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Names in Lights in Green

there’s a Version of the Internet that is fondly remembered by all who were a part of it. This Internet was the mid-90s to maybe 2001 or 2002, basically everything before Facebook and eBay. that time online was strange because everybody knew that it was cool but had no clue what it actually was. then capitalism came along.

driving around, i listen to the radio. today the DJ made a comment about buying vinyl and I just cringed; I’ve nothing against vinyl records or collecting them, but the simple fact is that listening to topics that surround consuming or purchases or advertising has become simply exhausting. So much of our day-to-day conversation in America is about money. People who don’t know anything about sports still know athletes make a shit-ton of money.

when I was growing up I used to hate the store Banana Republic, joking that they were the type of place that would charge just to breathe their air. Online, this dystopian idea of someone capitalizing on simply existing is true: you can’t click a link without somebody out there making a dime. the internet sucks now and it’s because capitalism has been let loose to consume anything meaningful in the name of profit.

16:00 / 22 March 2019
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Barking at the Birds

there was a bit on John Oliver last week about how it’s an unfortunate reality that the president is legitimately funny—that he does shit like call Tim Cook by the name Apple. and we may live in a hellscape of nationwide nervous breakdowns induced by late-stage capitalism and internet memes, but we also get to live in a time when the President of the United States of America is talking shit about a dead man—who many consider to be An American Hero—on national TV. like this shit is hilarious.

I’m already sick of Election 2020, because the only good scenario (Bernie) remains a long-shot, and the Time of Dipshit Thinkpieces is upon us all: the year before an election when unsubstantiated and/or preposterous claims can be made that will all be forgotten once a winner is declared in 20 goddamn months.

Trump has a better chance at re-election than I think most people think, which would be about as funny as him taking a dead John McCain to task if it wasn’t so goddamned sad.

13:30 / 20 March 2019
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bitter words

on the TV listings for a visited set, Punk: A Revolution In Four Parts. punk wasn’t really a revolution, though. neither were the Beatles. paradigm shifts in arts and culture, perhaps, but no revolution. except, perhaps, in the marketplace.

this is a great victory of capitalism: the appropriation of language with actual meaning into being used as market-based metaphors. I saw this in the corporate world plenty, with company-wide e-mails about being In The Trenches sent out; corporate drones seeing themselves as soldiers in literally the least battle-like situation imaginable.

using art for advertising, linguistics for marketing; it’s all an unending battle between the truth of our humanity and those that would purge it to make a dollar.

15:00 / 10 March 2019
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Kiss The Tank

i’m fascinated by livestreaming, and other modern technologies, and while i play with their potential from time to time, there’s a certain line in the sand of using these corporations as a means of expression; they control all the opportunity of certain types of digital publishing. using Facebook comes with the wink and nod, accepting it’s some kind of Necessary Evil.

commerce vs art; the fine line of Corporate Acceptability is subjective. painters use Brand Name pigments, same with the musician and their instrument. to create is to inherently use ‘the system’ and so the intentions of the artist get as much, if not more, attention as the work.

this seems different, though. this isn’t the debut of the personal camera; when you bought a roll of film, Kodak didn’t ask for your personal information and shopping history. the amount to which these companies are using humans as a resource will only be measured in the future when there are metrics for such things.

16:30 / 9 March 2019
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“scale rarely seen”

a US Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested for planned domestic attacks on left-leaning politicians and mainstream journalists. stories like this, sadly, can be expected at this point. (if not expected, then perhaps unsurprising if and when they do pop up.)

what got me about the article, though, was some phrasing:

Christopher Hasson intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”, according to a filing to federal court in Maryland. Law enforcement officers seized 15 guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition from his home.

Gun Violence in America has reached the point of frequency where there are levels. the frequency of mass shootings is at a point we’re spending time sub-categorizing them instead of dealing with the problem.

“…scale rarely seen…”. unreal.

22:00 / 20 February 2019
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(Trump is not The Problem)

nothing is going to annoy me more than liberals trying to convince me that not voting for Warren or Harris on 2020 is somehow sexist. it’s about politics, and it’s Bernie or Bust. it was in 2016, it is now. the political position of “incremental change” is ideologically weak and fundamentally stupid. start with passion, with a goal, and eventually it will get compromised down to change. start with weakness and you’re already beaten.

Warren is a capitalist and Harris a cop. decisive and uncompromising action is needed and there’s really nothing left to be said about it.

