Tag Archives: Internet

iHate the iPad (and the iPhone and the…)

“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror that you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

 — Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith

President Barack Obama has taken some heat from tech-lovers for recently having told graduates at a graduation ceremony:

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter.

“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”

In his speech to the graduates, Obama mentioned Thomas Jefferson, who, Obama said, recognized “that in the long run, [the] improbable experiment called America wouldn’t work if its citizens were uninformed, if its citizens were apathetic, if its citizens checked out and left democracy to those who didn’t have the best interests of all the people at heart.”

Yup. I wholeheartedly agree with the president on this one. While you’re wasting your time with your latest gadget and are not participating in the political process, others are — and they’re probably not looking out for you.

I am surrounded by people with all kinds of technological wizardry — iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc. — who have the means to say just about anything to just about anyone just about anywhere in the world. But they don’t seem to have much that is very important or very meaningful to say.

Americans seem to mistake technology for good content, but content is king.

Plenty of good content is available online, but let’s be honest — is that what most Americans are accessing with this technology? Are they accessing the best that our culture has to offer?

I don’t think so…

Most of all, I think, iHate the iPad.

The iPad is little more than a fucking status symbol.

Recently my boyfriend and I were at a mall (where I pretty much go only for shoes) and we saw a temporary Apple store set up. The place was packed as though it were the second coming of Christ. Apparently the sheeple were covering their bases — if they weren’t saved by Christ, then the iPad and/or the iPhone would save them.

It was my first opportunity to see an iPad up close. I was unimpressed. So the screen adjusts its landscape or portrait orientation as you move the iPad. Oooo! Yeah, that’s worth the hundreds of dollars.

I found the iPad to be too heavy and all of the display iPads were covered with smudges, since you have to touch the screen to work it. Might as well coat it with Vaseline and get it over with.

I have access to desktop computers at home, at work and at my boyfriend’s apartment. I don’t even like laptops because I like to be able to use a real keyboard, not a squished keyboard. I like to be able to spread out and relax when I’m at the computer.

Since I have no use for even a laptop, I certainly have no use for an iPad, which doesn’t even have a keyboard. iPass on the iPad. And on the iPhone, too, since I don’t have use for even a simple cell phone. I have plenty of access to land lines, and I prefer e-mail anyway.

But back to what Obama said — again, I’m with him. We Americans are too entranced with our gadgets, and in our obsession with our gadgets that we don’t even need, we are losing meaning and purpose and depth. And we’re becoming even more isolated from each other because increasingly, we prefer to socialize via gadgets rather than in person. We don’t even want to talk to each other on the telephone anymore — we want to text or instant-message instead, even though it’s less efficient and more time-consuming to have a conversation that way.

And I’ll never understand how it makes one cool to purchase what everyone else is purchasing, most notably today, the iPad.

I have the impression that on some level, Americans really do believe that their technological gadgets are going to save them.

Meh. Your iPhone won’t even work when Armageddon comes.

Better find something on the inside to save your soul.

Learn the ways of the Force.  

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I’m a PROUD left-wing ‘censor’

I love the Internet. I still believe that the Internet is the best way for the average citizen to get his or her voice heard. True, the sheer volume of citizen content on the Internet — and, of course, the huge corporate presence on the Internet — make it incredibly difficult for any one citizen to get a large audience, but the alternative to the Internet is the way that it used to be: mostly corporately owned and controlled mass/mainstream media putting out virtually all media content, most of it in the one-way communication form of television.

If nothing else, citizen media force the mass/mainstream media to address those issues that the citizens — rather than only the mass/mainstream media’s corporate overlords — want addressed.

In their infancy, blogs were mostly ignored by the mass/mainstream media, as blogs weren’t considered a threat, but no more. Anything that grows legs and takes off in the blogosphere is going to make it into the mass/mainstream media, and these days, sooner rather than later.

And once blogs proved to be successful, of course the capitalist swine decided to jump on board and co-opt blogging. Recently at a major chain bookstore I saw a book on blogging for business purposes and I wanted to barf, since I’ve always believed that blogs were meant to topple the man, not to be used by the man in his ongoing conquest of us wage slaves in the capitalist slavery system that so many of us slaves, being thoroughly brainwashed, actually call “freedom.”

But opening up the forum to anyone — anyone — has its problems.

On one hand is the common but misguided belief that a blogger should allow anyone to leave anything on his or her blog’s comments section — and that to do otherwise is “censorship.”

