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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Mad Titan

 


I know what you're thinking, 'cause right now I'm thinking the same thing. Actually, I've been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?
-- Cypher, The Matrix

 

Elon Musk is doing us all a favor.

We should probably thank him for it. 



No, no, we really should. We should thank Elon Musk. 

Oh, you know, not for destroying a platform that some of us, like Yours Truly here for example, have invested over a decade in, slowly building an audience, writing the content people actually come to Twitter for. 

I don't mean we should thank him for vaporizing that effort, because that's infuriating. 

No. Not that.

I mean we should thank Elon Musk for firing most of Twitter's employees, then using his massive platform to ridicule and harass them and send hordes of his drooling violent sycophants to destroy their lives. Thanks, Elon!

We should thank him for the Twitter Files. For releasing the internal corporate emails of his predecessor, the ones any rational person would interpret as nothing other than people doing their jobs. But we no longer live in a rational nation, and thanks to Elon Musk, the conspiracy nuts, the foreign agents bent to our destruction, and those determined to burn everything to the ground now have more fuel for the fire. 

Oh yes, we should thank Musk for giving voice to the absolute worst elements of our society, the mean little trolls, the racists, the bigots, the misogynists, the violent nationalists, the self-proclaimed Nazis, the Ultra MAGAs, the proudly stupid, the deliberately ignorant, the bullies, the chaos agents, those who hate for hate's sake, the conspiracy nuts, the antivaxxers, the religious lunatics, the seditionists and insurrectionists and the violent howling mob of unhinged bomb throwers. Thanks to Elon Musk, they now not only have a voice, they have full command of the narrative and can spin themselves as victims and martyrs, just as their kind always has to justify their violent hate. 

We should thank Elon for raising up the knuckle-draggers, the Brown Shirts, the goons, the barbarians who would gleefully tear down the fundamental institutions of civilization, civil rights, national infrastructure, equality under the law, education, social safety nets, justice, science, et al, and who would cast doubt on the integrity of democracy and the very worth of civilization itself in order to replace it all with selfish libertarianism, fanatical religion, and violent anarchy. 

It's freedom of speech, not freedom of reach, says Musk. 

Clever. Catchy. And completely arbitrary

And so, we should thank Musk for his random autocratic style of unfettered capitalist greed where you never know what's going to get your voice promoted, or more likely suspended, de-platformed, ruined, starved, and/or made into a target of the violent furious mob for some billionaire's amusement. 

Twitter 2.0 has become the twisted fantasyland of a capricious mad god. 

There are no rules, no appeal, no possible way to know what might offend, or amuse, Elon Musk from one moment to the next, a man who by his own admission finds most social interaction incomprehensible -- and there's the definition of irony if ever there was one. 

Every day on Twitter under Musk is a minefield of dog turds and cat vomit that you must navigate in the dark, barefoot and off balance, ass backwards into the unknown. 

Musk tells us that social media is the town square of democracy, that Twitter is about freedom of speech, and it is -- so long as you are willing to pay for that right, so long as you can afford to give a billionaire your money each month for the privilege of eating out of his garbage can, and so long as you don't make him mad or give offense to the wealthy. Because if you can't or you are unwilling to pay and bend the knee, well, then your voice no longer matters.

Freedom of speech and freedom of reach for $8 a month. What a bargain. 

In a world run by the rich, only those who can pay are worth listening to. 

Yes. Yes, indeed, we should all thank Musk for that, for showing us that world. 


Twitter has become a Second Life simulation of that dystopian America.


Ironically, that's exactly what the Constitution was designed to protect us from. 

The Constitution was literally designed to protect Americans from the capricious impulses of arbitrary power and to prevent some foreign-born despot from ruling over the nation.

Yet, again ironically, those most vocal in their fanatical sycophantic support of this new Twitter and its rule of self-declared absolutism are those who most vocally define themselves as Constitutionalists

Of course, Twitter isn't the government and the Constitution doesn't apply to global social media platforms run by the world's richest man.

(Or second richest man, or whatever his status is today. The exact degree of his wealth and power hardly matters down among us pig shit covered peasants). 

You see, Twitter is a bellwether for what an America, a world, run at the mercurial whims of fickle immoral unrestrained oligarchs would look like. 

