lived next door to people who voted for them 17 years ago. 

There’s been a lot of clumsy navigating of these waters. And a certain amount of wildly inappropriate tribalist “Bad people hate them so they must be good” splashing around in those waters too. None of that negates the fact that the waters started choppy as fuck to begin with, and how and why they got choppy in the first place.

The most common, most terrifying viewpoint I’ve been seeing on the socials in the past few days is “well, they were attacked, and now they’re at war, and when you’re at war, you have no choice but to do war crimes. That’s what war is all about.” I suppose 9/11 is 22 years old and was long overdue for a reboot. But I don’t have to like it  

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Roamin’

In case you were curious, I’ve been in Italy for four days and I’m still only thinking about the Roman Empire when I’m directly being confronted by it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Project Whole Ass

As someone who was actively paying attention to and writing about James O’Keefe and Project Veritas since I first couldn’t believe anyone was taking them seriously, it’s with mixed emotions that I mark their passing, thirteen years later.

I mean, obviously, the only emotion I’m feeling hearing that they’ve shuttered is unmitigated, gloating glee. Fuck all of them. 

But the fact that they lasted for thirteen years, and the amount of damage they did thanks to mainstream media and centrist Dems acting like Something Needed To Be Done about their phony fucking revelations? That shit was an absolute harbinger of our current dystopia, so fuck all of them.

And yes, “fuck all of them” “fuck all of them” can be two different emotions. 

It was one of the earlier instances of blatantly weaponized optics, leveraging the knowledge that Democrats still felt like if things looked bad they had to fix it regardless of the truth, while their counterparts on the other side embarked on their current path of pushing through everything no matter how bad it looked or actually was, leading up to now where Lauren Boaebert’s real video is producing far less outrage and infinitely fewer consequences than PV’s fake videos. 

So even if they’ve been completely irrelevant for years once even the slowest Chuck Todds in the media stopped biting on their bullshit, I’m glad their dead and I invite all of us to piss on their grave. 


Vision Boared

 Was Don Jr.’s X account “hacked”?

Or is that just easier to say than “I was using my Drafts folder to do some casual manifesting and accidentally posted it when I was trying to call Kamala Harris trans”?

Friday, September 15, 2023

Boebert Boebert Boebert

All the good Boebert groping jokes already got made by the time I found out about it, but I gotta say, taken in isolation from the massive systemic problems her continued career and existence represent? Whatever statement she makes to explain the fondle-footage is going to.be the single funniest thing that happens all year.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Aspirational Anatomy

 


Donald Trump trying to convince everyone he has a chin may be the most delusional thing this motherfucker has ever said. 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Moral Reliativity

If I was a billionaire trying to play-act as a toxic male stud who gets off on beating the shit out of other men, and I did it so badly that I made another billionaire trying to play-act as a toxic male stud who gets off on beating the shit out of other men look like the reasonable good guy in the situation, I’d keep doing what I’m doing because if I had the self-awareness to realize how fucking awful I was and how much I needed to change, I wouldn’t have found myself in this situation in the first place.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Cardinal Sin

 Mitch McConnell was reportedly heckled by crowds at an event this weekend, including chants of “Retire!”.

McConnell angered his supporters by violating a key tenet of Republican orthodoxy - when your brain stops working, whatever you do, KEEP SAYING THINGS.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Multitasker

I gotta say, I wouldn’t have thought Rudy Giuliani still retained the mental capacity required to multitask, but I was wrong.

Turns out he can be anti-Semitic and homophobic while at the same time grossly sexually harassing his assistant! 

America’s Mayor, everybody!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Another Social Media Update

So I’m still using the recommended feeds on both Threads and Bluesky, because the following content on both is more of a trickle and the algorithmic feeds aren’t a firehose yet.

The main difference between the two is that when Threads shows me something I do not give a shit about, it’s almost always some banal attempt at manufactured engagement, or, occasionally, sports news.

When Bluesky shows me something I don’t give two shits about it’s INVARIABLY some kind of nerdy sex thing like a cartoon wolf in tight briefs with a bulging crotch. But it is at least presented genuinely as “this is a thing I made I hope you like it and/or masturbate to it”, even if I can’t seem to train its algorithm to understand “no, thank you” yet.

Monday, July 31, 2023

The Stakes

Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, our collective interest in the Trump legal escapades is ultimately about whether or not there’s any part of the husk that is the American experiment worth saving.

His crimes are so obvious, his attempts at covering them up so insipid and blatant, that a system that ultimately fails to hold him accountable and, more importantly, punish him in such a way that it discourages others from attempting anything similar is irrevocably fucked.

