Tag Archives: rants

Change of Mind

Recently my thinking on an issue has evolved, and I thought I would share it here. It’s semi-political, in a way, but relatively non-partisan. It has to do with how celebrities are treated, whether they are in the entertainment industry or well known political peeps or whomever.

In the past, I basically dgaffed. My view was that, for movie stars especially, they became famous by seeking the spotlight, so live by the sword, die by the sword. I had no patience for their bitching about the paparazzi. The exception was Princess Diana, but, still, was it a photographer’s fault her chauffeur drove like a maniac?

That was a long time ago, and before celebs were on twitter along with their stalkers. Same for politicians, etc. It’s really not a solution to say “get off social media.” I can, since I don’t actually have a writing career. But a politician can’t. An established author must have an online presence. Actors are probably told the same. Etc.

They are not only relentlessly mocked and harassed, but also impersonated to an insane degree. This goes far beyond the annoyance of having some shutterbug snap a photo when they’re trying to relax at a resort.

The other day a singer I follow on Twitter, Rosanne Cash, had her entire account recopied word for word, photo for photo. That account then followed me. My first reaction was hey neato Rosanne follows me now! But I looked more closely and figured out it was a fake. I reported it, and Twitter deleted it.

Why do people do that? To begin setting up scams. Most likely after fake-Rosanne amassed enough followers she’d begin flirting with some men, tell them she wanted to chat offline, and hit them up for money for whatever thing. They’d send money by PayPal and she’d disappear.

My reporting fake-Rosanne will probably accomplish nothing. She’ll try again. She’ll choose a different celeb. I reported another fake account a while back and it too was deleted. Twitter does take action ~ it also will get rid of those awful antisemitic Q accounts too if you report them. But there are so many that it’s hopeless.

I feel sorry for celebs now. Some actors like Scarlett Johansson are victimized by “deepfake porn,” videos that make it seem like they are really acting in porn movies. The technology is so good that these creeps can superimpose faces on other women’s bodies and apparently you can’t tell the difference. No one should have to put up with that in the name of “free speech.”

It’s all because of this idiotic idea that we should be able to access the internet anonymously and thus be completely unaccountable for our behavior. Get TOS’d? No problem. Make a new anon gmail and begin again. I’ve said before that I’m against anonymous speech and there are only more and more reasons piling up why it’s a bad thing. My view is we should have one ID, from say a fingerprint, that follows us everywhere online, no escape from our words and behavior.

No worries, you can still be a creepy troll… but everyone will know who you are right away. The nasty stalkers will still be able to dog their fave celebs and politicians all over Twitter in the name of free speech, and they can still be obnoxious and crude in the comments on Fox News, but we will know who they are and where they are the second they hit send. That will most likely make a lot of these jerks have second thoughts about blurting out their vile spew. Neither “little people” nor stars should have to put up with this continual harassment.

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FPQ7: Censorship [rant!]

This week Fandango asks…

โ€œDo you believe that social media sites should be able to censor what people post on their sites and ban content creators from posting? Or do you consider such actions to be a violation of freedom of speech, which is guaranteed as a right in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?โ€

First, let’s talk about the First Amendment. This right guarantees us speech (mostly) free from governmental interference. People are very often confused about this point. The POTUS, much as he may wish to, cannot tell us what to say on our blogs. But our blog platform host, along with our IP, has terms and conditions that we agreed to when we signed up. That’s not the gov’t, and they can enforce their rules, whether against hate speech, however defined, or whatever other thing.

And any individual can ban anyone from comments. I personally have a long list of blocked IPs. These are people who have tried to post shitty comments or spam here and I have censored them. I absolutely have a right to do that. I don’t owe these jerks the right to ruin my convos; they can get their own free blogs. I have blocked loads of people on Twitter too ~ they can’t comment on my tweets because they can’t even view them. When I had a Facebook account, I blocked annoying sorts there all the time, as sensible people do.

Anyway, now we’ve established that it isn’t a violation of our right to free speech for social media sites to ban content. But the question remains: should they? Should the admins police bullies and creeps or let us duke it out among ourselves?

