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Thinning The Absurd

 

Regular lurkers here know that I came out against calling things “fake news”.

Oh, it’s not that it doesn’t exist. Our president is a regular consumer and producer of it.

But he and others have used a bit of rhetorical jiu-jitsu and now “fake news” is news you don’t want to hear or simply do not believe- even if it is true. It’s become one of Twitler’s favorite smears against news organizations who are up his ass. So I’ve decided I’m not going to play this game of what’s “fake” and what’s not and just discontinue use of the phrase anymore.

Now, I also said I wasn’t going to take a swing at a specific left-leaning news site because I am ideologically aligned with them, but I’m about to renege on that. I said that because I think some of the emerging farm team writers generate good content. The best political bloggers of the golden age of the ‘sphere got paying gigs long ago, leaving the medium dormant. Only pikers like me use personal desktop publishing to talk politics anymore. In its place today, we are seeing this second generation of political journalism that is being made possible by social media. These new farm team sites can pop up and piggyback upon each other and proliferate news and opinion on Facebook, where there are opportunities to grab the grail of websites-the click. Money and notoriety can follow.

This has caused, to put it lightly, problems.

When a click is all you are looking for, it’s very tempting to sensationalize your headline in order to get the most eyeballs. People are hungry for breaking news and exclusivity, and if there isn’t any of that around, some sites will simply create it. This is not “fake news” per se. It is merely misleading flotsam. And I think it’s just as pernicious as making things up out of whole cloth.

You’re blacking the eye of left-wing journalism, nay, journalism in general when you write a screaming headline that has the slimmest tangential relationship to the article you are writing.

I had to unfollow, unlike and de-link one of these sites today. Here’s the tease that caught my eye, from yesterday:

All 8 Supreme Court Justices Come Out Against Trump’s SCOTUS Pick

SAY WHAT?

Oboy, the Court is appalled by the machinations of Mitch McConnell to get Neil Gorsuch on the bench at any cost and they are speaking out! Yay!

*click*

What’s this? The fucking source material is THREE WEEKS OLD! It’s nothing but a retelling of the fucking story of the Court unanimously overruling an opinion written by Gorsuch. I fucking know about that! Fuck! Fuck this fucking site!

Can you relate?

You’re lying if you say you can’t. We have all been taken in by a site that preys on our emotions, imaginations and desires to desperately see something be true. The only truth is they got your click- and these manipulative motherscratchers didn’t worry about how they did it.

So, I have a job to do today. I’ve got to have a reckoning here and on Facebook and separate out the hyped-up chaff that is doing no one any good. As I said, there are some that do decent second tier work, but some are profiting off credulity in an irresponsible, unethical manner. We are living in an age when the outrageous is a possibility, and it’s getting harder to tell truth and nonsense apart because they look the same. So check and re-check before you give these fly-by-night operations more ad revenue.

 

 

Meet The Other Conspirators

My family, rendered by Jessica Battista.

Vindicating Myself As An Underappreciated Trendsetter

Roy Edroso hips me to the fact that Fox might dust off some of Peter Bagge’s old work and put it on Fox as a TV show.

It isn’t going to be Hate, I’m sad to say, but it looks like The whole Bradley family will be getting the treatment. I can’t tell you how many times I saw poor me in the Buddy Bradley strips, with all of his zits and his booze and his music, and wondering if anyone cares about anything at all. Sad time in my life, the 20s.

I have to ask myself…would I watch it? Would it tank? I guess I would watch it, at least record it, maybe buy it when it hits the supermarket. Art, like wine, has to either chill or be left open to breathe, and I tend to treat every piece of art this way. When the public breathes its nasty germs on it, is that good for the work? Typically, never. Art must repel and be repulsive these days, with a few exceptions like Kate MacDowell whose work compels interest.

I gotta go for now, but good luck, Pete!

I’m Gonna Say This Once More…

You are free to say what you want here. I do not care what you think, nor is it likely that I will care about the way you think.

I have no comment policy; if you want to blow in here like Richard Pryor on a bender, go ahead. I swear a lot myself.I have bipolar disorder and PTSD. There is little in life that will shock me, especially a few little words.

