Monthly Archives: January 2022
I’ve been using computers to communicate with people for nearly 35 years. I started in the chat rooms of Yahoo, looking for interesting people to chat with, to include women. Those days of carefree anonymity are gone; now we have social media, which is a much more restrictive form of communication. It is highly policed, and you can get kicked off of it if you say the slightest wrong thing to a sensitive person.
Facebook was my first experience with social media, and I wasted no time getting myself in trouble with a girl I knew from high school. Pretty, bookish, but a total snob. Would not give a nerd like me the time of day. I friended her, and she friended me back. Now I talk politics just about everywhere I go online, and in the course of doing so, called Allan West an Oreo Cookie, which was racially charged shot, but one I did not consider racist because Allan West is working for massa.
This girl wasted no time in publicly “unfriending” me for what I said. I got super pissed and went after her online. This would be the first time I ever went after a woman online. It wasn’t because women make me mad or that I am threatening in any way; I was done being judged by a high minded bitch. I lost control of the situation, which dragged out for days.
I’ve graduated to Twitter now. I’ve got the hang of it; hundreds of people “follow” me because I pass along interesting information, or have good quips. But recently, I got myself in trouble again. A woman made some comment about Joe Manchin, and I told her “He’s a Republican”. She came back telling me that it was an ignorant and uneducated take and that I didn’t understand red state politics. I live in Georgia; I told her I didn’t mean it literally, and used the word “hon” in my response.
Holy shit, people. I found myself jumped by nearly 300 women telling me I was a misogynist and a rapist. I argued with them for six freaking days until I exhausted all of their patience. I don’t feel bad about what I did. I went a little too far and called one of them a bitch, but still, that’s a long way away from being a woman hater or an abuser. Well, my behavior apparently crossed a few lines and people who know how to work Twitter better than me got me suspended for 12 hours. A mere slap on the wrist. It’s not like I don’t have better things to do.
Social media can be a warzone. Tread carefully out there, there’s a bunch of people out there waiting to misunderstand you.
You would think it was self evident that democracy is a good thing. After talking to many right wingers, I have found that we are mistaken. Believe me now and hear me later but they literally think democracy is the most dangerous form of government. They think our American Republic is juxtaposed to democracy. In the minds of the founders, that’s true-but it’s overly doctrinaire to suggest that the republic does not require and use a great deal of democracy to function.
The right wing has no idea what the left is, either. They rely on caricatures, and worse yet, fail to understand what constitutes lefty thinking. If you try to tell them that democracy is about having a voice and being able to participate in a system that positively affects your life, they will come back at you with canned phrases like “Democracy is mob rule”. They refuse to engage their noodle no matter what you try to tell them. They are so caught up in originalism and right/left axis thinking that no true facts about our system can emerge.
What most people don’t seem to realize (and this spans across the political spectrum) is that we are about to have a showdown with Christian white supremacist fascism. Democracy itself is literally on the menu. Anyone “different” will be an enemy of the state when they are done. So I’m a little worried that too many smart people on the left are leading a charge to disengage from this system-as if it has any other choices save for civil war or revolution. If disaffected people on the left disenfranchise themselves and think they are going to resist this movement, they had better learn how to shoot a rifle because the right is already armed to the teeth.
That leaves us with the Democratic Party as the only defense against the coming storm of oppression. Are they perfect? Fuck the fuck no. But they do share your values and you can change them from within. We need your voice INSIDE the party. Tell us what we need to hear. Lots of sleepy Democrats need your input. Some of them, like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, simply have to go. And we need your help getting rid of them. Good Democrats want to rein in capitalist excess and corporate overreach just like you, they just don’t have the support or the votes to make it happen.
This is really two posts in one, but these things are on my mind today as I watch the political winds blow from my computer.
This movie has completely managed to split the left in half opinion-wise. Was it nothing but back-patting for being clever enough to figure out what was truly wrong in American society, or was it an effective call to get serious about our future before we don’t have one anymore?
I think the former criticism is fucked up, personally. There was something in it for everyone, liberals and lefties at all stages of wokeness. Yes, we do have a fact-free wing of this society. But we don’t have to let them drag us down with them-we can still fight by sharing knowledge, passion and talent. If you didn’t like “Don’t Look Up”, two things may be wrong with you-you either don’t really like art, or you have ingested so much media you are impossible to please. In either case you are just as useful as the people who won’t look up.
The themes of the movie were screamingly obvious. There’s the overarching environmental metaphor. But there’s more to see-the death of news as information, the obsession with mindless, distracting entertainment, weird billionaires holding sway over the government, out of control meme culture, the silencing of outrage, denial of facts, and there’s probably more shit in there that I missed. In short, there is plenty to talk about, all of it teachable. And like it or not, it also reminds us that time is running out. It was almost 80 degrees on Christmas Day where I live in Georgia, so maybe “Don’t Look Up” made me squirm a little more than most.
I have kids. They are not sanguine about the future. And I am guilty as fuck if I see a movie like that and don’t reflect on what kind of world I am leaving them. I’ve decided to get mad instead of sitting on a high horse judging the fucking messenger when we aren’t doing jack shit to address the problems that the movie brings up.
I have been a cynic many times in my life. Part of me still is, but there’s still enough life left to resist a world without hope. See the fucking movie. At worst, it will relieve you to know that someone still cares, and you are not alone.
The best joke in the movie is that the scientists who get booked on the infotainment show to discuss the end of the world get slotted for the third and last segment.
In December, Bernie Kerik, former NYPD police commisioner and Guiliani associate, were involved in talks about plans to have mass demonstrations all around the country around December 17. Obviously, nothing came of it, perhaps there just weren’t enough soldiers and outraged citizens to do the job. But that’s not the story-it seems that Trump actually considered seizing election machines that delivered unfavorable results to Trump in key swing states.
Under what pretense? Obvious candidates would be the declaring of a national emergency, or invoking the Insurrection Act. But first, you need an insurrection or an emergency. None materialized, leaving the Kerik/Flynn/Guiliani plans on the table. But it’s worth noting that Trump was going to do something monumentally illegal to flip the election.
This story is bad enough. What we should truly be concerned about is the legalization of these tactics by the Republican Party. Across the nation, Republicans are seizing control of the election apparatus, making sure they can do in daylight what they were trying to do in secret.
Democracy has a long climb right now; I am currently short on suggestions on how to resist. As has been the case before, the next election will be decided in the courts. And that may be the only hope we have; that we can get these laws declared invalid before Republicans start calling for do-overs, disallowing votes and mass audits when they don’t like what they’re seeing.
I hate watching Trump skate, but it’s the next generation of Trumpists that worry me a bit more. Trump’s out of power.