2000 Words to Close the Fundraiser

The last donation I got was epic.  My donor didn’t expressly forbid me from naming them, but I’ll err on the side of discretion.  Love you!  Same to everybody.  I think of crowdfunding as being a lot of small donations, but instead I only had a handful of donors, and they were generous.  I don’t win a popularity contest, but my friends are very cool.

Aside from the very nice close-out to my fundraiser, I’m kinda having a time here.  One of the teeth I had worked on is more sensitive to pressure now and when antagonized it can cause a headache that persists for hours.  Concerned I might need to go back and have them change that from a crown to a root canal.  Whatever, I’ll come up with a payment plan this time, like a sensible person.  I feel like I might have a fever, but I’m almost certain it’s psychosomatic.  I’ve felt much more feverish in the past when I wasn’t even there.  (note:  next night i continue writing, no fever.)

I explained before how I ended up needing this kind of work in the first place.  But why does it cost so damn much money?  My insurance covered like a few thousand, I put a few thousand on a credit card, and my remainder was several hundred, which I paid out of pocket.  This is what it’s like for the working poor in the USA.  The rich stole our entire lives and now sell it back to us at marked up rates, which our rich politicians like to call “freedom.”  Cool shit.

One could feel like smashing the system, going full anarcho-primitivist, but some elements of infrastructure are necessary to sustain the lives of the disabled, the elderly, children, and more.  I got pretty tired of social media anarchists acting so leftier-than-thou it was like they’re a priesthood.  Ironic behavior from the no-gods-no-masters crowd.  Reflecting on my disillusionment with those assholes, I realize they don’t give an earthly shit about human lives lost on the path to their magical never-gonna-happen future.  Bad people.

Anarchy probably has some cool applications tho.  I consider myself a personal anarchist.  As I explained it there, I believe society should have laws, but everyone of strong conviction should be willing to break them.  When terrorism against the rich starts to happen, I will concede the guilty should be punished according to the law, but I won’t say that the terrorists did a bad thing.  The guy that blasted Shinzo Abe probably gets that.

I dunno.  I’m getting to sleep easily enough but waking up every two to three hours, and my day job is thinking and being social nonstop for several hours at a go.  Maybe tonight will be better, and I’ll feel more generous toward the fuckos whose crystal castles are purchased with my dental expenses.

My dreams, I’m not really remembering.  Violence, running around, hokey monsters, work tasks.  Finish the thing, do the thing, don’t mess up now.  I have a meeting tomorrow with mandatory camera.  My makeup will probably be something in the neighborhood of Heath Ledger Jonker.

…Observe my craggy glory.  Not gonna count the words from the video.

Being committed to shooting shit with no script, no editing, and one take, I realize in the video it could seem like I’m implying the largesse of my donors was due to personal wealth, which I doubt is the case.  Besides, I’ve thrown similar donations at others in better times over the past few years myself, and made offers that were declined as well.  We all do what we can when we can, right?

But let me focus again on the subject I led off with.  This wasn’t a crowd; it was a generous few.  I look at FtB and I see the art of blogging on its way out – not through any fault of its own.  Some bloggers are hobbyists, some are established names running out the clock until the last people who read blogs die off, from this social media asteroid impact.  As I’ve mentioned before, I can deal with the end if the company is hospitable.

I keep getting tempted to talk about this among fellow FtBloggers, as if I haven’t already said everything there is to say about the subject.  It ain’t much.  The type of nexus that social media provides is critical to the success of growing or maintaining an audience now, and having the content you provide exist outside of those spaces?  You aren’t going to get flighty modern people to follow those links.  This blows because if we did operate entirely on social media instead of wordpress – which would be possible – we would be (more) subject to the whims of crapitalist godlords, able to get blasted out of existence with the wave of a hand.

But maybe I feel tempted toward the subject because that isn’t all there is to say about it, and I haven’t figured what else my mind is itching about.  It’s kinda like the skin cell perspective that has me, in moments of gentle delusion, wondering if there’s a solution.  A problem is observed, which in itself suggests to the overthinking mind that said problem can be solved.

Neocities is an attempt to bring back the wild days of site-based internet, but from where I stand, it’s similar to wordpress.  There’s a unified platform for creators to do their own things, and if somebody is inclined to look, they can do so.  But how do you get them to look?

The usual solution is for creators with off-social media sites to create an account on all the majors, like fb and xitter, link to the main run of their content.  But to make that social media presence useful, they have to actually participate in those sites as well, which is draining and wastes time best spent creating.  How do you keep up with all the moderation changes, roving hordes of nightmare people looking for an excuse, and ToS changes that bowdlerize and oppress minorities and capitulate to the interests of power?  How do you craft the kind of witty bon mots and shitposts to be heard in a howling tempest the size of a fucking planet?  And multiply that effort by the number of platforms you’re expected to be on?

The whole thing makes me tired as hell, especially as someone who is considering self-publishing novels soon.  Probably I’ll pay for advertisements somewhere.  Don’t know what the wisdom is on that either, at this point.

