the Future of Now

July 17, 2018

clock

Over a decade ago…

I told my son, who was fiddling with making goofy YouTubes with his friend, that he should make a series of them and put them up but also make a different series as well, and a third.

In other words, rather than just make a YouTube channel, he could create a Network. Monetized, of course.

And from the proceeds of this small enterprise, he could then begin doing better quality, longer videos with more structured content… Just like a real broadcast network.

His response was predictable: “That’s ridiculous. That couldn’t happen.”

It was a simple concept and I was certain other people were thinking along those same lines and it has now become a reality for many.

The key to the success of these endeavors is, of course, advertising. People pay you to do what you like.

Let that sink in a moment.

Given that the advertising revenue is what drives such things, I was not in the least surprised when ads began to be run at the beginning of most videos OR, as is done quite often now, in the middle of the video.

Now, the vendors “help” us by offering to pay for no-advertising versions of their service and a great many people take advantage of this.

So, where am I going with this?

Extrapolation shows us that very soon we will see more of this bothersome practice creeping in to other area of our socialization.

Such as in streams of text messages.

You’ll be texting with your romantic partner when a text bubble pops up about dinner at Appleby’s or some such. No, it won’t be your partner, but you might both think it is. Perhaps not subliminal but effective.

Later, you’ll be given the option of paying a fee to have the ads removed.

And then, of course, the pièce de résistance: ads in the middle of your SPOKEN conversations.

The only danger inherent in this sort of advertising is, of course, when it occurs in the middle of an emergency call.

“Hello, 911? We need a…”

“Have you seen the new fall fashions at Macy’s? Check it out at…”

(Actually, I doubt they would allow it on 911 calls, but you never know.)

And, of course, you can pay them to remove the advertising…

Many would think the advertisers will never go to these extremes but you have to remember, companies HAVE TO ADVERTISE!

And if people are paying to not see ads anywhere, the advertisers will have to find new venues for their ads.

Because it is vitally imperative that you know about their product!! (At least in their minds.)

So no matter where and when you pay to have the ads removed…

They will reappear somewhere else.

Like at the movie theater or one the DVDs and music CDs you buy. (Yeah, old news, I know.)

Or on your favorite Sports Venue…

And next?

How about naming rights for the public schools since education can always use a few more dollars?

And you can proudly claim your son graduated from Grover Cleveland Microsoft High and will be attending Stanford McDonald-Douglas.

Oh, yeah.

It’s coming.

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Oh, the Humanity!!

June 27, 2018

It’s finally happened!

I had read about blatant discrimination before… The gay couple in Oregon turned away from a bakery… a Trump spokesperson being tossed from a restaurant…

And now… THIS!

Yes, I was refused service, recently, at a small store (of a chain that I will not name for legal reasons).

Juggling several small items as I waited for one of the two cashiers to be free, the customer at one finished and I approached the cashier. I made it to the counter without dropping anything, thankfully.

Then I looked up to see the cashier scowling at me.

“I’m sorry,” he said, but I can’t serve your kind here.

What? I thought. My “kind”??

Then, obviously noting my confusion, he clarified, “You’ll have to go out and change your shirt before I’ll serve you.”

Looking down to see what shirt I had worn… It was nothing more than my usual tee with the Washington Redskins logo on it.

I said, “Huh?”

He said, “I don’t serve your sort here.”

“What would be acceptable?” I asked. “A Patriots shirt?”

He shook his head. “No, only Cowboys fan apparel. We have standards here.”

The other cashier finished with her customer about then and I pushed my pile of goods over to her side of the counter.

She smiled and asked, “Will there be anything else?”

I said “No,” and she rang me up.

The other cashier was still giving me the evil eye.

Sadly, I shook my head at him and wondered what the world was coming to.

This personal bias discrimination is getting out of hand!

And over something as minor as this!

the Singularly Strange Occurrence of Kim Jong Un’s Non-Evil Twin

April 27, 2018


NorK

Maybe Dennis Rodman slipped the North Korean leader a special brand of kool-aid or the leader has had an undisclosed aneurysm or something, or maybe the cloak and dagger department were finally able to take out the fellow.

Any way you slice and dice it, things on the Korean Peninsula took a pear-shaped turn this past week when Kim Jong Un announced the closing of his nuclear missile testing facility, the halting of the program, and his desire to end the sixty-plus year war with his southern neighbor.

