PewDiePie and the Death of Old Media

Before you go off and say that I am doing what everyone else has been doing and mining what has happened for clicks, hear me out.  I got me degree in Journalism and Public Communication.  I have an understanding of this medium better than most.  And it is because of that that I feel a great sense of shame and pity for what has happened here.  Everything about what has happened was a sign of how the medium that I grew up loving, who was supposed to be the vanguards of democracy, is failing.  And there is no coming back from it.  But here’s the thing – we all should have seen this coming.  From a long ways off, this was apparent to me.  It’s happened before, and it now it is beginning to happen again.

Where did it start?  You could make the argument that it most recently started with the Wall Street Journal putting out a video which was an unfounded hit-piece on the YouTube personality PewDiePie.  There was no defending that video.  None.  It was such blatant bullshit that you felt ashamed of yourself watching it.  To think that a news outlet that was once believed to be a very respectable source could make an attack video against a YouTuber for a video where he was blatantly satirizing the people calling him racist and making a joke about finally giving in and becoming a Nazi.  It was all so obvious, and the Internet tore the Journal to pieces over it.  But that isn’t where it started.

Maybe it started back in 2014, with a little uprising known as GamerGate.  Indeed, the parallels between what happened to Felix and that instance are rather shocking.  We have a corrupt press colluding together to take on an Internet culture that is clearly a threat to their industry, and now we see the beginnings of a new culture war.  And just like with the “Gamers are Dead” articles, now we have every major media outlet releasing a barrage of articles lambasting Felix and his politics.  Also just like GamerGate, this is blowing up in the media’s face so badly that not one person involved is walking away clean.  I don’t think this is where it started either.

The first time I truly got a taste of the downfall was looking at a video on NPR.  I didn’t believe what I was seeing.  There was a link to a video that was, quite literally, an unboxing video.  That’s right, NPR, one of the most respected journalism outlets who does some truly biting work from time to time examining critical issues. was doing an unboxing video.  It was of a PS4.  A lot of people tried to make the argument that they were trying to talk about unboxing videos.  That’s wrong.  It wasn’t a video about unboxing.  It was a fucking unboxing video.  I was so embarrassed for them at that point.  However, that most certainly wasn’t where it started.

So where was it?  Where was the great downfall of the media’s beginning?  The beginning of the Internet?  Getting closer, but still no bueno.  It was actually around the time when Princess Di was killed.  The news at the time wasn’t talking about the facts of her death.  Instead, they were creating narratives.  It couldn’t be enough that a great woman died.  No, the narrative had to be that a wonderful, fantastic woman died.  And her passing needed a good catch phrase and sad music to be played over it.  It was when cable news decided to come into the picture and turn the news from a discussion about the events of the day that transpired, to a narrative telling their audiences how to think about the news.

Here’s the thing – this idea of unbiased reporting is bullshit.  There is no such thing.  You can strive to be as unbiased as possible, have a rigorous vetting process to remove the scruples of bias to whatever extent you can.  But the cold hard truth is that you still have to deal with the fact that bias exists, and it will always be there.  Edward R Murrow admitted his bias, but his way of counter-manning it was to let the other side have its day.  He let Joseph McCarthy come on his show and give a very passionate defense of his position, where he called Murrow and his ilk all sorts of unprofessional names.  In giving his stage to his opposition, Murrow did more to cement how right he is in the eyes of the public.  Still, Murrow was biased.  The best minds are.  Walter Cronkite told some harrowing stories about the war in Vietnam, but he did so with an agenda to get the troops out of there.  He had a bias, but he had enough dedication to his craft to make sure to get people to the truth as close as he could.  It wasn’t hard to sell people on the war in Vietnam being a bad idea.

PewDiePie is the victim of a medium that is lost.  Print media is dying.  I feel it all the time.  I am just one of a thousand blogs that are ignored by the masses.  My audience is still pretty awesome, but I realize that I am part of a bygone era.  I don’t have video-making chops.  This is the best I can do.  Like all animals that feel their end coming, the media is lashing out.  PewDiePie makes for an easy target.  His popularity cannot be overstated.  Traditional media has to work very hard for all of their stories.  Felix basically just gets in front of a camera and plays video games, then he makes millions.  He makes astronomical amounts of money just by exaggerating his expressions while playing video games, and now making more original content.  Of course the media who has to work hard to make any content would despise such a person.

And for those who will say “it’s not anything to do with that!  It was the fact that he used Nazi imagery in his videos!”  First, the video they went after was so cherry-picked and avoided context where Felix showed that he has no love for Nazis, but decided to give the media who attacked him to no end what they wanted.  They do everything they can to take his videos out of context.  And when the Internet took them to task for it, the media overall decided to try and make it in to a big deal about how context doesn’t matter.  Actually, dumb fucks, it does.  It really does.

Old media is dying, and its final death throes will not be pretty.  But I don’t miss them.  Sure, the person who spent $40,000 on a degree like me would be pissed that some guy on YouTube can make boatloads of money.  But I don’t see any of them trying to make a niche for themselves.  I mean, when a high school dropout can become the biggest atheist channel on YouTube and last for longer than anyone else on the site, that means that if you can keep a fresh idea and change up for your audience enough, then you can make a new brand for yourself.  Media has to change with the times.  Its refusal to do so leads to some unbelievably sad things.