Be mean.

Be yourself.

After all, that’s what I do.  Now go read someone else while I think of something that pisses me off.

Medication Time!

Don’t you love that clarion call, those of you who have spent time in a ward? I just did. It was a long stretch for me (a few weeks), but the Veteran’s Administration has saved my life, along with my wife. Whew. That was a close one; I will bore you with the details  some other time.

Basically this God-Damned -Idiot wanted to get up in the morning a few weeks ago and take my younger son on a trip to buy a new car. Somewhere along the line I had the inkling that I wanted to get a new Social Security card for my kid so had something important in his wallet, but not before I vowed never to shop at Best Buy again because they don’t stand behind what they sell.

But I wanted a car, too. A nice one, built for safety and performance.

I already have one of these.

Now if you are bipolar and you just read that, you went “uh-oh”. If you are not bipolar, you might have a shitty car and I probably can’t stand the way you drive.

I was unsuccessful in my attempt to get the car . Thought you might want to know, I’m home, and safe. Thanks to everyone who brought me back from that one.

Art You Do Not Deserve

Since I am not an artist but a music fan, it would be wrong of me to not mention that David Yow is doing something else besides writing music for assholes who don’t appreciate him. He retouches photos now.

Yes. The guy that invented the “Tight and Shiny”, he likes to fix photos.

You are lucky that he does this for a living. Because if he did not, his music would probably make your asshole hurt. Which is what Dave’s idea of fun is. I should know. I went to every show they played in the New York area, and I was at a show with nothing but my friends that NO ONE came to. Instead, dumb Jersey hicks were waiting to see Monster Magnet, because they are on drugs.

I have been kicked by David Yow several times. I have sung in his microphone while he crowd surfed, and I use that term loosely because basically, he fell on the crowd, which was his intent. It was up to the crowd to deal with him after that.

He even lent me a cigarette after a show, which is an interesting gesture, because usually the crowd is NOT Dave’s friend. Oh, they paid their ticket, they enjoyed the ride, but they forgot the circus act.

If you think I’m crazy…you ain’t left your house in 20 years.

God-Damned Motherfucking Router, Either You Go, Or I Go Cry

This is the first time I have been able to get on the Internet for days.

I was having “technical issues”.

This means in plain parlance that I do not know how to work a router.  I do, a little.  But then I bought one that was created by some cult in California. I will not speak their name, because I have already learned that I will pay psychically for messing with their newer, dual band, gargantuan routers that would rob signals from a Starbucks in Texas if I let it.

This router has one eye.  It is as big as your gaming console. It glares at you unblinkingly if it is happy, and its eye turns red with anger briefly when it is displeased. Then it sleeps on your surfaces, daring you to wake it.

It tortured me for two days before I realized I could not tame this router. I’m an ex-soldier, so I can take a few licks. I have been ordered to stay awake for 48 hours, with maybe a grand total of two non-solid hours of nodding off in the dirt dug from a foxhole. It could have been worse, because I could have slept on my M16A2 and it would feel like a pillow.

This is not a very smart idea when you have live ammunition in the chamber. Thank goodness for safety switches.

But back to the one-eyed router.

It all began very innocently. After realizing that I had to buy a modem from my ISP provider(a very big ISP provider who will send me to another country if I don’t listen to every option in their automated menu), I knew I was going to need a router for my strong DSL signal.

I did not realize at the time that you do not have to get a router pulling signals from Kentucky simply because your connection speed is high. So the dual-band router came home with me in an innocuous purple box. It said on the front that it is the “best” router I can buy. So I bought it like Patty Hearst. She’s pretty neat.

I took it out of its box. It came with the router’s ID, and a puzzle. Not the kind of puzzle that anyone can do; it looked more like a rebus. I should have known right then and there that I had a scary machine on my hands.

I followed the hieroglyph, confident that the router was ready to kick some ass.