And it looks exactly like what our founders were most afraid of. 



Anyone else find it particularly ironic that those self-styled "Alpha Men" who have spent most of their miserable pinch-faced lives bullying those born biologically male as betas, cucks, sissies, fags, queers, gay, girly, pussies...

... and demeaning those born biologically female as butch, dyke, tomboy, masculine, et al...

...are now somehow mad because they are being asked to call LGBTQ people by their preferred pronouns


Musk's complaint is daily echoed by petulant conservative politicians who are right now on his platform decrying wokism. They seem to think the basic common courtesy of calling someone by their preferred address, be it their name or a pronoun, is some terrible form of oppression of the sort where you have to press #1 for English. 

I am particularly boggled at the part where a man whose entire vast fortune was derived almost entirely from the work of science and engineering in the service of capitalism, now turns to unhinged conspiracy theories in an attack on science. That's what he's doing here, you know, by going after Dr. Fauci. That "gain-of-function" dog whistle. Musk knows, couldn't help but know, that gain-of-function is a common tool of virology and medical science, used by science the world over to prepare for and anticipate possible harmful viral mutations of common diseases. Without gain-of-function testing, and loss-of-function, you wouldn't have many common vaccines, or at least not in time to do any good -- and the military would be without a method of protecting its troops from possible weaponization of things like small pox and anthrax. 

There's simply no evidence of the accusations perpetuated by Musk in the second paragraph above. 

In fact, the evidence shows just the opposite, i.e. that Dr Fauci and those scientists like him have quite literally saved the lives of billions.

But blaming experts, the "elites" for some imagined crime combined with the idea that common basic courtesy and respect for others is somehow something something gazpacho OMG NAZIS! is exactly the sort of thing the Nazis themselves actually did to justify their own sense of victimization. 

Musk knows it. Republicans know it. 

They do. Because you notice they never actually provide any specifics. 

Oh no! We're being oppressed by pronouns!

Under the Nazis, Jews and others deemed undesirable, such as LGBTQ people, were murdered wholesale in the camps. 

Under the Soviets, those arbitrarily deemed criminals, such as again LGBTQ people, were sent to the Siberian gulags to die.

In North Korea, they publicly execute people with antiaircraft guns at the whim of Kim Jong Un.

Under Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge murdered so many of their own people, the skulls of the dead were stacked in pyramids as high as a 3-story building.

In East Germany, the Stasi infiltrated every layer of society, turning paranoia into an artform where brother informed on brother and children on parents and people were disappeared into the brutal national security apparatus and never seen again. 

In Argentina, they threw people out of airplanes for fun. 

We still have no idea how many of his own citizens Idi Amin Dada murdered. Or Baby Doc Duvalier. Or Saddam Hussein for that matter. 

Here in America, we once kidnapped Africans from their homeland and turned them into farm equipment, literally made them into livestock and forced them to work in the fields. And the genocide of Native Americans, well, we really have no idea how many died and we really didn't care as our government herded the destroyed ragged remnants of their civilization onto forgotten reservations -- until we needed the resources of that land, I mean. 

But all of that horror pales in comparison to the oppression of ... pronouns. 

The "woke mind virus" as Musk calls it. 

Woke. "The belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them." That's woke, as defined by lawyers representing Florida State Governor, Ron DeSantis, who is right now in court defending his administration's authority to apparently perpetuate that very systematic injustice instead of correcting it. 

The belief that there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them. 

To quote Morpheus, huh

I mean, the same people complaining about "woke," about "cancel culture," are the very people complaining on Twitter about how they are personally being systematically persecuted by American society and "cancelled" due to their beliefs. 

I hate to keep using the word "irony," but there's a degree of perverse hilarity when a man who feels pronouns are oppression named his own most recent offspring "X Æ A Xii" which Musk says should be pronounced "X Ash A Twelve." 

Not to mention that for a guy who is often referred to as being "redpilled" both by himself and by his conservative anti-woke fans...


... there's a stunning lack of self-awareness, given that the term "redpilled" itself entered the anti-woke vocabulary via a film literally written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski -- who are perhaps two of the most prominent and influential trans women in history.

As I said, repeatedly, ironic. 