The legal definition of censorship, actually, is when a governmental entity puts controls on speech. There is no right to leave anything on anyone’s blog — indeed, a blogger may turn off the comments function altogether at any time. But few would call that censorship, and those who would are just dipshits.

I have three main types of comments trolls, and the older and crankier that I get, the more I’m just prone to delete their comments, which don’t add whatsoever to the enlightenment of the subject matter at hand. Their predictable protests of “censorship” don’t deter me. I can’t simply hit a button to delete them, but I can simply hit a button to delete their bullshit.

First there is the Common Troll. This person is just miserable and leaves what I call “drive-by” comments on blogs. He or she (it’s almost always a he, though) probably doesn’t have very many people to shit and piss upon in his life, so he shits and pisses upon people online, because it’s anonymous and thus safe. He probably never would have the balls to treat people like this in person. Because in reality he’s just a fucking coward.

The Common Troll usually leaves no more than a sentence or two, and, because the Common Troll is not bright, often his comment doesn’t even make any fucking sense. And usually his comments are rife with misspellings. (Ted Rall had it right when he once commented that the future belongs to those who can spell.)

On Open Salon, strangely, the Common Trolls usually are stupid white men of baby-boomer age or older (you can tell by their avatars, which are photos of themselves, and they virtually never are attractive). These old Common Trolls, having nothing better to do, jump online with the youngsters to “prove” that they’re still “youthful” too, and they leave comments that are in the spirit of “You damned kids get off of my lawn!”

It’s unfortunate that medical science has enabled people to live longer and longer, with an emphasis on the quantity of people’s lifespans instead of on the quality of people.

Seriously — it’s fine if someone doesn’t like a post of mine, but to leave a juvenile personal attack that doesn’t contribute whatsoever to the topic at hand? I don’t get that. I can’t imagine just trolling blogs and leaving personal attacks. I have much better things to do with my time. (If I am going to engage in anything like a personal attack, I at least also am going to address the topic at hand; there will be some substance in my comment.)

Then there are the Proselytizer Trolls. They apparently think that if they go around and around with you just enough, they’re going to convert you to their fucked-up belief system (or, at the very least, “prove” you “wrong”). Either they’re going to convert you to their wingnuttery or they’re going to convert you to their “Christo”fascism (or both, since the two are so intertwined).

The Proselytizer Trolls are “nice” at first, but gradually, when it’s clear to them that what they believe are just brilliant “arguments” in support of their “cause” aren’t going to move you an inch, then they usually get verbally abusive, showing their true colors.

For whatever reason(s), I get most of my Proselytizer Trolls on my WordPress and AlterNet blogs. The way I usually handle Proselytizer Trolls is to tell them, after we have gone around and around to no avail, that I am ending the discussion, as it is going nowhere and as they’ve had more than their fair say, and that any further comments of theirs on the post I will delete. And then I follow through on that promise.

If I didn’t do it that way, I can see these losers going pointlessly back and forth with me infuckingdefinitely.

Then there are the Spam Trolls. I refer not to the apparently automatically generated spam that we bloggers get in our comments sections on occasion (hopefully filtered out, such as WordPress does), but to those who leave comments on blogs primarily in order to promote their own gig, usually their own blog. They’ll give a passing mention of the post on which they’re commenting, usually, and then go right into promoting their own gig/blog.

Most bloggers figured out long ago that this is a major breech of “blogiquette,” and so Spam Trolls (as I have defined them) are rare.

There are Combination Trolls.

This dipshit, a Combination Troll, tried to leave this dipshit comment (this is an unaltered copy and paste of his own words) on my post about the bullshit computer-generated images of what the corpse of Jesus Christ supposedly looked like, based upon the fraudulent Shroud of Turin:

Wouldn’t Jesus relates have washed the blood off, you’re an idiot running at the mouth. Abrasion and lacerations, such the extent Jesus suffered would be open wounds that would still secret blood.

This guy calls me an “idiot,” yet writes “Jesus” instead of the possessive “Jesus'”; spells “relatives” as “relates”; uses a run-on sentence right off; misuses the comma in his second sentence; and spells “secrete” as “secret.” Really, if you don’t have a grasp of your mother tongue, how can you have any credibility?

But forgiving his illiteracy, if you look at the photo that I referred to and that he was commenting on —

BIG REVEAL: Information

— that clearly appears to be surface blood that just wasn’t washed off, not blood that would “secret” later. I blame it on the artist/artists just not having paid attention to realistic detail.

