Ranting To Feel Better

(This entry will be stupid-long. I’d advise just skipping it. I just need to let some stuff out…)

Even when I don’t have the oomph to get on Facebook to socialize or even browse to see what my friends have been up to, I’ll still often open up my Twitter app so I can (in theory) stay on top of current events – not only for our country, but all parts of the world. Sure, you’ll be able to find links to useful articles, and random people posting random actual facts here and there – but generally, Twitter, when used for more than just talking with friends, is probably one of the most vile, dishonest, spin-filled, shit-smeared corners of the internet. πŸ˜’ And when political figures or talking heads are being honest, they’re saying some of the most awful things that usually never even enter people’s thoughts – let alone get spoken out loud or typed into a tweet for the entire world to hear. 😟

The foolish, but well-intentioned folks among us… we inevitably end up replying to much of that garbage, thinking, or at least hoping, that our words will make people stop and truly think about what they are reading, believing, and supporting. In real life conversations, face to face with other humans, you can do that sort of thing and it works. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Conversation. 😐 Agreeing, disagreeing, offering opinions, hearing otherΒ people’s opinions, using logic in a friendly but useful debate of a topic, and even the potential for people to change how they think based on new information given to them. But the “I have the microphone so you will listen to every damn word that I have to say!” nature of Twitter, combined with anonymity and physical distance between people in any given conversation – it changes the way the humans act, preventing useful conversation and instead providing an echo chamber that most people use to “confirm” that they’re always 100% right and that anyone who says anything otherwise is an asshole. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

So it’s no surprise that when anyone and everyone can say and do whatever they want, you’re going to see things said and done there that you’d never experience in your normal, everyday “real life” interactions with people. 😟 And yes, I know that your experience on Twitter will be heavily influenced by the people that you choose to follow… but you’d think, you know, that following the President of The United States would be something that could (or should) benefit anyone living in the United States. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But my gosh… Donald Trump is one of the biggest shit-posters on the platform, and it’s honestly hard to tell if it’s “by design” or if he’s just truly “like that” and thinks that there’s nothing wrong with it.

I’m not even going to try to cover his individual tweets in detail, but jump over there yourself and just take a look at the last two or three weeks of his tweets. Then remind yourself that, yes, these are official statements from the current President of the USA. 😧😒 Lying, bragging, gas-lighting, blatant ignorance, projecting, supporting “enemies” of the USA while belittling our allies, desperation to be loved / respected – especially by dictators, spreading murder conspiracies, various levels of racism, live tweeting TV shows that he hates and always claims not to watch, retweeting people at random for simply praising him – even when those people have racist ties, claiming credit for everything good (whether he was responsible or not) while always shifting blame for the bad things, mixed messaging (possibly just confusion or ignorance) regarding military, trade, or just general foreign relations… it just goes on, and on, and on, and on… 😞

So it’s quite safe to say that following the current US President on Twitter is not comforting or reassuring. πŸ™„ Because I’ll see people that appear to believe his lies, that trust his words, and I want to help those people open their eyes. Because for me, and many people like me, it’s not even that we’re asking anyone to “switch sides” but to just recognize when bullshit is bullshit, so there will be at least a few less suckers in the world. One obvious problem, especially for the folks who championed him from the beginning, is that they’re “all in” at this point. They have to support everything he says or does, because if they don’t – that means they’d be admitting in public that they may have been wrong about him. And of allΒ of the traits of Trump’s “hardcore” base, admitting fault, admitting mistakes, admitting being wrong… just like Trump himself… it’s something they can’t allow themselves to do. 😠

So when you see Trump tweet about handing out tens of billions of dollars in welfare to farmers because China will no longer buy their products due to the Trump tariffs… when he says how big of a “win” that is for the American people – and you see his devoted followers cheering, praising him, and echoing those claims – you know that they know it’s a load of horse shit, but they’re all in… and that’s that. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I can’t even tell you how many people responded positively to the 800 point drop in the stock market today, saying it’s all just part of his plan as the master negotiator and businessman that he is. 🀨

