Archive - 2017

November 27th

Catching Up On Twitter

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Memo to Twitter: I KNOW, OK?

What with the holiday and Trump Malaise, there’s a lot of stuff I’ve been paying attention to but not actually commenting on. Luckily, Twitter is there, to constantly remind me that everything is on fire and the only people who can put the fires out are Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski over and over and over again and the only way they’ll think the fire should be put out is if millions of people harass their staff.

I am, for example, supposed to be deeply concerned with the FCC’s plan to get rid of Net Neutrality rules. And I am. Deeply concerned. Net Neutrality is a good thing, but since Obama did it and it stops businesses from doing every single thing to us they want to do, Trump and his hand-picked FCC head Ajit Pai are against it. And one of them even knows what it is.

But at the same time, I also know that it’d be years and years before the move would result in the post-net-neutrality hellscape I see described in twice as much detail on Twitter in these 280 character days. Even before the rules passed, the level of perfidy going on that net neutrality would have prevented was low to moderate. Not zero, and nontrivial, But compared to say, the banking and financial industries in the late 2000s, relatively low-key.

So odds are, telecom companies will try to boil the frog rather than instantly shafting everyone in America. They’ll introduce bullshit gradually so we’ll accept each incremental change until we eventually reach the Tweet-foretold internepocalypse. Which will probably give time for a post-Trump America to restore net neutrality rules, or there won’t be a post-Trump America, in which case being charged extra for Netflix is the least of our concerns.

I’m also supposed to be concerned about the New York Times’ puff piece on Tony Hovater, a neo-Nazi who participated in the Charlottesville bullshit but is also very polite and cooks pasta and shops for groceries while loving Hitler. And I am. Deeply concerned. I mean, if the normalization of Nazis continues at this point, we might end up with Nazi sympathizers in the White House.

At the same time, though, this is part of a pattern in the media for decades and decades, where white male monsters are seen as people we absolutely must understand and identify with, and minorities of all stripes are demonized and granted a fraction of the benefit of the doubt the New York Times gave to a fucking Nazi. They’re not going to learn, so the only option is to replace the people so desperate to learn what makes people chant “Jews will not replace us”.

Oh, and I’m also supposed to care about Donald Trump’s latest attacks on the media, especially CNN, as elucidated on Twitter in glorious 280 characters. To this day, I remain convinced that Twitter settled on 280 because it watched Trump string pairs of Tweets together for nearly a year, unable to both fit his meager thoughts into 140 and simultaneously come up with anything requiring more than two tweets to fully express. And since the change, I don’t think he’s used his weird awkward ellipses once.

And yes, I am concerned. Deeply concerned. Both at the increasing incoherence of his musings and the fact that his Justice Department is targeting CNN in its antitrust actions, putting me in an awkward bind because, let’s face it, media mergers were going to lead us to a dystopian nightmare like 20 years ago before we all decided “nope, it’s gonna be fucking Nazis again”..

But at the same time, just for the sake of pure efficiency, I’m trying to restrict my “holy shit this guy keeps getting worse” energy on every fourth new low or so, like yesterday, when Donald Trump hosted a group of elderly Navajo codetalkers from World War Two and, talking to them in front of a portrait of Andrew Motehrfucking Jackson, joked about Elizabeth Warren being “Pocahontas”. The only upside is that scientists studying the limits of tone-deafness have an exciting new data point.