So, as is common for a troll, this Combo Troll not only can’t write correct English, but his “argument” is whack.

Now, WordPress is set up so that a first-time comment is not automatically posted. Only after at least one comment has been approved by the blogger can a person leave more comments on a WordPress blog without those comments first having to be screened by the blogger.

Now, I’m at the Internet too much, probably, but I’m not at it 24/7, so it can take some time before I screen a first-time comment on my WordPress blog. But this dipshit Combo Troll apparently believed that I have it set up so that his dipshit first-time comment wouldn’t immediately be posted to my blog, because his second attempted comment was this one:

Awaiting moderation, just like a loud mouth liberal to want to censor opinions.

So here he is, calling (in another run-on sentence, and it’s “loud-mouthed liberal”) what is beyond my control — the fact that the WordPress program automatically subjects all first-time comments to the blogger’s moderation — my “censorship.” Oh, and it’s not just my “censorship.” It’s “liberal” “censorship.” (You know, vast left-wing conspiracy, socialism, tyranny, blah blah blah…)

So of course I approved neither of his comments. I spammed them instead, because spam essentially is what they are (were…).

The first comment I probably would have approved and responded to, had he not then immediately and incorrectly accused me of “censorship” because his ignorant comment didn’t show up on my blog immediately and because he is ignorant of how WordPress works.

I just don’t owe anything to assholes like this Combo Troll, who gives his e-mail address as josephjgates@gmail.com, by the way.

Let’s talk about “liberal” “censorship,” though.

Fact is, the right wing has engaged in censorship, unabashedly, forever. And most of the right wing’s censorship is fucking structural, in that because the corporations own and control most of the mass media outlets, there’s no fucking way that their plutocratic owners and controllers are going to allow anti-corporate messages to get out there. No, it’s quite the status quo, baby, because the status quo has been pretty fucking good for the plutocrats.

Even censorship as it is commonly conceived (structural censorship is quite real, but because it’s structural, most Americans don’t notice it any more than fish notice the water that engulfs them) isn’t a problem when the right-wingers do it, but should the left do anything that has even a whiff of a hint of “censorship,” the wingnuts are the first to cry “censorship” foul.

But the truth is, the more that the left and the right become polarized, and the more hell-bent on Armageddon the wingnuts become — to the point that they seriously would consider handing over the Big Red Button to Sarah Palin-Quayle — the friendlier to the censorship of the right wing I’m getting.

The right wing in the United States of America and its corporately owned and controlled media propaganda machine helped George W. Bush steal the White House in late 2000 and were complicit in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjustified launch of its Vietraq War by acting as cheerleaders for the “shock and awe” instead of as journalists. (Yes, an “embedded” reporter is in bed with someone, and it’s not in bed with us common citizens who need unbiased, critical, accurate information in order to make our democracy — or what we call a democracy, anyway — function.)

FOX “News” and several individuals on the far right, including Sarah “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Palin-Quayle and Glenn Beck, have incited death threats against and the hurling of epithets, spittle and bricks at Democratic lawmakers who voted for a “socialist!” health-care overhaul.

At what point does an individual or group of individuals pass from legally protected free speech to illegal incitement of violence? And cannot free speech meant to promote freedom and democracy be perverted and abused in order to establish right-wing fascism, such as in the case of FOX “News”?*

And a central if not the central idea behind opposition to “censorship” seems to be the woefully misguided belief that all opinions and ideas are of equal merit and quality. Under this thinking, an opinion is an opinion and an idea is an idea, and the opinion or idea of a highly intelligent, educated individual is no better than the opinion or idea of an uneducated dimwit.

That absolutely is untrue.  

Take the recent media coverage of Palin-Quayle’s criticism of President Barack Obama’s handling of nuclear arms policy.

OK, first off, Sarah Fucking Palin-Quayle doesn’t understand how the system works. She and John McCainosaurus lost the election in November 2008. Lost it. Lost it by seven percentage points — a significant margin.

Fifty-three percent of Americans voting in November 2008 chose Barack Obama to be in charge of the nation’s nuclear arms policy. Fifty-three percent of the popular vote is higher than George W. Bush got in 2000 or in 2004 (election fraud committed by the Repugnicans in both of those presidential elections aside).