It’s that “irrevocably” that’s at stake here. We already know we live in a deeply flawed and gamed system where a billionaire asshat can put a cobbled together metal X on his roof that strobes an incredibly bright light and building inspectors checking to see if this janky-ass testament to insecurity might topple to the ground in a stiff wind are simply told “no, you can’t look at it, I reject your authority over me.”

But can this system at least do the bare minimum necessary to Trump? We don’t know. We hope it can, even as the cynical part of ourselves doubt it will. But there isn’t some other line past this one where the system can still redeem itself. This is the definitive test. We find him guilty of all the things he’s obviously guilty of and punish him and, after that, make sure he somehow doesn’t become President again (and the fact that that’s even a necessary step here is shocking to even the numbest of cores) or it’s over.

Passing this test means there’s a bottom to the hole we have to crawl out of. Failing it means we just keep falling.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Learn To Needlepoint

 IN THIS HOUSE, WE…

  • Enjoy indictments
  • Celebrate convictions
  • Throw parties for sentencing

Friday, July 21, 2023

Numerology

Ben Shapiro went to the Barbie movie and counted ten instances of the word “patriarchy”.

He would’ve counted eleven, but he didn’t want to get kicked out of the theater.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Yee And/Or Haw

Oh, goodie, it looks like all the algorithms are agreeing that I’m interested in the lasted skirmish in the “culture wars”.

See, there’s this country song that is, somewhat unsurprisingly, violent and racist. And as the song gained traction, people pointed out that the violent, racist song was violent and racist.

So the singer responded that the song just represented small-town values, and everyone was like, “yes, we know, small town values like violence and racism.”

And then the singer said the song was about how small town people have each others backs, and everyone else was like “yes, we know, by violently beating up anyone with a different skin color than you on the mistakes belief that they’re going to do crimes and/or burn your town down like you think they did to all the cities during the George Floyd protests except that didn’t happen either.”

And then the argument somehow keeps going, because the bar for plausible deniability for America’s Nazi and Nazi-adjacent communities is so low that even wearing a swastika or quoting Hitler and getting applause for it somehow isn’t enough to settle the “are they a bad person” argument. Because making a reasonable judgment based on blatantly obvious evidence wouldn’t be “balanced”. Or drive engagement metrics.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Swiftness Upgrade

I think, as a nation, America could probably find a nice middle ground between “we immediately march you into the public square and have a firing squad ready” and “three and a half years after you did it, we’re going to send you a sternly worded letter letting you know you’re about to be in trouble.”

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Your Long Awaited Social Media Update

 See also on the left bar.

Threads: youaredumb.net

Bluesky: @youaredumb.bsky.social

Still on Mastodon and Post despite using them. Who knows where this will all end up. 

Anyway, you can’t link to Threads or Blueskyy as far as I can tell, so until you can, those will just click back here but you can search and follow from those account names.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Burying The Lede

 


I realize this is science news, but I really think they should have mentioned the moon paying off DeSantis so they can pave Florida roads with the radioactive moon granite. 

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Your Morning Analogy

Twitter was always a shitty party bus serving watered down drinks and playing covers of hair metal bands way too loud.

Then it caught fire.

Mastodon pulled up first, but it was a fleet of pedicabs pulled by penny-farthing bicycles and each one was playing a different curated Spotify stream of songs you’ve never heard of.

Bluesky pulled up, but it was just one Uber driver in a Smart car and all he had to drink was one of those four ounce bottled waters and it was lukewarm. 

Zuckerberg searched and searched until he found the exact same model of party bus, only five years older, with the same number of seats and a playlist of all the hits. And he sat, just within sight of the burning party bus, and only pulled up when the gas tank exploded and the music started playing at half speed.

And yes, it’s weird that it’s only the medium-stakes social media drama shit inspires me to write much anymore. Bot so little of what’s going on these days slots so nicely into that medium stakes world where I do my best work.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Threads, I Guess

youaredumbdotnet on Threads.

Don't immediately love it, for all the reasons I don’t love Instagram plus the apparent lack of a Following tab for fuck’s sake, but if anything is gonna steal Elon’s thunder once and for all it’s this. If someone less evil had managed it or does manage it, that’ll be different. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Stifling Innovation

Look, tragedies like the Titan submarine are of course horrible. But I think it’d be a mistake if we rushed into some kind of regulatory safety framework, specifically in the field of adventure tourism for the ultra-wealthy. 

