Hit ‘Refresh’, Everybody

The blog was borked, but I think I’ve fixed it, with my little hammer.

Let me know if you’re still seeing tiny text and no right-hand margin. Otherwise, consider this an open thread.

The Why Can’t We All Get Along Icky-Poo Cute Balloon Juice Friendly Open Thread

Everyone but me may already have seen this, but am I the only one who immediately thought Maria/Tony watching this?

[BTW — thanks to all who contributed to my brother’s (and my) rock and roll keyboard education yesterday.  He sends his gratitude and is already working on his groove.]

Open Thread

Dogs on lap- check.

Lemon bars- check.

Cup of chamomile- check.

Game of Thrones and Borgias.

It’s on.

Open Thread: Possibly It Had Become Redundant?

Max Read at Valleywag reports that Encyclopedia Dramatica is no more:

Unofficial 4chan wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica, the user-authored repository of memes, racism and homophobia, is no more. It’s been replaced by OhInternet, a much cleaner site with much less offensive content. We asked its founder: Is ED preparing to sell out?
Until this past Thursday, Encyclopedia Dramatica, or ED, was (in the words of Gawker’s Adrian Chen, himself an ED subject) “one of the last bastions of Internet nastiness.” Founded in 2005 by a kid woman named Sherrod DeGrippo, the site exhaustively catalogued thousands of memes, in jokes, characters and concepts from the internet’s adolescent underbelly; unsurprisingly—since it was written and edited by the same 4channers and Anonymous hangers-on who created those memes—it reveled in homophobia, racism and misogyny, not to mention dozens of really gross pictures. The wanton bigotry made it a frequent subject of attack, and earlier this year, when tech issues briefly took the site offline, rumors flew that ED had finally been shut down for good.
But those were just rumors. This time, DeGrippo has confirmed that ED is gone for good, and has been replaced by OhInternet—a sanitized version of ED’s free-for-all meme wiki, accompanied by a frequently-updated blog. (Coming soon: Forums and an IRC channel.) “Shock for shock’s sake is old at this point and we’re looking forward to the future and how things are evolving,” DeGrippo told Geekosystem. “When you put user experience first, the language becomes highly important and that’s what we’ve done.”…

Reaction to the shift has been, needless to say, ! ! ! dramatic ! ! !. Per Geekosystem (read the comments over there, for full flavor):

The site does have its work cut out for it in winning over Dramatica fans, though. Last night, as regular Encyclopedia Dramatica visitors were discovering the redirect, Oh Internet’s Facebook wall was bombarded with hate messages, graphic pornography, and the like, though the page has been scrubbed as of this morning. And as much as there may have been to loathe about Dramatica, an Internet without it is by definition a more homogeneous one…

I won’t miss the spyware or the OCD lowest-common-denominator witless repetition, but as someone whose people have always believed that a grudge properly cherished is a cultural treasure, I may actually miss the old, untamed ED. I also find it amusing that while its most prolific contributors were undoubtably adolescent boys of all ages, the person who actually did the work of starting and cataloging and running the whole mishegaus was one of us Vagina-Americans:

“There had previously been no upgrades, no redesigns and no changes in seven years. Sites that don’t change, become irrelevant. There are tons of examples. I would like to discuss them with [Gawker founder] Nick Denton. We will sit back and talk about those inscrutable users and their dislike for redesigns….
The site was created to house information on livejournal users. I have never been a part of anonymous, I have never been a chan user. This is some weird cognizant dissonance that people are seemingly unable to accept. The site was started because I wanted to house some information from livejournal and some drama about hackers Theo DeRaadt and Darren Reed. They are my OTP.”

(I had to look up that last acronym — on Urban Dictionary, since my Firefox says OhInternet is not available at the moment. I’m such an Old, when I was writing fanfic, the definition of ‘slash’ was still an open question.)