And sad.

And more than just a bit bizarre. 

Of course, for Musk, it's personal. 


And what of those caught in the middle? 

Those like me. 

Like most of you. 

The ones who actually create the actual content of social media?

The ones currently losing followers and being driven off the platform? 

Musk's business model makes zero sense -- and I'm being charitable by assuming there is such a thing as an actual model or any sense to his behavior whatsoever. 

I mean, what is Musk's end goal? 

He says he wants to make money, that Twitter must be profitable. 

Okay. I can see that. The guy spent $44 billion buying the place, he probably needs to make that back at some point, if only to pay off his creditors. But, instead of building a platform where content creators attract more users, and thus advertisers, and thus profit, he's turning Twitter into a wasteland that attracts only a particular sort of self-abuse.

Musk is gambling that reinstating Donald Trump, James Woods, Laura Loomer, et al, will attract users.

And maybe it will. 

But that is a very limited pool and those aren't the sorts of users who mainstream advertisers are willing to engage. 

And if those who make and sell art, actors who make movies, manufactures who sell soap and frozen pizzas and gewgaws you can't get on Amazon, bloggers, YouTubers, writers, comics, cartoonists, buskers, donut makes and small business owners, and those who don't give a damn about American politics (oh, you forgot about that, didn't you? That a significant number of Twitter's users aren't Americans), or even just people who want to grow a following by tweeting cat pictures, i.e. users who can no longer build a business on the platform because they can't depend on Twitter to establish and obey its own rules, to be reliable, to be supportive, to be responsive to their needs, then they won't build a business on that platform. 

And thus that platform will never be profitable. Q.E.D. 

And what does that leave Musk? 

Because platforms of anti-woke angry users already exist. Parler. Gab. Truth Social. And they're not the sort of places that grow much beyond a certain point, or attract advertisers, or turn a profit. They become a toxic stew of hate and spammers so vile that even the most fanatical MAGA hat loses interest and wanders back to mainstream platforms specifically because there are liberal voices there to scream at. 

And those places, those platforms of anti-wokism, are hardly bastions of free speech. 

In fact, they become incubators of the very oppression Musk says he fears above all else. 

Owning the libs turns out to be a terrible business model. 

And once again, as a metaphor, it's a lousy way to run America. 


We've survived by hiding from them, by running from them. But they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys. Which means that sooner or later, someone is going to have to fight them.
-- Morpheus, The Matrix

118 comments:

  1. Yes, I'm afraid so, sooner or later.

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    1. I decided last night to stop using twitter. I usually used it to look at humorous accounts and socially significant accounts. But last night I had to Wade thru a cesspool of horrible, hateful posts just to get to my happy posts. Elon has no idea what he’s done and no idea what he’s unleashed.

      You were 💯 spot on as usual Chief.

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    2. To the contrary, I think Elon Musk knows exactly what he's doing!

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    3. Honey, you're in the same situation as that office supply store in Houston that had the big Enron account, and you know how much sympathy they got.

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  2. I feel like Musk fundamentally does not understand how Twitter works. He seems to view the users as the site's customers, which is completely wrong. Users are the merchandise. The advertisers are the customers. But Musk doesn't get this, and so Twitter burns. (Okay, fair, there are other reasons it's burning too, but this is the big one from a business perspective.)

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    1. This! We are the product that social media sites peddle to advertisers big and small, the information and content we provide allows the corporations to target us for their products and services. The more of us users and content creators there are, the more money those advertisers will pay. But when the media sites start charging money for us to use their sites... well, suddenly it's much less important to see which minority Aunt Brenda is insulting today, and much more important to buy that lunch from McD's.

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    2. > “ Users are the merchandise. The advertisers are the customers.”

      This is also true, of course, of Facebook. In fact…

      Is there any social network that it’s •not• true of?

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    3. I disagree. I believe Musk is a mask for an authoritarian cabal (Russia? China? US plutocrats *for sure*) who hate that Twitter was a bastion that was pretty close to a meritocracy they couldn't shout down or pollute. So he was fronted the money (some from China, some from Saudi Arabia, FWIW, AIUI) to buy it and DESTROY it because it allows society to *discipline* the rich and powerful with mass population action.