It’s truly Bizarro World over there most of the time. 😳 But I digress… finally… 😏

It’s the same reason that I’ve dipped out of Twitter and stopped following most political and news based accounts before. The original intent upon following them was to stay informed, to see that the adults have everything under control, and to get a sense of security that even though the world often seems fucked – our country is in good hands and there’s nothing to worry about. 😬 Obviously (yet again) that’s not the vibe that I’m getting from my Twitter experience. And I can admit, I’m a dumbass for continuing to use the site for as long as I have – in a way that almost guarantees anxiety, disbelief, and lack of faith in humanity. πŸ˜πŸ˜‘ So next time that I’m over there, as I browse my feed, I’ll be doing away with anything or anyone that makes the experience more bad than good.

As for “staying informed” about current events… Google News is actually a great place to get the articles and facts that matter, you can select what topics you want (or don’t want) to see, and they can even provide a surprising amount of local news content. (Somewhat surprising for the rural-ish area in which I currently live.) But as I’ve mentioned around here more than a few times… I’m already seeing way more negative than positive things in the world directly around me, my friends, and my family… πŸ₯Ί and how stupid would it be for me to continue subjecting myself to even more of that feeling on a shit-posting site, just in the hopes of getting the occasional reassurance that things don’t suck as much as it feels like like they do. πŸ˜’πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

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Don’t Try To Distract Me With Facts

For someone who likes observing the humans and the way they act and treat each other, Twitter has been quite the place to be recently. And like I mentioned to a couple other people I know… I realize that Twitter isn’t an accurate representation of the entire population of humans, but even with that understanding it’s still difficult for me to see so many people who operate so differently than I think people should.

Mainly what I’m talking about is people’s tendency to find a controversy, pick a side, jump to a conclusion that isn’t based in fact, logic, or critical thinking – and then scream and shout at other people who don’t share the exact same position as they do. Granted, I’m not exactly silent on a lot of issues – but I try to only speak from a position where I’ve educated myself on the topic, and saying things which (I believe) have facts and logic to back it all up. My problem: expecting the humans to function the same way, hoping that they can understand the difference between a fact and opinion or allegation.

Two “situations” where I’ve found myself trying to bring reason to conversations:

  • The allegations against Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. She has accused him of psychological and sexual abuse during their relationship, and within days his various television shows have been shelved by AMC, his name was scrubbed from the Nerdist site that he founded, and he has lost future gigs hosting various things at different comic conventions.
  • Atari has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to develop and create a new console called the Atari VCS… and there is a small but extremely vocal group of angry “game nerd” YouTube channels who are absolutely certain that the whole thing is a scam, and keep producing angry videos with all sorts of allegations – all in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Atari’s console launch.

With Hardwick and Dykstra, I’m of the opinion that nobody knows what happened except for the two parties involved, so the public can’t come to a determination that’s anything more than just opinion or assumption. But on Twitter, there are thousands of posts from people who are loudly cheering that he’s lost his jobs and his reputation, despite the only “proof” being that an ex-girlfriend said some things.

These aren’t people who think that he did what she said. These are people that know, with absoluteΒ certainty, and aren’t hesitant to call him a monster and say that he’s getting exactly what he deserved. There’s a smaller group who are outright calling Dykstra a liar, and then there’s an even smaller group of folks like me who simply say that we hope that someone gets to the bottom of the situation based on the facts, and that it’s unfortunate that a man’s life is being destroyed based simply on an allegation.

For the people who are #MeToo activists, people who advocate that people “wait and see what the facts reveal” are the enemy. A majority of them make a comment supporting Dkystra, and then follow it up with “And I should know, because I’ve been through the same thing or something similar – showing that their view might be a little biased. Evidence is already popping up which conflicts with parts of her allegations, but hell… if he’s guilty, get him. But damn… the man has lost almost everything and has been declared a trash human by half of the internet – all because she said it was so.

