I get neo-fascist emails so that you don’t have to. Normally, I just delete them using my blisteringly fast keyboard skills – literally, I hardly notice that they appear and are gone, except I sometimes see a little subliminal flicker and think “I’m going to pull that out of the trash bin and have a look at it.”
By the way: you may have noticed that Team Cruz used my mjr-pay
Xpal@ranum.com address. That’s a “canary” address I set up years ago, using it as my paypal account – which is different from my Ebay and Amazon accounts (both of which are easy to find, if you care) – I did that deliberately so that there is no automatic linkage; if someone gets my amazon email at ranum.com they can try to brute-force that ID at paypal until hell freezes over because of all the bitcoin miners sucking energy out of the place. But, when I start getting email on the paypal account that tells me that someone sold that particular address to a spammer. In this case, that happened about a year and a half ago.
This is a good example of political propaganda from the neo-fascist media machine – i.e.: it’s a bunch of lies. Let me call your attention to the particularly yummy fewmet:
“This ridiculous cancel culture is completely off the rails. It is infuriating.”
The implication there is that there is an appropriate level of cancel culture, or something like that. Naturally, since I am a radical something-or-other, I support complete cancellation of certain ideas, i.e.: I think that overtly (even covertly, if we catch them) racist media ought to be shut down. Not because it’s going to stop racists from being racists – but it’s going to annoy the shit out of them (see above) and it’s going to make it a bit harder for them to get their message out. Only a bit harder, maybe not even at all – given that half of the US political system has openly embraced racism in its messaging, what they are really complaining about is that people like me want people like them to shut the fuck up. Not because it hurts our tender ears. Not because it wounds our feelings. But because the “opinions” they express (in the form of would-be ‘facts’) are wrong and stupid and it’s embarrassing to have to share a planet with them. Their version of “free speech” is farting in the elevator and giggling like stupid little boys that need to be spanked and sent to stand in the corner. [Note: I do not have children, and I am not in favor of physical violence against kids. I think punching Ted Cruz in the face is acceptable, even laudable free expression.]
What sucks, particularly, about Team Cruz’ email, other than that it’s merely fund-raising spam, is the bait-and-switch that the alleged Cruz is allegedly making: He wants more people to read Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs And Ham. That book is not one of Dr Seuss’ problematic racist propaganda pieces. I’m not aware of anyone trying to cancel that book, Sam-I-Am. No-one wants to cancel Green Eggs And Ham.
The thing that the neo-fascists don’t seem to understand is that the collective “we” aren’t trying to “cancel” Dr Seuss – we’re trying to rescue him from utter shame. Like Team Cruz, there are some of us who think that Green Eggs And Ham is still pretty cute drivel, appropriate for kids, and that we don’t want to flush his entire body of work down the drain just because about 25% of it is racist crap. And, I mean crap. Crap that was intended to promote ethnic stereotypes of Japanese-Americans prior to interning them in concentration camps. You know, real old-school “cancel culture.”
DEFEAT THE LEFT AND SAVE AMERICA BY BUYING A COPY OF Green Eggs and Ham for $60 instead of $5.98 on Amazon. Be Texas Tough!
This is how stupid they think their constitutents are. And, they’re right. Why isn’t Cruz showing the drawings by Dr. Seuss that have been cancelled? That’s what he’s defending against “cancel culture” – a bunch of overtly, crudely, racist shit.
Also: Ted Cruz’ autograph-signing machine is apparently being used to make ink-marks on some of the copies of the book. As a bibliophile (2nd rank, non-rabid) I have to ask “who the fuck does Ted Cruz think he is?” He’s got no business signing someone else’s book – he’s just lowering the value, which is a trick for a book that cost $6. A Seuss-signed 1st edition of Green Eggs And Ham appears to be fetching $7,000 – $9,000. So, the free market has spoken, Cruz, and what it says is “please fuck off.”
