*This article is atypical of the journal and is an icebreaker between the Webmaster and audience.
- A real article on Social Media, it’s implications, and viable alternatives is forthcoming. This is merely the authors wish to extend an entertaining teaser using personal narrative.
- This whole thing is embellished for effect any attempt to characterise the author using contents herein will be met with extreme rolling of the eyes.
- Warning: There’s some salty language along with copious amounts of cringe and evidence of learning English through the BBC.
The Worlds Most Meandering Op-Ed
(For I must sing the song of Reed and recant for youthful folly!)
An Aside and introduction
Sometimes I frequent Unz.com. I got drawn to the site by one Fred Reed. Marine, journalist, and curmudgeon extraordinaire. I liked his style, his folksy wisdom, and his tendency to wax romantic about my homeland the South.
There’s a lot to the man and there’s a lot to his writing. Unz is merely a site that he is hosted through but I find it a pretty decent place to get updates on what’s going on in the world.
(If one has the stomach to weed through some of the racial silliness. I could give a damn if the Romans were bloody Eskimos. I never understood the need to define oneself through haploid group. I mean I like both Hendrix and Page.)
It’s difficult to agree with everything on the site. I suppose since I am writing publicly now; it is high time to state exactly what I am.
(Primarily so I don’t get confused with the communist, Nazi, terrorist sympathizer, chicken hawk that is: the designated niche bestowed upon anyone that raises their head even an inch above absolute anonymity.)
Trouble is it’s difficult to state exactly what one is. Politically I am someone who values the constitution from a somewhat originalists perspective. I am fairly skeptical about anything that deviates too far from the founding principles enshrined in the aforementioned document.
That being said I am also highly skeptical of our military adventures. So to hear a former Marine talk sense on the subject in sharp juxtaposition to Mssr McCain was all sorts of refreshing.
One of the reasons that I find his stance so refreshing is that I am absolutely appalled by how much we spend on the military. You know there’s talk of communism when it comes to having healthcare for those who can’t afford it, but there’s very little mention of it when it comes to empire building.
Funny thing is I used to be quite the little hawk. My grandfather who is also my guardian served in the National Guard. As such I am familiar with the PX and the commissary at the local highly secured gathering place for deplorables know as Fort Somesuch.
One time a number of years ago I stumbled upon some rather brilliant propaganda. I had a PS2 you see. And being 13 I had plenty of free time. While looking for chocolate nutella mix in the PX (It’s generally in the commissary. What a goober.) I noticed that there was a box of things. Games they were. SOCOM Navy Seals. The very first one. How brilliant!
I’d never played a military game before. In fact I’d been raised on symphonies and classical literature but there’s something about that testosterone spike around 13 that even the most genteel upbringing can’t weed out of a lad.
I had the thing bought for me. Played it through in about one sitting and thought that I’d join the bloody SEALs. Obviously that didn’t happen but it could have. There was a little pamphlet extolling the valorous virtues of the unit in the game box. (Bloody thrilling and convincing thing that game!)
Fortunately, when I was about sixteen I got sent to the Citadel summer camp in order to court the favor of some such honcho in the eventuality that the camp and my heretofore promising academic career would lead to attendance at that institution.
When in the camp I was introduced to chewing tobacco, secret bare-knuckle boxing, Led Zeppelin, and dancing with girls. Eventually through this enculturation I discovered marijuana.* My academics dropped. Not because of the grass mind you but because academics at academy is such piddling paper-mache crafting idiocy.
(*Just so I don’t get sued: There were no drugs on site. Those were something I discovered at prep school.)
I once got a squirrel high and I learned to play the guitar. That I think far outstrips any military accomplishment I might have otherwise had.
But the thing is my hawkishness. It lingered for a tad. Once during a camping trip with a friend, his father asked me an opinion on this or that foreign policy faux-pas. I believe I unironically stated that the United States had every right and duty to be the New Roman Empire. Sieg Heil! To use extreme prejudice in the pursuit of said goal. Jawohl!
What a dork.
(I was sixteen. Hush little quote miners. Be ye gone!)
Fortunately my literary and philosophic interests hadn’t been dampened by Oorah sentiments that even most military men (generally being decent fellows albeit with a bizarre obedience fetish) hadn’t picked up.