Sarah Palin-Quayle is a fucking loser. She fucking lost. But to hear her tell it, she fucking won. Indeed, Emmy-Award-winning Tina Fey’s recent impersonation of Palin-Quayle on “Saturday Night Live” — in which Fey-as-Palin-Quayle identifies herself as having “won the silver medal in last year’s vice-presidential election” — seems to be an accurate statement of how Palin-Quayle views herself.

When Palin-Quayle criticized Obama’s nuclear arms policy — comparing nuclear arms brinkmanship to a schoolyard fight, which is so fucking clever, except, of course, that a schoolyard fight never ends up in the nuclear annihilation of the entire fucking planet (but I guess that we have to forgive the simple-minded Palin-Quayle for having to make complicated things simple for her simple-minded followers) — she remarked that a “community organizer” doesn’t know anything about nuclear arms policy.

Of course, Palin-Quayle conveniently left out the fact that before 53 percent of the American voters elected Obama as president of the United States, more than who ever “elected” George W. Bush, Obama not only was a U.S. senator but he also was a professor of law at the University of Chicago for 12 years (and please tell me what, exactly, is “wrong” with having been a “community organizer,” because I still don’t know) —  and that while Obama was an evil “community organizer,” she was a Miss Alaska beauty pageant contestant. (Um, I am guessing that she didn’t dote on “world peace” during her beauty pageants…)

So let me rephrase the question this way: Would you prefer a former University of Chicago law professor or a former Alaska state beauty pageant contestant to be in charge of the Big Red Button?

Um, yeah…

Not all opinions and ideas — and not all politicians — are equal. Some are superior to others, some are inferior to others.

And it’s the inferior ones that can completely destroy our nation, and if I had to choose between the total ruination of the nation at the hands of the right wing and the “censorship” of the right wing in order to prevent that ruination from coming to fruition, I’d pick the latter, hands down.

As Abraham Lincoln knew during the nation’s first civil war, and as is becoming clearer as the nation’s second civil war approaches, desperate times call for desperate measures.

*This happened in Venezuela in April 2002 — the right-wing media there used the airwaves to lie about President Hugo Chavez having stepped down when, in fact, he had not stepped down but had been the victim of a short-lived right-wing coup — and it can happen here in the United States too, and, as I have written recently, I don’t fully blame President Chavez for having clamped down on the right-wingers in his nation, because they gladly would try another fascistic takeover if they could get away with it.

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War on right is war on ignorance

 

My boyfriend and I were in a Borders bookstore last night, and in the politics section I saw a paperback copy of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism on a shelf right above Glenn Beck’s hardcover Arguing with Idiots. (That Glenn Beck should accuse others of being “idiots” with “small minds” — that’s mind-blowing…)

I picked up and placed the copy of The Origins of Totalitarianism immediately to the right of Beck’s Arguing with Idiots, giving something of the effect above, as it seems so appropriate: If Beck wants to dress and act like a Nazi, well, then, if the jackboot fits, then he should wear it (and he probably does wear jackboots, prancing around in them in private…). And further, it seems to me that Beck and his ilk indeed could be the originators of an American totalitarianism that would make the Taliban jealous.

Of course, the battle between the left and the right rages beyond the politics sections of bookstores, where it’s common to see books representing the political opposition (usually progressives) turned around so that their covers are obscured. (Books featuring the visages of our lesser-evolved primate cousins also have appeared juxtapositioned to books whose covers feature Barack Obama’s face. Ha ha ha! Racism is so funny!)

President Obama has even chimed in on the national political “vitriol,” but the common assertion that the left is just as guilty as is the right in denigrating the national political discourse — a myth that even Obama himself occasionally parrots, in an apparently well-meaning but woefully misguided attempt to be fair and balanced, to spread the blame around, whether it’s actually factually accurate to do that or not — is fucking bullshit.

The right always has been more rabid, more racist, more ignorant, more hateful and more willing to resort to aggression to get what it wants than has the left. In the past decade alone, the American right resorted to stealing presidential elections, started a bogus major war, and gave the rich such tax cuts that, coupled with the hundreds of billions of dollars sunk into the bogus Vietraq War, resulted in a record federal budget deficit that the right now blames on Obama, and the right has created a surreal, down-the-rabbit-hole national political climate in which it’s deemed perfectly fine to piss hundreds of billions of the taxpayers’ dollars away on the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, but it’s “socialism” to actually spend a fucking penny of the taxpayers’ money on the taxpayers

And I don’t recall any leftists having spat on Repugnican lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the eight long nightmarish years of the Bush regime’s unelected rule, or calling them epithets, or hurling bricks through their office windows. I don’t recall any Democratic politicians talking about “reloading” and using the symbol of a gun-sight crosshairs to target their political opponents.

