[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2024-07-02

On the long-term sabotage of the US judicial system

Filed under: History,Politics — bblackmoor @ 13:13

We are about 15-20 years too late to change anything, but if you are curious how this started, it was during the Clinton administration.
http://www.cnn.com/US/9709/27/clinton.radio/ (CNN, 1997)

Mitch McConnell, then the Senate minority leader, helped make judicial sabotage a priority for Republicans when President Obama was elected.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/when-basic-governance-deemed-controversial-flna6c10205110 (NBC News, 2013)

And it worked, because Democrats failed to realize that they were no longer dealing with Reagan Republicans, but were instead dealing with an increasingly deranged death cult. So they continued to rely on appeals to reason, to compromise, and to putting the good of the country ahead of (most of) their political differences.

I learned an important lesson from a boy named Brian in the sixth grade: bullies see an appeal to reason as an explicit invitation to continue the bullying. They do not care about reason, or compromise, or making the world better. They just want to be the ones doing the punching, and most people are content to stand by and watch and do nothing.

And so they have.

Best Republican President Ever

Thursday, 2024-05-16

Like tears in the rain

Filed under: Art,Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 15:14

A pity that it ended with books. Most of the art and literature created in the past century will be lost forever within the next century. Not because it was written with vibrations in the air or painted with light, but because we have ceded our cultural heritage to a handful of sociopathic billionaires (Disney, Comcast, Sony, Warner Brothers), who would — and have, and will — destroy works of art rather than fail to make a profit from them.

It’s a shame, and it was avoidable.

Ah, well.

Friday, 2024-05-10

Backwards and on one wheel

Filed under: Philosophy,Science,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:32

I wish Americans were a little less fixated on 18th century concepts of political science, civic engagement, and natural philosophy.

Front wheel backward bike descend

Monday, 2023-02-06

Blue skies

Filed under: Ecology,Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 10:05

This is not the future I expected.

The air is cleaner and the sea level isn’t as high as some science fiction authors predicted. Other than that, the real world has gotten much worse much faster than this science fiction obsessed kid ever expected. Rivers drying up, corporations owning lifetime copyright on our cultural heritage, nonstop wars, a major political party turning into a death cult, more wealth in fewer hands than ever before, and the looming threat of AI making most of us useless and disposable to the corporations that actually own this world.

And the sea level is still rising.

But the air really is cleaner than it was when I was a kid. That’s pretty nice.

Thursday, 2022-08-11

MING 2024

Filed under: Humour,Movies,Politics,Television — bblackmoor @ 12:05

[I enjoy doing this sort of thing, and I think I have an eye for it. If I were a bit more ambitious, I would try to do it as a “side hustle”.]

“Psychological warfare has a new meme for your approval, Your Majesty.”

“What is this, Klytus: some new form of torture?”

“Most amusing, Your Majesty. These are a form of propaganda used on the Earth.”

(Ming examines the image)

“Would you like to explain why there is a Frigian labour beast next to the exalted name of MING THE MERCILESS, or should I call for the bore worms now?”

“Of course, Your Majesty may do as he pleases in all things, and I embrace the opportunity to display my undying loyalty. But as it happens, that is the current year according to the reckoning of the people of the planet ‘Earth’. The animal is a symbol of strength, ruthlessness, and nobility. It is known locally as a ‘jumbo’.”

“What primitive creatures these Earthlings are. And the purpose of this image?”

“Why, to grant the Earthlings hope, Your Majesty.”

“Hope?”

“Hope that you will show mercy, Your Majesty.”

(Ming pauses, then slowly claps, exactly three times)

(laughing) “Well done, Klytus. I look forward to reports on the psychological damage.”

(chuckling) “Thank you, Your Majesty. HAIL MING!”

P.S.

Being an actor must be such a strange job. You wear what someone else picked out, stand where they say to stand, and say what they wrote for you to say. And yet, it is so much more difficult to do than that makes it sound (I have only had a couple of amateur performances in my past, but it was enough to learn that much).

Then (if it’s film or whatever), you spend days, weeks, months, traveling from city to city just to sit and repeat the same half-dozen sentences about it for “interview” after “interview”. (Do they even get paid for any of that?)

And then, when the product is complete, you bear the brunt of the blame for the end result, even though you just did what you were told to do.

And whether you even get the job in the first place is dependent on factors so far beyond your control that joining Scientology or Keith Raniere’s bonkers sex cult seem like good alternatives.