Until next time, a quote,

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

Peace out,

Maverick

2016 Year in Review

Back when I was in college, I used to do Academic Year in Review posts.  It was a nice little way to wrap up the year.  With this year at an end, and me being all high as fuck (it’s legal in my state now, blow me), I thought that I would restart the tradition.  Only this time, it won’t be the Academic Year in Review, it will just be the Year in Review.  This year sure seemed to fly by.  That is, after I found my new job.  Once I was back to work, time has absolutely blazed by.  It’s been a crazy ride, but you know what, a lot has happened.  There’s a ton to talk about, so let’s get down to it.  Consider this my post for New Year’s.  By the time I get finished typing this out, it should be New Year’s Eve, anyway.

The year started on a terrible note.  I had just gone through the worst experience of my professional life.  I have already told the story of the crazy bitch and the PR company she worked for.  I haven’t heard a single thing from that company, so I guess they forgot about me.  Maybe that, or me pwning her into oblivion in her unfathomably immature texting flame war was enough so she didn’t want to deal with me again.  The way she copped out was just pathetic.  Coming off the heels of that, I was in a desperate financial situation.  I had no money.  My parents were basically having to pay my rent.  A fact that hurt me to no end.  Now back to the job market.  I was not doing well, mentally.

Months dragged by.  However, hope arrived!  I got an interview at a real estate company.  I was literally hired on the spot.  The power of my damn snappy suit, I tell you what.  For the first time in a long time, I felt pretty good.  Sure, the job had no benefits, and the pay wasn’t great, but it was work.  And I could look for a better job while there.  It’s always easier to find work when already employed.  It just looks better on a resume.  Anyway, two days in, and I saw something that immediately made my blood run cold.  It was a box at the office with the name of the PR company that I had just been through that fiasco with.  Immediately, I knew that this was bad.  I asked, and it seems they rented some office space there.  This was bad.  Say that crazy bitch dropped in?  Say she talk to them about me?  She’s as vindictive as Hillary Clinton, and will abuse her power whenever possible.

Sure enough, my worries were confirmed.  I get told by the same woman that hired me, at the end of my second day, that I am “not the right fit for the position.”  I was pissed.  No wonder this job had such a high turnover rate.  Did I not mention that?  Seems that the job did.  I was told as much.  Given the absurd things I had to do every fucking day there, I genuinely am not surprised.  Oh well.  To be honest, given where I am now, I don’t see losing that job as a huge loss.  Though it will be weird giving a W-2 to my aunt, who does the family taxes, for a job that I only held for two days.

More months passed.  I was so miserable.  The worst thing about not working, that they don’t tell you, is how you lose track of what day is what.  See, something else happened.  My special lawyer girly-mate left.  She and I had been thick as thieves.  I knew that it was coming, but still, driving her to the airport was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  The last time I did it, we shared an amazing kiss.  That girl’s lips were among the softest I have ever gotten the chance to kiss.  This time, it was just heart-breaking.  Last time, I had some reassurance that she would be back.  This time, there was none.  This time, she was leaving with a person that she had been dating to come back to.  This time, I could feel that she wasn’t going to be coming back.  Something inside just told me it was so.  That fact, more than any other, hurt me.  How many people have I watched walk away from me, knowing that I will likely never see them again?  I don’t know.  I doubt I ever will.

The next major event came up.  A neurology clinic that I had applied to got back to me!  It was an interview, and I kicked ass!  Hell, I impressed the person I was interviewing with so much, that they wanted me to meet with the manager of the office too.  I took them up on that, and it was a damn good call.  Two interviews for the price of one.  By the time I got back to my place, I could tell that good things were coming.  Sure enough, about a week later, I got a call asking if I would come back in, this time for something call a “working interview.”  A totally new concept to me, it’s when you come in and basically sit in and do parts of the job for a day, to show what you are made of and how quickly you can adapt.  I don’t deny, walking in to that office, looking ready to work, I felt so good.  It was a little nerve-wracking, but I very quickly got the hang of stuff.  Plus, the women in the office were great.  I was the only guy.  The only one.  They were all fun people, and I felt like I was fitting in just nicely.  By the end of the day, walking out, I felt on top of the world.  Got paid for my work (they have to pay you for a working interview), and they told me that they would be in touch within a week or so.  I decided to wait a few days, and then “check in.”  Show how eager I am to get to work for them.  It seemed smart.  Was told that the woman who was doing the hiring was out.  Okay.  That’s cool.  I’ll call back on Friday.  End of the week, exactly a week from the working interview.  Will find out then.  Had good feelings.

I call back, told that she is busy, but would call me back.  They took down my name and number.  I figured that they were people of their word, so nothing to worry about, right?  I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  In a way, I’m still waiting.  In what was one of the most unprofessional displays I have ever seen, they never got back to me.  To this day, I still haven’t heard a thing.  How unprofessional is that?  If you put in a day with a company, and really try your best, don’t you at least deserve to hear back from them?  I was so pissed.  What’s more, it was such a good opportunity.  A job I can walk to!  That’s what it was.  I could commute to work in five minutes, on foot.  Ten minutes in winter.  They didn’t even have the guts to tell me that I didn’t get the job.  So pissed, I was.

After that failure, my depression was doing a real number on me.  It had been getting steadily worse, but this was almost past the tipping point.  It was past a year since I had started working at the neurology clinic I was at.  A year since the best opportunity I had had slipped through my fingers, all because I was sick and angry.  What an idiot, I was.  But the real blow was coming.  My parents could no longer keep helping me with my rent.  The old man wanted to retire, so they couldn’t handle the lacking income.  By this point, I was beyond desperate.  However, hope came!  In my darkest hour, hope came.  I got an interview for a state job.  It was the ugliest state job one can ask for.  The most thankless state job one could ask for.  A job that involves money and children.  You can probably extrapolate from there.  Just the day before, I had had a golden idea to hit up an old boss of mine on Facebook and ask if I could use her for a reference.  She was more than happy to oblige.  And it was just in time, as this place called me back and asked me for some references.  My old boss told me she gave me the best reference ever when they called.  I was so happy.  Two days later, I got the call.  I was hired.  In that instant, relief flooded into my veins.