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    4. I can't help it.. for all his faults, I like Elon musk.. I love spacex.. I love Tesla.. I don't think his motives are as nefarious as Jim is making them out to be.. I think he's just a rich kid having fun.. blowing off a little steam...... Fudking with the establishment, for no other reason than, "he can".. lol.. I understand wholeheartedly Jim's concerns about investing years of one's life into building a platform on Twitter and seeing all that endangered.. that is unfortunate.... However, tomorrow is another day... And the weather will change.

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    5. I decided that I loathe musk and will never buy or support anything he does.

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    6. That's the thing, though: for millions, these shitbags' rhetoric takes away their tomorrows and changes societal 'weather' for the worse. And what 'establishment'? Not regurgitating scapegoating rhetoric that's been used to whip up antisemitic butchery for centuries? Every red-blooded rich boy has to get that crucial genocidal phase out of their system? We'd all be doing the same in his position? Fuck off a cliff with that.

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  3. I've moved over to Post, but it hasn't had much traffic yet. Let the Head Twit implode the platform for which he paid millions. If the MAGAts and other night-crawlers don't have anyone to argue with, they'll eventually leave, too. Outrage porn can only exist if there's a target. Spot on as usual, Chief.

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    1. Some of us refused to bow to the gods at twitter and have never used that platform - ever. So now we really do not care what Musk does to it - perhaps the fire will eliminate all of the haters?

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    2. "Outrage porn." That is phrase I'm going to have to remember.

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    3. Billions and billions and billions. Not millions.

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    4. Post?? Unless remaining anonymous is your intention, gonna have to be more specific than that. "Post" as a Goog / d'duck search term not much more informative than the word "the".

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  4. And artistic gain of function (Matrix et al) is how we judge how bad the future could get. So perhaps we can avoid it.
    Elon encourages the mob's embrace of dystopia. So difficult to remain hopeful.
    Lovely writing, even if it's a depressing subject

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  5. Can't ask for a better take on - well, everything you mentioned. Thanks!

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  6. OH MY GAWD! Mr Wright, you have done it again! Superb! Magnificent!

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  7. Wow. Smokin' hot, 100% right. And here we are.

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  8. Yes! Sooner or later, for sure.

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  9. Since Musk doesn't believe people should be able to "force" others to use their preferred pronouns, I suggest that hereafter Musk be referred to as "she". Because we will not have our freedoms compromised by calling them be their "preferred pronouns".

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    1. Why "She"? there's lots of others to choose from, so if you're trying to insult him... this "she" would prefer that be left alone... OK for cars though.

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    2. May I suggest that Musk's pronouns should be 'scrofulous/choad'?

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    3. Agreed. “It” works much better.

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    4. I have long been in favor of the genderless pronoun that is a combination of "She," "He," and "IT." Hereafter, let us refer to Elon Musk as "SHIT."

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    5. Excellent idea! I’m sure she’ll appreciate the irony!

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    6. I know it's not really a pronoun, but I just refer to Musk as a Twerp.

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    7. I suggest the multipurpose, non-gender specific, all encompassing "Asshole" for Elon

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  10. Do you have a Fediverse account yet? Such as Mastodon or friends.

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  11. Isn't that "Parler" instead of "Parlor"? Not sure, never been there. But it seems to be how I've most often seen it spelled.

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    1. Yes, it's Parler, which has amused me from the start because it's French for "to speak". It is populated by the same droolers who thought "Freedom Fries" needed to be a thing.

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  12. The blinkered, short-shortsightedness of unfettered capitalists shouldn't surprise me and yet, here we go again. Promoting the welfare of others across generations seems to be perverse to these folks who gleefully mock those who see great value in taking care of those we have yet to welcome. How can we better honor the folks who see the future and work to make it a place worth seeing? There has to be more to a life well lived than quarterly, weekly, daily profit for profit's sake, right?
    Anyway, yes, shining a light on the divisive and devious minds of those who seek pleasure at the crushing expense of others' hopes and dreams is something for which we can be thankful.

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    1. That reminded me of this (thanks to google for bringing it back from my faulty memory):

      “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.”

