Morning Ed: Society {2017.05.02.Tu}

Stay away from Facebook, if you know what’s good for you. It’s even more toxic than Twitter, says Noah Berlatsky. I continue to find it strange how opposite my Facebook experience appears to be than everyone else’s…

Oliver Bateman muses on Reboots and Adaptations. Incidentally, Kelsey Grammar’s role in Back To You is underrated, as was the show.

Fortunately, this describes only a few people I know.

Ahhhh, boy, the intersection between sex crime paranoia and racism.

Dumb. And ultimately untenable.

The Aaron Hernandez story took an unexpected turn, though a couple people told me that they sort of got a gay vibe from him.

More on the whole DaddyOFive story, previously discussed here.

I wonder if TV shows are going to be like rock bands where they are sometimes together and sometimes not together but they’re not necessarily over until people start dying. Relatedly, Roseanne may be coming back.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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60 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Society {2017.05.02.Tu}

  1. The Facebook thing happens to be true. Looking at people I know get together to events I’m not invited to in real life on Facebook makes me socially excluded and that your allowed to get so close but not closer. Many people probably experience something similar.

    The Oliver Bateman link goes to the Twitter less toxic than Facebook link.

    The United Airlines sex crime paranoia story was horrible and anybody who thought that a $100 voucher was sufficient apology for the incident needs to be on the receiving end of a law suit.

    I don’t understand why Reason is blasting Zara for listening to their customers. This is the exact sort of free market, non-governmental protest should support even if it is dumb and untenable. Its how social reform happens without government intervention.

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    • I don’t see any blasting of Zara in that post. The criticism seems to be focused on the pseudo-justice warriors protesting it. And thinking that social pressure is a legitimate way to push for change doesn’t mean that you have to support every specific application of that method. That’s like saying you should be in support of mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods for women wanting to get abortions, because you think government regulation is a legitimate way to effect change.

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    • I don’t understand why Reason is blasting Zara for listening to their customers. This is the exact sort of free market, non-governmental protest should support even if it is dumb and untenable. Its how social reform happens without government intervention.

      How many of the angry SWJs do you think are actually customers of Zara or are they really just outraged SWJ +1ers on the intertoobs? What kind of social reform are you talking about? Maybe you mean the complete banishment of frogs as design elements. Besides how would gov’t intervention is a situation like this actually work?

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  2. The fuller story on DaddyOFive doesn’t change my feelings about this. When authorities receive many complaints from people about abuse observed via the internet than it is time to act.

    China’s influence on movies can lead to some interesting political fights domestically. They made the Ancient One into a Celtic woman in the movie version of Doctor Strange because China did not want an old Tibetan man for some rather obvious reasons. This led to some complaints about Marvel doing white-washing. Marvel could have said don’t blame us, blame China and they would have been entirely right.

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    • I didn’t see it mentioned in the previous DaddyOFive story that the father had his son slap his daughter, so my feelings went from negative to very negative.

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    • I don’t think the full story was meant to change your opinion because one of the last sentences was about when wavering to go to the authorities, it is okay to trust your gut with people like DaddyOFive. The story is not meant to be sympathetic to him.

      Of course there is an interesting contrast between DaddyOFive and the story of the Mexican with his fair-skinned daughter. They are both at extreme ends of the spectrum. What is the middle zone where something could be bad but might not be?

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  3. The reboot last link is the twitter link.

    Maybe this is because I am an uptight bourgeois but I don’t get all the extreme prank stuff. DaddyOFive is just a hyped up version of a lot of stuff out there. Every now and then I am in a Lyft and the driver is listening to a prank call segment on a Top 40 radio show and I just don’t understand why people find it funny. But a lot of people seemingly do. How many viewers did DaddyOFive get before people said it wasn’t acceptable?

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    • Shockingly, I agree with my brother on the vulgarity and cruelness of extreme pranks. Even as a kid, I didn’t think these things were funny. They were mean and made people feel bad for no reason but somebody else’s fun.

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    • I hate those kinds of pranks, probably because I spent a lot of my school-years as the butt of them.

      I also really hate when parents film them pranking their kids. Pranking your kid repeatedly is a way to teach them no one is trustworthy (Which probably isn’t such an awful lesson, but learning it at 4 or so is pretty awful).

