Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

America today

Just saw this on Facebook. This hospital is in Hamburg, Iowa, just down I-29 from Omaha.

This is what we've come to in a country that, day by day, is looking more and more like some sort of Third World failed state. In no way do I think this is the biblical End of Days, but one has to wonder whether this might be the beginning of the end for the United States, which no longer can take care of its own -- even those who take care of us when we're desperately ill.

There will be a reckoning when this is over. If there isn't, that would be worse, I fear.

If you can help out the doctors and nurses of Hamburg, which has had much to suffer in the last year, please do.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

We must Facebook the music here

It started with the Grinch Who Muted Christmas Music.

It ended with the last straw for me on Facebook after a decade wasting way too much time and productivity there. Here is the one thing you need to know about everybody's favorite addiction: Facebook is the devil. Ask Parliament.

Make that co-devil. The incompetent, greedy conglomerates that ate the music industry are just as evil. I eagerly await the leak of their internal memos and emails.

I don't know exactly why it took me this long -- and why the last straw was a geeky string of muted Facebook videos shot on my iPhone -- to delete my account. But here I am.

Last week, Facebook and Sony Music Entertainment decided that my 1936 Zenith, playing Christmas music in a video I posted last year, was a threat to the entire music-copyright regime. Thus, I was notified that, for all my Facebook friends and enemies, the sound of yuletide also would be the sound of silence.

This was my entirely unconvincing appeal of patent insanity . . . or Digital Millennium Copyright Act insanity, to be precise:

It's background music played on a bloody antique radio, for God's sake. This is absurd.

If anyone is using this video to bootleg music, he is a moron. This is just insane. Stop it.

THIS WEEK, Russia's favorite social-media platform, some other bunch of music charlatans muted a nerdy, geekly little iPhone video of a 1949 7-inch single playing on my 1957 Zenith record changer. I thought it was a bit of audio-enthusiast fun with sufficiently not-good-enough-to-pirate audio.

Which no one was making a penny off of.

Corporate America thought it was a mortal threat. You know, like women smoking cigarettes are for the Islamic State.

And last night, after the copyright Nazis yet again muted the audio on a video of another exceedingly old 45 I got at an estate sale, the reason for my disgust crystallized in my mind. Short version: Facebook is the devil.

Long version: It seems that Facebook is a corporate entity dedicated to eating the capitalistic and societal seed corn. I think you reach that point on a couple of levels -- you successfully addict people to your product, then spend years abjectly exploiting them while you destroy, bit-by-bit, the product's value and utility.

The second level? A good example is the virtual impossibility of posting genial little videos like those of mine that keep getting muted (because ambient-sound music on iPhone videos obviously will destroy all music sales on every level). It illustrates a larger issue about Facebook that doesn't bode well for our country (anyone's country, actually) or our society. Basically, it's a crapload easier to post the worst kind of racist propaganda and hatred, then have it stay on the platform and spread like a metastasizing cancer than it is to post a geeky, innocent video of a radio or a record playing that's more likely just to make people smile and wax nostalgic.

Then we have Boris and Natasha. Has it not been extensively documented how simple it was for Russian saboteurs to flood Facebook with abject fakery and disinformation in order to steal an American presidential election and perhaps fatally undermine the world's greatest democracy?

THIS IS what happens during the terminal stages of capitalism and capitalistic societies, when human beings -- citizens of advanced Western nation states -- are nothing but pieces of meat whose utility ends at the point some corporate entity extracts their last dime.

Bigotry and hatred, corporate America can monetize via platforms like Facebook in much the same manner Donald Trump turns it into political capital. Stupid little videos of old record players playing old records -- or old radios playing Christmas music -- are not nearly so profitable for the platform or those to whom it sells your personal information. Indeed, some music-industry megalith sees your stupid little video as imperiling the extraction of the last nickel from an industry mortally wounded by those self-same corporations' overarching greed and lack of marketing vision.

Not to put too fine a point on it, when you find that you're spending too much time somewhere that expressly makes it easier to do bad than good . . . run. Run far away.

That's what I'm doing -- running. Plus, if I'm exposed to much more of the average level of language-arts proficiency on Facebook, I'm gonna regress to communicating via clicks and grunts.

I suppose one could write strongly worded letters to our corporate overlords. That, however, would take years and cramp millions of fingers. It also, I betting, would avail us nothing.