It’d, you know, stifle innovation in this vital field. Or so I’m led to believe. If accidental deaths of the ultra-wealthy increase by a troubling amount over the next few years, then let’s revisit the topic. But until then, let’s let market forces do what they’re best at.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Advice

Find someone who cares about you as much as Google News cares about telling me who might own Hulu someday. 

(This is the kind of high quality content Bluesky is missing out on by not sending me an invite.)

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Dystopia New Game +

It’s funny, I think of myself as pretty pessimistic these days, but if you’d asked me a couple of days ago, “Hey, Bryan, if a random citizen decided to kill a homeless person in the NYC subway by putting him in a headlock for 15 minutes, how would establishment institutions and media treat it?” my answer wouldn’t have been “like a perfectly normal thing anyone could, and, in fact, should do in that situation.”

I mean, I know we’ve been dehumanizing people experiencing homelessness for decades. And I know even supposedly blue cities have policies around getting rid of those people instead of helping them. And I know the past year, especially, the right has been leveraging the increased in unhoused populations as part of their “Democrat cities are full of poop and murder” narrative. I just thought opening day of hunting season was still a few years away. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Insert Hod Dog Guy GIF Here

Yes, will McCarthy be able to defuse that time bomb, that, according to this NBC News headline, just spontaneously appeared for no reason at all in Kevin McCarthy’s lap?

If only there were some string of news stories NBC News had a way to access, showing some kind of history or pattern of one group of people refusing to raise the debt ceiling until their wildly impractical, ideological, and unconnected demands are met. Heck, let’s go a step further. Imagine if that existed AND Kevin McCarthy was able to be connected, in some way, with that group? 

It’s like that would recontextualize the whole situation from a public servant struggling to defuse a situation out of his control to a story of an inept asshat who took over a dozen tries to even get his job being in way over his head in a situation entirely his own doing. Oh well! No way to know for sure!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Successfully

 Fox Business making some interesting tweaks to the English language to fluff Elon even when his penis-extension disastrously explodes.



Monday, March 20, 2023

Rare But Nice

Gotta say, it’s refreshing to see barricades being put up to prevent right-wing violence against law enforcement and public institutions. I usually only see those kinds of measures being employed when a cop is about to be acquitted of murdering an innocent Black person.

I don’t know if Donnie Boy is going to be indicted tomorrow, although obviously I hope he is, and also in Georgia and also anywhere else they can get his hands on him. I also very much want to see the Patriot Moat the usual gang of idiots are discussing down in Mar A Lago because that’ll be hilarious.

Obviously, as we’ve seen, the odds of a few well-heeled assholes committing acts of domestic terrorism and hurting people are higher than they should be, and the odds of them forming any kind of coherent force that accomplishes more than smearing shit on society’s collective walls is way lower than they think it is. Much like with Jan 6, they are simultaneously dangerous and ineffective, to the point where you don’t want them to try some shit, but you kinda want ‘em to try some shit. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Pointy-Headed Racist

This is super-obvious, but it bears repeating that one week ago, Scott Adams was an unhinged dingus that no publication with any of the values or principles they claimed to have THIS weekend should have been supporting in the first place  

You can be plenty awful in today’s society and still keep your core career and livelihood. You can, in fact, be MORE awful now and get away with it than you could have been at any point in the last 30 years, and the constant vilification and complaining about cancel culture (FKA political correctness) exists for the sole purpose of letting awful people get away with being awful to a degree that was formerly unacceptable.

Now, in order to suffer consequences, you have to be VERY racist in a way that gets publicly noticed to a degree that a few big players feel compelled to take public action, which creates the environment in which other, more timid big players realize that the disadvantages of not replacing Dilbert with some other bullshit the people who still read the funny pages will glance over out of habit outweigh the brief onslaught of right-wing How Dare You’s who swarm when one of Their Own is threatened.

The degree to which you have to fuck up is roughly proportional to how much money you make for other people. You make a LOT of money for other people, and you have to publicly say you like Hitler in order for capitalism to jettison you. Scott Adams makes SOME money for other people, but it’s mostly out of habit at this point, so he only had to be very, very racist on a podcast whose contents got widely publicized for him to finally be cast off.

I assume, as is traditional, that Martyr Syndrome will kick in shortly and offers to speak at a plethora of low-standard wingnut gatherings will pour in for a couple of years, since nothing Adams said falls that far outside the boundaries of mainstream conservative thought. But if this finally removes Dilbert from the public consciousness two decades after it stopped being even remotely relevant, , I’ll take it.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

You Got Rowled

“I want to have a serious, important conversation about the difficult topics. Topics on which I have been misunderstood. I never meant to upset anyone. And I’m calling the place I have those conversations ‘The Witch Trials Of JK Rowling because I think it exemplifies how much I down’t want to upset anyone.”