Never assign human qualities to a complicated machine. If you are naming your machines, it is because you do not fear it. You can name your car and it runs as if to say, “That’s right-that’s my name! Ready to roll? I am!”.  So you drive your car and synergy occurs and everyone thinks your car is as cute as you are, unless you have a very bad temper and you name it “The Cuntbreaker”, or “The Dick Smasher” or something to that effect. Your car drives like you want it to-temperamental, but it can only be used with the right hands on its wheel. Otherwise, The Dick Smasher will drive you through someone’s bushes before you can even get to the road. You tried to to tell your friend that the accelerator is so sensitive it can run over someone and back up over them in 3 seconds flat. Your friend is the idiot you like to keep around because he is crazier than you are, and someone should be watching them lest they drink five pitchers of beer and start a human dart game in the tavern.

My point is, this machine is a friend to no one. Even India doesn’t know how to work it. That is a signal that something has gone very wrong someplace- and that place is your computer, who is trying very hard to understand what you have plugged into it because it cannot see the eye of the router, who winks at it as if it is saying “Watch this. I am going to keep this stupid motherfucker awake for two days. Pass the popcorn.”

Well, the router was right. I couldn’t get an IP address to save my life. I must have tried to return everything to factory default nearly 15 times. My wife is calling me names, but I cannot hear her. I have been drawn into a war with Bill Gates on one side of me and AT&T on the other.

As a student of military tactics, I am aware that there is nowhere to run. My bed is a few meters away, yet I cannot get away fast enough and my wife is yelling at me to get my ass under the covers.

The last thing a man needs in a military situation is his wife. You can’t top that for stress.  The enemy is closing in and she is yelling at the God-Damned Idiot to get some sleep. I had an anxiety attack when I finally submitted to my wife’s demands, the demand being that she is my Mother, and she has an endless supply of crazy if I challenge her.

As you might have guessed, this is the reason I am in love with my wife. She won’t even take shit from me. That is an accomplishment, especially when my usual goal in life is make people’s lives more difficult for amusement.This is the curse of the bipolar. It must either destroy, or weep like Jesus. There really isn’t much middle ground, unless you have a good health plan that feeds you pills to make you stop acting like a complete asshole. It’s tough on friends, but they realize eventually that I have made them a little tougher, and their days are going much better now that you have exorcised their personal demons. I am so bad off I make Bill W. and Sigmund Freud seem like footnotes in history. I can counsel a couple without any training in 20 minutes, and do it for free. I’m not tooting my own horn. I can’t control the urge to either put something together or kick shit across a room. However, I like my stuff entirely too much to throw my own. Chances are I will not throw your stuff either, I just yell or needle you into silence.

I rarely get a “thank you”. I have realized that it doesn’t matter. My job is done, it was easy and that is what I am here for. Why bother with pathetic expressions of gratitude, you fucking idiots? You’ve all lost your fucking manners anyway, so fuck you if can’t handle it. You will die early, and this doesn’t seem to make a difference to me. I have already addressed this.

But anyway, this router fucked my shit up for two straight days until my friend told me to go get my old router. A simpler machine. One I actually know how to operate. I made a few calls to support because if there’s anything I needed after 48 hours of technical insanity was some support- I was too beat to try again by myself. Me and a guy from India had some laughs about it. I told him I was a typical stupid American. One neat thing about the Indians is that they are too polite to say what is really on their mind.  That is why the Andulusians  and the Orient eat our lunch daily as a country. Fortunately, if we behave respectfully to them and their desires, they will come to an agreement with you. A little for you, a lot for me, but you have fucked with our countries enough that we both know there is a price to pay for arrogance.

My advice to you today is: Buy a tiny router, and for god’s sake be nice to the guy who politely deals with your American idiocy. Every day, every phone call he has to talk to you like a baby because you do not understand anything. Stop being an asshole, you’re lucky to have a nice PC that you can afford. Understanding it, well, you suck at that. You then get mad at your computer, who is now completing the joke the machines told each other:

“I told you I was going to fuck him up.” They exchange a silent laugh in blue and green lights, and look forward to your next fuckup.

I feel a certain kinship with my toys, as I pop the keys as fast as I can to tell you that you suck. Keyboards are in constant surplus.

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