My opinion is that the site admins not only should police content, but they should be much more heavy-handed about it than they are now. We can’t duke it out because the playing field is unbalanced. If I’m a woman posting under my real name, and locatable in meatspace, and an army of trolls attacks me, how am I supposed to fight that? Normal people give up, delete their accounts to protect themselves, and the trolls win. That’s fundamentally unfair… and it happens constantly because anonymous accounts are permitted everywhere.

Let’s take Facebook, which I have deleted. There was a time when FB was vigilant in forcing people to use their real names and identities ~ sure, some fakers snuck through, always happens. But it was a better place then. There wasn’t the massive, continual bullying and trolling, or the fake political bots. But FB caved to pressure from supposed victim groups and allowed people to use any name. To me, that began their great downfall. Billions of users… where to even start sorting that out? And they don’t want to anyway since it’s all potential revenue for ads.

Well, that’s the thing. Right? These sites don’t really want to stop any of this drama because it generates more clicks and excitement than a bunch of people talking about their lunch, which is how we writers initially used Twitter when it was 140 chars and no pics. But the sites have to pretend to care now. Since everyone hates Milo and his brand has died, he was an easy target to dump. Wink wink, nod nod, we’re gonna crack down on hate speech. Yeah, right. And in the meantime look for any Ann Coulter thread… Oh not her. She brings in the bucks. (Not alone, mind. She spews and a fuckton of her haters scream back. It’s a formula. Who wins? Advertisers.)

Back to Facebook. They’re more popular than ever, even though their stock has sunk and new scandals come out weekly now about how they’ve misused people’s data and helped to subvert our elections by allowing the bots to flood Instagram, etc. Normal users don’t care. They just shrug it off. Must keep chatting with friends. Must keep sharing photos. There’s no other way to stay in contact with peeps if I give up messenger. Etc. They’ve been completely brainwashed by the Zuckerborg.

Facebook knows this, so they have very little motivation to actually do anything about the “hate speech.” It’s all smoke and mirrors. And the other social media sites follow suit and don’t shoot themselves in the foot to “clean up” and lose clicks and ad revenue by throwing off people who generate buzz.

Yes, I think they should. No, it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights as long as everyone is treated fairly according to the T&Cs we all agreed to. But it’s not going to happen. The bullying and hate will continue and even get worse as the 2020 election ramps up… starting from the top and oozing on down. Maybe if Twitter banned the POTUS for bullying, that would send a strong message.

A Sticky Wicket

The lovely Crushed Caramel tagged me with some questions and says I’m allowed to choose whichever ones I want to answer, which is very kind.

1.Which is the most fun vacation you have had?

– Vacations weren’t fun for me until I stopped taking them with parents and husbands. Unfortunately that was rather late in life. I’ve had two nice trips with my eldest daughter, one to Seattle and one to Portland (Oregon). My budget doesn’t allow for lavish travels, but perhaps I’ll be able to do a little more someday. Honestly, I really do enjoy the “staycation,” especially if I do something fun like a visit a local museum. Yes, I love museums! ๐Ÿ˜€

2. Do you love summers or winter?

– Summers! I can’t bear chilly weather at all. ๐Ÿฅถ

3. How do you plan to fit blogging in with your holiday festivities?

– Lol, festivities. Somehow I think I’ll manage. ๐Ÿ˜‚

4. Have you started thinking of changes that you want to make in your life in 2019?

– Yes, actually. As usual, I plan to exercise more… at this point any would be more, so that’s a positive. And I’m going to work harder on my writing cuz it brings me great joy, more than other things I’ve tried, such as seeing more movies.

5. Was there a special day in your life that you remember very fondly?

– I know I should say the days my girls were born, but those days were painful as well as joyful, so I’m gonna say the day I met Gatsby (my cat)! ๐Ÿฑโค๏ธ

6. Do you have a favourite tipple?

– Wot’s this, a drink? I mostly drink hot black tea flavored with orange and I put milk in it.