I was eighteen and like most other striplings in the aughts began airing my idiocy all over social media.
Fortunately like my jingoism my use of this dubious medium was severally curtailed when I realized it was cancer.
This whole article is overdue and was sparked by a fellow on a Fred Reed column on Unz linking me to a video on FB. (Dude reminds me of Hedberg.)
Facebook is most certainly cancer. I found this out 2007 – 2012. I think I quit round then coming back a few times like a weak-willed smoker.
I discovered its flaws through the feed. That most cancerous of portals. Where jingoism far beyond my adolescent visions of a red white and blue fourth Reich were forthcoming.
Nothing of value can be accomplished here! It’s bloody depressing to see these tender suburban airheads waxing on about this or that pretension to cause. They could barely write a coherent sentence. And they would correct my typos! With a haughty air! The bastards. If you don’t understand SVO then you have no busine…but I digress.
Fact is social media does have some use.
The video I was linked to on Unz was thoughtful despite the fact that I’m still not sure that Mssr Trump isn’t more easily manipulable than he would have us think.
So in this wired world how does one ethically use social media and communicate effectively without losing his wits?
“But how is FB unethical!?” Cries the bewildered herd! Mssr Zuckerberg is quite a pretty little Machiavelli. What with his blonde locks and Roman nose.
(I too have such a nose. You can’t call me antisemitic. It’s bloody Roman. I was told so by a preacher. Sieg heil! Roman Salute! Hail Caesar. Hail it all!)
I am not sure if it’s avarice or nebbish naivety but he certainly has allowed his company to become one of the biggest privacy abusing, right curtailing, Orwellian monstrosities of our time.
Say what you will about my youthful lust for a 21st century Pax Romana at least I didn’t help build Airstrip One.
I’ve made excuses for the Silicon Alinsky from day one. But I really couldn’t stomach it for long. Honestly though I still blame us for it.
How in the solemn all loving hell did we go from advising each other to never mention our own names, any kind of personal information, to banking online, and letting pimply coders sell our GPS coordinates to third parties. FB bloody knows what restaurant you are eating in and broadcasts it to whole sodding world if you don’t play the settings right!
Don’t give any information at all. Call yourself Lobster Steve and talk only about fluffy kittens….to….Bob Bobson is eating vermicelli at Dagos on Devine. I see that you like vermicelli would you like to download some coupons? Oh you’re near a Walgreen let me remind you about the hemorrhoids cream. Holy sodding hell that happened! I literally barely embellished.
And now the whole gang wants to start directing the conversation! You know I had some small sympathies for Cass Sunstein’s philosophy of nudging people in the right direction but this actual implementation of the thing is eldritch. Lovecraft himself couldn’t envision a thing more macabre not even in an isolation tank with Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and a drawer full of amphetamines and LSD.
And it wants to draw me back in! The space age horror wants me! It wants to keep me forever! It uses my friends. They obey it and they sing to me in lilting tones of its virtues.
Come…come…share..like…community…friends….loook an old flame…she still care for you…do you remember Teddy…he’s such a good sort…maybe you should go camping again…ooo…look this activist on Unz has a really good video up on there come on get on and comment and liiiike….liiiiike…yes your friend was right..you are a luddit…join us in the twenty first century…you are so alone right now….you need us…we are central to everything…yesss..yesss…thats a good poppit…yes now just sign this here….a little infor there..and…
I have Minds.com
I have Mastodon
I have LBRY
I have Archive
I AM FOSS *Almost*
SUDO -R Bullshit
That’s the thing, that’s the answer, alternative media, alternative tech!
Not only is it geared for content sharing and discovery versus exploitation but it’s growing and implementing new technologies like blockchain.
Not only are you avoiding the ethical and privacy pitfalls of Google and Facebook but you’re also streamlining for discovering quality content.
Sure it’s going to take a while to get the same reach as our Orwellian familiars but every new user is a step in the right direction.
Join the rebellion!
Give me liberty or give me death!
(Hopefully this article gains me enough liberty karma to avoid the hell I deserve for being such a detestable little Caesar in my teens. O wait…I still have a YouTube…the shame…the shame….)