Please Don’t Feed The Professional Trolls

Fox News stand in Hennepin County, Minnesota

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Every year since the 2000 stolen election and subsequent mugging of America by the Oil Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies & Banks there have been more and more professional trolls on the internet. These are the people whose job it is to “game” the comments on websites and forums like The Huffington Post or Digg and on Yahoo and Google News. They have multiple accounts. All of them connected. And they all have a fucked-up and extreme right-wing agenda. They favorite each others comments and their own with their other accounts and always have the same snarky tone. The same let them die, every man for himself attitude that is pervasive on FOX News, at Tea Party Klan Rallies and at the Republican Debates. But I’m beginning to think they all work for the same PR firm. That they are all in the same call center.  Just hiding their IP addresses so as not to raise any red flags. These are the ones changing Wikipedia entries for candidates or changing the tone of threads from a conversation to an all-caps scream fest.

But how do we know they exist?

First they will all have the same number of fans or friends who fave all of their comments. Usually just their other accounts and a couple of co-workers and their accounts. But the easiest way to spot them is by how short, how snarky and how well written their comments are in comparison to the other mouth-breathers.

Citizens registered as an Independent, Democra...

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Everyone knows that the right-wing is made up of the astonishingly ignorant & the filthy rich and that’s all. Anyone with any sense realizes that the right-wing has only the wealthiest American’s interest in mind behind all of their policies and their obstructionist tactics. They only gain followers through fear-mongering and xenophobia. To be poor, which is most of us at this point, and to be a Republican is to actually be working against your best interest. Making it harder for you and your family to get health care or a quality education or proper representation in government. So when you come across someone online with a modicum of intelligence but a conservative view-point, they’re probably just a paid commenter. In fact they’re probably the same paid commenter over and over again. And don’t try to argument your point with them because they’ll just move on to the next snarky comment or they will have changed to another account and gone to troll another blog or get under someone’s skin. They are not even interested in defending themselves or the views of their employers (or their clients).


Image by Images_of_Money via Flickr

The only other explanation for their disdain of society and other people would be their devotion to money, their worship of people with money and their belief that one day they will be rich through some combination of hitting the lottery, Destroying their neighbors & taking their stuff or pleasing their masters to the point that they share their wealth with them. These people fit squarely into the ignorant category. Way too many Americans hold on to an unrealistic dream of wealth and celebrity. A dream that should be replaced with a desire to be happy, which is easier to attain and a lot more satisfying.

They would say that they’re just trying to keep their jobs. And they may not even believe a word of the hate that they’re posting. But What these people need to understand is that they are part of the problem along with the police and politicians who are also just trying to keep their jobs by harassing protestors and defending corporate thieves or the TV producers trying to keep theirs by ignoring the real stories and promoting unhealthy aspirations in children by elevating vapid whores to iconic status.

Occupy Wall Street Chihuahua 2011 Shankbone 3

Image by david_shankbone via Flickr

One of the means by which we can live a good life or a peaceful life is to do something for a living that isn’t harming anyone, especially when you know better. And you do know better. “I have a family.” & “I have children.” are not reasons to do something evil, they are reasons not to. Things are tough all over but if the way you relieve your economic woes is by increasing the pain of others then you’re doing it wrong. You’re not just part of the problem. You are the fucking problem.


Meeting Miles or The Lizard-Man is Going to Eat Me

Jazz musician Miles Davis.

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a young boy my father (or step-father? whatever I’m just going to call him my father since he was my father figure for most of my childhood) took me along with him to an audition. He took his sax to Miles DavisHell’s Kitchen loft. I was too young to appreciate the brush with greatness that this was at the time but I still remember so much about the day.

I thought my dad was playing his heart out at the time but as I think back maybe his heart wasn’t into it at all.

I remember Miles was more interested in me and I thought he was being disrespectful to my pop but thinking back he was probably enjoying the audition or at least paying attention while also enjoying the small child as people do as they get older.

But what I remember most is how scared of Mr Davis I was. His focus on me was so intense it made me uncomfortable. And by this point in his life his skin was quite leathery and he was black as midnight. I remember thinking that Miles Davis was going to eat me… whole… like a lizard.

I also remember thinking that my father didn’t get the gig because I wasn’t being nice to him and was obviously shaken and scared by his appearance. Of course I frequently think things are my fault, it’s what gives me my perpetual shame spiral. I’m so bad that after 9/11 I actually thought that had I not left New York in ’99… but back to Miles.

When I grew up and developed an appreciation for his music and subsequently his partner John Coltrane, it occurred to me why my father did not get the gig. Dad’s been having Coltrane for years (meaning that Coltrane is his main influence). Miles already did that.

