CSotD: Monday Miscellany

Joy of Tech takes a shot at Facebook, which has launched a new way of tracking your activity in order to show you more ads, or, as they explain it, better ads. Which brings to mind the famous Monty Python sketch in which the woman protests, “But I don’t want any Spam!”

Here’s an article from Gizmodo explaining more, and starting with the (apparent) facts that Link History isn’t everywhere yet and it’s only on your mobile interface. I don’t use the Facebook app on my phone because when I leave home I leave as much interconnectedness behind as I can. And I’m not in India, which I gather is a test market for this venture.

I don’t have as dour a view of Facebook as Joy of Tech has, but it’s largely a matter of comparison. Xitter has degenerated into such hateful, reprehensible fascist garbage that I can’t imagine why anyone remains on it, while Threads is a lot of people yelling and BlueSky is the same people posting over and over. And Instagram, so far as I can tell, is just for pictures, not conversations.

So that’s my endorsement for Facebook: It doesn’t suck as much as everything else, though sometimes I go on a tear of blocking “Suggested For You” garbage and I’m aware that clicking the “See Less of This” thingie has no impact on the stupid little videos they think I want.

Anyway, that Gizmodo article tells you how to keep Facebook from tracking you. Or, how to keep them from not ramping it up.

And that it’s all futile anyway.

Which makes this Pooch Cafe (AMS) relevant, because we’re all living in a fishbowl, soaking in our own virtual emissions etc etc.

I got a particular laugh out of the punch line because I tried Yellowstone and discovered that it’s just a resuscitation of Dallas, only the woman who plays the Suellen clone drops her britches a lot.

I’m not sure if I hate Kevin Costner’s character because it feels like what a bunch of Hollywood writers in polo shirts and boat shoes think cowboys are like or whether I’m still recovering from Dances with Wolves, which was about what a bunch of Hollywood writers in polo shirts and boat shoes think Indians are like.

It’s not Costner’s fault. About 99.8% of our entertainment has been extruded by a roomful of Hollywood writers in polo shirts and boat shoes.

Still, if the alternative to bingeing Yellowstone is floating in my own bodily emissions, well, it’s a tough choice.

Which brings us to a little inside joke in Bliss (Tribune), given that Harry Bliss lives in JD Salinger’s old house about 10 miles south of where I’m sitting. Salinger famously avoided literary groupies, but was well known in town and the people there happily sent tourists on wild goose chases rather than telling them were Jerry actually lived.

I don’t know if he owned a polo shirt or a pair of boat shoes, but Holden Caulfield’s impatience with phonies suggests otherwise.

My own inside joke on this is that I went to a writer’s conference in 1970 in which we each got a coaching session from one of the two novelists there. I got Mr. Boat Shoes, whose mentoring consisted of him prompting me for hipster slang he could work into his next best-seller.

I found out later that most of the people assigned to him were sneaking up to Isaac Bashevis Singer‘s room for more valuable advice.

Here’s someone else whose advice I’d rather have: Roz Chast.

I steal her book title with some regularity and now she offers this look at people who discover their interests late in life, perhaps after having piled up some debts that I don’t think will be paid off by selling melons or lettuce or whatever that is.

Fortunately, I didn’t get a masters, having read Candide as an undergraduate and realized that nobody was hiring Philosopher Kings, and hadn’t done so even in Plato’s day.

I finished my degree largely because, as my grandfather advised me, it would take less time and effort to do so than to continuously explain to people why I hadn’t.

He offered as an example a fellow he knew who got through college and law school, hung out his shingle and discovered he didn’t want to be a lawyer, so signed up to go fight World War I instead.

Sunday’s Lockhorns (AMS) brought to mind the opening scene of King Vidor’s 1928 classic, “The Crowd,” which begins with a proud father bragging that his infant son can be anything he wants, then cuts in a famous shot to a scene of the kid grown up and one more anonymous drone in a sea of identical desks.

Cultivating a truck garden seems comparatively rewarding.

I laughed at today’s Speed Bump (Creators), for the gag itself, but also because there’s an insider twist, since mentioning pickleball is acknowledging that everybody is mentioning pickleball.

It used to be that Sex in the City would launch these sudden fads for Cosmopolitans or teramitsu or Jimmy Chooz or whathaveyou, and Seinfeld would introduce the Clever Phrase du Jour that everybody had to work into their conversations.

It doesn’t seem so centralized anymore and I have no idea where the pickleball thing erupted from, but thank god Taylor and Travis haven’t taken it up.