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  13. I'm afraid of the idiocy Musk lays at the feet of this nation and world. I'm afraid of what might happen if/when that idiocy lands in the US Supreme Court, a place that should serve as a refuge of logic and sense. I'm afraid of the political forces who see nothing wrong with the idiocy because they may be able to use it to their advantage. I'm afraid, very afraid, of the voters who support them. And I'm go****ed tired of being afraid to live in my own country.

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    1. I am way older than I ever thought I would be. Was my generation at fault for the rise of Musk, Oath Keepers, etc.? Yes, I believe we were - by not fighting back. I hope it is not too late. I am afraid that the rising tide has become a tsunami because we have allowed our breakwaters to crumble.

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  14. Oops, I didn't realize my name didnt attach to my comment. It shouldn't have posted as Anonymous.Sorry about that.

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  15. However at some point an exit is the only way to survive. There are Jewish families alive today because a great grandfather or great grandmother made the choice to exit Germany with their children before it was too late.

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  16. In the year 48 BCE, Musk's followers and readers would have been happily burning down the Library of Alexandria -- and he'd have been urging them on.

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    1. Excellent analogy

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    2. Excellent analogy

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    3. Y U GOT 2 B SO RITE!!??!! :-(

      (pray pardon the textspeak...)

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  17. Thank you, Mr. Wright.

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  18. Musk is an entitled idiot.

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  19. Hope you will come over to Mastodon, and help grow the community there.

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    1. I'm on Mastodon, though I really hate the format.

      I'm also on Counter Social and have been since it's inception. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram and Post.

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    2. I followed you on Mastodon, and your toot led me here. I use the Tusky app for it and havent had any issues.

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    3. I love Counter.Social. It's a small platform, started by @th3j35t3r (if I got that right.) Growing.

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    4. Hi!

      Mastodon isn't the only software package on Fediverse for microblogging! They can all talk to each other, and frankly, Mastodon isn't even very nice. I quite like Misskey: you can still federate with all the same servers, people can subscribe to you, _and_ you can use react emojis and text formatting (though people using Mastodon won't see the formatting/emojis).

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    5. The pronouns/Fauci thing did it for me. Someone this arbitrary, stupid, and mean isn't getting my attention. Quitting Twitter has tamped down my anxiety too, as the doom scrolling aspect of it really was out of control for me. (I soft quit about a week ago - now it's a done deal forevah). I am sorry for all those who worked so hard at it and built communities.

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  20. This is one op I am going to re-read as needed. Thank you.

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  21. To quote Morpheus, (and you,) “Huh.”

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  22. Excellent and insightful analysis as always!

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  23. Musk is dangerous. And a bore. The two combined are absolutely vile. I simply couldn't take it any more over there. I deactivated my account and beat feet to Mastodon.

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  24. He is also creating an "enemy" that can be blamed when Twitter crashes and burns into bankruptcy. No way it could be his fault. His wealth is clear evidence of his brilliance (both to himself and to the MAGAts).

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  25. Elongated Muskrat is the only real fan of Elongated Muskrat. Everyone else is using him -- and he's so unselfaware that he doesn't even know it. When he's no longer rich enough or useful enough, his users will forget about him.

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  26. And the sooner we fight them, the better. I'm not all for anarchy, but a violent revolution is long overdue.

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  27. As history has shown, there's always a shockingly high percentage of any populous that is primed to be the fodder of the ambitious, the muse of the anti social and the army of the power monger.
    May a more significant portion of society come to the realization that the checks put on media in the last century weren't a push for control, but an effort to maintain our freedoms against propogandists, irrationals and foreign interests.

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  28. Thanks, Jim. As a casual user mainly looking for tweets from journalists, you put it all into much sharper relief for me.

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  29. As always Chief you break it down to the basics for the likes if myself to digest.
    Not sure how much longer the bird will be a viable platform for decency to survive on but I'm going to stick around for the last act.
    Thank you again sir for sharing your keen wit with the rest of the world.

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  30. I appreciate your writing, Chief. I have absolutely no idea where this festering mess is going, but it looks like cowshit in a burning paper sack on some neighbor's porch.