My new job starts, and it was in the first day where I met someone who has become so important to my life in such a short amount of time.  We were hired at the same time, and both of us were there at the same orientation.  It was all awkward and quiet, so I decided to break the ice.  What an awesome decision, that was.  We got each other’s name, and thus began a friendship that is giving me so much to look forward to.

The job is so fucking complicated.  Even now, I feel so stupid when I look at things and I don’t know what any of it means.  Plus, our office is so underfunded that we use fucking DOS.  I shit you not.  We use DOS to run our entire agency.  The level of unreal in that blows my fucking mind.  So much to learn, and I am in the Customer Service section of our Division.  Meaning that I get to deal with people’s hate directly.  Groj, so unpleasant.  But more than that, I was having a bit of an identity crisis for a while.  Being called by my given name, it felt so surreal.  Like someone else was in that office.  For a brief while, I couldn’t tell who was who.  Then, one day, I saw some stupid SJW shit posted online, and I reconnected with Lucien all over again.

As is want to happen, whenever I make a friend of the opposite sex, and things are going splendidly, something goes wrong.  It is my life, after all.  Her significant other has jealousy issues.  Those of you who have followed me for many years can maybe see where this is going.  The jealousy issues peaked when she hung out at my place and we had some drinks and were just chilling.  It was awesome.  It was everything I could have asked for.  For so long, all I have wanted is to have friends over to my place.  We could watch movies, make good food, play games.  It’s all I have wanted for years.  That night will go down in history as one of the best nights of my life, which then translated into one of the worst the next day, when our friendship was falling apart due to the love of her life taking umbrage with me.  I’ll give this guy some credit, he’s actually met me.  I could tell when we did meet that he was sizing me up.  And I don’t know if he liked what he saw or not.  I outsmarted him and his friends in a game that we were playing.  Felt good.  My poker face destroyed him.  I then decided to just fuck with all of them in the next round because I could.  We learned something about each other that night.  I learned that he wanted to stake his claim to his girl in front of me.  He learned that I am hard to read when I want to be.  I thought that the guy doesn’t like me.  At the very least he sees me as something of a threat.  But the way I see it, any beliefs about me being a threat should go due to recent events.  If there is anything that has cemented me as nothing approaching a threat ever, it’s what’s happened.

When things fell apart after the night at my place, I basically had to concede everything that I have ever wanted in a friendship for so long.  She listened to my heartfelt and nearly tearful statement about how much this hurt, and there was nothing.  Not a single emotion that registered.  She said that she can’t please everyone, and has to do what’s best for her relationship.  I get that.  I know that I will always come in second place.  Hell, I don’t even rank third.  I’m a new friend.  I rank in fifth or sixth place on the totem pole.  That’s how it goes.  I have no illusions about where I am on the pecking order.

For those who think that this is following the Emily path, that’s my biggest fear.  However, I will say this much – I don’t think so.  For starters, Emily and I were infinitely closer than Kathryn and I are.  Maybe that’s a point in this situation’s favor.  Plus, there is the reality that I don’t know what this significant other who at least has seen me as something of a threat thinks.  I’ve gotten conflicting pieces of information.  I may eventually choose to see this person again, see if there is something more to be achieved from interaction.  Who knows, right?  However, all the signs are there that this story will follow the track that Emily and I’s did.  If so, it will break my heart in ways you couldn’t begin to imagine.

However, there is peace on the land of our new friendship, for now.  We hang out as often as we can, but the understanding is that she will never be able to chill at my place again.  Ever.  That means that movie nights are out.  Making good food is out.  I’ve already talk about how much I wanted that.  It’s a huge sacrifice, and part of me still wonders what she gave up in return, but I’m done fighting a battle that I know I can’t win.  I’ve done enough negotiations in these situations to know when I have no bargaining position.  And it’s not to say that we haven’t had fun since then.

Just recently, however, things took another turn.  Her and I have been carpooling to work together.  There is a lot of ugly history with her sister, her sister’s husband, and the nieces that she now has no ability to see.  Some truly horrible things.  But one day, the sister puts out an olive branch.  Because I have this belief that a person should strike while the iron’s hot, when the sister invited her down to the states as a way to make amends and bring the family back together again, I told her to take the risk.  It’s a gamble, but how often does good fortune come a person’s way?  So she did it.  Used up all her leave time at work, spending almost everything she will have saved, all to go down to North Carolina to see her family.  Maybe she’s spending too much time with me.  Lady Luck saw fit to strike.

The same day, she is sent a message from her sister basically taking that olive branch she put out and burning it down in front of her.  The girl was in pain.  Horrible, aching pain.  Years of unaddressed agony bubbling up and exploding.  In the hall at work, she fell to the floor and sobbed.  All I could do is sit next to her and hold her.  I had no words, nothing to say.  All I could do is hold her and listen to her cry.  I felt next to useless in that moment.  Like I was the person putting a band-aid on an ax wound.  The boss came over, and in an amazing moment, she became a complete mom and was able to remedy the situation.  Had her go home.  Since we carpooled together, I took her home.  That was such a hard day, for me.

Ever since then, things have been weird.  She denies it, but I’m smart enough to see that something has changed.  I can’t put my finger on it, but things have gotten awkward between us.  I am sensing a growing distance.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Wouldn’t be the first time.  However, there has been a real change in things between us after that day, and not for the better.  Maybe that’s how it separates from the Emily story.  After I wiped the tears off Emily’s face in the Periodicals Room, the two of us were closer than ever.  Now I feel like I have lost a TON of ground.  Not a fan of that.  Wondering what I did wrong.  Probably overthinking this.  Unsure.