I used to teach classes at USENIX on spam-blocking, back in the early oughts. That earned me some inclusions on various spammers’ spam-lists (ha, ha, those guys are so clevurrr!) Tit for tat. I mentioned that to Some People who, at the time, were policy-promoters at ICANN, and was invited to write a paper on how spam was a security threat (spoiler: it is!) – which was published under ICANN’s imprimatur, resulting in my getting even more spam and a bunch of phishing attacks. The spammers just could not resist proving my point for me, it appears. I’m sure that this email actually had no input from The Real Ted Cruz because it’s not quite stupid enough, but it’s an interesting way-point on the evolution of spam-as-politics and political grifting. In other words, it is a vision of the future of the US political parties.
As I understand it (which is not very far, as I’ve been deliberately – but not entirely successfully – trying to avoid the whole stupid topic), the collective “we” aren’t doing anything at all: the estate of Dr Seuss, who own the rights to the works in question, have decided of their own accord that they no longer wish to publish said works. I mean, seriously, what’s the alternative here? Should they be forced to publish them, whether they want to or not? Whether anybody wants to buy them or not? What happened to free markets and property rights? Are conservatives now in favour of expropriating rights-holders to bring works into the public domain, so that they can presumably be published at a loss by some government agency specialising in the preservation of unpopular and outdated cultural artefacts, provided those works are racist enough?
“a signed copy of Green Eggs and Ham”
Signed by who? Cruz? Dr Seuss?
Now I wonder if Cruz would be willing to sign one of the objectionable “cancelled” images…
What I find amusing is how the Cancel Culture Warriors ignore that there has ALWAYS BEEN CANCEL CULTURE. Cancel culture cancelled the work of black artists. Cancel culture tamped down anything not beholden to right wing Christian ideology. Always been there.
Now…I don’t like some of the group victimization parsing and ever more stringent purity policing by some elements of the left. But there has never in the United States been anything like a HUAC. And no, an untenured professor of sociology at Eastern North Rhode Island State College doesn’t have the same power. Nor does a 22 year old green haired vegan activist have anywhere near the cancellation power or a Koch-funded think tank.
I meant a left-wing HUAC.
Although….as we rightfully denigrate and cancel the Proud Boys, the contrarian in me has to ask: Why is a group like the PORTLAND MAOISTS recently in the news considered legitimate? Mao killed MILLIONS.
Meh, at least Laura Loomer fought the woke mob and chained herself to the doors of the twitter HQ when her account was suspended. Anyone doing less doesn’t deserve our attention.
Dunc: you understand it correctly. These so-called conservatives want to intervene in the operation of a free market and the rights of a property holder to do as they wish with their own stuff – THAT is why Americans need guns, to defend themselves from this kind of over-reaching oppression. Or something. I think.
As long as you’re fine with Ted Cruz or any supporter of his (including e.g. someone trained in MMA) freely expressing themself in the same way at your face, that’s consistent. You do end up with a rather fighty country, but then that is what you have, so I can see the appeal. Personally I’d sooner any such “expression” was classed as assault occasioning actual bodily harm and prosecuted as such every single time.
bmiller: Can’t tell if you are joking, but your government has also killed millions and unlike some weird, fringe leftist group somewhere the people who did (and their predecessors), have influence on your foreign policies still.
Marcus, every time you use PayPal to pay or get paid, the other party learns your PayPal email address. Not only can they see it in their PayPal transaction history, the receipts and payment confirmation emails sit in their inbox for malware to harvest. I have a ton of email from firstname.lastname@example.org, to my PayPal email address, with Reply-To whoever I paid or paid me — literally thousands of other people’s PayPal email addresses. There’s no need to assume PayPal or eBay sold your address to spammers.
Marcus Ranum says
Marcus, every time you use PayPal to pay or get paid, the other party learns your PayPal email address. Not only can they see it in their PayPal transaction history, the receipts and payment confirmation emails sit in their inbox for malware to harvest.