7. Do you keep a diary? Either a diary with all your appointments and dates to remember, or a diary which you note your thoughts or descriptions of how each day has been?

– I let google keep the appointments, but I do have the diary too. It’s like this blog but all rants. Rantier rants. The rantiest.

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I seem to be in a bit of a pickle. I have two more draft poasts regarding questions (not to mention all my draft rants). One says see Kristian’s thing linked to Sedaka poast ~ that seems clear enough. The other is a giant glob of mixed questions with no reference or link regarding a bucket list and writing and all kinds of unrelated stuffs . Wot’s that? Where did it come from? HALP!

Technically speaking… [FPQ #6]

This weekโ€™s provocative question came up when I read an article that talked about how the extent that Russia used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the Brexit vote in Great Britain was more extensive than what was originally thought and that such disinformation and misinformation on social media sites continues almost unabated to this day.

With that in mind, hereโ€™s this weekโ€™s provocative question.

โ€œIs technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?โ€

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

I am wavering on this week’s question, which is what makes it so provocative, I suppose.

On the one hand, technology has done amazingly wonderful things for the world. We’re able to grow more food, educate more people, cure more diseases, prevent more deaths in childbirth, respond faster in emergencies, etc. And we continue to advance exponentially in so many areas of science and medicine and engineering.

On the other hand, we’re as shitty toward our fellow humans, animals, and the planet we all live on as we’ve ever been. And now we can use technology to facilitate our terribleness. Instead of simply mocking some poor soul in a school hallway, we use social media to torment him 24/7 until he commits suicide. Sick people upload vids of themselves torturing animals for the amusement of other sickos around the world. And we all have so many gadgets and chargers and crap filling our lives, and we must have the latest versions, tossing the previous ones into the ever-expanding trash heap covering our earth and oceans.

Blech! ๐Ÿคฎ

I haven’t even touched the part about our elections and the Rooskies and the hot new cold war and how our life spans are declining from sitting on our asses texting all day and how Spectrum has the goddamn nerve to increase my price yet again after my price increase last year when they switched me to “high speed” for people who game on multiple TV’s when I’m just a single person who doesn’t game on any device and singles are always being financially penalized for multi-person households who hog all the resources and pollute up the planet but at least Edison sends me a report card every month saying good job which is worth fuck all but hey.

What was this poast about again? Oh. It’s from Fandango. We hate Trump! Hells to the yeah! What do I win? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Monday Meandering

It was bothering me that my full-size bitmojis appeared on my iPhone reader as humongous pictures dropping off the sides of the screen. Other bloggers’ pics do the same, btw ~ not photographs, which seem to know how to behave themselves, but graphics grabbed from the web, which do not. Anyway, I’ve been resizing mine to medium in the app but haven’t noticed a satisfactory difference, so that’s why I went down to thumbnail on this one. It just bugs me when pics are off. Now the thumbnail will look weird when I view my blog on the web… sigh. ๐Ÿ˜œ

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I finally figured out why my YouTube vids weren’t previewing properly ~ when I take the link from the YouTube app, it’s a shortlink. I then have to paste it in a browser to get a real link that creates a preview. What a royal pain in the ass. Is there any more annoying problem in the world today, I ask you? Oh, for the halcyon daze of olde when we didn’t have the convenience of apps to bitch about and had to trudge 5 miles in the cybersnow every time we wanted to copypasta any damn thing. ๐Ÿ™„

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I was just about to stop at Target after work on Friday night to buy a space heater when I remembered I had one. And it wasn’t hidden away in a closet ~ it’s right next to the TV cabinet. This is what happens when the unused spaces in your brain get old and frozen. ๐Ÿฅถ

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My MO in Blogland is not to keep score cuz that’s just annoying and frustrating. I follow around 700 blogs and only 500 or so follow me. But who is MO anyway and why am I letting him set precedent? This I began to wonder today as I unfollowed a few bloggers in my feed who never like any of my poasts. Pffft.

To each their own, but if all a blogger does it repost old stuff, and not interact with me, I’m going to be faster with the unfollow click. I mean, I go to the trouble of writing fresh new boring crap for you guys every single day! I don’t want my feed filled with a parade of moldy recyclables. If I see I’ve already hearted it… grrrr!