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  31. "I'll blacken your Christmas
    I'll piss on your door
    You'll cry out for mercy -
    still there'll be more" - Keith Reid

    "Still there'll be more" started playing in my head as I read this marvelous essay. I keep thinking maybe getting all these people together in the same pot might be of benefit. Maybe it's a trap.

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  32. I left Twitter for good weeks ago. It was a cesspool prior to Musk's ownership and has become infinitely worse since. I don't need that kind of poison in my life.

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  33. Well said.

    It beggars the mind how conservatives, for whom ‘think of the children!’ is a mantra (however hypocritical), respond when asked to agree to enact statute to actually benefit said children.

    Zero-sum thinking and meanness both material and ethical seems to be their sole stock in trade. Generosity is mocked, as is empathy, altruism, and the goals of equity and equality.

    It’s obvious that the world that they want has them at the top - which is to say, white men of any stripe, including dumbfuck rednecks who resent everyone not like them and blame them for their failed lives. They want to be given pride of place and the first fruits of the harvest just for existing, as Musk shows over and over.

    I hope we can find a means to make such thinking shameful again. Cory Doctorow says it very well in “Walkaway,” where he envisions a world in which greed is a perversion:

    “We’re not making a world without greed, Jacob. We’re making a world where greed is a perversion. Where grabbing everything for yourself instead of sharing is like smearing yourself with shit: gross. Wrong.
    Our winning doesn’t mean you don’t get to be greedy. It means people will be ashamed for you, will pity you and want to distance themselves from you. You can be as greedy as you want, but no one will admire you for it.”

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  34. I told Musk that his pronouns were absolute/bellend, utter/wanker, and deplorable/cretin. My account was locked within the hour. I had to delete the offending tweet to even access my account again, which I promptly deactivated. I was keeping it alive just in case the Orange Pig Anus was really allowed back on, in which case I was going to tell him to sit on a very sharp, dry, cactus but I guess I won't get that opportunity.

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  35. In the midst of his hand-wringing over companies pausing their advertising E. Musk conveniently forgets that a huge chunk of the people he tossed out the door were on the advertising staffs. A lot of stories of companies that want to keep advertising on Twitter who can't reach their ad rep because they and their whole department are gone.
    What kind of business model is that?

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  36. The good news is Musk, like all the Qtrumplicans in the last election, have pushed past their expiration date. Kari Lake has turned into parody here in AZ. Musk has just grown tiresome and become a second tier circus spectacle. Going to be awesome, watching him burn $44B in a big pyre celebrating fascism.

    Party on Garth

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    1. Why won't someone just give Kari Lake a participation trophy and send her on her way?

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    2. This is my quote

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    3. Because doesn't to be seen as a loser, which she most assuredly is.

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  37. A masterful weaving of history with context we like to forget. Andy FYI, I now have even more Stonekettle quotes for my collection that I can use to horrify my son. Thanks!

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  38. Google search engine, page 9, that’s all you’ll get unless you pay that $8 bucks.

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  39. Good column. Musk is having a good time because he has a captive audience of fan-bots heaping adoration on his every troll post to "own the libs" and captive producers of content who have had no place else to go till recently and whose increased reactions/outrage/musings over his self-implosion he can brag about to advertisers. As with Tesla, until he has real competition, and/or people abandon their roles as his content providers, he's in control.

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  40. When Musk came out with his recent "discussion" about Dr. Fauci it was a bridge to far for me and I shut down my Twitter account. I don't need Twitter and nobody has emailed me and asked if I was coming back so they don't need me. Therefore, I'm out for the foreseeable future.

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  41. When one door closes another one opens. I personally would follow you wherever you go. Unfortunately this is the America we live in. He owns it and he can live with the consequences of his actions. The market and by extension the people will decide.

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  42. Amazing writing. Informative. Visual. I hope you see as a compliment that your essay brought me the same fascination as a Stephen King novel or short story. I followed you for your photos but now I’ve discovered your writing.

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  43. Seeing how poorly he has run twitter I have to wonder how successful Tesla would have been without him at the helm?

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  44. All true, but something he doesn't offer is a solution... which is simple: boycott. Boycotts work. Deactivate Twitter. Don't buy a Tesla. Both literally cost free and easy to do. Boycotts work.
    In a capitalist society, the consumers have the ultimate power

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  45. I'm sure the right-wingers currently worshipping at Musk's feet will replace all of the clean emissions liberals who've fled Twitter (and Tesla) of late. 💯

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  46. Literally, less than 5 minutes after my Tweet told James Woods to go fuck himself, I received notification that I was PERMANTELY SUSPENDED.

