giantsloth: (Default)
I flipped over to the fairly active Facebook page of one of my relatives. Ex-military, ex-cop, conservative gun-toting Trumper who allegedly loves Jesus. I do this from time to time, in an effort to understand the what/why/how of these folks. But I don't think I can do it any longer. I've seen enough.

What strikes me about the memes that he reposts is how old they are. It's the same regurgitated stuff from months or years ago. It has nothing to do with what's specifically happening right now. And half the time the posts aren't even ideologically sound from a right-wing point of view. He'll repost General Petraeus praising the military, even though the right-wingers hate Petraeus now because of his views on gun control. Basically any post that praises veterans will get passed along no matter who said it, then one of his buddies will show up in the comments to say "hey, uh, remember, we hate the Democrats/liberals/Socialists/commies, and that's who you're quoting here."

Other recent posts include the gumball immigrants video (ancient, and so thoroughly disproven), a ton of stuff about term limits, a vile cops vs. BLM post, and one about how HRC is hypocritical to ask to see Trump's tax returns when, y'know, she deleted "those emails."

So, I'm done. I try not to read comments online, especially on news stories, and I often fail. But I really think I'm done looking at this stuff.
giantsloth: (sloth)
Back when I was a full-time freelancer, I interviewed one of the founders of Netflix. It wasn't for a specific assignment; he was just passing through town and someone in press relations hooked us up. I got the spiel and was so convinced that I signed up for an account with my own money. It's possible that they comped me to begin with; I don't recall--but soon enough I was happily paying my own way, and have done so continuously for well over a decade now. But now the overall story, a cliche but a true one, is the Failed Promise of the Internet. Back when it was just DVDs in the mail, I could rent titles that would never end up in a local video rental place. I poured in a ton of ratings so that the mysterious Netflix engine would figure out my tastes, and would suggest movies I'd never heard of. So now, in a world where content streams in over the network, where the most obscure movies should be available instantly, what do I get? A dumber suggestion system, and a vastly reduced selection of movies. You can stream TWIN PEAKS, for example, but no movies directed by David Lynch are streamable from Netflix. Unless you've just got to have constant content coming down the network pipe, the overall technology of circa-2001 Netflix is superior to that of today. Which is a wordy preface to this opinion piece, worth reading, by Felix Salmon:

Netflix’s dumbed-down algorithms

And yeah, gas stations used to have smiling uniformed attendants, and jumbo jets used to have piano lounges. Progress.
giantsloth: (Default)
A couple things. First thing, a new story of mine is up on Electric Velocipede Issue 23: Through the Uprights. Read it or don't.

Second, completely unrelated thing. We were driving out for a Sunday hike recently and we passed a trailer that had two flagpoles in the front yard. On one flagpole, a rebel flag (aka Confederate flag). On the other flagpole, Old Glory. Now, I'm sure I've seen this pairing before. And I'm sure it makes perfect sense to the inhabitants of that trailer. But this was the first time it struck me: NO. You've got to pick one. You either get your CSA, Lost Cause, revisionist b.s. about "state's rights," and not-so-crypto-racism, or you get the USA. You know, the Union. The folks flying the Stars & Stripes, albeit with 33 to 35 stars at the time of the war. You can't claim both sets.
giantsloth: (devil)
I have been and still am sick with an annoying cold. Nothing more than a blip in the grand scheme of things, but still annoying. A few days lost, a preview of future decrepitudes. If I didn't already know that daytime television sucks rocks, well, now I've been reminded of that. We did get The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in from Netflix, and that was pretty happening. Kind of slow and confusing to begin with (but then again that could've just been the antihistamines) but a great final act.

There was a mallard pair in the creek behind our apartment this morning. Heralds of spring? I sure hope so.

(Post title courtesy SWANS.)
giantsloth: (Default)
First off, to Alain Robbe-Grillet. I learned of his passing at the Ballardian blog. I first read The Erasers because Jim Sallis had mentioned reading Robbe-Grillet in one of his story introductions.  I was hooked quickly, even though I didn't know jack about literary theory or the nouveau roman. If you haven't read any of his stuff, start by renting Last Year at Marienbad. If you like that movie, you'll probably like Robbe-Grillet's writing.

Another much less important goodbye is me saying goodbye to USENET, which I've been reading since 1992. The only newsgroup I paid much attention to lately was alt.music.chapel-hill, and really that's just a mirror of an email list. My Internet provider stopped supporting my shell account long ago, and a couple weeks ago trn just decided I didn't have access to the news server. Tech support refuses to even look at the problem, and I don't have the time to troubleshoot it myself. So, it's as good a point as any to stop reading newsgroups, even though in many ways the setup and etiquette of the best newsgroups is much more advanced than many Web 2.0 sites. Here's to alt.drinks.scotch-whisky, long may you run.
giantsloth: (Default)
Wow. Kansas City Southern tore down the wildly historic/important Union Tank Car dome. At least the linked newspaper article has the necessary indignant tone. But, indignant tones don't magically bring buildings back. Neither do LJ posts, for that matter. Maybe Kansas City Southern should think about changing their name too, I don't know, Weird Scumbags Incorporated?
giantsloth: (Default)
It's true, you can't copyright a title. "Wait, you mean the other CRASH, not the Cronenberg movie from the Ballard book. Oh." Et cetera. Still, it strikes me as weird that Nick Hornby's new YA novel about a skater kid has the same title as Lew Shiner's wonderful 1990 novel featuring skater kids, SLAM.

Signifying

Jan. 24th, 2007 06:30 pm
giantsloth: (Default)
At the dayjob there's someone with a really annoying sig on all their company email. This someone is not an immediate co-worker, and I've never met this someone outside of the neon glow of my Ono-Sendai, but I do receive email from this someone. And the sig on all their messages is: "No God, no peace! Know God, know peace!"

I have let this slide on by so far, except for now bitching up here. But clearly I'm not good at completely dropping this w/o comment. I guess the obvious thing would be to put "No god, know peace!" on all of my dayjob emails. I'm open to other suggestions, though.

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