Or . . . you starve the bastards. Tragically, the only universal language (and common value) today is money. If they can't sell my eyeballs to advertisers, Facebook is diminished just a little. If Facebook can't sell 500 million eyeballs to marketers, it's screwed.

I mean, how many f***ing selfies can you take and overshare? Am I right?

Bye, Facebook. I can feel life becoming simpler (and less overshared) already.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

There's no arguing with the hate-filled heart

I'm just going to leave this here, just so you can see that you don't have to leave the United States to find all the "shithole" you can stand.

As it turns out, "shithole" is a state of mind. "Shithole" is cultural. 

"Shithole" is directly proportional to one's -- to a culture's, to a political entity's -- willingness to tolerate the shitty thoughts and shitty words and shitty actions of shitty people.

From all appearances these days, it's getting a little ripe around here, "from sea to shining sea."

Our present political crisis is not Donald Trump and his stupid, malevolent and -- ultimately -- deeply counterproductive policies. Trump and what Trump hath wrought merely are symptoms of America's ongoing political, cultural and -- indeed -- spiritual crisis.

THE CRISIS is not difficult to understand.  Roughly a third, maybe a little more, of the American population is completely and demonstrably . . . fascist. Extremism in defense of cruelty, racist scapegoating and authoritarianism is no vice for a large subsection of our fellow countrymen.

And tolerance, ordinary human compassion and liberty is one. "Socialist," even.

What can we say about ordinary "'Merkuns" who look at a traumatized, crying Latino child and have their first instinct be "Well, if her parents weren't criminals. . . ."? Lots. Little of it would be safe for work or fit for mixed company, however.

Furthermore, by the time one's mind is so warped and one's heart is so hard as the average member of the Trump base, there are no arguments to be made -- because the intended audience isn't listening. At all.

If Adolf Hitler were alive today, and American -- you can call him Al -- and if he were running on some variant of his 1933 platform, you can bet he'd be President Hitler. Because to a significant degree, he is.

Thus is our land . . . let's call it Amerika. Thus always have been various regions of our land at various points in our history. I know. I grew up in one during the waning days of Jim Crow and in its aftermath. And from this right here, being that WAFB is the leading news station in Baton Rouge, I see that Louisiana hasn't much changed.

Left alone, it's not apt to, either.

The fascist political tradition, like the hardened human heart, does not crack absent extreme pressure and a workable, moral alternative. The fight for the soul, and the very idea, of America is not going to be easy. It may well be as bloody, ultimately, as it was from 1861 to 1865. We can't know these things.

What we do know is we must fight . . . for our country as well as for our souls, too. God help us.

Friday, December 02, 2016

This is for all the stupid people. . . .

If you're on Facebook, and you probably are, stuff like this no doubt clogs your timeline.

It's like this: America is full of stupid people, clueless that sense has passed them by. It's enough to make you give up, because there's no silver cup. And when you ride that highway in the sky . . . you'll probably meet this guy:

Before social media, lies and craziness already had a big advantage on the truth and good sense. Back in 1855, British clergyman Charles Spurgeon had this to say in a sermon:
"If you want the truth to go 'round the world, you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go 'round the world, it will fly: it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old proverb, 'A lie will go 'round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.'"
I THINK that pretty much covers it.

Now that we have covered our society-threatening problem with social media, let's look at all the ways the Facebook meme at the top of this post offends.

First off, if ours is "one nation under God," it most certainly is one nation under Allah. "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God," nothing more, nothing less. Muslims worship Allah. Arabic-speaking Christians worship Allah, too.

I have been to Byzantine Catholic services -- Divine Liturgies, which is the same as "Mass" for Latin-rite Catholics. And here's a news flash: We prayed to "Allah" during one liturgy that was largely in Arabic.

Do I need to pack my bags and leave this allegedly "Christian nation"?

By the stars and stripes of social media's loudest "Christian" voices, would the problem be that I am not Christian enough or, perhaps, that I'm not effing stupid enough to live in today's infantilized and lobotomized republic?

SECOND, I have had it with the conflation of the gospel of Jesus Christ -- or maybe I should just say Issa to piss off all the right people -- and the United States.

Issa loves Americans no more (and no less) than he does North Koreans, Russians or Syrian refugees. Issa is not on America's side -- in fact, America is generally far from being on Issa's side. Issa finds nothing about America that makes it more or less a "Christian nation" than any other country with large numbers of observant Christians.