      I also really loathe it when parents video kids who are doped up on dental anesthesia or something. It makes me cringe (and is also why I refuse gas at the dentist and white-knuckle it through instead: you don’t know who has a cell phone camera and a finely-tuned sense of “for the lulz” these days)

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      • I remember Craig Ferguson talking about America’s Funniest Home Videos. Parents, your child just smacked his sled into a tree, and you’re still filming? Put down the camera! We’ve gone farther than that, with parents setting up their kids, but the callous stance has been around for a while.

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  4. Zara: Spineless weaklings.

    Mexican father: While not the same thing, I got sorta wrapped up in a less complicated similar case. The wife and I were taking my niece (wife’s sister’s kid) on a short trip and we got hassled by the TSA person checking documents. My niese had ID and I had a written, signed letter from both parents, stating they knew where we were taking their daughter and for how long, and who we were. This was over 15 years ago. It’s only gotten worse.

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    • A guy who was going to do some drywall work for us had to demur, because he had some complicated arrangement with his fiancee for her to come to the United States. The procedure set out by the immigration authority was:

      *She checks in at their office.
      *He flies in and checks in at the office separately (they cannot arrive together.)
      *They both verify independently that they know each other and that the purpose of the trip is not in any way related to human trafficking. (Documents to this effect must be provided, proving identity and showing length and status of relationship.)
      *They both leave–again separately–and board separate flights to the USA.
      *After arriving, they must again check in with the immigration office, again separately.

      And the thing is, I can see why all this would be necessary! It sounds utterly crazy, but the point is to give the woman every possible chance to escape–to make sure that, to the greatest extent possible, she’s in a safe place with the authorities and away from the man’s influence at all phases of the trip.

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    • “another passenger on the plane, who was obviously inebriated, accused my husband of child trafficking. She claimed that my fair-skinned daughter didn’t look like her Mexican father, and stoked suspicion that he had kidnapped her. This passenger had no basis for this claim, nor any evidence to back it up.”

      So what this means is that Code Words were used, and so the Procedure had to be followed, because if Discretion enters into any part of the process then Racism might happen.

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  5. Facebook vs. Twitter: I hang out a lot on Twitter but I don’t facebook. Part of the reason I avoid FB is the potential for long-form political rants (with twitter, someone posts five tweets on the same hobby horse and I can decide to mute or just ignore it; on facebook, those people might be family members also).

    part of the reason is when I’m wondering if I’m wasting my life and feel bad that I didn’t marry/have kids, it doesn’t help to see everyone else’s highlight reel.

    But also: with facebook, you get drawn in to the minutiae of people’s drama in their daily lives. I’d rather someone just give me the short form: “B.’s dad is in the hospital, he had a massive heart attack” instead of having to wade through lots and lots of posts to find that out – it seems from what I’ve heard Facebook is about burying the lede….I don’t want pictures of someone’s nephew’s violin recital if I’m trying to find out if a colleague’s loved-one is still alive or not.

    But it seems more and more, people are like “oh, just go to facebook!” when it comes to passing on information. I know some of my friends and colleagues see me as that slightly eccentric codgerish person because I don’t FB and, “Oh, we have to update Erica because she won’t know, she doesn’t Facebook….”

    Facebook seems like a time suck to me. Oh, twitter is, too, but it seems like a time suck that’s easier to dip into and out of.

    ***

    The woman making mistakes story? The “Reductress” is just “The Onion For Women,” right?

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    • It’s also, I think, just that Facebook allows so much more content in the posts. For all that people complain about the 140-character limit, Twitter does encourage brevity and clarity. Compare to Facebook’s “so-and-so just added 254 photos”.

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      • It encourages clarity of ideas that are readily expressed in 140 characters or less.

        Ideas that properly would take as little as a paragraph or two? I’m pretty sure I’ve read a lot of tweets that were trying to express such, and I often can’t even get a basic idea of the topic, much less the thesis within it, because so many of the elements of a complete sentence had been removed to fit under the 140-character bar.

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        • Mostly, I find myself doing a self-analysis of what grammar or spelling rules I am willing to break in order to get my point across.