Next, we’ll probably hear he’s starting a music career with the release of a video of him performing Gangnum Style or something melodic by Taylor Swift.

I have seen photos of this character recently and I think it is obviously a double, a doppelganger set up in place of the real leader.

Why? Because this guy is usually smiling!

Doesn’t anyone remember the movie “Moon Over Parador”? That’s what I’m talking about!

I’m sure the conspiracy theorists are going to be all over this.

Our Obsession with All Things New(er)

April 23, 2018

Recently Updated
(newly revised version today)
[re-updated just now]

 

 

It seems we have an obsession for up-to-the-minute [updated: up-to-the-second] updates on all our tech-gadgets.

Every time I connect to Google docs to edit a document, I get the message that the application is in the dreaded state of “out-of-date” and that condition needs to be corrected before I can continue. So, I have to wait while it “updates”.

The next day, I find the application is once again woefully “out-of-date” and needs to be updated.

Every morning when I turn on my phone, it has downloaded updates and I have to wait a while to give it time to apply all the updates to a half-dozen apps I don’t recall adding and certainly never use.

Thank God I did not have an emergency phone call to make!

We will connect you to 9-1-1 immediately after the updates have been applied…

Wanting to upload pictures from my iPad to my computer is delayed because the device wants to sync with my computer. Yes, even if it synced only twenty minutes before!

What has become of us being in charge of our own lives? Now, it has been relegated to some faraway company deciding their updates are more important than anything we may need or want to do.

But, you know, I get it. I really do!

We feel this primal need to be “on top of things” to be completely current. To somehow not lag behind others… to be on the forefront of that leading wave.

This reminds me of something my daughter used to say all the time: “I’m living for the moment.”

That’s what all these companies and people seem to be doing as well.

But, they’ve got it all wrong. The old saying is NOT live FOR the moment – which is what we are doing so damned well – but living IN the moment.

Which we cannot seem to do because we’re waiting for the updates to download or devices to sync.

 


 

 

Take a Knee, Everyone, Take a Knee… What are We Protesting??

September 24, 2017



Colin Kaepernick started it last year, this taking a knee during the anthem before an NFL game and it created quite a ruckus. Seems everyone has a side on the issue, one way or the other.

But now, a year later, it has finally reached the pinnacle of all protests… Yes, President Trump has tweeted his displeasure. Naturally, Roger Goodell contends that the NFL has a right to make their own rules and, as long as the owners permit it (and until the advertisers suspend their ads [spoiler: AIN’T gonna happen!]), they will let the players take a knee.

The owners are now tweeting replies to the President’s tweets that owners and fans should protest the protesters and Keith Olbermann has tweeted that everyone, including the fans in the seats, should “take a knee” in protest of Trump’s demands.

Meanwhile, Army Chaplain Captain Sonny Hernandez thinks the Constitution should always play second fiddle to his own personal religious beliefs. He states that anyone in the Armed Forces who supports the Constitutional Rights of OTHER religions to practice their own beliefs is serving none other than Satan himself.

Now, the Chaplain did not conclusively state his religious convictions implied taking a knee at an NFL game was tantamount to selling one’s soul to the Master Menace from the Netherworld, it certainly seems to be what he has implied.

Meanwhile, the head of Black Lives Matter tweeted to say he has talked to 75 other NFL players who plan to take a knee as well come this weekend’s games.

And, in case this somehow got missed with all the genuflecting going on, Colin’s protest started with the incident that gave birth to the BLM movement.

So, once again, a quiet and personal protest on one issue alone has become an immense flack about protesting Trump, or religions, or the Constitution, or any other freaking thing you might want it to mean. Protesting Trump? Take a knee! Protesting Clinton’s stealing the nomination from Bernie? Take a knee! Protesting the high cost of bananas this week? Take a knee! Think Elon Musk should make Tesla’s more affordable? Take a freakin’ knee!

I think if anyone has anything, and I really DO mean ANYTHING to protest… Take the knee!

I know I will. These damned new shoes are killing me!

I’m taking the knee.


the 2017 NFL Season Thus Far

September 20, 2017



I found the opening week of the season very interesting for three separate reasons.