And when you wrap Old Glory around the wood of the cross, not only will your flag decal not get you into Heaven anymore, it just may send you to hell as an idolater. God is not mocked, and that breathtakingly stupid meme mocks God.

THIRD, "Islamic" and "Muslim" are the same thing, dumbass. "America is not a Muslim nation" and "America is not an Islamic nation" is just more cant from the Department of Redundancy Department.

Kind of like calling the genius behind this meme a stupid idiot.

Oh . . . one final thing. America is not a "Christian nation." It is a constitutional republic, and it is open to people of all faiths (or, at least it used to be before Nov. 8), as well as those of no faith at all. The only thing required is the freedom to live out one's faith, and to exhibit tolerance for those not exercising yours.

If you have a problem with anything I've said, you may be a pretty piss-poor Christian. It's a damned solid bet that you absolutely are a piss-poor American.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

America today: Outrage will Trump dialogue

Donald Trump just might win.

Stuff like Pittsburgh's l'Affaire Wendy Bell will ensure that most terrifying of electoral outcomes.

What's l'Affaire Wendy Bell? You'll be sorry you asked.

Wendy Bell is . . . uh, was . . . a popular news anchor at WTAE television in Pittsburgh. That is, until she got fired Wednesday for saying the kind of thing white folks sometimes say when they unwisely let their guard down.
Wendy Bell, an award-winning journalist with WTAE-TV for 18 years, was fired Wednesday for comments she made on her Facebook page.

A statement from Hearst Television, the station’s parent company, said, “WTAE has ended its relationship with anchor Wendy Bell. Wendy’s recent comments on a WTAE Facebook page were inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.”

WTAE-TV president and general manager Charles Wolfertz III confirmed the news and declined to comment.
Ms. Bell did not return phone calls for comment from the Post-Gazette, but she told the Associated Press that she didn’t get a “fair shake” from the station, and that the story was not about her, but about “African-Americans being killed by other African-Americans.”

“It makes me sick,” she told The Associated Press when reached at her home on Wednesday. “What matters is what’s going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country. ... I live next to three war-torn communities in the city of Pittsburgh, that I love dearly. My stories, they struck a nerve. They touched people, but it’s not enough. More needs to be done. The problem needs to be addressed.”

Ms. Bell joined WTAE in 1998 and has won 21 regional Emmy Awards.

Ms. Bell had been off the air since Mr. Wolfertz aired a public apology from the station last week, citing Ms. Bell’s “egregious lack of judgment” in posting racial stereotypes on her official Facebook page.

After a mass shooting March 9 in Wilkinsburg in which police still have made no arrests, Ms. Bell wrote, in part, “You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday... they are young black men, likely in their teens or early 20s.

“They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs.”

She then wrote about a young African-American man, this one a worker she saw in a SouthSide Works restaurant. She said she called over the manager and praised the man, adding, “I wonder how long it had been since someone told him he was special.”
THINGS LIKE l'Affaire Wendy Bell ensure that no, we can't talk to one another. That, yes, speaking your mind can wreck your life. That, probably, when people get tired enough of walking on eggshells for fear of becoming a cultural Untouchable -- when people figure out that social and economic ruin await some lunkheads (like them) and not others (not like them) -- their long, anxious journey eventually leads to the Land of What the F***.

And, they figure, "What the F***" will set us free. It won't, of course, but people take hope wherever they can find it these days.

Having grown up in Louisiana -- and most importantly, having grown up in the Gret Stet in the 1960s and '70s -- I think I know the difference between someone being maliciously racist and someone not-so-artfully jumping to a conclusion, and then a stereotype, and then trying to soften it all by being patronizing.

I'd like to think it's the difference between being flat-out hateful and being cluelessly ignorant. I think Wendy Bell probably was, with all the best flawed intentions, guilty of some iteration of the latter and certainly not the former. There is a big difference between the two, and we ultimately are making this country a lot worse for people of all races by deploying the same one-size-fits-all nuclear weaponry against the clueless as we do against the malicious.

Does "white privilege" exist? Certainly. Does extreme dysfunction exist among the black underclass, and does that have an impact on violent crime? Certainly. Can we talk about that without resorting either to mau-mauing on the one hand or race-baiting on the other? Oh, hell, no.