09:00 / 20 February 2019
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the homey office

the return of the cubicle; i can’t wait to see who re-makes Office Space for 21st century, burned-out-on-start-up culture.

somebody once told me, “time is a flat circle.” all of these headlines prove it. what was old is new again. what was new has lasted long enough for dissatisfaction to mount, disillusionment to set in. it’s not the solutions that are ineffective, it’s that the question is the problem.

“How can we make work more like your home life?”

the push for offices to be inviting but also increase productivity, the constant connection that demands constant attention, the lifestyle obsession that comes with corporate culture—especially in tech—is manipulative at best and inhuman when it comes down to how much of life they’re trying to appropriate for how little return people are getting

08:15 / 12 February 2019
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“For The People”

man say what you will about the government shutting down or the endless bullshit that is the democrats trying to pin the election of Trump on Russia,1 but I’ve found this administration quite refreshing.

yes, Trump lies—but what he lies about often has to do with things that affect his self-image. (that, or it’s some insane escalation to distract from whatever the media is covering about him.) what’s interesting, though, are the things he tells the truth about.

nobody seemed to bat an eye when he said the most honest thing of the 2016 election—claiming he could buy anyone on the stage. it’s such a potent move, to just lay bare the corrupt nature of politics in modern America. and now, when he’s up there talking shit about one people or another, he’s doing what most politicans wouldn’t dare: openly admitting how little he gives a fuck about the people he supposedly represents.

it’s happened on both sides before—in recent memory with Hillary and Romney—when a recording is leaked and the world sees what these elitist fucks really think.2 Trump was elected by running on how corrupt the institution had become and he hasn’t really stopped with that. For all the merciless terror he’s waging on just about every aspect of American life, he’s at least being honest about his priorities.

      Notes
  • This entire Russiagate thing is getting out of hand. This is a Wired editor somehow trying to propagate that Bernie Sanders is a Russian agent who was just trying to fuck with Hillary in 2016. The neoliberal defense is getting to Qanon levels of delusion.
  • This year it’s been the Davos meetings where Tony Blair somehow laughs about he and W fucking up the world

17:00 / 27 January 2019
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Very Un-Dude

There’s a clip floating around of Jeff Bridges reprising his role as The Dude for an unspecified ad to run on Super Bowl Sunday. If this is, indeed, a promotion for a sequel to The Big Lebowski, color me stoked.

However, if it’s in the vein of Honda and Google making ‘sequels’ to beloved movies (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone, respectively) then all I can say is Fuck off and die everyone. Reboots and sequels for entertainment from the 80s and 90s are bad enough; must advertising agencies tarnish the memories of these great works for some cash grab disguised as sentiment?

I’ll wait until game day for the reveal but this smells like capitalism/bullshit to me.

15:30 / 24 January 2019
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Everything In Pieces

Anecdotes that begin with Back in my day… are usually a sign of some disgruntled notion, unable to cope with change. Every generation keeps them until nobody cares to remember anymore. The shift we’re encountering now is more than just the natural change of time, but an entire reformation of human experience. Most of it, anyway.

And there’s plenty that won’t be missed, fair or unfair, it’s simply the way things are.

I do wish that we’d not sacrifice our humanity for mindless immediate circumstances. Sitting in Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, I am thinking about the way these things used to be—airports, that is. Not long ago they were these fantastic buildings of sadness and joy, reunions and separations. Waiting at the gate, kids would burst from the doorways into the arms of waiting grandparents, suited businessmen into the arms of their family after a trip, soldiers and their spouses finally being able to feel one another after a tour overseas.

The amount to which the 9/11 attacks changed America—or, perhaps, just revealed its true and inhuman nature—is unparalleled in the modern world. Not even twenty years later and barely a facade of decency is left in this country, with consumerism and individualism running rampant as wars remain waged overseas for what remains an unknown reason.

I feel like the airports were a prelude to everything else; the security concerns unquestionably took precedent over any function the airport had as an aspect of American society and human civilization. Our nature had officially shifted from creating functional habitats that best suited people to creating secure environments for a subset, be they ticketed passengers in an airport or employees at a tech giant.

Not many Americans, percentage-wise, lost anything on 9/11. But in its wake we’ve all lost a notion of ourselves, a generation now raised entirely on a screen with the resonance of reality and sensory experiences losing all relevance (less they can be tagged in a photo).

I don’t know. It’s just sad.

10:00 / 23 January 2019
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