Show business, man. It ain’t for sissies. (I think Betty White said that, originally, but I may be mistaken.)

Monday, 2022-06-06

The past is a different country

Filed under: Fine Living,History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 18:16

I had a sombre thought today. The world I grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. In some important ways, that’s a good thing. But it’s a bad thing, in a few ways. I feel sad for people who’ll never be able to live in it. Ah, well.

Tuesday, 2022-05-17

Fame is fleeting

Filed under: Humour,Movies,Music,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:39

For no particular reason, the song “Fame”, by Irene Cara, came into my mind today. Google tells me it was released in 1980: 42 years ago. I haven’t heard it in very nearly that long, but I recall it clearly, and I even recall the name of the singer.

That is just how hugely popular that song was… briefly. And then nothing. When’s the last time you thought of it? How strange that is. The fleeting popularity of fame, so to speak.

It’s not really my style of pop song, and I still haven’t seen the eponymous movie, but even I loved the song and sang along to it, at the time. Of course, I was in my early teens then, and a boy, so I could never actually tell anyone I loved that song. It would have been indistinguishable to wearing a “call me a ‘homo’ and push me down” sign. (I’m not gay, and was even less so then, thanks to adolescent hormones, but bullies don’t place a high value on accuracy. Hopefully, my own miserable teen years helped distract the bullies from actual gay kids.)

Anyway, that’s not what compelled me to write this post. I’m writing this post because I asked Google to “play ‘Fame’ by Irene Cara on YouTube, on ‘downstairs group'” (my downstairs speakers). And, obligingly, it did (Google can be… contrary, sometimes).

And then it played “YMCA”, by the Village People.

And THAT made me laugh out loud.

Friday, 2022-05-13

Story hook: the Post Office Saves The World

Filed under: History,Prose,Technology,The Internet,Writing — bblackmoor @ 10:06

Imagine a world where Amazon and Google and Microsoft and Apple had the combined wealth and power of Mailboxes, Etc. …

Proposal: some services must never be operated for profit. As in, if you want the license to operate, you operate as not-for-profit, with all of the oversight and regulation that entails. What kind of services?

  • Hospitals
  • Military
  • Police
  • Post Offices
  • Prisons
  • Roads
  • Schools
  • Trains

Story hook: a team of people from 2080 go back to the 1960s to attempt to prevent the end of Human civilization. How? By lobbying legislators to put civilian use of ARPANET under exclusive control of the US Post Office before Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf develop TCP/IP.

Update: In case this was unclear: if you put “Contracting Company” after any of these services, it should make NO DIFFERENCE. NONE. If you want the license to operate, you operate as not-for-profit, with all of the oversight and regulation that entails. We are at least a generation past the point where the “contractor” loophole should have been legislatively closed. Human beings are not “resources” to be squeezed dry and discarded.

Wednesday, 2022-03-16

Rust and energy consumption

Filed under: Programming,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:41

I find this interesting. Go has been on my short list of “next things to play with” for a little while, but I am adding Rust above it.

A recent post on the AWS Open Source blog announced that AWS “is investing in the sustainability of Rust, a language we believe should be used to build sustainable and secure solutions.”

It was written by the chair of the Rust foundation (and leader of AWS’s Rust team) with a Principal Engineer at AWS, and reminds us that Rust “combines the performance and resource efficiency of systems programming languages like C with the memory safety of languages like Java.”

But there’s another reason they’re promoting Rust:

https://developers.slashdot.org/story/22/02/20/0143226/is-it-more-energy-efficient-to-program-in-rust

Saturday, 2022-01-15

Avengers: Endgame

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 18:17

Avengers: Endgame…

Society dealing with a 50% loss in population is nothing — NOTHING — compared to the mass starvation and tragedy that would result from a sudden 100% increase in population after society has adapted to the previous 50% population loss.

Today you have two children. You have a job, and you can feed them.

Tomorrow you have another unemployed adult in your household, and two more children to feed.

How does that feel?

And that’s if you are lucky. If you aren’t, you (SUDDENLY — to you it seems five years have gone by in a moment) are a single adult with a child, and you have no job and nowhere to live. And there are THREE BILLION people who, like you, weren’t here yesterday. Good luck finding a job or a place to live.

Avengers: Endgame is the beginning of a tragedy the likes of which the world has never seen.

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