Seriously one guy reposts his half-dozen sensual love letters to his “goddess” every night and I’m just BARF ALREADY! Write something new to her, dude. Geez. ๐Ÿคฎ

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I just looked up the definition of cartoon cuz I wasn’t sure what counted. Obviously the shows we used to watch on Saturday morning, but comic strips too? Yup. And movies like Frozen? Yup. And those quickie caricatures? Yup. Also, the word comes from Italian, carta (paper), if anyone cares. First known usage was in 1671, as in a preparatory design. You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ˜œ

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I’m on the Nextdoor app to keep track of local doings. I was motivated to download it when the OCRegister went to a pay site. I miss the OCR, gotta admit, but I’m not gonna pay. I have no paid subscriptions to anything. Nextdoor is sometimes helpful/interesting, but Twitter is actually more on top of breaking emergencies. Of course there are trolls and idiots and assholes on ND because it is social media. People won’t follow rules and simply must jabber on about “the wall” and whatever other stupid BS pops into their heads. ๐Ÿคฌ

Naturally there are the sea lion men, barking questions at women, only to tell them that their opinions are invalid. I ran into one of these jerks this weekend who told me I can’t have an opinion on my city after “only” living here 5 years when he’s been here 25. I muted him. It’s too bad they are only mutes and not blocks like Twitter. I would prefer it if he was not able to see and/or reply to me again. Same goes for anyone I mute in the future.

This is one of the things that makes it hard for women to express themselves online (not to mention in meatspace obviously). You have to constantly worry about angering some wacko man, especially if he’s local. Who even knows what might set some lunatic off into a rage? Idk if this guy is totally fine or a nutball, but I got a bad vibe, and so I let him have the last word because I see from other threads that it’s important to him. And I didn’t insult him like another woman did; I just quietly faded away. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m scared of men who seem trollish and unhinged. We read stories all the time about women being stalked and attacked by nutjobs. And crazy men are everywhere. We’re never safe. ๐Ÿ˜ข

No, I’m not being overly dramatic. Just go look up the statistics about violence against women. This is another reason why I quit using dating sites. Besides all the benignly obnoxious jerks and liars and creeps, there are rapists and con men and murderers lurking there. It’s documented. And when some rando gets angry because you reject him after chatting, how do you know which group he falls into?

Not worth the stress.

Selfish Opinion Week [SOW]

Poast yours now! Hurry, before the special coupon expires! ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s interesting how many of us in this corner of Blogville have given opinions in the past few days about the nature of blogging itself, either how they’ll need to cut back a bit because of time constraints (me and a few others) and/or a general statement regarding what they like or dislike about reading blogs. I must apologize in being remiss for not stating some prefs. You know I haz them. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

On a side note, this makes me think about how many millions of blogs there are with loosely connected communities, united by various themes, and how they periodically must engage in these discussions also. If there’s life on other planets, maybe they have blogs too… something to ponder. Are they wondering about us, me in particular? I bet they might be…

Anyway, during these meta convos, it’s apparent to me how many bloggers not only don’t use the phone app (which must be available for laptops too), but also are reading poasts via email. I would literally die if all your poasts and notifications poured into my email, even a dedicated email. How could I possibly deal with that deluge? The very idea makes me dizzy.

Before I used the phone app, I read poasts via the WP reader and that was a million times better than emailed poasts (which I never got because eww). But now I’m app-only because of the “save” feature and the ease of reading/writing. I’ve set up a search list for my dozen or so favorite prompters since sometimes there are app gaps. I really recommend that bloggers at least try these newfangled ideas instead of deleting blogs from their followed list for “posting too much.” ๐Ÿ™„

Naturally, that’s only a rec, and everyone is free to ignore it. Now, onto some other preferences that peeps will ignore. Why the hell not? It’s Selfish Opinion Week and I am getting in on the action, so to speak. Er write. Not targeting anyone in particular, just people who do the things. ๐Ÿ˜‚