So that’s where we are now.  My job is sucking the life out of me.  The reality is that once Kathryn leaves to go to basic for the Navy (proud of her for that.  Was pushing her to reapply to get back in to the Navy), I am out of there.  It’s nothing against the department.  I just can’t do a job where I am getting treated like shit by people that I am having less and less sympathy for every day.  There’s no way I can do this long term.  Planning on staying with the state for at least five years.  Then I’m vested and have guarantee retirement.  Since state jobs like to hire with people already in the state, I feel comfortable when I go looking for a new port to call my own.

Looking ahead, I have been given hints that my lawyer girl may be coming back, if only for a little bit.  That gives me hope.  A brief glimmer of hope to latch on to.  It hasn’t been the hardest year, but a decent amount of stuff has happened.  Leading up to when I found this new job, it was months of time where, if I didn’t have this watch, I couldn’t tell one day from the next.  I have a job, already one review that looks good, and will have another come February.  A new friendship that, while it is currently on not the most stable ground, has a ton of potential.  Guess we’ll see what happens.

Until next time, a quote,

This may not make much sense to you now, a young man at the beginning of his career, but one of the things you learn as you move up the ranks and get a little older is that you wish you had more time in your youth to really absorb the things that happened to you. It goes by so fast. It’s so easy to become jaded. To treat the extraordinary like just another day at the office. But sometimes, there are experiences that transcend all that.” -Capt. Katherine Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

Peace out,

Maverick

Your First World Problems are Not “Rape Culture” (A response to Kat Blaque)

You know what’s not a thing in the First World – Rape Culture.  Why?  Because every video I see on the subject is ridiculous tirades about First World Problems or people complaining about things that they are falsely attributing to a cultural problem.  Case and point – this video by a woman named Kat Blaque.  Yet-another Tumblr-class hipster who has to make her opinion about her First World problems known and correlating this with a cultural problem.  Meanwhile, women in Saudi Arabia can be stoned to death for disobeying their husbands.  Or women in the Congo can be raped as a part of military terror.  The 1 in 5 statistic correlates with that, by the way.  Feminists believe that rape in college is on par with a nation where rape is used as a weapon of war.  Unreal.  Anyway, let’s look at this thankfully-short video and then respond to it.

She begins by telling a story about the biggest creeper in the world.  Not even kidding, if this story is true, then that is the creepiest dude ever.  I will at least say that I get why she would be bothered by this particular instance.  This dude is mega-creepy and that is not cool.  However, it’s clear what she’s doing here – using this as a spring-board to show why this is somehow acceptable in this country.  Because when people like me are calling this dude a creeper, that means that society at large accepts this.  Fuck me.

Naturally, the first thing she brings up is how girls go to college and are told to protect themselves and be careful, while apparently all it would take is for us men to be told not to rape.  Because Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer would totally have not raped and murdered people if they had been told that it’s wrong.  I’m so sure.  Ladies, here’s the thing – you should carry mace with you and know how to defend yourself because the world can be dangerous.  I carry a knife on my person so that I am able to defend myself if need be.  You learn to be prepared for what happens, to the best that you can be.  This isn’t rape culture.  It’s being smart about what you do.  I don’t go into a trailer park for the same reason that you don’t go into a trucker bar.  It’s just smart.

Then we get to hear that our culture says that women are asking for it.  Yes, because all the media shitstorms that happen about every major rape case are indicative that the culture says that “women are asking for it.”  Yeah, bullshit.  That is bullshit.  Look at the Duke case, or the UVA rape hoax.  Yes, a hoax.  Every word out of “Jackie’s” mouth was a lie.  The police investigation proved that, to the point that the guy that “Jackie” said she had gone out with that night may not even have existed.  There’s some great bullshit.  Can’t help but notice that “Jackie” didn’t get brought up on false allegation charges.  Nor did Crystal Mangum, in connection to the Duke case.  Gender double-standards?  What’s that?!

She then says that the culture tells women to keep their sexual assaults to themselves.  Citation, please.  Show me how this is some widespread societal problem.  Do women get pressured not to report?  Sure.  That would be impossible to argue.  Watch the episode of Frontline, “Secrets of the Vatican.”  You find out some truly terrible stories of clergy who use their power to intimidate children into not reporting their sexual assaults.  However, there is NO evidence to show that not only is this something that is acceptable, but looked upon in a positive way.  The moment sexual assault cases get press, they blow up big time.  But I can’t help but notice that there is a huge stigma against men reporting.  For all the feminists ready to swoop in and say that this is a sign that their work is for something, a city that tried to start a shelter for men who were the victims of abuse got attacked so hard that their efforts were stopped.  Five guesses who attacked them the most.  So yeah, there’s that.

There is a turn then where she says that rape culture says that boys who are molested or statutory raped by female teachers are told that they shouldn’t complain.  Here’s something I can agree on.  Not that it’s indicative of a rape culture.  She’s making this broad assumptions about all culture based on specific problems.  What this is indicative of is a double-standard.  See, if it was a man and he was sexually active with an underage female student, I guarantee that the media shitstorm would be epic and the judge would be all fire and brimstone when they give the sentence.  If there was a true rape culture, then wouldn’t it be the same for male teachers?  But it’s not a rape culture.  It’s a double-standard, and it is wrong.