With Atari, they put their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which doesn’t require a working prototype before funding can be solicited. But angry YouTubers are screaming “THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT!” as if that’s something that should surprise anyone. Why would anyone expect them to have a nearly complete product, when that’s the point of raising the money? And Atari, for whatever reason, delayed the launch of their campaign once last year – which is another thing that the video creators say indicates a scam. As if no other successful products have ever had delays in their design or production.

What the problem actually is, is that these YouTube creators feel slighted by Atari. They feel that Atari owes it to them, to contact them and provide them more information, or answer the questions that they have about the project. Atari eventually got tired of being badmouthed by this small group of angry people and pushed back against what they were saying, which obviously hurt the feelings of these “reviewers” and caused them to make even more outlandish claims. Most of these angry folks haven’t even backed the project, nor do they intend to, but boy are they mad anyway – because how dare Atari not contact them directly and answer every damn question that they have.

Atari’s project already has nearly $3M in backing, so apparently there were plenty of people who felt like the information on the campaign page was enough. As with any hardware, it will obviously go through all sorts of slight changes before finalized, and people understand this. The angry YouTube mob is furious that Atari won’t give them more information, but why should they have to? If they’re already getting plenty of backers, and it’s obvious that speaking with the angry people won’t make a difference, why would they? Are these folks also screaming at Sony and Microsoft, demanding that they be given more about their next consoles in development?

But the more that these people shout “SCAM! DUMPSTER FIRE! FAKE! LIES!” in their videos, the more that their followers start to get nervous, and end up drinking the kool-aid and repeating the same claims that are being made in the angry videos. If the creator has 100k followers on YouTube, and is spouting whatever… there’s a good chance that their followers will start spouting the same thing in the comments and elsewhere, even if just to look like they “think just like a video creator who has 100k followers.” It’s toxic and sad.

So yeah… whether I’m trying to convince people that they should hold their venom for Hardwick until the claims against him have been proven, or if I’m pointing out that all of the “signs” that angry video creators are using against Atari are just normal things that happen in almost every crowdfunding campaign… people just continue to rage. You’re expected to either hate Dykstra or hate Hardwick. No middle ground. You’re supposed to accept that Atari is scamming $3M from people, and shouldn’t dare suggest that it might not be the case. Hardwick might be guilty, Atari’s console might be a flop or a scam… but people’s eagerness to convict others of this or that, with only assumptions or “feelings about it” to back it up… it’s just bizarre, and the amount of people getting caught up in it only seems to be growing.

I know, I shouldn’t bother… but I wanna believe that under the surface, people really are capable of unbiased, critical thinking – and I wanna say or do things that encourage that, or try to bring it out of them. Every now and then I might get one or two of ’em… heh… but not surprisingly, the irate people who claim their passion-filled opinions as fact just don’t seem interested in considering alternate views of a situation. 😏 It’s still my method of escapism though, for when I don’t feel like thinking about anything in my own life, in those moments that I’m sticking my nose into other people’s thoughts… so at least I’m getting a small benefit from it all, eh?

Weaponized Stupidity

Since I’ve taken the day off, I decided to pop over to Twitter to see if David Hogg and his anti-gun activism was still making any noise. And it is… although it’s become even more divisive, and is making even less sense. His current “thing” is to include “THE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL WIN” on almost everything that he posts. 😐 I suppose that’s an attempt to light a fire under their asses and make them feel special, but it’s also a great way to alienate everyone else from your cause. 🀨 (I often wonder if the other kids / leaders in their movement wish they had never included him, due to the drama he causes.)

Young people (18-25), just as with any demographic, do not all vote the same way. The majority of them don’t even vote at all. But the new mantra isn’t aimed at people who prefer to actually think about things. The mantra is aimed at idiots, and their replies don’t disappoint. 😏 I can’t tell you how many older Americans that I’ve seen posting replies about how their generation has let the youth down, how sorry they are for not creating a better world, how the young people are our only hope, and other similar bits of nonsense. 😣 These “self-hating adults (apologists)” who can’t wait to post and “confess” on the behalf of all adults, how awful “grown-ups” are… and ironically it’s usually the older white men who can’t stop talking about how older white men have fucked everything up. 😠 It’s truly bizarre.