          Thus far, I have mostly managed to avoid the worst of text-speech (no “4” for “for” or “ur” for “your”). But I use the ampersand more than I really like, and b/c for because, w/ for with.

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      • Last time I checked, you can treat folks with dignity and hold them accountable for their actions. Sadly when Dems talk of “dignity” they really seem to mean amnesty for illegals.

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  6. Like Will, my Facebook experience is the complete opposite of the article/research.

    Factor One: I have a LOT of “friends” on FB. A lot of them are in theater, entertainment, crafting, working at festivals and fairs. While plenty of them are fine, fully functioning members of society, still I get daily affirmation that compared to some people, my life is in pretty good order.

    I do worry that sometimes posting about the fun or awesome stuff in my life could be depressing to my “friends”, as LeeEsq mentions, so I also make sure to post…well, not misery because I suddenly get all private about that…but the dumb and ridiculous things I do as well. “Oh, look, the former chef is having franks and beans tonight.” Plus cats, everyone loves the cat pictures. If there is a god of the internet, that god’s tribute is surely cat pictures/videos.

    Factor Two: I actively shape Facebook as much as I can to be useful/interesting to me. I rarely look at my unfiltered feed, but instead created a custom friends and family list so that I typically only see people who genuinely amuse or interest me or with whom I have a close enough relationship that I really do want to stay in touch with what’s going on in their lives — just under 70 people out of a nearly 1,000 person friend’s list.

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      • My theory is that dog and puppy fans spend more time outside, leading an active lifestyle with their dogs and puppies than cat and kitten fans. This means that cats and kittens get to dominate the Internet.

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    • Part of the thing with Facebook, I think, it’s that it’s a lot harder to pretend that your mom has no political opinions (and certainly not different ones from yours) when she’s posting Trump memes and Breitbart articles, and commenting on anti-gun-control posts with “yeah!” or “go freedom!”

      And your mom is a lot more likely to use Facebook (which she signed up for because it’s the only place you post photos of her grandkids anymore).

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  7. I tend to enjoy using Twitter far more than Facebook, and use it far more often. But on Twitter, I follow or unfollow based on the content the person is posting. I don’t follow anybody I know IRL and nobody knows my account name. With Facebook, I only friend people I know IRL, and I’m left at the mercy of the content they post. Facebook would be better for me if it were limited ,or I could somehow filter to only see, personal posts relating directly to the individual. But at least 95% of it is jokes, political rants, and religious posts I don’t want to see.

    Zara: Meh. The 3 tweets reason selected to show the “outrage” have a combined total of 51 retweets. Even the original from The Guardian article only has 215. I think internet outrage is often overblown by bloggers and journalists looking for content to post.

    Roseanne: They should have a new actress for Becky every episode and never address it. But I doubt they’ll be able to recapture the working-class feel of the original show.

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    • Zara: Meh. The 3 tweets reason selected to show the “outrage” have a combined total of 51 retweets. Even the original from The Guardian article only has 215. I think internet outrage is often overblown by bloggers and journalists looking for content to post.

      Yep. I’ve long thought that there is not enough news to really demand 24/7 cable news outlets. You can see this because they generally repeat the same stories every hour or so unless something “important” or important happens. The news stations still follow the old NewsRadio format. What they aren’t tuned for is that most lobbies now have news channels on 24/7 because it is probably the least objectionable thing they can think to put on. But if you work in a Regus suite like me, you see that the same news is played over and over again.

      I think the Internet makes this worse because there is a constant need for new content.

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  8. Zara got in trouble because of some bad design choices in the past. They just might want to be careful when dealing with any design that could be potentially controversial.

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    • notme,
      Juuuust another consequence of Clinton getting the boot.
      Furries were a continual headache for my friend the Security Consultant.
      He wasn’t exactly working for them willingly…

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  9. The status of Texas constitutional Carry

    Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford introduced House Bill 375, which was a basic ‘no strings’ amendment of the existing code.

    This started the notion that Texas was headed for constitutional carry and was well received by many of the pro-constitutional carry folks.

    Then of course comes House Bill 1911. This bill departs from 375 in allowing only “authorized persons”.