Another instance where she brings up a good point – that society telling men that they deserve to get raped in prison is good.  The problem here is that this chick has good ideas about stuff, but comes to the wrong conclusion.  The problem isn’t a mythical rape culture.  It is societal double-standards.  Those are wrong.  But she is tying this problem in to her fictional ones that have no evidence of existing and then extrapolating things about all of culture that are simply untrue.  It’s kind of frustrating to see this happen because she is on the cusp of having some really smart ideas about sex crimes involving men, but then has to fall back on stupid bullshit down the line.  Which I guarantee she will.

Like clockwork, we’re back to the stupid bullshit.  The First World problems.  This idea that all men think that “street harassment” is a good thing.  If I learned anything from that ten hours of walking (in the poorest parts of NYC) video, it was that feminists think that everything from genuinely creepy things being said, to some guy calling a woman beautiful is “harassment.”  This is what I mean when I say that her First World problems are not indicative of a rape culture.  Do creepy guys exist?  Absolutely.  But it isn’t all men, or even the majority of men.  Hell, thanks to this SJW mentality, men are being told that they cannot approach women at all.  Which now has some SJW women lamenting how men used to be more assertive.  This is a monster of your own making, you stupid bitch!  Don’t tell men to be submissive and feminine, and then get piss-y when we don’t approach you or talk to you.  This is your fault.  Not that I’ll ever see an SJW take credit for it.

And I knew that that story from the beginning would come back.  Because she has decided to say that this one creeper guy is indicative of all men.  We all are being taught that if a woman tells you off, that means to keep trying.  No, honey, most of us are able to take this little thing called a “hint.”  Your belief that we are too dumb for that is more than a little insulting.

When she then says that we live in a society that trivializes rape, I am in awe.  An SJW is saying that we, the rest of the males, trivialize rape.  These are the people who say that “birth rape” is a thing.  Go on Google and look up that shit.  It’s amazing.  Or that any forms of straight sex is rape.  Google that.  Or that a guy checking a girl out is “stare rape.”  Another thing to Google.  This is so nuts.  If ANYONE has trivialized rape and turned it into a buzzword, it is you and yours, sugar.

She says that we tell women to come forward about their assaults, but then bitches that there are few convictions.  Honey, here’s the thing – rape is a very difficult crime to prosecute.  Why?  Because more often than not, there is no physical evidence of any kind.  So it comes down to he-said, she-said.  And I’m sorry, but our legal system doesn’t just take women’s words for it.  Why?  Because we have instances like what happened at UVA or Duke, and it is clear that women are just as capable of lying as men are.  This is why we have a legal justice system that tells you that you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  I’m sorry if that doesn’t satisfy you, but if we just made it that a woman saying that man raped her was enough, we already have historical context to show how that would be abused.

The video ends telling us that rape culture exists, even though it is cannot be proven, studied, or documented.  In other cases, it is one of the many SJW forms of Original Sin.  I don’t believe in God, sweetie.  What makes you think I will take this on faith?

Until next time, a quote,

“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man, living in the sky.  Who watches everything you do, every second of every day.”  – George Carlin

Peace out,

Maverick

Another ‘Lesser of Two Evils’ Election

I was wondering when it would happen.  Not if.  When.  In the back of my mind, I knew that it was only a matter of time.  Was hoping that it would have at least taken long enough for the endless series of attack-ads to come out.  That would have been nice.  But nope.  Wasn’t even a week after Clinton was arbitrarily declared the winner by the media that she has firmly in her pocket.  I’m already seeing person after person come out and say that we just need to ally with Shillary.  Why?  Why do you think – because Trump.  Naturally.  Since this election is completely lacking in substantive issues, the only thing that people are able to measure the value of a candidate is how much they don’t like and fear the other.  Fear and hate are driving this election.

When I first started posting things about Bernie Sanders, who I have and will never stop supporting, I was seeing how much people were coming together and demanding the change he wanted.  We finally had a candidate who actually stood for something!  How long’s it been since that happened?  Not in my lifetime.  Then what happened?  Well, I would be remiss to not point out the obvious corruption of the political process.  The entire establishment made no secret that Clinton is going to be the candidate they pick.  Sanders was fighting the ultimate uphill battle.  One that he seems to have lost. By losing California, his path forward is dead.  Be mad at me for saying that.  I get it.  It is infuriating.  Naturally, all the Independents supported Sanders in an overwhelming majority.  Beyond landslide.  But corruption of the election process has become par for the course for this election.  Because who cares what people who aren’t strictly aligned with the party think?  Of course.  That’s our “democracy” for ya.

After seeing how people were getting so outraged about how broken and crooked the system is, I thought that maybe, somebody would actually stand up for truth.  Would not kowtow to a broken system out of fear of the unknown.  Out of fear that has been cooked to a boiling point by the entire media that is in Shillary’s $12,000 jacket pocket.  I mean, what person with any amount of perspective could possibly support a candidate as crooked as her in good conscience?

Like clockwork, the posts began.  Many of them with things like, “we fought the good fight” or “I don’t like her politics, but we need to support Hillary.”  All that stuff about corruption?  The proof of how broken the system is?  Any of that ring a bell?  Of course not.  Nope, let’s just do what we always do as Americans and just give it to her.  It will be more of the slow circle of the drain, but what do we care?  After all, if we don’t support Shillary, we get Trump!  A man whose fear levels have been driven up to RIDICULOUS proportion by the entire media.  Take it from me, as much as I don’t like the guy, I am not so dumb as to think that he’s some kind of grave threat.  Trump is a troll.  The greatest troll in existence.  He’s trolled the entire electorate.  He’s still trolling now.  Only difference is that now people actually take what he says seriously.