1. Teaser blogs. You know who you are. You allow only a first line or snippet of your poast to appear in the reader, so we have to click through. Annoying as f*ck. Not only that, but there are a few who even after that require further clickage to another site to read the rest of the article. What site even? Welp, we won’t know until we get there. Omg HATE! It might be another blog or a Buzzfeed article or… whatever. No, I am not opposed to bloggers making money from their writing via ads, but do it in a way that doesn’t inconvenience ME. Cuz when I am reading your poast, at that point it is all about me, not you. (PS, I don’t click through. Will not. Unless it’s about kitties. Maybe. ๐Ÿฑ)

2. Photo mania. I like a couple pics in a poast. I usually put one, maybe two. I no longer do the photo prompts and I’m not talking about those ~ I’m talking about a regular essay, such as this one, but with PHOTOS randomly shoveled in throughout. Whyyy? They make the poast take forever to load and sometimes the app simply crashes. Only a few of you do this, so it’s not an enormous problem, but still. It’s SOW, and I’ve got a double coupon right here. Two for the price of one, neener!

That’s all. As you were.

Open/Shut Case [bit ranty]

New prompt from Mindlovemisery. Open or shut…

“What are you open to and what are you shut to?

Some people are open to most things and some are very closed, or shut to anything that challenges their every day.”

This is a good question. I’m loving these thinky prompts, as opposed to the favorite color type ones.

I like to be challenged intellectually. I’m open to new ideas about philosophy, psychology, nutrition, aging, writing, etc. I love new games and quizzes. Enjoy discovering new aspects of my cranky old personality. Now, having said this, I’m not some naive lulu who’s going to soak up the next conspiracy theory that comes along, so don’t bother. ๐Ÿ™„

What I’m not open to. Everything else. No really. I’m old and tired and I’m achy and migrainey. I know what I like and don’t like. I don’t need someone to tell me to try the thing that makes them happy, whatever it is. This is what annoys me so much about people. My cat, in contrast, doesn’t say hey come to the window and watch this ant. He doesn’t give a shit if I see the ant; he’s thrilled out of his mind to have the ant all to himself. ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿœ

But people? Omgawd. They have to share things. Taste my pasta! Listen to this song! Watch this vid! Read this book! Worship my gods! Vote for my liars!! Suck my d***! Sorry. Got carried away there. But you get the point. People simply must evangelize at you. Look at that poor guy who was just killed trying to introduce Jesus to some Indians. “No, you go meet him first!” (Stole the joke. I will do that, fair warning.)

To sum up, at this stage in my life: open mind, closed heart.

Dare to Share [SYW]

Sparks has some new Share Your World questions for us…

1. If your five year old self woke up in your current body, what would happen, what would you say?

– What’s this kitty ๐Ÿฑ doing here? I thought we loved puppies! Where’s the snow? Why is the ocean on that side?

2. What is a relationship deal breaker for you?ย Whether you are talking about a romantic one, a friendship, or a related to sort of relationship?

– I don’t have dealbreakers for my children; I will stand by them no matter what. I’m not in touch with other relatives. As far as friends, dealbreakers include racism, disloyalty, criminality, etc. For a romantic partner, the friend reqs would apply as well as a lot more. Romance dealbreakers include: smoking, lying, non-monogamy, disliking cats, allergic to cats, narcissism, selfishness, insanity, lack of mutual attraction, and just being an all-around stupid fucking idiot without regard for other people and animals. And BMW drivers, gahhh!

3. Is there something out there, a thought, an idea, a current event, or a fear that you find deeply unsettling?

– Rightwingism that wants to turn this country into some kind of whites-only women-as-incubators blond Jesusland.

4. If you were arrested with no explanation, what would your friends and family assume you had done?

– Killed a man. But he had it comin’!

5. What were you grateful for this week?ย  Something that brought some joy into your world?

– My wonderful daughters, as always. โค๏ธโค๏ธ

Black Friday [pretty ranty]

Anyone else find it ridonkulous that the day after Thanksgiving has now been elevated into a national go into (more) debt day such that “Black Friday” is pre-marked on our calendars and we’re sent auto-reminders on our phones? Go shopping! Deals are waiting! Pssst, buy something already, wouldja!