I only wish that the peacenik lefties were nearly as guilty as are the wingnuts in being rhetorically or even actually aggressive.

Lefties almost always have to remain above it all, such as how Al Gore had to remain above it all and just allowed Team Bush to steal the White House in late 2000.

The results of “remaining above it all” and just allowing the wingnuts to wreak their havoc upon the nation are plain to see in the smoking ruins of the nation that the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime left behind when they finally were forced from the White House. There comes a point where “remaining above it all” no longer is remaining above it all at all, but is a dangerous dereliction of duty to democracy.

Also at Borders last night I saw a copy of Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, the premise of which, I understand from its back cover, is that the switch from a primarily print culture to a primarily audiovisual culture has resulted in a dangerous dumbing down of the United States of America, a danger to the nation’s democracy, which cannot survive when so many of its citizens are dumbfucks. (I’m buying Hedges’ book on amazon.com, as paying full cover price when I don’t have to pains me too much.)

I’m all for greater literacy, but just as it has hijacked our democracy, the right wing has hijacked what remains of the print culture. Chillingly, I long have seen far more wingnut books than progressive books on amazon.com’s top-100-selling books list.

The right wing is busily rewriting American history to suit is ideology in a way that would make George Orwell’s history-revising Big Brother jealous. And the stupid-white-male authors and broadcast pundits who have the audacity to liken themselves to the nation’s founding fathers are as much like the founding fathers as the likes of Pat Robertson and the pedophile-protecting Pope Palpatine are like Jesus Christ.

Sure the wingnuts read books, you say — but they read right-wing revisions not only of American history, but right-wing revisions of American principles. And then they inflict their ignorance upon the rest of us.

In their “tea party” bullshit, the wingnuts actually equate the nation’s declaration of its independence from the oppressive English monarchy to their dislike of the democratically elected American president whom they don’t like primarily because he’s black and because their old-white-guy candidate lost the election, 46 percent to Obama’s 53 percent. 

The wingnuts also have hijacked the term “common sense,” both as a noun and an adjective. Sarah Fucking Palin-Quayle can’t shut the fuck up about “common-sense” this and “common-sense” that, and, of course, Glenn Beck put out a book titled Glenn Beck’s Common Sense, as though a dry-drunk baby boomer like Glenn Fucking Beck is really on the same level as is Thomas Paine.

And that’s what the term “common sense,” as the wingnuts use it, is meant to achieve: It’s meant to say that you don’t have to be educated, that you don’t have to work at attaining knowledge and wisdom. “Common sense,” as Beck and Palin-Quayle and their ilk use the term, means that whatever utter bullshit that you pull out of your mentally lazy, ignorant, wingnutty ass is the gospel fucking truthbecause you say so.

In her chapter titled “Junk Thought” in her worthwhile The Age of American Unreason, author Susan Jacoby talks about “the folk belief in the superior wisdom of ordinary people.”

“Folk belief” there is the key.

Ordinary people can become intelligent and wise — but not without doing the work.

There are no shortcuts, although that is what the right wing promises its followers: Simply wearing a lapel pin of the U.S. flag makes a politician “patriotic,” and simply reading a book by Sarah Palin-Quayle or Glenn Beck makes one “politically educated.” (And, of course, simply declaring onself “saved” makes one “saved.”)

Listening to — or even reading — the likes of Beck or Palin-Quayle or Rush Limbaugh, because their retrogressive, reality-evading worldview is comforting in rapidly changing, rapidly diversifying times, doesn’t cut it.

Ignorance will destroy the nation, and the fight against the right wing ultimately is the fight against ignorance.

A return to a fact- and reality-based print culture, as many authors (such as Jacoby and Hedges and yes, even Al Gore) have recommended probably is the answer. The Internet, I suspect, already has been playing a large role in bringing Americans back from the purely audiovisual, purely one-way medium of television to an interactive print culture. Sure, there’s plenty of garbage on the Internet, but there’s plenty of quality stuff available, too. 

