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Category: Cultural insanity

Being well-informed amid media madness, part II

Mark Twain (is alleged to have) quipped, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” Borepatch, upon consideration of our current condition, amended that to, “If you don’t follow the media, you are uninformed. If you do follow the media you are both uninformed and misinformed.” Got a point there, Brother Borepatch. On the other hand, there’s also this possibility: If you don’t follow the media, you might be far better informed. —– I gave up TV on December 27, 1994 and never looked back. I’ve been unable to do the same for…

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Well-informed, fake news howlers

I promised part two of “Being well-informed amid media madness” by the end of this weekend. Technically, I’m delivering. I just finished writing the thing. It needs to marinate overnight, though, before I polish and post it. Meanwhile … While researching for the positive, constructive side of the media madness mess, I conducted many searches, such as “how to get a life,” “how to be well-informed,” and “how to recognize fake news.” I wasn’t surprised that most of what I found proved to be useless for my purposes. I wasn’t even surprised that much of it turned out to be…

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Being well-informed amid media madness, part I

If you’re like me (and I expect in this particular way, you are), you probably like to be well-informed — to be conversant with what’s going on in the world. Being well-informed enables us to conduct intelligent conversations with intelligent people, make better decisions, and also to prepare ourselves and our families for what might be coming at us. “What might be coming at us” has taken on special urgency in the few last years — and months! But how can we be well-informed when so many sources of information have either a) gone completely bonkers or b) chosen to…

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IN PRAISE OF MEN, Part VII:
Ten reasons good men matter in good times and bad

Previous posts: Part I, II, III, IV, V, VI —– Men are aggressive, predatory, competitive, rough, sex-obsessed, unruly, stymied by complex emotions, self-important, prone to violence, and domineering. Does that apply to all men? Hell no. As I said early on in this series, I’m going to make a lot of general statements. Generally, historically and biologically, the above statements are true. Your mileage — or your husband’s, son’s, nephew’s, father’s or best friend’s — may vary. But these messy traits are part of the human male character — along with loyalty, focus, protectiveness, assertiveness, directness, courage, physical strength, logic,…

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IN PRAISE OF MEN, Part VI:
Links about men and boys and what’s being done to them

Well, I’m back from the travels detailed in my “decline of civilization” post. The KIA appears to be its old self again. Though things didn’t go easy (and it took my local insurance agent helping me get the boss’s boss on the case), the claims people finally talked turkey with the KIA service center. Once that happened, everything came together nicely. I even had a great time on the part of my trip not dedicated to tweaker thieves, destruction, and insurance claims. Even on the bad days, I — as usual — got by with a little, or a lot,…

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When the decline of civilization gets personal

No, what I’m about to relay doesn’t really show the decline of civilization. Or rather, it’s too early to tell whether it does or not. Hopefully, what’s happened in my small sphere in the last few weeks is just “one of those things.” Two of those things, actually — signs of personal or societal distress that portend exactly nothing about the bigger picture. But you know how it is. When stuff is happening to you, it’s personal. Then everybody else chimes in, “Oh yes, that happened to …” [me or my next-door neighbor or whoever]. Or “Oh yes, [City X]…

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Where there’s Internet, there’s hope
(plus an invitation)

The news is dire, depressing, infuriating, terrifying, ominous, twisted, biased, and generally panic-inducing. As always. Okay, it’s more than usually ominous lately, what with the country rather suddenly being ruled by a coalition of pandering post-Alzheimers proponents of the old order and a whole new class of juvenile Masters of the Universe. The flick-of-a-switch “disappearing” of Parler and our then-present president from the ‘Net finally rattled us in a way that previous censorship, deplatforming, demonetizing, Twitter mobs, and disappearances of lesser ‘Net operations could not. Scary, scary, scary, scary, scary. BUT. Have you noticed that activist ‘Netizens (that good old…

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Communications in the Purge

This morning. I hung up from a long phone call with a friend in which we talked (among other security-related issues) about alternative communications for these censorious, tech-whim times. I poured myself a new cup of tea, hit the button to download mail, and in comes a message from another friend with the above subject line: “Communications in the Purge.” The entire (bcc broadcast) message was nothing but alternate email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses that could be used to reach him if our tech overlords switch off standard avenues of communication. We’ve gotten so used to the Gods…

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IN PRAISE OF MEN, Part III
Testosterone — The Elephant in the Room

I intended this to be part IV, but it demanded to be written before “A Good Man.” So here you go. And my continuing apologies to the two men who are still patiently waiting for me to get around to using the interviews they gave me. —– It begins with testosterone. That’s an oversimplication, of course. It begins there but doesn’t even remotely end there. You have testosterone. I have testosterone. Everybody has testosterone. We all also have some share of other male and female hormones. That doesn’t erase the dominantly binary expression of sex and sexuality. Can’t discount all…

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IN PRAISE OF MEN, PART II
Evolution and Protection

Note: I’ll be speaking of averages and generalities as I go along. Nothing I write should be taken to mean that I believe individuals should be wedged to fit stereotypes. Far from it. Averages and generalities can be anywhere from useless to downright destructive when applied to individuals. BUT they’re very useful when talking about the whole — of civilization or of the human race. See Part I here, which mostly lays out other premises. —– Evolution and civilization Civilization as we know it was largely designed (by chance and nature more than by intent) to protect women and children.…

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