Fucksake. Idk about the rest of the world, but Americans don’t need any prompting to be mindless consumers and spend money they don’t have. Do you ever think about the overwhelming amount of stuff we throw into the trash because we neeeeed new things? We need them. The ads tell us we do, so it must be true. I like to dump stuff, but I have been trying not to replace everything I toss.

What’s funny is that these dubious deals will still be available. All weekend. Next week, through December, and don’t forget the after-Christmas sales! If you don’t rush out today to trample over your neighbors to grab a cheap iPad… there will be another opportunity.

I confess I am spending money today, but it’s on car maintenance. Today was a super convenient day for me to make an appointment, which I knew was going to take several hours, because I have nothing else going on. I’m certainly not going near the maul afterwards. Gahhh!

It’s true I bought myself some emotional insurance by shopping last Sunday and Wednesday afternoon, just a little bit, but enough to feel like I got my retail therapy done for the holidays. Planning ahead! But even if I hadn’t, I still wouldn’t go out there today.

Speaking of Black Friday, check out this melody

https://youtu.be/92zMMZWPyGE

Sunday at the Maul [rantish]

Yesterday, after having a fabulous pizza lunch with my dear friend at a lovely restaurant literally a few steps from my apartment, I had the bright idea to go shopping at South Coast Plaza. Let me explain! I reasoned that all the exciting deals would be starting on dreadful Black Friday, so I could browse in peace the weekend prior to the madness.

Wrong! Wrongety wrong wrong wrong. I can admit when I’m wrong, and man I was wrong with a side helping of wrongola.

But once I was there and had been driving around for 15 minutes looking for parking, I wasn’t about to change my mind and give up. Nope. At first, I searched the lanes methodically, banking on my good parking karma as a considerate driver, but that got me nowhere, so then I cruised around haphazardly until I found an empty space, which happened to be at the butt-end of Saks, but hey… good exercise, amirite?

After entering the maul itself, I made a beeline (whatever that is) for the spot all the way on the opposite side where I had a vague memory my favorite baby store Gymboree used to be located. Yay, it was still there! Boo, it didn’t have anything I liked. But Baby Gap was right next door, hurrah! They had a super cute outfit! But no matching booties. What? Can’t buy a footless baby outfit sans matching sox! The horror.

I readjusted my bearings to the shambles of the reality of the maul and the fact that I’d have to navigate it. Good gawd it was stuffed with people! So many people. There was a snow house dealio, so naturally all the people with kids needed to pose around there. It was too crowded for me to see if a Santa lurked within. People without kids were also posing. Selfie time! Not me, obviously. Ever since I quit Facebook and Instagram, I’m amazed at how few selfies and pics of food I actually need.

I made a silent vow: I would not leave the maul sans my holiday gifts. No way was I enduring this torture without a payoff. I didn’t need that many, mostly just the baby stuff. Eventually, I found it at Macy’s, which was having the most incredible pre-sale sales, even for those of us lucky enough not to be burdened with the misfortune of having a Macy’s credit card (world’s worst T&C’s).

I was going to regale y’all with the side story of how I managed to find the ONE THING not on sale at Macy’s: a black bra. But this poast is already so long no one in their right mind is going to read it. Not to mention I have two prompt words left here on my Post-It and I need to use them, but they don’t go with a bra at all.

On the way out, I just happened to pass the jewelry department and discovered that some of their sterling silver was 75% off. Now, this was just crazy! I began to look at the earrings and found a pair with created opals. I used to be turned off by the idea of “fake” stones, but now I think they’re not only better deals than genuine stones but more ethical purchases besides. Anyway, these lil opals were soooo colorful and sparkly, and now only $10! So, I bought myself a treat. I don’t consider a bra a treat. That’s more like… tires.

Okay then. Done with the maul for another year or 10. So much nicer to order online or go to cute little shops that are out of the mainstream.