I can already hear the refrain from people,

But Lucien, you don’t want things to get worse, do you?  Under Trump they would!

Actually, yeah, I do want things to get worse.  I want the dull-witted ‘Murican people kicked out of their complacency by having to face the fact that we’re not doing ANYTHING to help this country be electing another corporate oligarch.  One who has openly stated her support of the TPP, which is going to kill jobs  in this country and effectively codify the corporate power structure worldwide.  I honestly want to watch people in this country have to face a reality that they are going to be heading towards anyway under Shillary.  She’s going to do NOTHING to change anything.  Improve our broken healthcare system?  Nope.  She’s been very vocal about doing nothing to change that.  Maybe do something about our broken education system?  Nope.  I guarantee that for-profit colleges are already lobbying.  Maybe do anything about how broken the prison system and drug war in this country is?  How much money do private prisons already give the government in lobbying costs?  Yeah, I don’t think so.

The reality of the situation is that we had a chance that comes once in a lifetime.  We won’t get another.  By the time Bernie would get another shot, he’ll likely be dead.  Congratulations, America.  You pissed away your opportunity.  Nice going.  Guess that’s what he gets for courting the youth vote.  A historically-unreliable voting block.  I hope you’re all proud.

For those who still want to say that it’s better to vote for Shillary, let me remind you what kind of candidate you are supporting – she has been on EVERY side of EVERY issue.  She has no platform.  It is clear that she is completely beholden to corporate money.  And guess what – they don’t give a fuck about you.  At all.  Ever.  Anytime she’s tried to be called out on how two-faced she is, she gets really defensive and does everything she can to shut the conversation down.  She’s said that people who don’t support her are sexist.  She believes that the things that you are asking for aren’t realistic and wants you to settle for less.  She’s given speeches to the likes of Goldman Sachs that we will NEVER know the transcripts of.  And if you are a woman and don’t support her, there’s a special place in hell for you.  That’s the person who is the “lesser of two evils.”  The one who “we need to support.”

I refuse.  Outright.  I am DONE playing this stupid game.  Vote for Jill Stein.  Write-in Sanders.  At least then we have voted for a candidate who we can actually believe in.  If you are going to let fear dictate your actions to you, then I honestly think that you should just admit that you were a fair-weather supporter of Sanders.  Oh, and if Sanders comes out in support of her, then I guess we’ll learn where his loyalties lie.

And that’s the last thing I’m going to say about the election.  Fuck it.

Until next time, a quote,

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” – Jerry Garcia

Peace out,

Maverick

My Boiling Apartment

It’s so fucking hot in my apartment right now.  Not even kidding, if I didn’t have this fan, I’d be in veritable Hell.  Because it’s so damn hot in here, I’m on edge.  More than you will ever know.  It’s making my issues that I’m currently facing in my life that much more frustrating.  Because all I have is time and the heat to help me think about it.  Hey parents – if you’re going to put your kid in the corner to make them think about what they’ve done, put a heater nearby.  Too far to reach, but close enough to make the little fucker sweat.  I guarantee, the reason they are in that place will never be far from their mind.  Granted, they’ll be thinking of reasons to kill you, but hey, it gets the job done.  Right?

A few weeks ago, I had a working interview.  Never been involved in anything like that.  Ever.  It was the best day I have had in months.  Ever since leaving my job at the doctor’s office.  I got a chance to prove myself.  And I did!  I proved myself so fucking hard.  I showed that I was a quick learner.  Got the the bases of their EMR system down so fast.  It wasn’t nearly as complicated as the last monster I had to learn.  Given a few more days with it, and some of the particulars of how they sort files, and I would have been rocking the shit out of that database.  I got to walk home (yes, this would have been a job I could have walked to) feeling like I was on top of the world.  They said they would get back with me about whether or not I had gotten the job.  So, I waited.  It had been a few days.  I know how this game is played.  You check in with the company who interviewed you.  Show them that you are eager and wanting to be there.  I called and asked to follow up with the lady who had conducted the interview.  She wasn’t there, but the other person working the desk said she would pass along that I had called after asking for my number.

Satisfied that she would get back with me, and that I had this, I waited.  A couple more days pass.  Nothing.  I call again.  A little nervous.  But it’s been a week.  I figure this will be the last time I’ll have to do this.  I call, and she’s out.  Okay.  They pass me to her voicemail.  I am professional.  State that I’m calling to follow up, see where things are at.  Ask her to call me back.  So many nerves going on.  That whole day.  She never calls back.  Ever.  I’m still waiting.  I was told that I’d hear back.  But nothing.  I worked a whole fucking day there, and nothing!  It was as rude as it is insulting.  Way I figure it, if someone comes in and works a hard day for you, being put to the test of how they can function, then you are owed enough to be called back and told the truth.  That office loved me!  Every woman there (it was almost-exclusively women) said that they hoped to see me back there again, that I’d be working there soon when I left that day.  I made employees and patients smile.  I was at the top of my game.  Sure, I faltered a bit with the phone stuff.  I’m rusty.  So sue me.  But I got my groove back toward the end.  And they wouldn’t even do my the courtesy of a call to tell me no.

I feel like shit, lately.  All the time.  I don’t wake up feeling good.  I don’t go to sleep with it.  I barely remember one day from another anymore.  They all blend together into an incomprehensible mirage of days going by.  But you know, I could live with that.  Really, I could.  Hell, we all get into a rut.  I have no friends in this town anymore.  The last one moved away.  I have no personal life.  Not very attractive and getting less so all the time.  That’s not the thing that really gets to me.  What gets to me is the fact that I’m supposed to be an adult!  I’m supposed to be able to handle this.  I went to college, for fuck’s sake!  That was supposed to open doors!  But no.  I have to go back out to my parents and get money from them for my meds.  I can’t afford anything.  Not my meds.  Not my rent.  Nothing.