NO, WHAT WE'RE  going to do is this. We're just going to double down on emoting and Facebook posts WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS, and we're going to fire TV anchorwomen after they get a little too "real" in response to corporate insistence that they build a social-media "brand" and "keep it real."

Well, then. If this is what being "real" and "relatable" and "relevant" gets you as you build a personal "brand" on social media, I think I'd stick to complaining about the weather, "bless his heart" posts and links to the Puppy Christmas video on YouTube.

If we, the politically correct, have no response to someone who sees through a glass darkly other than to scream "Racist!" and send her off to some figurative Siberia -- just like we would some skinhead with a Nazi flag in his hand and the N-word on his lips -- we really and truly are sunk as a country and a society. Shutting someone up is not the same thing as showing them the light.

Shouting someone down is the antithesis of arguing our way toward the truth. Scaring corporate cowards into "disappearing" TV anchors for unwisely saying what a lot of their audience is probably thinking (and a lot less politely at that) will not suddenly embolden the media to proclaim the truth, no matter what.

Here's some truth for you: When we no longer can "reason together," the only thing left is to eliminate the Other.

Wendy Bell, on her Facebook post, emoted before she had all the facts. She took the real problem of familial breakdown among the black underclass (a phenomenon now trending among white folk near you) and weaponized it as an explanation for the actions of still-unknown killers. And then she unwittingly, I'm sure, stumbled right into some "good nigger" condescension straight out of the Bad Old Days.

Did she mean any harm to African-Americans? I'm absolutely sure she didn't. She was frustrated and angry, and she wanted the damn killing to stop. And she blurted.

Everybody blurts. If we're lucky, it's not on Facebook.

Trouble is, today we -- especially those of us in the media -- are expected to do our blurting in public, online, to be seen by whomever and instantly preserved in the postmillennial amber of a screenshot. Let the outrage begin.

Victims Outraged by Evil (fill in the blank) is the new black, and "Sweetie, did you really mean to say that?" is so gauche. "Sweetie, did you really mean to say that?" doesn't have a chance in hell.

HELL. Funny I should mention hell.

You see, if we keep this up -- this perpetual outrage and this continual inability to separate the malicious from the clueless -- hell is exactly where we're going to end up.

Hell is that place where we're always looking behind our backs and Facebooking lots of links to recipes and Puppy Christmas as we try to stay on the good side of President Trump and his What the F*** brigades.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Life is worth living again

As the Playboy-reading kid said as a cheerleader came flying through his bedroom window as Faber College's homecoming parade went horribly wrong . . . "Thank you, God!"

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This ever-changing world in which we're livin'

For those with eyes to see, it has become rather clear that intolerance in the name of tolerance is no vice.

One circuit clerk in Mississippi is learning the hard way that acting like an adult in the face of a court ruling one finds intolerable -- and, in the process, respecting the rule of law and acknowledging the legal duties of public officials -- is no defense against accusations of thought crime.

Amid Southern governors seeking to obstruct the Supreme Court ruling mandating gay marriage in all 50 states by asserting that public officials' religious rights trump their duty to uphold laws with which they disagree, Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette did an intellectually honest thing -- and in the process gave the rule of law its proper due -- when she determined she could not in good conscience as a Christian issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. She resigned.

In a letter to the board of supervisors, Grenada County Circuit Clerk Linda Barnette announced her resignation on Tuesday, citing the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

Barnette has been the circuit clerk for 24 years, and announced that her resignation is effective immediately.

"The Supreme Court's decision violates my core values as a Christian," she wrote. "My final authority is the Bible. I cannot in all good conscience issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples under my name because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is contrary to God's plan and purpose for marriage and family."

Barnette has not yet been available to take phone calls.

"I want to thank the citizens of Grenada County for giving me the honor of serving as their circuit clerk," she wrote.

Aquaintances said Barnette's husband is a pastor who worked with Billy Graham Ministries for many years.

"I choose to obey God rather than man," Barnette wrote.

Grenada County voter Lue Harbin said she is disappointed in Barnette's decision. She said she has voted for Barnette in every election since she got out of the Army in 2001.

"I was kind of shocked, I don't know her personally but I never thought she was that way," Harbin said. "She's given marriage licenses to people who have committed adultery and stolen and lied, and when their parents haven't approved... it's just crazy the way she's thinking. That's her job and she's not there to judge people."
OUT OF RESPECT for both the law and her God, this wife of a pastor willingly sacrificed a post she'd held for 24 years. She now is unemployed.