Sorry, I was unclear. I know how that works. What I’m measuring is secondary leakage. Paypal’s security is pretty good (it ought to be; their system is really pretty simple!) but some sellers exist to harvest buyer emails, and others have their databases stripped by hackers. It’s also a good way of reminding myself to periodically change the target email address(es) to keep them fresh. I have to admit I’ve largely stopped caring about all that security stuff anymore; it’s all an ugly disaster anyway. I have had some of my honeypots trip within days of setting them, which is really disturbing and implies that there are sellers on amazon and ebay that have a business model that consists of harvesting emails by offering an attractive deal, getting your email information and whatnot, then they tell you “oops, we are out of inventory! sorry, we’re refunding your money,”
Back when I worked at TruSecure some of the guys ran a pretty large honeypot array, including email and social media accounts. It was fun to map the people who were mapping people’s friend-lists. They never seemed to realize they needed to do some random delays and not naively strip-mine a contact list. In retrospect, it all seems pointless – feeding some wanker with a Palantir instance who got their hands on a hacker conference attendee-list. That kind of thing. [Yes, there are very expensive programs in the US intelligence community that build attractive maps of … things. But who can’t figure out that neo-fascists are planning a coup, or who’s making money off of QAnon.] [I mean, they can, but they don’t – for some reason.] Funny story: I knew one guy only bought ammunition using paypal “so the government can’t track me using credit card info” because, you know, paypal transactions say right in the email what the transaction was. I suppose those clowns have switched to bitcoin, which is equally trackable, but not as obviously so.
Marcus Ranum says
As long as you’re fine with Ted Cruz or any supporter of his (including e.g. someone trained in MMA) freely expressing themself in the same way at your face, that’s consistent.
I’m not accepting appeals to my sense of fairness or reciprocity. The point of political violence is that it’s disproportionate (which is why I think the whole proud boys fight club bullshit is bullshit)
The best part of this controversy is that all the people who say they want to end cancel culture are going out and enriching the cancellers. The Seuss estate must be racking up their best sales ever due to their decision to pull those books. I just wonder if it was a calculated decision — if they knew they’d get rewarded by conservatives with a flood of purchases. What an amazing win-win — libs will applaud them for their decision, and conservatives will shovel them loads of cash!
I checked, and he has 45 books published. 6 were canceled, so about 13% are racist crap.
Now on to my own moral reckoning — mainly, the decision of whether I should dig up and toss my own copies of If I Ran the Zoo and On Beyond Zebra from my childhood, or save them to sell to conservatives for ridiculous prices.
they already think they are free to murder me just for existing as a trans woman, so i think we’re already taking the high ground by only punching them and only when they express their odious views.
those who oppress us never seem to have such qualms about their violence.
Marcus Ranum says
those who oppress us never seem to have such qualms about their violence.
Like I said, the point is it’s disproportional. I’m not saying I plan to do it, but if someone were to mousetrap a bunch of proud boys and gun them down in an alley, I wouldn’t mind at all. They exist on forbearance, really – the “good guys” are putting up with their shit because that’s what “good guys” have to do.
What’s weird about the situation is the idea that “good guys don’t do that sort of thing” (plus the fear of retaliation and escalation from the police) maintains it in a sick sort of balance in which all of the “sides” participate in violence up to a certain point, but just so far. It’s practically consensual and that’s really fucked up. “We can beat you to just short of the point where you’re going to go home and grab a hunting rifle.” It’s dumb to be there to get beaten, and it’s dumb to play that kind of brinkmanship in a country where weapons are so easily obtained and escalation can go very high.
kurt1: Acknowledged and agreed. But then, I am not a flag waving nationalist soldier worshipper, either, so.
But seriously, a lot of the cancel culture is focused on the evils of Nazi groups. Some of which are relatively marginal and minor in nature. ( weird fringe groups) at least right now. (and lefty fringe groups can be dangerous and destructive as well. Even if I am more sympathetic to socialism than I am to Dominionist left) Which is certainly a worthy battle. I just extend the skepticism to the radical left. I don’t believe in the Maoist revolution, any more than I believe in the purity of the “white race” and the volk. I am a nihilist and I find true believers of any flavor scary.