In attempts to stay relevant (since he’s rarely able to get on TV anymore) Hogg will make often-incoherent posts about various Senate or House candidates and elections, which then get retweeted by his followers – without them even noticing when the posts make little to no sense. πŸ™„ Invariably there will be adults responding to those posts by asking Hogg how they should vote in this or that election. 😧 Yeah, don’t do any research on your own, because it’s always better to get your election advice from someone who uses words such as “dissagree, violance, and colledge” and still struggles with the whole “there / their / they’re” thing.

(As you can tell from the way they speak, these are obviously some top-notch interviewers)

He wants to eventually outlaw most rifles and probably many other types of guns, yet he whines that the mandated clear backpacks and security searches at school violate his rights. πŸ˜’ He arranges boycotts when someone hurts his feelings, he bragged about hanging up on the President’s phone call, and his friend is still tweeting requests for $10 donations to the MSD / Parkland victims’ fund – which already has over $8,000,000 in it. He and his sister have also already written a book about the school shooting, yet they aren’t donating the sales from their book to the victims’ fund. πŸ€” Instead, they say something vague about proceeds “helping the communities” or some shit. The whole thing stinks, yet there’s a huge group of people that can’t get enough of it. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I know, this whole post may seem petty or something that I shouldn’t even concern myself with… but it’s really just touching on the larger problem of how much “weaponized ignorance / stupidity” a person will be exposed to online, and especially on Twitter. πŸ˜’ It’s like the less sure a person is about what they’re saying, the more passionately they will say it, and the more angrily they willΒ defend it.

It’s okay though, I’m sure “the young people” will save us all from all ofΒ thatΒ as well. πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Meandering Thoughts

I’ve been anxiously waiting for the weekend to get here. 😐 While technically the day of the week doesn’t matter too much when it comes to my life, right now I’m using these “weekend” days as a crutch for my struggles of the moment. 😟 I’ve had a string of challenging days which have gotten progressively worse, mostly because I’m dwelling on a few things that I’m incapable of doing at the moment. Things that other people are somewhat countingΒ on me to be able to do. 😬 No matter what it might be, I hate when I can’t be “reliably reliable” for my friends or family… so while I do continue to work on myself, I really needed this weekend so I could chill and tell myselfΒ “Just take it easy on yourself for a couple of days. It’s the weekend.”

Even having said that, it’s only partially effective, so my brain took it upon itself to engage in other distractions. Twitter is always a “go to” place for relatively irrelevant engagement. It seems most of the world goes there to loudly and/or angrily broadcast their opinions (often barely grounded in facts, if at all) and I usually end up trying to educate the exceedingly ignorant, insulting, and condescending of the lot. I know the odds are slim that I’d ever get any of them to think beyond their narrow view of reality… but like I said, it’s more distraction than crusade. (Plus it lets me act like an asshole to those that deserve it. Everyone needs that outlet sometimesπŸ€”)

Lots of discussions about gun control and the Parkland kids, talk about the recent military engagement in Syria and the potential consequences… πŸ€“ but then somehow I got diverted towards more random/fun Twitter and Google searches. I think it started with things about Atlantic City, since I’m considering a trip there sometime this year, but then I ended up looking through local auction listings – which switched my brain over to straight nostalgia mode. 😊

One of the first things that I came across (which was weird, since I was just wondering about it a few days ago) was a vintage “Poosh-M-Up” pinball-ish type game… one that my Dad had when he lived here at this house. πŸ€— It’s funny, one of those things where my memory of the game and the location are inseparable. I’m assuming my grandparents originally bought it for him, but then I ended up playing with it once I was old enough. πŸ‘¦πŸ» But yeah, such a random thing to accidentally come across… and there’s actually quite a few varieties of this game, and I plan on reading about the history of them all. πŸ™‚ I never considered there’d be a bunch of ’em out there like this.