Sunday Afternoon Open Thread

One of our excellent commentors included a link to this fine example of political performance art:

HELENA — As promised, Gov. Brian Schweitzer on Wednesday fired up his infamous “veto” branding irons on the front steps of the Capitol and put the brand to seven GOP-backed bills.
In one of the most spectacular pieces of political theater in the Democrat’s six years in office, Schweitzer applied red-hot branding irons to wooden plaques representing bills ranging from elimination of same day voter registration to a bill that would allow new open pit gold and silver mining using cyanide leach process.
“These bills are either frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana,” Schweitzer said to a cheering crowd and a throng of reporters and television cameras…
“When I swore to uphold the Constitution I meant it,” Schweitzer said.

I am just small-souled enough to think somebody should introduce this tactic to the WATB teabaggers patriotic Tea Party militias. The slapstick results might finally demonstrate to the participants why ‘playing with fire’ is not always a win-win proposition.

(Reminder: NIXONLAND discussion group, 7pm EDT this evening.)

Open Thread

Sunday morning. Have at it.

Open Thread: Another liar finds his media borg…

The Daily Beast/Newsweek mash-up is an odd entity. It is overly needy, self-important and a bit dull. It is the latest media effort to try and capture “clicks” to capture ad revenue. How one gets the clicks is not nearly as important as getting them and this click mania is well on the way to destroying any integrity left in our modern media (USA Today is even investigating paying writers a “click” bonus). There are other new media and old media efforts playing the same game and trying to “win” using the same business model in one way or another. Perhaps one of them will sort it all out and move us more quickly to complete Idiocracy.

Like all the rest, the DB/N hybrid has assembled their own gaggle of “stars” to be their voice on the political issues of the day. The range of that list moves between the predictable and the boring and features “stars” as varied as Jonathan Alter, Howard Kurtz, Tina Brown and some other folks who seem to be Tina’s cocktail party pals (like the DC consultant taking time away from her website claiming to be “The Modern Girls Guide to Leaders of the Free World” to Mad Lib her own word string version of the always repetitive “how Obama failed Liberals this week” column). And of course we all know by now that this media borg want-a-be is the new home of Andrew Sullivan.

The DB/N Borg Lite also gives space to the concern trolling of Mark McKinnon, the co-inventor of George W. Bush and the man who still markets Bush and his policies to America. In his latest re-invention, McKinnon presents himself as the last reasonable guy still standing up as a trusted voice for sanity in American politics. To that end he is a “Founding Leader” of the deceptive and pro-wingnutopia “No Labels” bamboozlement. And so naturally Mark is shocked, just shocked that President Obama said mean things about Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicaid, Medicare and dismantle any social safety net (while transferring even more money to the top 1%).

In the pursuit of clicks (which you can give her by clicking here), Tina gives McKinnon space to express his sadness. Mark tells us how Ryan is brave and Obama is just playing politics–concerned only with the next election and ways to win by demagoguing the courageous Republicans into submission. Not surprisingly McKinnon’s main point is that saying mean things about Republicans will hurt America and as proof the Ad Man offers this bit of revisionist history:

The previous occupant of the Oval Office was willing to lead with bold new ideas for Social Security reform. He knew it wouldn’t be popular. He knew it would be demagogued by his opponents. But he also understood the moral compact we have made as nation—for the welfare of our parents and for our future grandchildren as well. President Bush knew it was the right thing to do regardless of the political consequences. Thanks to the distortion of the debate, I doubt that 10 percent of Americans actually understood that the program proposed by Bush was entirely voluntary. Let me repeat, if anyone didn’t want to control and invest in their own accounts rather than have the government do it for them, they could maintain their Social Security accounts exactly as they had been. So, if you didn’t like the idea of “privatizing” your Social Security—meaning investing some of your own money rather letting the government do it for you, you didn’t have to.

With Mark McKinnon the marketing of old lies never ends. Not since Lee Atwater has there been an image maker leaving so much slime on American politics. McKinnon will always be an ass and a liar regardless of what radical Galtian nonsense he is selling and whatever “reasonable” flavor of candy coating he chooses to wrap around his latest turdball of wisdom.

With my mini-rant done, let’s have this be an Open Thread.