We finally got some snow yesterday, about eight inches of very light powder, which makes the current They Can Talk extremely timely.

I’ve been lucky in that regard. I had ridgebacks for years, but, while they hated both snow and rain, they were so determinedly housebroken that they’d wait for 24 hours or more before begrudgingly stepping outside, while my current pup is Scandinavian and doesn’t appear to notice snow except as one more thing to play in.

I laughed at this, but most of my dogs have looked on litter boxes merely as a source of Almond Roca.

January 2 was National Introverts Day, and Loose Parts (AMS) picked up on the concept this past Sunday.

The joke is that, in reality, if you mention introversion, you will be besieged by crowds of people waving their hands and shouting “I’m an introvert! I’m an introvert!”

Introversion is in, baby!

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Monday Miscellany

  1. Instagram now also has a “Threads” feature where people can spam random garbage.
    I just ignore it, I’m only there for the softcore porn. Which is all Instragram really is, a softcore porn site.

    That Lockhorns comic reminds me of George Carlin “They call it the American Dream because you’d have to be asleep to believe it.”
    It’s nice to think that we live in a free country where anyone can become anything, but more likely as not you’ll just be another low-level peon for the bulk of your existence.
    Unless you’re a social misfit like me, who never much cottoned to the idea of being a retail worker or office drone despite never really applying himself to be anything else.
    Sometimes “being anything” means being nothing at all…

    As far as pickleball is concerned, this is the first I’ve heard of it being a thing.
    I spend pretty much all my free time on the internet and even I have no idea where any of these fads or memes come from. I’ve also long since stopped caring.

    I have a hard time identifying myself as an “introvert” because nobody seems to know what it means anymore.

  2. “Yellowstone” is populated with a bunch of really unhappy people intent on destroying one another. You would think that living in such a beautiful place would mellow out some of these jerks, but they could find road rage in a two-car garage.

  3. It is very difficult to maintain any privacy in today’s world. There are so many forces trying to pry into every aspect your life and make money from the spying. My organization has always been very responsible and protective of the privacy of those we interact with on our websites and personally.
    Ah, pickleball, the sport for idiots who want to pretend they are into sports.
    I never could be and never wanted to be part of the ‘in crowd’ either socially or at work. It was always wasted time trying to maintain a phony image rather than accomplishing anything worthwhile.
    Bud Simpson wrote: road rage in a two-car garage
    I think that is not only a very clever saying, but it is the way our society is headed.

  4. For a few days last week, I was inundated on Facebook with scam ads (supposedly) selling US postage stamps at rock-bottom prices. At least they’re better targeted than Google ads. Google knows I’m a 60-something guy, but thinks that means 1: I want to buy gold coins with drumph’s face on them. 2: I want a much younger Asian wife 3: I own a lot of guns and want to buy t-shirts that say so. Someone should tell their advertising folk that if someone’s reading liberal blogs and The Manchester Guardian, they’re probably NOT a MAGA-head.

  5. Just an FYI : The Akron Beacon Journal announced a full makeover of the comic pages yesterday after a “survey of USA Today papers” which apparently didn’t show up in The Akron Beacon Journal. Apparently as of Jan. 15 the USA Today funnies will be nationwide.

    Since Between Friends will be going, I attempted to – at last – cough up $$$ for Comics Kingdom, only to find they happily took in my debit card # and then refused to acknowledge me at all. So I guess I will be kissing that strip good-bye. Frazz and Pearls and Nate are on Comics.com where I already shell out $$ for.

    1. Try ComicsKingdom again. I haven’t have a problem with them, beyond the fact that I have to log in more often than I’d like to.

    2. My experience with CK was different than Mike’s. I was a subscriber for more than a decade but gave up on it a couple years ago. The frequency of problems started a steady rise after about 2018. I put up with it for a while but eventually cancelled.

      I will say it is certainly worth more than what it costs, provided they don’t mess up your billing.

    1. There’s a lot to be discussed. I may have to address the whole mess at some point. Meanwhile, if you love the art form, you should be on GoComics and Comics Kingdom, plus supporting a few favorite cartoonists on their Patreons or whatever. The newspapers are no longer standing up for comics.

  6. Dave Coverly is a genius.

    I’m experiencing schadenfreude over twitter’s death spiral.

    I never put personal stuff on FB and deleted it from my phone eons ago and wish everyone would go back to old-fashioned emailing for a secure form of messaging.

    Unless it’s Gmail of course.

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