But that's not enough for the forces of tolerance, who see Barnette's crime as having thought the wrong things in the first place. From the Facebook  blog Drop of Blue in a Sea of Red:
It's so funny. They only want separation of church and state when someone does anything involving the church, but when it's purely governmental (IE THE CONSTITUTION AND ITS AMENDMENTS) they lose their fucking minds and cannot separate the two. "Oh my stars and garters, this here goes against my religion!" Fuck you. You're functioning as a state employee, not as a church employee.

When I say funny, I really mean it's sad. But, it's also kind of amusing. All these bigoted, hateful people are going to die alone, as bigoted, hateful people. They will forever be known as bigoted, hateful people. I can only hope that if there is a God, that upon their arrival to those pearly gates, St. Peter points to a sign that says 'No Homophobes Allowed'.

Now look, I'm all for standing up for your beliefs, no matter how outdated or misplaced I think they are. That's really not my business. But your beliefs have no place interfering with your ability to function at your job, especially as a state employee.

So, goodbye, Linda Barnette, former Mississippi Circuit Clerk. I hope you wallow in your misery as the rest of the world comes together and works towards true equality.

"TRUE EQUALITY." Heh. Translate that as "Truly, some are more equal than others, and why don't traditional Christians just die already?"

"Live and let die." Maybe that, in the name of truth in advertising, should be the new inscription on the Great Seal of the United States. Obviously, the day of "E pluribus unum" has come and gone . . . in a puff of rainbow smoke.

And the unceremonious demise of "In God we trust" as our national motto goes without saying.

UPDATE: I forgot this one going around Facebook. Just what we all need, to take our moral guidance from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Because wrestlers are so much more authoritative on these things than, you know, Jesus . . . or the Bible . . . or the pope . . . or catechisms . . . or the great philosophers and saints.

Because stupid.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

An up-and-coming epic fail

Repeat after me, Omaha World-Herald online person in charge of Facebook updates:
"This is s***. This is Shinola.

"This is s***. This is Shinola.

"This is s***. This is Shinola."
On the other hand, that unknown editor probably is too young to know any more about Shinola than he or she knows about Garth Brooks.

ON THE third hand, one commenter is "pretty sure" the up-and-coming thing was a joke. To me, that doesn't matter. A newspaper's credibility can be trashed one lame ironic remark at a time just as well as it can by one glaring display of cluelessness at a time.

And credibility is about the only weapon "legacy media" like newspapers have left in their arsenals, particularly when they're counting on people to purchase access to their "product," which is reliable information. After all, if it's bulls*** you want, you can have your social-media fill of that for free.

Monday, January 05, 2015


Better safe than sorry. As of January 3rd, 2015 at 11:43 a.m. Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future based on this profile and/or its contents is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute, not to mention Big Guido down the street). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this that Facebook is not authorized to use this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use this declaration that I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future based on this profile and/or its contents. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of this declaration that you do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use this declaration that you do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use your pictures, information, or posts, both past and future based on your profile and/or its contents, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Then again, perhaps not

When Facebook's targeted advertising turns unintentionally really, really funny.

Mein Gott! Somebody maken ze Zenith go gesphincto!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Whither North Dakota?

Apparently, the government shutdown has dried up all funding for education.

But if you're going to have an epic geographical fail, you'd just as well put it on Facebook. Especially if you're the chief meteorologist for a local Fox affiliate in Florida. Which we all know is somewhere between Cuba and Egypt.

Rare is the government that is smarter than the people who put it in power. In other words, to quote Dr. Zachary Smith, "We're doomed! We're doomed! We're all going to die!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oklahoma: It's always somethin'

If you're considering pulling up stakes and pointing your Sooner Schooner toward Tulsa, Okla., you may want to delay your trip until after cold-and-flu season.

Or indefinitely. Whatever.

Hey, I'm just passing along what's out there on Facebook. And if it's on Facebook, it must be so.

Friday, October 05, 2012

What's on your mind?

Who needs the Eyewitness Action Live news team?

In this social-media age, disturbed threat-makers and hostage-takers post their own running Facebook updates on their ongoing police standoffs.

Now it's happened three times within a month. Thursday, it was a 23-year-old man updating his Facebook friends on the progress of his heavily armed freak-out, and on Sept. 21, a guy about the same age was explaining how he "cant take it no more im done bro" as he held a businessman hostage in a Pittsburgh office building.