I mean, I knew when I clicked through headlines that sounded like someone was maybe either reconsidering, or, more likely, reframing and retreating in the face of  all the negative press about a video game, that it would be Some Bullshit, but I’m a bit disappointed√•√• it was That Much Bullshit.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Current Environment

Just saying, if I were piloting the Goodyear Blimp today, I’d see if it had any chaff launchers. 

Carl Fredricksen already learned this lesson the hard way.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Oldnerd On Instagram

It wouldn't work at all for YAD, and it’s deeply suboptimal even for Oldnerd, but in the post-Twitter social media hellscape, Instagram is the most viable home for the promotion/following of the other blog, Oldnerd. 

You’ll notice new links on the left to the Mastodon (ugh) and Post (double ugh) accounts for this site, and also a link to Oldnerd, which then has a link to the Instagram account where I’ll be promoting new stuff that goes up there. Us it if you find it helpful.

It’s amazing to me that in every single way except the ethics of using it, every single social media alternative to Twitter is somehow worse than Twitter.

Fucking Buffoonery

Marjorie Taylor Greene, sneering and giving a thumbs down, in what can only be described as an Apartheid Cruella DeVille coat, during the State of the Union address, is now normal behavior. It's fucking buffoonery, but fucking buffoonery is normal.

This all started 14 years ago, when Joe Wilson shouted "YOU LIE" at Obama during that State of the Union address. It's no surprise that the first major crack in this particular decorum dam involved a white dude yelling at a black dude.

Wilson suffered no consequences for his outburst, got a lot of attention for it, and after that, it was that thing that's played out over and over again. Republicans break an unwritten or unenforced rule. Democrats try to bring the rule back by... still following it even though breaking it gets rewarded and also wagging their fingers and sighing. And so, here we are. Non-stop fucking buffoonery where we used to have nice things. Well, OK. Fucking boring pointless things, but fucking boring pointless things where it was generally considered gauche to make an ass of yourself. 

The honesty would be refreshing, except that the system once again has been gamed and eroded into a raw exercise of numerical power where boorishness, stupidity, sex crimes, and a literal entire fabricated life prior to winning election are all acceptable as long as it means they have one more Aye or Nay button to push than the other guys.

The honesty would be refreshing, except that no amount of boorishness, stupidity, sex crimes, and literal fabricated lives will stop the political press from pretending the system is the same one we all learned about in Schoolhouse Rock and everything is totally fine and none of this is a problem.

And thus, an ever-deeper shit-show of non-stop Fucking Buffoonery.


Friday, February 3, 2023

Algorithmic Warmongering

Look, obviously, algorithmic-driven content and decision-making has done nothing but improve our lives since it’s been implemented. 

But goddammit, Google News, I need a better way to tell you I DO NOT GIVE TWO SHITS ABOUT A CHINESE SPY BALLOON STOP SUMMER OF THE SHARKING ME IN WINTER.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Modern Fable

 “I’m sorry,” the SCORPION said as he stung the frog. “You weren’t complying and I was a bad apple who failed to follow departmental use of force guidelines.”

Friday, January 27, 2023

The Complex Relationship Betwixt Birds And Feathers

Elon Musk coming to Justin Roiland’s defense is so utterly predictable that the only reason I was even remotely surprised by it is that I’ve been actively avoiding thinking about shit like this in 2023.

And, since Twitter cut off access to third party clients, I have to get around to Garbage People Drama through days-later articles in my Google News feed like some kind of Luddite animal.

It’ll be  interesting to see if Roiland goes the Chapelle/Louis CK route of embracing his newfound incel dudebro audience, try to mend fences with the Decent Human Being community, or disappear with his money. If I were a betting man, though, I’d lay odds on the first one. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Comedy Of Errors

Imagine losing out on your dream promotion three times in one day because 20 of your co-workers thought the guy who let college wrestlers be sexually abused would do a way better job than you would.

I mean, I’ve had some bad days, but…

Whatafors

Kevin McCarthy making an increasingly batshit series of deals and concessions with some of the worst, most racist people on the planet in order to gain and maintain largely meaningless power and prestige is such an obvious metaphor for the entire Republican Party that i’m not sure it’s even fair to call it a metaphor. Or a parallel. It’s just a fucking truism at this point.

The fact that this angle is SO obvious and yet not being taken up by any of the coverage of the Speaker vote is further unnecessary proof that the media’s investment in believing / pretending that our systems haven’t been gamed into oblivion and are instead Just Part Of Normal Everyday Operation is nigh-infinite.