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  47. So well said. I have been locked twice on Twitter and had to remove the offending comment to MAGA'TS like Lauren Boebert. I told her to go back to pole dancing.
    The other time I was asked if I wss suicidal because I used an colloquialism "Go jump off the cliff" and it wasn't even directed at a particular person, but rather at an ideal that MAGA'TS hold. I just role my eyes and see how far I can push it again.
    What is really sad is that most of the people I follow I have to search for now. I think it is time to go to TikTok and watch cats, people singing and dancing again.

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  48. Elon Musk and Peter Thiel were having lunch one day when Peter started bragging bout how he took down Gawker. Elon couldn't let Peter have the last word so he said, "Hold my beer and watch this!" And thus did the world have the most expensive fire sale to date. There are many lessons we could be learning from this, but the fact that one man, whose wealth is such that even after a $44 Billion tantrum, can still rank as 1st or 2nd richest person on the planet, should be a huge warning to the rest of the world. He's just one person, what could a dozen of these bastards do?

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  49. Twitter is becoming 4-chan with a business plan. A bad business plan. Not that it matters because he can just declare bankruptcy on it and save on taxes for other ventures.

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  50. Owning the libs turns out to be a terrible business model. Thank you for making this so terribly clear.

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  51. Ah yes, Elon Musk, that well known Epidemiologist / Immunologist / Virologist. Oh DO FUCK OFF you unqualified arse!

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  52. Thanks for remembering Argentina in this shameful list. We have quite a bit of shameful history that the world could learn from ....

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  53. You're a pompous windbag, but I agree with this.

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  54. Amusingly, Musk opened an account on mastodon.social. I checked it out a bit ago and it's basically a blank page with "Account Suspended" where the posts should be. LOL

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  55. Who else financially contributed to the Twitter purchase? These folks seldom do things alone and solely with their own money. I'd bet following the money might explain some of what we're seeing.
    Scott

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    1. My Twitter feed consists of only folk I've followed, no trolls at all. Also, I've never posted anything on Twitter, so their algos either don't know I exist, or don't know whether, or what with, to target me.

      It appears to me that the more progressive / sane / anti-batshit-crazy you are, the more vile stuff gets botted at you. So, perhaps the intent IS to drive all the decent folk away, into a universe of alternate social media sites so fragmented that nobody can get a big enough following to politically matter? A big win for the Saudis, who appear to have taken Putin's big wins here in the US to heart.

      Delete
  56. $44B is a heck of an amortized write-off for business loss over however many years he can milk it.

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  57. Spot on as usual. I've been trying to finesse my pronouns explanation for my un-woke "friends". It's not quite there yet but the Mr. Hanky example comes close: Mr. Hanky is a literal piece of sh*t, but opts for a masculine pronoun, which most use without a second thought. I see what you really are, my un-woke friend,.but I'll stick with your preferred pronoun for now, as I know how you'd react to compliance, malicious or otherwise

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  58. It's all a bit surreal to me. I have noticed very little change since Mushrat took over. Mostly, people complaining about, or belittling him. Oh, a few more right wing adds, a few more unsolicited right wing tweeters, easily blocked. But, two things: I block a lot, and I'm a nobody with zero followers. It doesn't how outspoken I am. The people I read who are being hit, and hit hard, from bans to suddenly losing followers? Yeah, they're all progressives, POC, women, or some combination thereof, with _large_ followings. Mushrat is engaged in targeted censorship; from the right. Another friend of Putin.

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    1. Indeed. But not just censorship, but the social media equivalent of ethnic cleansing. Factional cleansing? Political cleansing? Need a good term for this, I think.

      Delete
  59. I know it brings up its own issues, but I would love, just love it, if at the next major conference thingy, Elon was introduced and continually referred to as "Mrs. Musk."

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    1. I'm tired of people using the female gender to insult males. We're not less than males. Try again.