ON SEPT. 8 in Denver, one holed-up Facebook gunman even posted pictures of himself and his alleged partner in crime during the standoff.

Of course, then there was the Utah one in June and some others last year. To put this recent phenomenon in sociological terms . . . WTF, dude?

I'm afraid to check how many folks have live tweeted their tactical staredowns with the men from SWAT.

The latest standoff, the Washington meltdown with an firepower at hand, is reputed to have a shameless hussy at its root. Of course.

And Levi Matthew Tucker (use of the middle name here is gratuitous -- if he had killed someone, it would be mandatory) apparently is a big fan of both guns and the tea party.

For what it's worth.

HAT TIP: Romenesko.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Don't trust any entrepreneur under 30

It all started when Wall Street created an "unlike" button for Facebook. And it may not end well.

At all.

Damn you, Mark Zuckerberg.
However, the valuation of Facebook may be moot. Because tech finance expert, Michael Wolff, presents a different doomsday scenario about Faceook in the MIT Technology Review - one where Facebook literally brings down the internet advertising model.

It all starts with the incredible growth necessary to keep Facebook stock price up, just as Aswath Damodoran assumes it must.

Woolf says that this will destabilize the ad market online, with negative results. He suggests . . .

“In its Herculean efforts to maintain its overall growth, Facebook will continue to lower its per-user revenues, which, given its vast inventory, will force the rest of the ad-driven Web to lower its costs. The low-level panic the owners of every mass-traffic website feel about the ever-downward movement of the cost of a thousand ad impressions (or CPM) is turning to dread, as some big sites observed as much as a 25 percent decrease in the last quarter, following Facebook’s own attempt to book more revenue.

You see where this is going. As Facebook gluts an already glutted market, the fallacy of the Web as a profitable ad medium can no longer be overlooked. The crash will come. And Facebook—that putative transformer of worlds, which is, in reality, only an ad-driven site—will fall with everybody else.”

Friday, February 10, 2012

Because someone had to do it

Some of the language here is NSFW. But Dad is just reading
what his 15-year-old wrote about him on Facebook.

This is the best reason I've ever seen for not enacting stringent gun control.

Personally, though, I would have gone for either buckshot or slugs in a 12-gauge shotgun. At least three shells' worth, maybe more. Sometimes, you need to kick a little ass -- or blow up a laptop -- to stem the rising tide of entitled barbarianism.

Oh . . . save the .45 and the hollow-points for the little princess' smart phone. That would be AWESOME.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

White Facebook, colored Facebook

Sometimes, "community" just isn't worth it.

When "community" isn't worth it, it's almost always because what you think might be a community is a clique instead. There's a difference, and it pretty much boils down to all of life being high school in disguise.

Or worse.

This is why I just freed myself from the crack cocaine that's the You Grew Up In Baton Rouge, La. if you remember when...... group on
Facebook. Had to do it, because as tempting (and addicting) as it is to endlessly wander down Memory Lane -- to give free reign to the part of your brain where you're always 17 and the world's still your oyster -- the group devoted to reminiscing about my old hometown had one gigantic -- and fatal -- flaw.

It was too damned much like my old hometown.

"I can't quit you" quickly became "I gotta quit you" once I got to thinking about it and realized that -- as much as I love history and pop culture -- the online Baton Rouge of days gone by pretty much embodied everything I loathed about the real Baton Rouge of days gone by. And the 2011 version, too.

IN OTHER WORDS, we have a community that:
* Would rather live in the past than look to the future (much less invest in it),

* Still bitches about "forced busing,"

* From the relative safety of purgatory, whines about the sorry state of the fresh ghetto hell that is the old stomping grounds,

* Waxes rhapsodic about "the good ol' days" which, by the way, happened to coincide with segregated schools, "separate but equal," casual cruelty and routine human-rights violations as both governmental policy and the traditional model for organizing society.

* Is still massively, mindlessly and habitually segregated by race and by class.
IN FACT, having noticed that almost everyone I ran across on the group seemed to be a) middle-aged and older, and b) white, I did a quick scroll through the 3,259 members of the group. Of the names that had corresponding profile photos, I counted four black faces. I could have missed some, but I'll bet not many.

Out of all those Baton Rougeans, just four African-Americans.

