Feed The Trolls / A Spoonful of Fact Helps The Fiction Go Down

Memes. The modern equivalent of cave drawings or leaflets printed and dropped from airplanes now digitized and shat out into the open sewer that is social media saturating our lives, disseminated by smear merchants and armchair propagandists for convenient consumption by an illiterate, incurious or simply exhausted proletariat. And like genes that Prof. Richard Dawkins modeled memes after, they’re remarkably effective at propagating themselves and huffing life everlasting into zombie lies for generations.

I see a lot of these memes when I browse a Facebook page I frequent for local news in my community. Between all the lost pets, lost people, lost property and occasional lost lives there are these shitposters losing their goddamn minds, especially on the weekends when the page admin lets these aggrieved keyboard warriors publicly vent their worst impulses; unabashed hatred, fearmongering and toxic stupidity of every sort — communicated via meme.

Normally, I scroll beyond all this bullshit. But now and again, I get curious and go on internet safari to discover if there’s any truth underpinning some of these. With national anger reaching fever pitch as I write this over Trump’s particularly unseemly Supreme Court nomination and Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card, Brett Kavanaugh, and Dr. Ford escaping his closet full of skeletons to finger him for sexual assault, I’ve selected a couple of these blame-the-victim flavored memes being shared in defense of Trump’s beleaguered pick to break down.

Continue reading Feed The Trolls / A Spoonful of Fact Helps The Fiction Go Down

Bottoms Up / Sobering Trump Tax on Cheap Beer

It’s hot this summer. Very hot. And as we let climate change push us further into the dystopian Mad Max Wasteland a nice cold beer would feel so good on our chapped lips, so cool on its way down our burning throats. But not so fast! Thanks to Immortan Trump, that frosty, thirst quenching brew is gonna cost ya.

Continue reading Bottoms Up / Sobering Trump Tax on Cheap Beer

Under Siege

It’s free to request a credit [un]freeze for Washington residents now and I did exactly that. Before June 7th, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion robbed us coming and going, each charging us a $10 fee to freeze our credit report and then another $10 to unfreeze it. These credit bureaus are for-profit businesses that we didn’t choose to give our information to, they just have it and they charge us money to solve problems they create in the first place as though they’re doing us any kind of service.

Continue reading Under Siege

Like Suicide

So it’s been a year since singer, songwriter, musician, Chris Cornell, decided to end his life in the bathroom of his hotel room following a concert in Detroit. Fans at the show described his performance as being a little off and his wife said he was slurring his speech in a phone call earlier that night he was found dead, telling her that he was “just tired” before hanging up.

Police report: Cornell told wife, ‘I am just tired’

Soundgarden frontman’s wife asked bodyguard to check on him in Detroit hotel room after he sounded “groggy” on the phone

DETROITNEWS.COM | @detroitnews

Continue reading Like Suicide

The Way Is Shut. It Was Made By Those Who Disabled Your Facebook Account, And The Facebook Keeps It.

Those “Log in with Facebook” sign in options you see on sites around the internet — just don’t do it! Nor any other third party service like Yahoo!, Twitter, Google, etc. for that matter. But Facebook is the most capricious.

Continue reading The Way Is Shut. It Was Made By Those Who Disabled Your Facebook Account, And The Facebook Keeps It.

Death by Disney / Losing Star Wars to The Dark Side

So I fulfilled my destiny and gave Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi not a watch so much as a long (2.5 hours), concerned stare. And it is with sad disappointment that I must say it continues what’s become a trend in this saga of sucking mightily; which, in and of itself, wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t shitting all over something of priceless sentimental value.

Continue reading Death by Disney / Losing Star Wars to The Dark Side

Happy Humbuggery / Festivus For What’s Left Of Us

The Christmas season – now barely held at bay by the monsters of Halloween lest it begin after the smoke of Independence Day clears – is a stressful time of year for many people. I’m not one of those people. But even I feel a palpable sense of relief on Christmas Day as though the Yule Log were a metaphor for a difficult bowel movement.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are mass migrations during some of the worst weather conditions of the year in order to reconnect with families, exchange gifts and open old wounds. Mix the blood sport of Black Friday and the impending deadline, guilt-driven, mass media drumming, last minute Christmas Eve shopping into this generalized manic-depressive social malaise and you’ve got a season of survival more so than that of celebration. Pa-rum pum pum pum! 🎶

But not for me. Continue reading Happy Humbuggery / Festivus For What’s Left Of Us

Better To Be Villain Than Victim

“Coward!”

The despairing citizen victims of Metropolis shout at Superman as he retreats from the battle with Kryptonian war criminals General Zod and his super-minions, Ursa and Non, that they put themselves directly in harms way of. Apparently too stupid to understand the situation, these dumb beasts chose to crowd a fight that was destroying the city around them rather than running for their lives. Zod and Ursa mock Superman – as well they ought – for making liabilities of the throngs of morons demanding and taking for granted that Superman will protect them as they willfully meander into this meat grinder like moths to a flame. And Superman’s reward for disappointing these ingrates with unreasonable expectations of and taking him for granted: disparagement for not being good enough to give enough.

It’s never enough.

Re-watching Superman II, I imagine an alternate ending to this scene playing out with Superman laying waste to all these deserving victims, Zod looking on initially with shocked horror as everyone is summarily incinerated by eye-lasers, iced by freeze-breath and crushed beneath jagged, broken slabs of their own beloved city, but then Zod’s expression turning to an understanding, even approving, smile. Superman might never be good enough no matter how hard he tries to be but he could certainly be bad enough just as he is.

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Pearls Before Swine / The Value of Anonymous Reviewers and Freeloader Opinions

I’m a freeloader. I like to use a lot free stuff. Seems like ever since Microsoft provided Internet Explorer for free in order to undercut (and eventually destroy) Netscape, a lot of fellow netizens have come to expect, even that they’re entitled to everything for free. Including being catered to while contributing absolutely nothing in return.

Among the many things I freeload are a lot of add-ons to extend Mozilla Firefox — the browser that rose from the ashes of Netscape. As a web developer, there are certain productivity tools that have become indispensable to me. They’re also frequently built by volunteers who choose to share the fruits of their labor and personal time investment. When this freeware happens to malfunction for whatever reason, I might be disappointed but I also understand that I use it as-is, having offered the maker no incentive whatsoever to pay any attention to my demands of them.

The Firefox Quantum Add-on-pocalypse

Earlier this last year, Firefox forewarned developers of a critical update that would essentially reinvent the browser: Firefox Quantum. It would also leave out many key technologies, especially the now legacy add-ons API that many of the tools I use were built on. So it was imperative that developers port their extensions using the new WebExtensions API. However, as the date of this impending Add-on-pocalypse™ approached, it began to sink in that these extensions I took for granted weren’t going to make the cut.

Some devs were explicit about their intention to let their projects die. The guy that thanklessly maintained Tab Groups put out a detailed statement with his final update listing all the fucks he no longer had to give and why. Others struggled to upgrade or create replacements, given the new API limitations. And a few features quietly ghosted away.

Continue reading Pearls Before Swine / The Value of Anonymous Reviewers and Freeloader Opinions