“Did you like the dessert at the restaurant today?” I asked Klara on the drive back home from our family celebration of the last day of class.
“No, mommy,” she said. “It was bad dessert. We should have some good dessert when we get home.”
That kid is just too smart for her old momma.
OK, is this for real?
A state lawmaker is proposing a change to New York’s gun laws to allow authorities to search social media for potential red flags before approving a handgun license.
State Senator Kevin Parker’s bill would mandate that applicants provide investigators with their Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram passwords and access to their Google, Yahoo and Bing searches. The Brooklyn Democrat wants investigators to look at the last three years of an applicant’s social media postings and a year of their search histories for “any good cause for the denial of a license,” such as racial slurs, threats of violence and terrorism-related posts.
Did I just wake up in China or something? Whether it passes or not, it’s terrifying that it’s even proposed.
Social media is nothing but a sophisticated way of exercising punitive mind control. That’s all it is anymore. And we are all just agreeing dumbly.
I’m totally with Mike on keeping the blog readership artificially low. He turned off comments, and I will probably go completely under the password soon.
People keep accusing me of saying what I do to attract “hits.” It’s like they fell asleep back in 2010 and never woke up to notice that social media are used today to beat down and punish anybody who is not an aggressive cheerleader for the establishment. I dread having new readers. I managed to get rid of all the eager dumbazoids and I don’t want to risk attracting new ones. I don’t want to reach out or disseminate knowledge any more. All I want is to sit here quietly in my tiny corner of the internet sounding off my ideas on people who are willing to hear something mildly new and different.
I would have to be mentally unsound to want to attract attention. Excuse me, but I like having a job and not being a social pariah. Folks, look around. Even Tumblr has been eviscerated for clearly political reasons. Saying the words “freedom of speech” gets you denounced as a member of the KKK. What kind of an idiot wants more hits unless all they do is actively and relentlessly fellate the ideologues in power?
Sorry once again for a long quote but there’s nobody on this blog who’d read the book of their own will, and I like the quote so much that I could have written it myself in these exact words:
Why do we tax capital at half the rate of labor? Why is it fair that some inherited-money loser living off the interest from an investment portfolio he didn’t create pays half the taxes per dollar that you do? You get up every morning to go to work. He stays home, smokes weed, and watches online porn. You get hit twice as hard on April 15. He’s being rewarded, while you’re being punished. Is he twice as necessary as you are? Does he contribute twice as much to America? Maybe he does. Maybe the people who wrote the tax code could explain precisely how. Maybe not. Either way, you can see how a conversation like that might quickly spin out of control and become a threat to the existing order. Better not to have it in the first place. Better to change the subject away from economics entirely.
Capital. . . labor. . . Why, why do I have to look on the political right for somebody to make an easily accessible, plainly argued, and jargon-free argument about this? Not everybody can or will want to read Bauman and Co. Somebody needs to popularize these ideas. And people are popularizing the deeply Marxist Bauman. But they are somehow mysteriously all way to the right of anybody I have even met in my whole life.
I wouldn’t have to read all this stuff if somebody else were doing it. But they aren’t.
For the longest time, the Left everywhere dreamt of massive popular uprisings of labor against capital. The whole point of the Left was that in the conflict between labor and capital one had to be on the side of labor. But the moment labor does rise up against exploitation by capital and the power structures that are subservient to it, the Left turns its nose at the protesters.
This is not a new development. The Left lost most of its battles against capital because it always found the people it’s supposed to represent kind of distasteful. Russia’s great writer Solzhenitsyn was a passionate Marxist-Leninist who was all about the rights of workers and peasants until he met some actual workers and peasants and discovered that they weren’t very cultured and smelled kind of funny. And that was that for his interest in the working classes.
This is a story that keeps repeating itself in different eras and different places. Capital has learned how to make itself look very seductive to the Leftists. It says all the right things, it doesn’t permit itself to give off even a whiff of un-PC ideas. Capital just smells nice. And those unhappy, angry workers can never win that competition. They can never manage to use the correct slogans or show up at a convenient time. As Solzhenitsyn observed in 1950s, they are way too emotionally attached to having enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear, and that’s boring and not exalted enough for anybody to support them. It would be so easy to be on their side if they came out chanting “hey-ho, white supremacist imperialistic patriarchy has got to go.” Instead, they show up to oppose a fuel tax which just isn’t exciting and smells kind of nasty. Plus, they look uncouth in their vests, and might they actually be right-wingers? Fuck them, let’s wait for the real working classes instead, the ones that will be internationalist, recognize their privilege, and finally be the way the Left always wanted workers to be.