It seems to me that this is a consequence of the balkanization of culture that the internet has facilitated, which seems to be a defining element of our epoch.  It is extremely easy for people to ignore top 40 radio and TV and movies, to find subcultures that speak to their prejudices, and run so deep into them that outsiders become unimaginable.  For just one example, I’m always amused by the extent to which fanfic people assume anybody else in the world knows or cares about that entire domain of thought, that subculture that dominates their waking hours.  Sorry babes, you all seem like bizarre cultists from my point of view, like a new religion splintering into warring sects while the unrelated religion on the hill occasionally glances out and wonders “what’s that noise?”

But this is all of us.  We’re all making our worlds smaller because the big picture is so overwhelming.  I know I can’t even stand listening to shitheads.  Way back when bin Laden inaugurated the millennium by smashing a bottle airplanes on the edge of a ship buildings, I still went to TV for culture.  I watched all those clowns on The Daily Show and Colbert etc., to feel a sense that my country hadn’t completely bought the neocon agenda, that some people didn’t love war and xenophobia.  I found atheist content on yewchoob and, somehow, on the precursors of this blog network, to feel like not everybody in the world saw religion as a benign phenomenon, as a sacred thing that should go unquestioned, even as it’s on the lips of so many fuckos with bombs and guns.

But I became too radicalized to handle the talk show boys, who treated the rise of Trump as a joke.  They didn’t change; I did.  I haven’t even made the time for the clips of them that Mano posts.  Their faces remind me of a very bitter moment, one our relationship could not survive, regardless of whatever steps they’ve taken to make up for it.  And our movement’s web presence?  That’s a joke so bad it killed us dead.

I can’t speak to specific numbers, but judging by comment count, our traffic must be a tiny fraction of what it once was.  How could it not be?  Deep Rifts 2.0 / Elevatorgate broke us down to rubble.  Sometimes PZ laments that being a conservative is where all the traffic and the money is, of course always quick to say the cost would never be worth it.  But it’s true.  Our community, such as it was, thrived on invective and strife and dunking on fools.  When it became clear the most classically dunky faction was the regressives, the majority of us followed atheism down the nazi hole.

The remainders in the progressive side were split on how nice we should be, with FtB somewhere in the middle.  The most SJW are the most gone, too delicate to weather a desolate world, or perhaps just more interested in causes other than atheism at this point.  That’s fair.

I remember when Dubya got elected for the first time in 2004 (not when he was appointed by judicial hijinks in 2000) me and other cranky young people marched around Seattle hollerin’.  Wherever a speaker would get on a soapbox, they’d flog their own projects or personal beliefs, in a way that would lose X amount of the crowd.

When did I finally drop out?  When a guy that was cranky about the christofascist aspects of rethuglican governance tried to lead people in a blasphemous chant,  like fuck god or fuck jesus or something.  I’m like, yeah, fuck those guys, but I want whatever movement I’m part of to go somewhere, not devolve into provincial concerns that are gonna guarantee we stay in the margins of society.  It was getting late, time to march to the bus stop.

I’d like to be a charismatic preacher for atheism, shake snakes at the reverse infidel (fidel?), but it’s hard to make myself feel it, while jester-ass clowns like DickDawk and Chundershite are still out there being us.  Yeah, they don’t represent your beliefs or mine from our point of view, but they do to the world.  Who knows who I am?  You do, and I love you all, but to the general public, we’re the same thing as those utter fools.  Ya feel me?

I’ve seen people using “culturally christian” as an insult for atheists since some months before Dicky Boy decided to own it.  It makes us mad when used that way, even as we’d accept it as accurate without much emotional weight attached in other contexts.  As I consider it in this moment, I think it’s time to use SJW language to fight back.

Like some people are asexual because of trauma and that is valid, some people are atheist because of trauma, and that is valid.  Invoking the religion that causes so much trauma as a way to dunk on atheists is triggering.  Of course it is.  It’s a microaggression, at the very least.

If progressive theists can’t take the truth of our position on board, can’t make room for us at the “interfaith” table, wanna tar us all with the same brush as the fuckboy side of our movement, they should at least know they’re being abusers to the disenfranchised, they’re punching down.  When they shit on atheists, they’re being oppressors.

Doesn’t ring as true as I’d like, while our banner continues to be used to promote fascism.  Fucking succckkks.

That rambling pointless mess was 2000 words on the nose according to google docs’ way of counting.  It took the spare time of five days and felt like pulling teeth, haha.  Ugh.  Anyway, I’ll probably be quiet again for a minute.  But I’m glad to know some amount of people will come around whenever I do.  Thanks again, and vaya sin dios.

California Love

WOOOOOOOOOOOO California just outlawed private prisons! Some are talking about how this affects ICE detention centers, and sure that’s important, but this is fucking huge for human rights even beyond that issue. Public prisons are underfunded overcrowded dangerous messes, private prisons made those factors worse by bidding their way to the bottom of the barrel, feeding people moldy scraps and letting them die of horrific diseases. Shame this phase out plan is gonna take nine years. Now if they can just outlaw prison labor too – or at least restrict the scope of it to public works instead of a corporate slave industry – we might really be getting somewhere.