It's probably just as well. I can't imagine how crazy it would make me, if I were black, to read the unrelenting subtext of so many threads --
subtext that threatens, with a little prodding, to become pretext at any moment.

Oh, no one says anything outright, but you don't really have to within the clique, now do you?
Name deleted
How about when Baton Rouge was generally a safe place to live!
12 hours ago

19 people like this.
Name deleted Yes when you did not think twice about leaving doors/windows open or cars for that matter. I don’t know that we ever locked cars when we went any place much less worried about someone shooing us if we went out at night by ourselves.
11 hours ago

Name deleted
what about when Grand drive and Winabago St. were the places to live, not the places to die.
11 hours ago

Name deleted Yeah, but these things are generally true of most of America. There are few, if any, places that people are as safe today as we were in the 60s in Baton Rouge, La.
11 hours ago

Name deleted I moved to Mississippi because of the way things were going. I now take after The Hank Jr. song The woman, the kids, the dogs and me.
11 hours ago

Name deleted SherHOOD Forest as it is known today
11 hours ago

Name deleted I grew up on N. 11th when we used to play outside and ride our bikes all through the neighborhood including to the State Capitol ... imagine doing that today
10 hours ago

Name deleted i lived on the corner of sherwood forest and goodwood and every time i pass broadmoor jr high, it makes me sick to look at it and broadmoor high being a substandard school when it was one of the best in the city is ridiculous.
9 hours ago

Name deleted Yes! thinking about the Regina theater (see above) we would walk to the evening feature from mohican street and walk back after 10 p.m. and never a fear did we have.
9 hours ago

Name deleted I went to Broadmoor Junior High "back in the day" (1973-76), and if it was one of the best in the city, maybe the BR of our memories wasn't as great as we think. The city's public schools are just that -- public -- and as such, the public bears ultimate responsibility for them.
9 hours ago

Name deleted It is a shame. We moved away 20 years ago when my daughter was in 2nd grade at Jefferson Terrace and were told she would be bussed to DuFroc. I'm back now and it breaks my heart to drive through neighborhoods I lived and see what they have become. I still love my city just a bit more cautious.
8 hours ago

Name deleted I rode a bike with a large basket full of drugs making delieveries for my Dad's drug store all over N. Baton Rouge. Want to try that today?
7 hours ago

Name deleted A group of us girls that lived in the dorm on Laurel Street would walk downtown to a movie and walk home at midnight never thinking a thing about it. Never had a problem doing that back in 1960.
7 hours ago

Name deleted I moved to BR in 66 and stayed until 72 which covered the 2nd to 8th grades. We lived in Villa Del Rey and it was awesome to rome about without any worries. I will always cherish my childhood days growing in a safe place called Baton Rouge!!
6 hours ago . . .

Name deleted Went back one day to Enterprise street in NBR, couldn't pic out my house, but boy did I have everyone's attention!
3 hours ago

PAINTING WITH rather a broad brush, aren't we?

Yes, it's indisputable that America has a crime problem in poor minority neighborhoods, a.k.a., "the 'hood." It's also indisputable that America has problems in poor neighborhoods, period. And finally, it's indisputable that poor people have lots of problems.

They have problems because they're poor; they're poor because they have problems. One overarching problem of poverty is a systematic lack of opportunity, whether it be from a dysfunctional culture, a lack of material resources, a lack of role models or a lack of enough food -- or at least nutritious food -- in your stomach.

And perhaps the biggest problem of all is that of being ostracized. It's just like the north Baton Rouge girls blackballed from Louisiana State University sororities (and, years later, the Junior League) because they grew up blue collar . . . only worse. At least when you've grown up working class, you conceivably can lie about it and pass for bourgeois.


On the other hand, we have yet to see the first successful race-change operation. And when black becomes synonymous in certain circles with poor and dysfunctional, you have one element of perception as destiny.

The first step from Idyllic Neighborhood of Our Lily White Childhood to the abyss of Today's Ghetto Hell came when somebody with a decent union job at the refinery decided the grass was greener out east in suburbia -- or at least that the air was a lot less stinky -- and he and his family left. The second step came when the feds said African-Americans could damn well live wherever they wanted to, and then one of them moved into an
Idyllic Neighborhood of Our Lily White Childhood.

And then the white folks left. Most all of them
in the span of a decade and a half. In came the slumlords. And so did the poor . . . and their problems.