Worse still, I’m told that my parents aren’t faring that great, financially.  The old man is looking to retire soon, and I’m hurting that chance.  I’m putting strain on them.  This wasn’t what I wanted!  You think I like this?!  You think I wanted to be in this situation?!  Fuck no!  I wanted to be rocking it.  I wanted to be rocking this degree and doing the adult thing.  And I would have, if I hadn’t left the doctor’s office I worked at.  One stupid mistake.  That’s all it took.  One dumb, simple mistake.  Now, I am fucked.  My resume clearly is poison.  I can’t land interviews.  I can’t land anything.  Even when I am given a chance to prove myself and rock it, that doesn’t mean anything.  Shit, I don’t even get a fucking call back!

Then there is this fucking itch!  You all know the itch that I’m talking about.  It’s driving me nuts!  Same with this fucking heat!  Same with the fact that I can’t even get people who claim to be my friend to hit me back when I try and hit them up to do things.  I am so furious.  My anger is turning into an inferno.  Makes sense that it happens in this heat.  I have a fucking degree, and I can’t even get an interview for entry-level jobs.  It’s gotten to the point where I figure that I might as well go back to retail for a while.  But given some medical problems I have, I can’t work a job on my feet all day.

This is so fucking humiliating.  I’m 27 years old, and I can’t manage my fucking life.  I’m so angry.  My self-loathing has NEVER been as bad as it is right now.  My depression keeps going from bad to worse.  And the only time when I get some reprieve from it and those fucking cowards won’t even call me to tell me that I wasn’t picked.  Just to put my mind at ease.

Death is the only release I’ll ever get.  But it can’t come soon enough.  Men in my family are said to live forever.  I could have a VERY long life ahead of me.  The price of admission isn’t worth it.  Now I just want to jump off a bridge.  Bring an end to a very bad day.  When I’m spoiling Game of Thrones for my mother, I tell her what characters are having a good or bad day.  Way I see it, death is a good end to a bad day.  Because that’s life.  A series of bad days.  With a few good ones sprinkled in just to make sure you never forget.

Until next time, a quote,

“Here’s the thing – life’s an endless series of train-wrecks, with only brief, commercial-like breaks of happiness.” – Deadpool

Peace out,

Maverick

RAB: Weirdest Moments of My Life

So, I have no job right now (a fact that pisses me off more than you can believe, since I am having to survive in this apartment from my parents graces, and apparently I am doing real financial harm to these people.  A fact that hurts like you wouldn’t believe), which means that I have a shit-ton of time.  There is only so much time I can spend filling out applications and putting in resumes.  So I have a lot of time to think.  With that comes rumination on days gone by.  Then some old memories came back to me.  Like the REALLY weird moments in my life.  The ones that get under my skin and just make me think, “did that really just happen?”  So, I thought I would tell you all some of these now.

Our first story comes from when I was a Student Worker at my university library.  That was a fun job.  I got to get to know all sorts of good people, some of whom I still keep in touch with.  Well, one of which.  Bum deal.  In any case, one day we get a complaint at the desk of someone sleeping on the floor in the bathroom.  I’m a giant, so they get me whenever there are problem people that have to be dealt with.  A coworker volunteers to go with me, since he has a phone that can take good video.  Wish I had uploaded that to YouTube.  I’d share it with you all.  We get into the bathroom and there really is a guy sleeping on the floor in one of the stalls.  The stall is locked, so my coworker reaches over with the phone and records our discourse.  He was the weirdest guy!  He wasn’t like drunk or anything.  He was totally coherent as he got up and apologized, going about his day.  Neither my coworker nor myself knew what to make of it.  That day was funny.

Next up is the first night that I was at my current apartment.  I’m chilling at night, and my blinds are open.  It’s a very peaceful night and I am feeling it.  Settling into a new place.  That’s nice.  Anyway, I am looking out the window when I see a woman who literally scared the shit out of me.  She’s so weird!  She’s a black lady, which has no bearing on the weirdness.  Trust me, that’s the most normal part of this.  The thing that caught my attention was her hair!  It’s massive!  She has a fucking lion’s mane!  It’s a massive, must be heavy, (and I’m assuming) wig that is golden blonde and goes all the way down her back.  It’s so huge.  Her hair is a being unto itself.  And this lady has a look on her face like she lives in her own little world.  I see her all the time, and I am still weirded out.  Come to find out, when I’m on the People of Wal-Mart subreddit, there’s a pic of her!  I know someone who is in a viral pic.  Don’t know why, but that makes me feel kind of important.

Then there was the time that I was playing badminton with my aunt and her family.  My former uncle (they got a divorce some years ago) was fun to be around, but he was a pretentious intellectual.  And something of an asshole.  Explains why him and I got along, right?  Well, to be fair, the bulk of our interactions were trading witty barbs.  I was able to keep pace with him.  Played chess with him too.  He was a good opponent.  I thought he was a true master, until I lived with a South Korean guy at college, who repeatedly and without any difficulty kicked my ass at chess in a way so swift that it was amazing.  Anyway, my uncle was studying French.  Sometimes, he would tell us things he was learning about in French.  This night was one such night.  My aunt had apparently grown tired of his rambling.  He was telling us about the new words he had learned.  Now, I have no idea how these are spelled.  My French is beyond rusty.  It’s dead.  Here’s my shitty-ass English translation, “Oof,” “Crapo,” and “Wa.”  Now, my aunt, a pretty witty lady in her own right, decided to put this talk of random French words to rest with one phrase.