    In my opinion if you want to see the difference between authoritarian assholes and people who support a free state the difference is reflected in these two bills.

    Again, we are back to the problem of the two freedoms. Again we are subject to rule by law rather than rule of law. Again, certain people picking ‘security’ over freedom even though they have no legitimacy to do so.

    In the right wing we are having these problems, we have authoritarians claiming to hold Republican principles yet are willing to choose social order above individual freedom. They by default choose to support law enforcement that doesn’t put individuals of the republic on equal ground as officers.

    And as if all that isn’t the worst of it, police haves started creating their own factional organizations, associations and fraternities. These people are no longer to be viewed upon as supporters of a individual republic. They are seeking power in their own social groupings. Groupings that apparently no longer hold to the the values of a free state.

    It is reported the represented police organizations to protest both bills in Austin today are:

    Texas Police Chiefs Association
    Fraternal Order of Police
    Department of Public Safety Officers Association
    Texas Municipal Police Association

    http://woai.iheart.com/articles/local-news-119078/texas-police-agencies-oppose-constitutional-carry-15789222/

    (note the above link doesn’t work on some browsers or networks)

    These are the same entities that aren’t bound by law to protect the people of the republic:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/justices-rule-police-do-not-have-a-constitutional-duty-to-protect.html?_r=0

    I ask Republicans and people of the right to please review their fondness of the police, and see that there are a significant number of factions in the enforcement communities that don’t abide by republican principles or hold tenets of a free state. It may be wise to get used to the notion that these folks aren’t your friends, and they have no real self interest in your protection or security. Divest support accordingly.

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  10. Reboots and Adaptions:

    Now that we have a proper link that essay is even snobbier than my despair over reboot and adaptation mania.

    A lot of people born between 1977 and 1980 seem to have a weird feeling like we are the gray zone between generations. We feel too young to be part of Generation X (who were in their late teens to mid twenties when Clinton became President for the 1st time and had their high school years memoralized in John Hugh’s movies) but we are too old to be Millennials for a variety of socio-cultural markers and reasons. We are 80s kids but in a literal sense because the 1980s were our elementary school years. Also we were largely spared the worst of the recession in 2008 unlike Millennials.

    The more precious of us saw movies like Singles and Reality Bytes when we were impressionable adolescents and said that this is what post-college but pre-marriage life is like.

    But reboots and adaptations are just here to say. There is something in the zeitgeist that is producing an unquenchable desire for childhood nostalgia and CGI has gotten too good. I suspect Superhero movies were fairly rare until 2000 or so because they usually looked cheesy. Burton got around this in Batman by having them be lite on the special effects comparitvely speaking and because Batman uses strength and gadgets instead of laser beams from the eyes or steal claws that exist between the knuckles.

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    • Um. Probably more or less similar to what is described in the very article you linked to:

      “The final remark has drawn the internet’s ire, with viewers taking to social media to declare Colbert is homophobic.The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show.”

      Are you going on the assumption that the people objecting to Colbert’s homophobic joke are conservatives? Like, that because Colbert is a liberal, that anyone objecting to any action of his must be a conservative, because humans have no principles, only political tribalism? (And, relatedly, that the conservatives objecting to the joke are on the whole sensitive enough to the homophobia in the joke that they noticed it and began objecting to it, while at the same time inalienably enough fans of their own commentators that they see and insta-forgive their similar sins?)

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      • “Are you going on the assumption that the people objecting to Colbert’s homophobic joke are conservatives?”

        We’re going on the assumption that if someone said Barack Obama were gay–and that this was a bad thing, making him of less value as a person–then every conservative on the planet would immediately have to apologize for the statement and promise to never ever do anything like it again, and even then it would be used forever as an example of What Conservatives REALLY Think.

        As opposed to what will happen: nothing, just like the last time Colbert went off-message.

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    • I’m fairly certain the right has Ted Nugent doing basically the same thing but crazier, so I don’t see why we have to do the thought experiment. The left disapproves, not surprisingly.

      And not surprisingly, stupid people on both sides think that the best way to get back at those people on TV is to work to set our government up to spite them. It would be nice if they found some other levers to pull to piss each other off, but for now I guess we’re stuck.

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