This local auction though, it has several items that I’m kinda interested in. 😯 That pinball game, old Atari game consoles and computers, other misc old toys of my era… and even though it’s in Mt Vernon, that actually motivates me to go a little more – since it’s a sleepy little town and there might not be many people that show up to outbid me. 😁 So after looking up that stuff on eBay, it made me think of other old games that I had when I was a kid, so of course I started looking up some of those things as well. I know that I always threaten to do an entire blog entry devoted to pricing toys from my personal childhood, but I really think that I’m gonna do that later tonight if my brain remains in its current happy place. πŸ˜‹

Lurking Celebs

Having some difficulty getting moving today. Just taking it easy and letting it come to me. I’ve already got a few things that I know I want to get done later today, and I think once the sun is completely down it will get easier.

Wandered around on Twitter for a bit when I woke up, and noticed that I got a reply that surprised me on a tweet I had made last night. It’s always a bit surreal when someone famous replies to or likes one of your tweets, but even more so when it’s a celebrity that you’ve always liked. I mean, who would think that I’d get a reply from Piper Perabo the other day when asking about a House Resolution / Senate Bill regarding gun control. I try not to internally fanboy about it too much, remembering that they’re just normal folks like the rest of us.

I’ve been making a ton of progress with my new police scanner. I’ll have to maybe put some screenshots of the various frequencies I’ve got saved in various “favorites” files for it to use. I mean, it can search whatever you want based on your zip code, but it’s always better to customize some lists to get exactly what you’re looking for at any given moment. And it has a recording features which not only names the WAV files according to the department / system / channel it was recorded from, but when it records – it also skips the “dead air” bits… resulting in a complete recording, but somewhat time compressed.

Alright, I’m gonna hop off here and see if I can make something of this day…

EDIT: Increased the font size for the blog entries. I know I ramble, and small text would kind of hide that “feature” of my writing, but it’s just easier on the eyes and also helps my various emoji be recognizable for what they are pretty much.

Other Shit

New Year’s Eve was a big ol’ meh. I can’t even remember my exact mood that day, but I could make a pretty good guess. 😏 Luckily I saw a post on Twitter that said if you started watching “Doctor Who – The End of Time: Part II” at 10:54pm, at exactly midnight it would be at the part where The Doctor visits Cardiff and Rose spots him and wishes him a Happy New Year. It’s just a nice moment – because he’s already traveled with her extensively, and he’s actually dying now, but in this particular moment he has gone back to before they had met – so she didn’t even realize who he was yet. 😒😊 I dunno, you have to be a fan of the show I guess. πŸ€“ But I barely remember it working out just right, she said “Happy New Year!” right at midnight, then *ploop* I was out.

As for a potential “Doctor Visit #2” regarding the “Oh, hey, there’s something on your thyroid.” noted by the technician that ran the MRI for my spine… I’m really not sure what I’m going to do about that yet, if anything. 😐 It doesn’t help that I just watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where a couple of the characters were referring to a family member who had cancer on her thyroid without even knowing it, and died soon after it was detected. πŸ˜• Thinking about that… I dunno, if I really start feeling some sort of effects from whatever it is then I might go see what’s up, but if it’s something bad bad already – I’m not sure I’m interested in finding that out. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Foolish? Probably… but only for someone who isn’t prepared for what “not knowing” could bring next. Meh… I’m still discussing it with friends. It’s hard to say “It’s okay, I’m kinda ready to check out anyway…” without people getting all concerned and up in your business. πŸ˜… But anyway…

It’s still effing frigid here in Ohio. 😬 Waking up to five degrees, or one degree… with the house cracking and popping from enduring the constant sub-freezing temperatures… yeah, this shit is for the birds. 😰 Today, just a couple of miles from home, while trying to thaw their work truck – some poor folks managed to explode the building they were working in… and the sound, even from that far away, jolted me awake by shaking the house. 😨 I honestly looked outside to see if a car had skidded into the house or something, even though the house is like 80′ from the road.