I wonder what would have happened had all the whites not taken flight? If you had had working-class blacks living next to working-class whites as the rule and not the exception.

What if middle-class blacks, back in 1970, routinely had lived next door to working-class whites, etc., and so on? What if whole areas of today's perceived Hellhole Baton Rouge had been a diverse patchwork instead of a single shade of poor and multiple layers of dysfunctional?

What if all the people bitching and moaning about Paradise Lost hadn't hauled butt East of Eden because "They" were moving into the neighborhood?

What if white Baton Rouge, as soon as "forced busing" started, hadn't up and remade itself into white Livingston and Ascension parishes (not to mention white private-education enthusiasts)? What if white Baton Rouge hadn't up and left the East Baton Rouge Parish public schools overwhelmingly minority, poor and on their own? Would some credit to the white race still be compelled to tell Facebook peeps that "
every time i pass broadmoor jr high, it makes me sick to look at it and broadmoor high being a substandard school when it was one of the best in the city is ridiculous."

Obviously, being Southern, white and nostalgic means never having to put [sic] after anything you write.

And what if You Grew Up In Baton Rouge, La. if you remember when...... had been more than .125 percent black? I wonder whether anyone might have learned anything beyond what their prejudices whisper to their fears and their fears tell their parochialism and their parochialism shouts to the world with cocksure authority?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

'Tolerance' is a one-way street

When certain activists and "progressives" prattle on and on about how "compassionate" they are, and how committed to "justice" they are, and how ever-so-tolerant they are . . . you know bigotry and hatred lie just around the corner.

A few years ago, a guy from Miami decided to volunteer in India for the Missionaries of Charity -- the order founded by the late Mother Teresa, now Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and just a step away from sainthood in the Catholic Church. Apparently, Cuban emigré Hemley Gonzalez didn't like what he saw of the sisters' operations there; he founded a group he calls "STOP The Missionaries of Charity."

From what I can gather at the group's Facebook page, Gonzalez thinks the Missionaries don't do enough for the poor and sick. He thinks destitute Indians who could be saved are, instead, dying in the sisters' care.

He and like-minded advocates of "tolerance" think the poor of India must be saved from "proselytizing fanatics" who believe in redemptive suffering.

IT'S FAIR ENOUGH to raise questions about the dealings and practices of the Missionaries of Charity after Mother Teresa's death almost 14 years ago. But that's not what this bunch of bigots is about.

When you're posting pictures of a beloved Catholic nun -- one who may yet become a recognized saint in the church -- with a Hitler mustache drawn on her face, that's not "compassion." That's not "concern for the poor." That's not "tolerance."

And that certainly is not about love of anyone.

What it is . . . is hate. Bigotry. Defamation.

Hemley Gonzalez and his fellow travelers aren't about love of the poor. They're about hatred of the Catholic Church, religious charities in general and perhaps God Himself.

It's not like he's shy about it:

The idea that religious charities are doing amazing work is a fallacy. They often care for others to convert them to their dogma first and their compassion comes second if ever at all.
YOU CERTAINLY can't say that Gonzalez isn't all about unencumbered tenderness (unless, of course, you happen to have a dogma he and his find offensive -- then you get done up as Hitler or get nasty slogans thrown at you). And you certainly can't say he and his aren't all about talking about alleviating suffering.

According to his Facebook profile, Gonzalez' "personal interests" involve "Achieving the end of suffering for all sentient beings." With a smiley emoticon for good measure.

Well, there's one sure way to end suffering -- one secular, utopian fanatics have been seizing upon for ages. Walker Percy nailed it in his final novel, The Thanatos Syndrome. Speaking is an old Catholic priest -- and a recovering drunk and part-time firewatcher -- Father Simon Rinaldo Smith:
"But they, the doctors, were good fellows and they had their reasons.

"The reasons were quite plausible.

"I observed some of you.

"But do you know what you are doing?

"I observe a benevolent feeling here.

"There is also tenderness.

"At the bedside of some children this morning I observed you shed tears. On television.

"Do you know where tenderness leads?"


"Tenderness leads to the gas chamber." . . .

"Never in the history of the world have there been so many civilized tenderhearted souls as have lived in this century.

"Never in the history of the world have so many people been killed.

"More people have been killed in this century by tenderhearted souls than by cruel barbarians in all other centuries put together."


"My brothers, let me tell you where tenderness leads."

A longer pause.

"To the gas chambers! On with the jets!"