First, Trevor Siemian looked a lot crisper than he did last season and looks like he might be very good. And it wasn’t some fluke because he looked as good in week two. Maybe the Broncs will get back to the playoffs this year.

Second, Sam Bradford was the most confident I had ever seen him (and that includes all his time with the Rams and the “weekend layover” in Philly). I was anxiously awaiting seeing if he could repeat it in week two… but it was not to be. Yes, another injury.

Thirdly, the Patriots forgot to bring their defense to play. And it’s not like they lost them somewhere on the road because they were playing at home but for some reason they were all on seemingly different pages. They seem to have gotten on the page by week two.

And after two weeks, we have eight teams at 2 and 0: the Lions, Falcons, and Panthers in the NFC and the Ravens, Steelers, and three of the four teams in the AFC West: Broncos, Chiefs, and Raiders in the AFC.

And while we have to usual dawdlers at 0 and 2 (Bears, 49ers, Jets, Cleveland, and the Colts) we also find a few surprises among those ranks: Giants, Saints, and the Bengals.

But the season’s young and anything can happen.

Well, all except the Patriots going undefeated this year.



This Culturally Diminished Generation

July 16, 2017

[RANT – ON]

Maybe I’m in a crappy place right now…

I am a bit saddened by the state of the country these days.

No, not about Trump getting elected or any of the BS the Media keeps heaping on that dung pile. If that’s what’s worrying you then you ARE the problem.

We have had a war going on for the past fifteen years and I do not see anyone protesting it. Fifteen freakin’ years, folks!

Sure you have the time to march in your fancy vagina and penis suits, or marching glibly behind a couple of media puppets for what passes for “science” but is really more politics. Yes, they’ve got time to march for those “issues” but I guess millions of people dying is not an issue for those self-centered muffins.

No, their music today is all about they’ve been offended, or they want more – money, cars, whatever – or how badly they’ve been treated by their biatches.

Yes, it seems the eternal litany of “me, me, me” is alive and well in America these days.

In the sixties, there was a war. A little thing over in Southeast Asia… you may have heard of it – unless your neuter-specific history classes sort of gloss over the embarrassing affair – the Viet Nam War.

It did not go on for near as long as the present conflict in the Middle East but the youth of America were incensed. They rioted, they marched, they protested in great numbers and their music reflected it with things like “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and “For What It’s Worth” by the Youngbloods. (A reason why this blog has the same title.)

How could we wind up with an entire generation with its collective head rammed up its collective butt more concerned about themselves than anything else. And don’t give me the yap about their feigned uproar over “Global Warming”. I have yet to see any of the loud-mouths mouthing that crap to actually do something useful. Sure DiCaprio and Bono are all for fighting global warming but neither of the pair has quit flying, using their yachts, or driving their fancy cars, have they? Of course not! Why? Because they are just mouthing rather than doing.

In the sixties there wasn’t much mouthing. We got off our butts and did something.

We had a candidate primed to take us there in Robert Kennedy but they killed him.

Today, when Bernie was railroaded – not killed, mind you – his followers folded tent and went home, whining. Hey! They did not kill your candidate, people!

Christ!

These young people better reach down and find a bigger and hairier pair pretty soon or there won’t be any planet left to pass down to their own grandchildren.

And, believe me, the “runaway global meltdown” is going to be the least of the problems you’re gonna face. (That is, if that imaginary fairy dust apocalypse ever does come about.)

Okay…

[RANT – OFF]

Kathy Griffin Just Lost Her Head for a Moment – Get Over It

June 3, 2017



(picture not shown as practically
everyone has already seen the
image of the bloody covfefe
)



Kathy Griffin’s rather tasteless “beheaded Trump” photo was a poor attempt at humor. Call it a poor decision at the end of a long day or whatever, but it has created quite the maelstrom.

Now her lawyer has gotten into the mix.

Apparently, no one involved knew that such a threat against the President – even in jest – was illegal. But, as Kathy’s lawyer should have known, ignorance of the law is no excuse. I thought even lawyers knew that.

So now the Secret Service is all up in her face and she’s a bit intimidated by it all… “it was just a joke!” she says. And she is, after all, a comedian and sometimes jokes do fall flat.

Now, CNN has fired her from their New Year’s Eve show… like when did CNN even care about what Trump thinks?