Hopefully now that the holidays are over I’ll start feeling a little more normal, relatively speaking. It’s not that I don’t like Christmas and New Year’s… there’s just a lot of emotions wrapped up in the memories right now, so getting back to boring old crappy “regular” time again is comforting. ☺ I finished shaving the cat, got the living room all vacuumed and straightened up, so I’m gonna slowly build on that progress. In what fashion, I’m not quite sure yet… but just moving forward instead of being frozen here would be an improvement. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

And on Twitter I’ve unfollowed any accounts related to politics and news. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I did it once before but couldn’t make it stick, because it’s in my nature to stay informed… but Donald Trump is a fucking moron, and I can’t keep clicking open that app each day to see him comparing “nuke button” sizes with Kim Jong-un and planning “Presidential Fake News Awards” and other equally insane bullshit. πŸ™‡πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ People say he’s just trolling the world, that he’s pointing out errors that journalists have made… which is fine… but he’s still a fucking moron, is ridiculously unqualified to be President, and is making the United States a laughing stock and much more hated than we’ve been in a long time. 😣 And my watching it on Twitter isn’t gonna make a lick of difference one way or another… so I’m gonna try to shield myself from the stupid and stupid’s followers.

The Pot vs. Sins of the Kettle

It’s surreal what we’re getting to see from our government these days, and specifically from our President. Donald Trump, who has been caught on tape bragging about how he can (and does) sexually assault women, how he can’t even control himself or stop himself from doing it… the same man who has at least SIXTEEN different women who have accused him of sexual assault of one kind or another… again, this man is President of The United States… but there he is on Twitter, trolling Al Franken for taking an inappropriate photo with an allegedly sleeping woman – and giving him shit for lecturing other people on not being the type of person who sexually assaults someone.

I know, that’s a little hard to follow… but yeah, Donald Trump, proud sexual predator, focus of a dozen+ sexual assault claims including the alleged rape of a 13 y/o girl and the rape of his own wife – he’s lecturing another man accused of sexual assault, for lecturing others on sexual assault. I’m not joking when I say that this is legitimately making my brain hurt and my eye twitch.

I don’t know if Donald Trump forgets that he’s on tape bragging about how he grabs at women’s vaginas without consent, or if he remembers but just doesn’t care… but whatever is going on in that man’s head, there’s no doubt that he has some serious psychological problems. Perhaps he knows that some new information is coming down the pipe tomorrow, maybe regarding his son-in-law who was once again caught withholding Russian communications from the Senate – or perhaps it will be about his biological son, who was recently caught having secret communications with Wikileaks for months despite everyone in the administration denying it. And let’s not forget about Jeff Sessions and the perjury charges that he could be facing for the many lies that he has told congress.

Because if he didn’t tweet what he did in order to distract from any or all of those topics – then the man is simply psychologically damaged, because all that this is going to do is bring all of the negative attention back on himΒ  – along with reminding the world about all of the women who have made accusations against him. Oh… and it took him less than a day to tweet something inflammatory about (Democrat) Al Franken, when it has been more than a week since theΒ (Republican) Roy Moore scandal came to light, which (instead of just being about a tasteless photo) includes allegations that Moore sexually assaulted a minor, otherwise known as child molestation. But of course Trump hasn’t said a word about that, and being the coward that he is – he wouldn’t say anything about Franken in front of reporters, but instead waited until he was back at home, sitting on the toilet, with his dick in one hand and his phone in the other. (How’s that for some mental imagery?)

Good lord… this is what we are now. This is what the world sees when they look to America as an example of how people and countries should be. It’s fucking disgraceful, and has me going from being completely speechless – to where all I want to do is rant about it, because it’s disgusting, shameful, and it makes me sad that kids growing up these days will think of this as the normal way that people in government function.

I’m honestly getting sick to my stomach as I type this… but this is our inescapable reality.