Sep 052014

My friend Carol recently expressed frustration that we’re all running around babbling about stars’ naughty bits and football team nicknames, and the ostensible leader of the free world is golfing and hobnobbing as it burns down.

(That’s not exactly what she said, but I suspect she’d be fine with that account of her concern.)

To be sure, I am scared. I’m frightened for my family and for my country. And most of my fear would be mitigated were the United States of America leading, as she has nearly always done.

You do understand that the United States must lead, don’t you? Visions of a world of countries equal in importance and influence are the naive fantasies of deluded sillyhearts. There will always be a biggest kid on the block. I want that biggest kid to be the United States, because I believe the core values of the United States are superior to the core values of any other nation that would seek to influence others.

Is Bo Williams an American exceptionalist? To his core.

I do blog about politics and weightier world matters from time to time. I don’t do so more often because a) it depresses me; and b) Obama’s approval rating still inexplicably hovers around 40%, which presumably means that four in ten of you think things are going fine.

I must temper myself before addressing that four in ten of you.

This will unavoidably sound condescending. I apologize:

I think most of the four in ten of you are doing the best you can.

I think many of you have poor to nonexistent understanding of media bias, which badly damages your perception of just what you consume in the way of news and opinion.

I think many of you are too young to remember the Carter presidency, when we last had a president who was ashamed of the United States.

I think many of you think that Obama blathering that thugs and tyrants are “on the wrong side of history” will somehow stop them, when it has generally been American and allied force that has relegated evil men to said wrong side, not rhetoric. Lasting peace comes from the total defeat of an enemy, not pontification.

I think many of you have received inaccurate explanation of the many social reforms you advocate, and woefully insufficient exposure to their numerous real-world failures.

I think many of you have been trained to look to the government first, not last, when you have a problem. It hasn’t always been that way. (Quick – name a JFK quote.)

Most poignantly, I think way too many of you refuse to seriously examine the proposition that if our current president is not an enemy of the United States, his behavior is usually indistinguishable from one.

I do not think most of you are bad people. I think you are good people with bad ideas – ideas that do not yield your desired ends, and often actually work directly counter to them.

Even though I understand how you four in ten got to where you are, I still have very little patience for fairy tales offered as defense in a robust discussion about the future of the country and the world.

So I generally wait until I spend a good bit of time and effort on a serious political piece before I publish it. I want to have spent enough of myself on it to believe it may persuade someone. (Delusion? Probably. But a mostly harmless one.)

The shallow red meat that rankles a lot of the same people is easier. Had some of that this week.

So that’s a bit of insight into how I’m thinking about the political content of I am gravely concerned, but I don’t talk about it all the time mostly for quality-of-life reasons.

 Posted by at 11:35 am
Sep 032014

There is at least one photo of me nude. It’s full frontal, too.

My mom took it in 1973. I was two years old.

Apologies to anyone who threw up in her mouth a little at my first paragraph. I can tell you with a fair amount of conviction that there are no adult nude photos of me, though I can’t be 100% positive. There was that weird condo we stayed in once.

There is a big kerfuffle right now because apparently multiple celebrities’ iCloud accounts containing nude photographs of themselves have been hacked, and the photographs subsequently scattered to the four winds.

Apple says neither its iCloud nor its Find My Phone services were compromised. Rather, these individual accounts were hacked with brute force attacks—basically, guessing usernames and passwords until you hit one. (Generally automated programs do this, not unkempt slobs eating Hot Pockets in their moms’ basements manually trying at keyboards, though they may be the ones who wrote the programs.)

Now, any rational thinking adult—and I realize such a description may exclude a great many celebrities—should be able to put it together that if s/he can access his/her iCloud account at any browser with the right credentials, then anyone else could do the same thing. Consequently, though cloud storage is a great thing, there are probably some things you ought not put there. Like tax returns. Or sealed legal proceedings. Or anarchist manifestos.

Or photographs of your vagina.

Now incredibly, for me to suggest that keeping nude photographs of yourself in cloud storage is not a smart thing to do is victim blaming, according to some shrieking malcontents people.

That some would apparently make this another front in the rape culture war is spastically, numbingly stupid. You shouldn’t put nude photographs of yourself in cloud storage for the same reason you shouldn’t leave $1,000 in cash in sight in your car in a parking garage. What’s the problem? They’re both locked up, right? If the cash gets stolen from your car, is it the thief’s fault? Certainly—but you shouldn’t have left it in sight.

If calling these involved celebrities out for doing something dumb is victim blaming, then so is that.

You want to take photographs of your vagina? That’s fantastic. Go for it. Don’t put them in the cloud.

 Posted by at 7:46 am
Aug 222014

You ever notice that the best restaurants don’t have a complicated menu? They have one or two or three things that they do very well, and they leave other things to everyone else. They don’t lose the plot. Ace Frehley doesn’t lose the plot. A perfectly-made cheeseburger isn’t complicated, but sometimes it’s just what you [...]

 Posted by at 3:08 pm
Aug 122014

Oh, wow. I don’t even know how to process this. I thought Michael Jackson was hard. There are some people who, when they go, they take all of what defined them with them. And all of the Robin Williamsness in the world has been unceremoniously ripped down like a homecoming dance backdrop on Saturday morning. [...]

 Posted by at 7:00 am is using WP-Gravatar