Still I think I could have been nicer to him. Maybe let him chew on my arm a bit, you know just for the love of the music.


Wood in the Hood

I primarily sleep in the daytime. I feel better being up at night for a lot of reasons.

I’m more productive at night (when I’m working).

TV is better at night (when I’m not).

The city is prettier at night.

There are fewer people walking around at night and the ones that are roaming the streets are my people; The Nighthawks (Tom Waits), Nite Owls (Watchmen) and Nightbirds ( a bar I used to frequent).

And for a time when I lived on the street I had an on again off again romance with the moon (She liked it when I sang to her).

Unfortunately, business takes place in the day. So I have to, on occasion, get up before noon. But as long as it’s a planned meeting I can switch my sleep schedule around. No problem.

I live in an old building that has the gas meters inside the apartments. So once a month the Con Edison meter reader drops by bright and early. I’m talking 8 or 9am. And since I’m usually crashing by 6am, this is the middle of my REM sleep. And I always forget. I put it on my calendar. I set the alarm on my Mac. I still somehow end up forgetting and then I’m awakened by the sound of the Con Ed worker’s incessant pounding on the door.

“Con Edison? Con Edison?” Boom boom boom.

Like a lot of guys, I wake up with the embarrassing condition called morning wood. An incredibly hard nighttime erection. And I’m not going to brag here, because that’s not what this post is about, but I’ve had no complaints about my size (okay, its mostly length), so it sticks out. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing pajamas or sweat pants, it’s pointing true north and there is no moving it. So whenever the Con Ed man (and sometimes woman) is waiting to read the meter I’m at full staff. What do I do to hide my shame (okay pride… but inappropriate)

The first time, I reached for a towel before opening the door. That’s not an awkward look; Man holding a towel in front of his aching genitals. Guy comes in, goes to the kitchen, takes the reading and out the door. Sometimes I’m a little too groggy to remember the towel and I lean up against the edge of the door with my penis on the other side. Nope this doesn’t look weird. I’m just holding the door open for you. I’m real fond of this door, that’s why I’m humping it. Nooo I’m not trying to hide my erect penis.

But then I discovered it. The only real method for hiding my morning wood from the world. I could enter my meter’s reading on the Con Ed website. So that handled the problem (so to speak) and has made all the difference, except for the days when I forget and I have to stick my head out and tell them that they can’t come in. It’s like a sad break-up scene. Really, it’s not you it’s me. Well… not me. It’s my penis.

“Con Edison?”

I stick my head out the door with an apologetic tilt. “Oh hey, I’m just going to enter it online. Okay?”

And instead of saying “What are trying to do put me out of a job?” or “What? You don’t want me inside your house or something?” He says “Okay.” and moves on to the next apartment.

Whew. Embarrassment avoided.

Yep, I’m going to enter it in online from now on. I’m just going to type it in with my dick.


Captain America: The First Avenger (s’ prequel on Blu-Ray)

Captain America: The First Avenger is a decent prologue for next years The Avengers and really nothing more. It’s a well made, well-meaning action adventure with a great cast.

The amazing Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull. Though I still can hear him saying “Mr Anderson” even in that German accent.

The beautiful Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.

The woman is gorgeous.

Chris Evans‘ pec muscles. As well as Chris Evans himself. And the under appreciated Stanley Tucci.

But as always Tommy Lee Jones steals whatever movie he’s in while he’s on-screen. The man is awesome.

My biggest problem with the film is the scale of Steve Rogers when he’s scrawny. His height fluctuates more than the Hobbits in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Get some stand-ins people! These height changes are off-putting. But other than that it’s perfect.

However the movie is obviously just the necessary precursor to what Marvel is thinking will be their biggest money-maker of all time, The Avengers.

The origin story requires its own stand alone film but it makes it possible for the second movie to be wall to wall action. Spider Man 2, Superman 2, The Empire Strikes Back, The Dark Knight, The Hulk, etc. Captain America: The First Avenger is just what the title suggests; it’s the first Avengers movie.

After the feature (on the DVD & Blu-Ray discs) there is a teaser for The Avengers that made me have to go change my pants (Everyone has seen it by now I’m sure) and it clarifies the reason for this movie and Thor for that matter. And I can’t wait. With Joss Whedon directing The Avengers, I’m expecting big things. I have been a huge fan of Joss Whedon‘s writing and of his TV shows since Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I sure hope he is up to the challenge of making something as large and spectacular as this. And I also hope he finds a way to make a true ensemble action film. Something like The Seven Samurai or The Dirty Dozen. Something like Oceans 11 or other similar all-star cast heist movies. I hope it lives up to the hype. But at this point how could it.

– Sloth