      Delete
    2. To a right-wing, hypermasculine shitbag, you are. In their minds a person they person they perceive as biologically male is degrading themselves if they act feminine or choose to identify themselves with feminine pronouns.

      Delete
  60. You do have a way with words, sir. Thank you for this piece.

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  61. I don't follow, subscribe to, or otherwise want to see the tweets of frothing right wing nutcases. But they kept showing up in my Twitter timeline anyhow. I'd respond with "Why are you showing up in my timeline? I don't want to read frothing right wing nutcases, go away! BLOCKED!" and block them.

    And then Twitter put me on timeout about the tenth time I did that in the course of an hour, lol.

    Bah. I'm gone. Sorry, I just can't deal with the frothing lunacy that their "algorithm" places in front of people. If you want to talk to me, I'm over on Mastodon now. *Much* more pleasant place -- and my timeline is people that I actually follow, not some frothing lunatic that Elon Musk puts in front of me to push his right wing lunatic ravings.

    https://mastodon.social/@badtux

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  62. I have no use for Twitter.

    Many years ago, at the behest of my Corporate leadership, we were urged to obtain Twitter handles in an effort to extend our companies visibility into social media. I was working in cybersecurity on a new product line of mobile medical health products. I signed up for Twitter with my company as the identifier. IMMEDIATELY, I began to get trolled, attacked. When I added the LGBT+ corporate entity to my handle, I then got as much hatred thrust at me, too. After one month of that utter bullshit, I deleted my account and never went back. Many of my colleagues experienced the same frustration, as we systematically left the platform.

    Twitter has no place in my life. Don't waste my time. Don't quote it. Don't forward me a link to it. Much like Fox News or Newsmax, I don't let that cesspool into my home or into my life.

    I also feel that it is time for Twitter to fade away. Much like MySpace or AOL, its time is up. The curtain has been pulled away, the man is now seen, and the mystery is no more. What scraps of clothes were on the King are no more. The vile underbelly of social media is, once again, flailing before us for all to see. It is nothing more than a toy for an idle rich who will soon grow bored of it - damn all those now trapped in his wake.

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  63. Your description of Elmo reminded me of Masterpiece Theater's I, Claudius' Caligula, played brilliantly by John Hurt.

    At one point he underwent a "meta-morphosis" as the Pretorian Guard intoned.

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  64. Bravo. I was never on Twitter and likely never will be. more and more of the groups I follow on FB in fact are leaving that platform to the more traditional single issue forum, where we can focus on creating a groundswell of real humanity.

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  65. If you live in California or Virginia, you can request an accounting of all info Twitter has on you via that state's digital privacy law (starting Jan 1 in VA, effective already in CA). I plan on waiting until I can make the request and then dumping my account from shitter.

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  66. It's not social media anymore, it's anti-social media.

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  67. Someone needs to explain to Elon that his character in the Matrix is not a human who can be red pilled out of the system. He (and all the other wealthy people) are variations on the Merovingian. They are products of the system he pretends to want to destroy, hijacking the tools for change (Twitter and Neo) and making them serve the system he survives on.

    These people decrying wokeness want to be allowed to keep performing their cannibalistic rituals, turning people into batteries that keep the system running and themselves in charge.

    As you say, Stonekettle. Their posing would be ironic if they weren’t adopting the pose specifically to deceive. Their performances are too stiff, their falseness visible even to their sycophants if they only took the time to look. Will the MAGA finally notice, I wonder?

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  68. Someone needs to explain to Elon that his character in the Matrix is not a human who can be red pilled out of the system. He (and all the other wealthy people) are variations on the Merovingian. They are products of the system he pretends to want to destroy, hijacking the tools for change (Twitter and Neo) and making them serve the system he survives on.

    These people decrying wokeness want to be allowed to keep performing their cannibalistic rituals, turning people into batteries that keep the system running and themselves in charge.

    As you say, Stonekettle. Their posing would be ironic if they weren’t adopting the pose specifically to deceive. Their performances are too stiff, their falseness visible even to their sycophants if they only took the time to look. Will the MAGA finally notice, I wonder?

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  69. Well laid out as usual. I just got out of a week in Twitter jail and have no clue why I was in. I'm an old nobody and like it that way. The sewer gates are fully open now.

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