I, for one, stopped watching television years ago, after all of the major, corporately owned and operated TV networks treated the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust March 2003 invasion of Iraq as an entertainment or sporting event (“shock and awe!”) instead of covering it journalistically — that is, critically, intelligently and objectively. And I credit the Internet with having facilitated my political knowledge and activism.

Of course, the wingnuts are on the ’Net, too.

But the more that the nation returns to a fact- and reality-based national political dialog, the less the right wing can survive.

Ignorance is the right wing’s oxygen, and the way to snuff out the right wing is to deprive it of its oxygen.

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Internet revolution the ONE good thing about the dog shit of a decade that was

The last 10 years really have sucked ass.

First there was the blatantly stolen presidential election of late 2000.

Hey, what harm to the nation could a band of thieves possibly do in the White House for four or eight years? George W. Bush & Co. are whining more loudly for the White House, so let’s just let them have it! In late 2000 that was the mentality of Americans, who, fat and lazy from the prosperous Clinton years, didn’t give a shit that their democracy had been dangerously subverted by Team Bush. Hey, they had things to buy and things to consume!

Bush had lost the popular vote by “only” more than a half-million votes. Close enough! And that his brother was the governor of Florida, the pivotal state that Bush “won” — and that Florida’s top elections official, Repugnican Katherine Harris, also had sat on the state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya — and that the Repugnican-tilted U.S. Supreme Court voted to stop the whole silly recount nonsense; none of that was a problem. Democrat Al Gore was just being a “sore loserman.”

I saw the decade coming. In early 2001 I attended a “Not My President Day” rally at the California State Capitol here in Sacramento to voice my dissent to the Universe. In November 2000 I’d voted for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, but it was obvious that Al Gore had won the too-close election.

Then there was Sept. 11, 2001, and the months of post-9/11 hysteria. 9/11 was the unelected Bush regime’s Reichstag fire.

Speaking of which, then there was the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust launching of its Vietraq War in March 2003. (In February 2003 I was at the state Capitol again, this time protesting the coming Vietraq War, which the Bush regime might have called “Operation Iraqi Liberation,” except that that spells O-I-L, so they called it “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”) On May 1, 2003, “President” Bush declared “mission accomplished,” but thus far the Vietraq War has claimed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives (these Iraqis were permanently “liberated,” you see) and the lives of more than 4,300 U.S. military personnel. And hundreds of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars that the Repugnicans are perfectly OK handing over to the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, via bogus wars – but not to things that Americans need, such as health care. Because that would be socialism! Better dead than red, but, of course, with the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — system, you’re going to be dead anyway.

Then there was Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 to blow away and wash away any and all doubt that it was a big fuckin’ mistake to have just allowed Team Bush to steal the White House in late 2000.

Both Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 killed more than 2,000 Americans each, yet the Repugnicans now are lambasting President Barack Obama — who, if nothing else, actually fucking won the presidential election — because some lonely young dude from Nigeria tried to blow up an airliner but only succeeded in burning himself.

We just can’t trust Obama to keep us safe!, except that thus far he has, and it was George W. Bush who couldn’t keep us safe. But facts have become a matter of opinion in the United States of Amnesia.

But I digress.

After Hurricane Katrina, it was just waiting it out until President Bozo and Vice President Penguin were termed out of the White House.

Barack Obama and Billary Clinton duked it out for months on end during the interminable 2008 Democratic presidential primary season.

Obama won the Democratic presidential nomination and the general election based upon his promises of “hope” and “change.”

Keep on hoping for that big change! That was the theme of 2009.

So yeah, the last 10 years have been a big, steaming pile of dog shit.

But it was an article via AlterNet titled “This Decade Mostly Sucked — Except for the Huge Expansion of the Internet” that made me realize that yeah, there was one good thing about the past decade.

The author of the piece notes:

The Internet is a disruptive technology for our entire species, even if it has a long way to go before it spreads to all humans. The exponential decline in the cost of information brought about by the Internet and mobile phone technology will be, in all likelihood, the top cultural and technological development of our lifetimes. The way this has changed, and will continue to change, our economic, social and mental structures puts it on par with the printing press as an agent of change….

I agree with all of that. Unfortunately, the author then goes on to discuss Net neutrality, which is an important issue, but he misses what I think is the biggest achievement of the Internet: the Internet has been an end-run around the baby boomers, who have been hell-bent upon destroying the nation that they inherited from their spoiling parents (the so-called “greatest generation”) in a fat and juicy state but have sucked bone dry during their too-long lifetimes.

