Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#752: Are we wasting the Internet?

So, how did this amazing technological marvel the Internet become an overloaded storehouse of "Check out this too-cute pic of my kid/my grandkid/my dog/my cat/my hairdresser"? When did it turn from this fabulous, formless outpouring of the power of the Freedom Of Speech into just another chance to Sell You Something 24/7?
My God, some people even use it to post music and book reviews....
When did it all get so stupid and pointless? When did it get all filled up with YouTube videos of people doing Really Stupid Stuff, meaningless celebrity tweets, and of course porn? (Oh, THAT's been there from the beginning....)
Why aren't we using it to complain about all the things that bug us? I mean really BITCH about how rotten so much of life seems to be today?
Maybe because we know no one would ever comment or respond? Because the Net's supposed to be an escape from all that boring, meaningless, bad shit? Because the last thing we want in the privacy of our own homes is someone getting in our face about how bad everything is?
The Net's been used to complain and protest elsewhere. During the Arab Spring, apparently the demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square used Twitter to stay up-to-date on what was happening during all-night protests -- maybe so they wouldn't be shot or hauled away by the Egyptian Army.
I'm sure there must be other examples. My understanding is that Twitter's relied on more now as a source for breaking news than for anything else.
Maybe if we weren't mostly so fat and comfortable here in America, we could find something more useful to do with the Internet. Like take out our frustrations with the way things are -- get them out there, talk 'em over, kick 'em around. Sure beats picking up a gun and shooting people until someone finally LISTENS, right?
Maybe something good could happen. There are a LOT of things that strike me as wrong, these days. Not that I have much to complain about -- I've got a job, and I'm typing on a laptop some people could never afford, so why should I complain?
But look around.
*NO JOBS -- How many million Americans are STILL out of work? Why? When Obama introduces a Jobs Bill in Congress, and even HIS OWN PARTY tells him "Mr. President, this ain't gonna fly," well WTF? The Feds did work programs during the Great Depression and World War II that put millions of people back to work building roads and bridges and dams -- why not repair all the infrastructure nationwide that's falling apart? Why is this so hard to get going? Is it just because the president can only do so much without the support of Congress?
*TAXES -- Good Lord. Be grateful you're not in Washington state, where the gas tax is at least 52 cents a gallon, the alcohol tax is something like 28 percent (I don't drink), and the tax on each pack of cigarettes is THREE BUCKS. And they're talking about raising it another dollar. (I don't smoke, either.) And all the money's supposed to go to roads and schools. There's no evidence the tax money's going there at all.
*HEALTH CARE -- Despite the "Affordable Care Act," health care in this country is still only for those who can afford it. Don't kid yourself. And the health-care-insurance providers are probably still thanking Obama for sending them millions of new customers.
*OBAMA -- Speaking of which, does anyone believe a word he says anymore?
*SURVEILLANCE -- Of course some of your taxes are being used so your government can keep track of everything you say on your cellphone or do on the Internet 24/7. Not to mention those surveillance cameras and drones everywhere. Which means this blog will probably be shut down tomorrow. Nice talkin' to 'ya. If George Orwell (1984, look it up) could have seen 2014, he would have shit his pants.
*THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE -- It's already happened. Two-thirds of the people who walk into my store every day are zombies, folks you can't get a word out of, who stare straight ahead and hardly ever say anything. Give 'em their gas and their smokes and their beer, and they're on their way. Wonder what they're so scared of? And what are they like at home?
*MOVIES -- Have you noticed practically every "big" movie that comes out these days is some over-the-top science-fiction/fantasy/war movie or action flick that has absolutely no connection to the real world? It's as if moviemakers don't WANT you to think about reality, ever. It's just too horrible. Movies always were about escaping reality for a couple hours, but.... Most movies set in the real world these days die a quick death. And you'll be able to get 'em all on Blu-Ray and DVD in a couple months anyway, so....
*MUSIC -- Jesus Christ I'm BORED. I've heard a couple interesting new bands since the turn of the year, thanks to SOUND OPINIONS, but most music on the radio these days bores me shitless. How did it ever GET this bad? Or am I just too freakin' old?
*RUDENESS -- Why is everyone in such a goddamned HURRY? And what the hell are they so ANGRY about?
*IDIOTS SHOOTING PEOPLE -- Why don't they just shoot THEMSELVES FIRST and save everybody some grief?
*GLOBAL WARMING -- Is it or isn't it? Step outside....
*MONEY -- Supposedly Seattle's on the cutting-edge of the push for a $15 per hour minimum wage. Yeah, Seattle's expensive, but there are lots of other places you could live. I don't think Economics is based on the idea that all you have to do to get the wage you want is keep demanding it until Management caves in.
I'm looking forward to my pay raise to $15 an hour -- that means an increase of about $1,200 per month for me, before taxes. I could use it. But I ain't holding my breath for it.
And you? What's pissing you off lately? Would love to hear some informed responses to this....

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