If you don’t shut up, I’m going to be the crappo out of wa.  Until you say ‘oof!’

My cousin and I were in stitches.  Random night.  Back when life was fun.

But I’ve saved the best for last.  There was a friend of mine who I had grown up with.  She was one of my first, if not my first true friend.  She was also the first girl I crushed on, but that’s a whole other story.  Anyway, we were estranged for a while.  Then we reconnected.  Now we’re estranged again.  Timing, am I right?  Anyway, during the time we reconnected, I got to know her husband.  He was the only significant other of a lady-friend who actually liked me.  I have been seen as a threat by ALL of the others.  No idea why.  But I digress.  She had a kid with this guy.  I’m sure she’s had more now.  She’s REALLY Catholic.  No idea why a girl as smart as her is, but we all have our blind spots.  In any case, I’m visiting one day, chilling on the couch, when out of nowhere she just whips out her boobs and starts milking herself into a baby bottle.  This came right the fuck out of nowhere, and neither she nor her husband seemed to think it was weird at all to do this right in front of me.  Let me make something clear – I have no problem with women breastfeeding their kids in public.  Really, that doesn’t bother me.  But the woman is milking herself like a damn cow!  This was so weird!  They even talked about it with me.  I decided not to bring up how strange this is and just roll with it.  The term “awkward” doesn’t begin to cover how I felt.

So, those are the weirdest moments in my life that come to mind immediately.  Maybe I’ll have more as I think up some.  Let me know what weird stories you’ve had in the Comments.  Maybe we can keep this going!  That would be fun.  If your story is funny enough, maybe I’ll do another post where I decide to share it.  That could turn into something, if enough people get involved.  Let’s have fun!

Until next time, a quote,

“We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over!” – Aneurin Bevan

Peace out,

Maverick

Bad PR 107: UC Davis and the Pepper-Spraying Video

Let me tell you all about a little something called the Streisand Effect.  It works like this – a long time ago, there was a photographer from some publication who was taking pictures of the California coastline in a piece that was meant to be about erosion.  Most of the rich California celebrities whose property was photographed didn’t care.  As they shouldn’t have.  But one person decided to get their dander up – Barbara Streisand.  She ended up suing the publication for $50 million dollars, with her cause of action being invasion of privacy.  She lost.  No surprise there.  As far as frivolous lawsuits go, that’s a big one.

Before this case, nobody had given two shits about Streisand or her property.  But because she worked so hard to make this picture go away, it ended up becoming very, very popular.  So, by trying to erase something from history, that made it more popular.  Hence the Streisand Effect.  In this day and age, that means that the Internet gravitates toward it.  Now that we’ve defined what it is, let’s look at some other examples of it.

Let’s harken back to the beginning of GamerGate.  It all started when Eron Gjoni made a post on The Zoe Post about his breakup with Zoe Quinn.  It was a long, dull piece, with one part that caught people’s eye – where he talked about her infidelity.  But the reaction was what got people’s attention.  Mundane Matt made a video talking about it, and Quinn issued a copyright strike against it.  That’s what got the ball rolling.  Internet Aristocrat then made a video where he dug a little deeper and found out that one of the people that Quinn was sleeping with was Nathan Grayson, a person who had given her positive coverage in the past, and was even listed in the credits of her “game.” Depression Quest.  Well, that didn’t look good.

The Internet decided to go on a spree of talking about this, because by trying to cover it up, Quinn had made the problem even worse.  What’s more, online forums were censoring discussion of this everywhere.  Reddit, 4chan, Neo-Gaf and other places.  This censorship just made the issue grow even more, until it blew up and became what we know today as GamerGate.  The Streisand Effect blew up right in Zoe Quinn’s face, and she has no one to blame but herself.

This brings us to UC Davis.  I don’t know if you all remember, but at the height of Occupy, there was a sit-in protest at the campus, where a cop was walking back and forth pepper-spraying a bunch of kids who were sitting peacefully on the ground with linked arms.  The video went viral that day and it has been a mark on this guy’s reputation forever.  As he deserves.  That guy is a fucking prick, and the university’s tepid reaction was beyond insulting.

Quite recently, UC Davis has been doing everything they can to get rid of that video, everywhere they can find it.  Take-down notices and legal action has been brought forward.  Some estimates put them at spending roughly $125,000 to try and make this video go away.  What do you think the result was?  You guessed right – it’s more popular than it’s ever been.  In fact, it is now the first thing that comes up on Google when you are typing it in.  The Streisand Effect is all over this, and it is because the dumb-fuck people at UC Davis don’t understand how the Internet works.  Not surprise.  They’re stupid, after all.  Nothing’s better than stupid university types.

The Internet has a VERY short attention span.  GamerGate was the first movement of its kind.  The first hashtag movement that grew so big that it was able to keep the Internet’s attention and become a movement that still exists in some places to this day.  Never before has that happened.  If UC Davis had simply let the video stand and not talk about it, the Internet would have forgotten about it.  But because they are so phenomenally stupid, now it is more popular than ever.  It’s amazing.

So the PR lesson for today is – when you do something stupid, don’t try and cover it up.  Just let it play out, and the Internet will forget about it.  Unless you are running for public office.  Then your ass is grass.  And that rent-a-cop is never getting another job like that again, because that video is going to follow him around for the rest of his life.  Try not pepper-spraying kids on the ground next time, asshole.

Until next time, a quote,

“Stupidity isn’t punishable by death. If it was, there would be a hell of a population drop.”  – Laurell K. Hamilton

Peace out,

Maverick