So, Ms Griffin has gotten a great amount of press over the past couple of days but I think we should really just move on. She doesn’t need a life sentence for her stunt, a mere slap on the hand should do, shouldn’t it?

Something should also be said about Brad Plumer’s recent NY Times article where he seems reticent to mention the President as anything but “Mister” Trump.

Sure, it’s not as bad as a beheading cartoon but it does continue the divisiveness that has come over the country of late.

“Not My President” has become a sort of rallying cry for the dividers. Strange, but I first came across the phrase where people were trying to distance themselves from the then President, Obama. I objected to it then and I object to it now. If the President of the country is not “your” President, if you would rather show him disrespect, or if you would rather behead him, then kindly leave and join a country where he would NOT be your President.

Otherwise, work to make the country better with what we currently have, learn to work together regardless of party preference (or comedic preference), and perhaps we will get a new leader in a few years… perhaps the one we should have had in 2016: Bernie Sanders.

Until then, stop tilting at windmills. It is too distracting and there is a lot of work to do.



Not Your President? There’s the Door…

November 10, 2016




I read this morning that there was a lot of protesting being done over Trump’s victory. Apparently, the violence of the Trump supporters is now being revisited on us by those who, well, opposed that… you know, that same sort of violence.

Makes sense, I guess… somewhere…

Anyway, the most common phrase at these grudge-rallies was “He’s not my president.”

Now, I may not be a genius when it comes to Constitutional Law but I thought that was the point of the election: to name OUR president. It’s not like the portion of the country that voted for the other guy/gal gets to secede and by lorded over by the loser. The elected president is the president for the whole enchilada.

So, for Trump not to be “your” president, you either: 1- reside in a foreign country and your vote doesn’t make a bit of difference, or 2- you are presently deceased, in which case it shouldn’t matter one whit because you have others things weighing more heavily on your soul.

I understand people being upset by their side losing – hey! I’ve visited Civil War forums before – and the most common phrase bantered around is “You lost, Get Over It!” And that phrase seems to apply in this situation as well.

Many think it is a travesty that Hillary got more Popular Votes than Trump but it is not like that’s the first time that’s happened in our history. I believe it also happened as recently in 2000 when Gore had more of the popular vote.

We have had worse trials in our country than what most are fearing from Trump. We had Millard Fillmore for president… and survived. We had Teapot Dome Scandal… and we still survived. Heck, we even survived missing the Olympics in Moscow!

Do not break the system because you didn’t get what you wanted. That is childish; you can’t just take your toys and go home. This is America and the system put in place will still work even with a bad President (anyone remember Nixon?) or a horrible President.

And rest assured that four years from now you will have the opportunity to once again vote for the candidate of your choice.

Unless, of course, you’re a foreigner or deceased and Trump really isn’t your president anyway.



Let the Soul-Searching Begin

November 9, 2016




Well, the political follies of 2016 are over (finally!) and will probably go down in history as one of the strangest election cycles ever. I awoke this morning to check the results and almost fell down laughing.

The Republican party fielded a candidate that as recently as ten days ago, the party heads were pressuring the candidate to resign from the race. Many pundits have said the Republicans will have to do a lot of soul-searching to re-make themselves in the coming days… and that was before the results came in.

Meanwhile, the Democrats ignored the dismay felt by so many that Sanders was shafted and Hillary crowned without consent of the populace; she was the choice of the party machine. But now that Clinton has stumbled and apparently many of the party have voted for Trump in order to oust Hillary. Who knows? Either way, the party now has some soul-searching to do as well.

In both cases, we see political parties that have gotten completely out-of-touch with their membership. Both parties have tried to distance themselves from what their people wanted, preferring what their political machines wanted.

And in both cases it has turned out rather badly.

Now, it seems, both parties have got to reconfigure what they are really about. There seems a vast chasm between the people of the left and right and the party machines that hold sway over those antipodes.

Perhaps, in the future, the parties would listen to the electorate rather than trying to force some “correct” political model on the party faithful. Many are saying that if the Democrats had fielded Sanders, they would now be the ones celebrating… but who knows, really?

Still, ever the skeptic, I figure neither party will really learn much from the debacle and will simply regroup the next election cycle and try again with the same ol’ same ol’; status quo feels so much safer than going out for a radical change.

Which is what we have at the present.

It is going to be an interesting four years, to say the least.