CSotD: Twitterpated

It’s Halloween, but that seems to mean “Cartoonists’ Day Off.” I found myself resisting the urge to post an entire page of “The Grownups Ate The Candy” gags, which was 98% of what I found.

Okay, that’s sarcasm. It was only 93%.

I did appreciate this Mt Pleasant (Tribune) because there are parents who go completely Stage Mother on Halloween, dressing up their kids not to impress other kids but to impress other parents. I saw a picture on-line of a two-year-old dressed as a Droog from Clockwork Orange and wondered if they taught him to say, “Trick or Treat or Brutal Rape.”

Well, maybe at New Year’s I’ll post an entire page of “We Fell Asleep Before Midnight” cartoons, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry today.


Bruce MacKinnon poses the real question, which is why Elon Musk would gather so many resources and put his holdings so deeply into hock simply to flame out and destroy the thing he bought?

One answer is that he had backed himself into a corner where it was going to cost him so much to back out of the deal that he might as well go through with it in hopes of losing less money with a bad deal than he’d lose through no deal at all.

Another explanation is pig-headed pride, which not only fits the idea that he didn’t want to admit he’d blundered into a bad deal, but also helps explain foolish things like firing his senior staff and spreading paranoid, conspiratorial nonsense on the site, then deleting it and pretending it never happened.

Not that both theories couldn’t be true.


Graeme Keyes is one of many people who expected him to reinstate Donald Trump’s account, which had been deleted for spreading lies and misinformation, but apparently Trump has no interest in returning, having made his own unprofitable investment in a failing platform.

Whether or not he was invited back is secondary to whether two such enormous, inflated egos could exist in the same space and, certainly, whether the Orange King was willing to play second-fiddle.

Truth Social has never really gotten off the ground, but, while Achilles would “rather be above earth and labor for someone else … than be king over all the lifeless dead,” Donald Trump, like Satan, would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.


Joy of Tech also cites the Underworld in their search for a better hangout, and, while it’s possible to argue with their equation of Twitter with Hell, it’s awfully difficult to dispute the statement that Musk is running things like a frat boy.

He began flailing the moment he closed the deal. It’s like someone buying an expensive new car and driving off the lot smack into a wall. Not only did he fire his senior staff with no plan to replace them, and not only did he pass along a totally insane conspiracy theory about the assault of Paul Pelosi, but, when called on that latter bit of irresponsible, lunatic folly, he responded like a frat boy, if the fraternity had pledged Pee Wee Herman:

Musk told the BBC he is not firing staff by month’s end to avoid paying them a scheduled bonus, and, if he’s smart, he’ll back away entirely from that pledge to eliminate 75% of his staff, because, without employees, who’s gonna laugh at his lame jokes?

Sigh. Never mind. Look at the number of “Likes” and “Retweets” that bit of sidesplitting humor garnered.

Dude knows his audience.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)

(Joe Heller)

It would be unfair to accuse Republicans, as Jones does, of capitalizing on the attempted kidnapping and assassination of the Speaker of the House, except that, while some leaders have issued pro forma statements against violence, the demonization continues.


I’ll let you know when Republican leadership steps up to denounce Donald Trump Jr for this appallingly tasteless example of promoting hatred and disinformation. And the point isn’t that Don Jr is a useless clown trading on his father’s status, but that he’s likely to turn a lie into another accepted Q-Anon “fact.”

And nobody either in party leadership or in his family is stopping him.

Musk isn’t, either. Clicks mean money!

Remember when John McCain corrected one of his supporters who claimed Obama was an Arab? That was 2008.

Remember when Trump visited a naval base in Japan as President and his staff ordered that the USS John McCain be kept out of sight and that its sailors not wear uniforms identifying their ship? That was 2019.

That’s the progress we made in just a little over a decade.


John Deering notes that, thanks to Elon Musk, we will no longer have any safeguards, any filters between a gullible public and the cynical, power-mad dispensers of lies.

I’ve seen a few posts saying that now we know how Jim Jones got his followers to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid, which, by the way, wasn’t Kool-Aid but Flavor-Aid. That would be trivia, except it’s evidence of how, once an error enters the conversation, it is hard to expunge.

We can expect the insane lies about the attack on Paul Pelosi to be similarly engraved on the public record.

More to the point, however, is that Jim Jones didn’t simply gather a group of random people one day and persuade them to commit mass suicide. He spent more than 20 years building a congregation that he then moved to South America, and it’s also important to point out that, before he ordered the mass suicide, he had his followers murder a United States Congressman.

“Drinking the Kool-Aid” was simply the end of the line, and, by the time you arrive there, you’ve long since built the cult.

Deering is correct that Musk is removing the filters that might have made people question the beverage, but it’s the result of a long process.

One that conservatives call “grooming” when anyone else does it.


And it’s not just happening in North America.

Very little is, in our interconnected, virtual world, and First Dog on the Moon, an Aussie, is seeking an alternative gathering place.

Well, I’m not simply old enough to remember Usenet.

I’m also old enough to remember when we realized that fallout shelters would only postpone matters.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: Twitterpated

  1. Wow, haven’t heard the “Merry Minuet” in quite a while! I discovered that gem in my mother’s record collection when I was growing up. I only found out a couple of years ago that it was written by Sheldon Harnick, who was the lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof and many other shows.

  2. Thanks for the John McCain content. I miss him. They dramatized that moment when he corrected the woman in the HBO movie ‘Game Change’ (Ed Harris played him with brown contacts).
    I was shocked when Trump’s campaign didn’t sink from the “He’s not a war hero” statement. I could sense the doom back then and even voted for Ted Cruz in the primaries. I despise Ted Cruz but saw it at the best chance to beat Trump.

  3. I fondly remember when I joined Twitter. It was 2014 and I was stranded in New Mexico due to a massive storm and flooded roads all along my route from NM through AZ to CA. Thanks to the NM & AZ Departments of Transportation’s helpful Twitter folks, I was able to navigate my way safely home. Less than a decade ago, and yet it seems like another world. Nowadays I avoid Twitter like the plague it’s become.

  4. I remember Usenet, until it got destroyed by spam. These days I use Reddit. Twitter is irrelevant.

  5. @Christine – that was the sort of situation where Twitter really shone, and did something we almost certainly hadn’t seen before. I miss that Twitter.

    I miss Usenet too, but mostly I miss my youth.

  6. I follow three Usenet groups and never see any spam; one got hit heavily the other day but I only know this because a couple of other users complained. Evidently something is filtering spam effectively for me; I run Thunderbird and read from the individual.net server.

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