The Internet wasn’t around during most of their lives, so to the boomers the Internet wasn’t that important. It was a mildly useful and/or amusing tool or toy – you can buy stuff on it, you can save money by sending some e-mails instead of stamped letters or instead of making long-distance phone calls, you can look at porn (but you probably shouldn’t, because while they enjoyed wild, uninhibited sex when they were young, the boomers don’t want the generations that follow them to enjoy sex, and since the boomers’ sexual excess brought us AIDS, we can’t).

But the boomers never appreciated the potential power of the Internet.

Until it was too late.

“Inspired” by the multiple rapings to our democracy, starting with late 2000’s theft of the White House, and also “inspired” by the inevitable Vietraq War, which it was clear that the unelected Bush regime was going to start no matter fucking what, I started blogging in late 2002, and millions of others also have been using the power of the Internet this decade to do an end-run around the traditional power structure.

Information is power, and so the informational system is the power system, and we sneaky Generation X’ers (and Gen Y’ers [and yes, a handful of non-evil boomers]) have used the Internet to get around the blockages that the power-hungry boomers placed before us.

Not to get too geeky here, but the human body, when a large blood vessel is blocked or otherwise not functioning, will form a network of smaller, more numerous blood vessels in order to compensate for the lost circulation.

That’s what we progressives have done: gone around the boomers’ blockages in smaller, more numerous ways, such as with blogs and many other new ways of sharing information electronically.

The invention of the printing press indeed made it harder for the powers that be to maintain their power by withholding information from us peasants, and the Internet has expanded upon the success of the printing press exponentially, because while printing presses cost a lot of money, almost everyone has access to the Internet. (Indeed, don’t even get me started on how hard it is to get noticed as a blogger, even if you’re an excellent fucking writer, as I am, because of the crushing number of blogs out there.)

As I said, before the boomers realized how powerful the Internet could be as a tool for the downtrodden to politically organize and to share information that the powers that be would try to keep from us peasants, it was too late; the world had changed irreversibly because of the Internet. The “solid” foundation that the boomers thought they were standing upon had been quietly eaten from beneath them by millions of busy termites.

It’s too late for the boomers who never bothered to join the Internet revolution. The world has changed around these dinosaurs while they’ve remained stuck in the past. (Fuck, I have had boomer “managers” who can’t even fucking touch-type in this, the Information Age!)

So anyway, we end 2009 and the decade with President Obama. Let me remind you that he never was the superhero that many made him out to be, with a big “O” on his chest. Obama simply rode the wave that Howard Dean created in his campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

Speaking of which, the 2004 election also was a big event of the past decade to me; I’d never been that politically involved before or since, and it was the felons and the traitors of the unelected Bush regime who induced me to become so politically aware and active* — an unintended side effect of their treason and their felonies, I’m sure.

Anyway, even though I always supported John Kerry over Dean, figuring that there was no way that Dean could win the White House in 2004, not with the Repugnicans still rabidly milking the TERROR! cow, I credit Team Dean with having changed forever the way that presidential politics are played, including the phenomenon of individuals’ political donations (including mine) becoming as important if not more important than the fat cats’ political donations.

As 2009 and as the decade come to a close, it’s clear that we progressives — those of us for whom “hope” and “change” aren’t just slogans that you cynically slap on campaign merchandise — have a long way to go, but we start the new year and the new decade with the advantage of having seriously undercut, quietly but surely over the past decade, the biggest threat to our nation and our democracy: the baby boomers.

We did it legally and democratically and, luckily for them, bloodlessly.

So far.

*I became so politically active that, among other things, at one point I got to shake John Kerry’s hand during one of his visits to California (too bad that he didn’t become president), and I also met Cindy Sheehan before she became nationally (in)famous for having camped outside of Gee Dubya’s ranch in Texas in August 2005 in protest of the Vietraq War, in which her young son Casey had been killed. (I will brag that I blogged about Sheehan a full six months before she became nationally known.)

I have to say that Sheehan might be my most-admired person of the decade. I can think of no one else who so courageously stood up against the Bush regime — too bad that Al Gore didn’t in late 2000, or the decade might have turned out quite differently — and she took so much bile and venom for her incredibly brave patriotism.

The war that Sheehan opposed but took so much shit for having opposed is now considered by the majority of Americans to have been a bullshit war. (I doubt that anyone has apologized to her, though, because being an American means never having to say that you’re sorry…)

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