Internet Philosophers

I don’t surf the Net very much.  I don’t have a problem with spending hours wandering through cyberspace – actually, I think it’s kinda cool – I just don’t have the time.  Basically, I stick to my favourite sites every day, and that works for me.  However, every once in a while, I go nuts and get tangled up in the web of The Web — and I’m lost in space for a couple of hours.  I never think of these Cyber adventures as time wasted.  I learned way back in the dialup days that the Internet is an enchanted garden, and once you weed out the idiots, the place is blooming with beautiful flowers.  Here’s just a small bouquet of some front porch philosophers I found the other day.

Taxation is just the yearly subscription fee you pay to live in your country; your childhood was the free trial.

Don’t ask me what’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done: I haven’t peaked yet.

I just hate it when I accidently step on my dog’s tail because I feel so guilty that I can’t properly explain that it was an accident and I’m really, really sorry.

It’s never a good sign when your fitness watch starts flashing stress warnings and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

You know you were right all along when they name a hurricane after your ex.

It’s definitely love when your girlfriend comes home totally drunk, stands by the bed, starts taking off her clothes, stops and says, “I’m sure you’re awfully nice, but I have a boyfriend.”  And then walks out and goes to sleep on the sofa.

The other day I thought it would be cool if someone invented a hot veggie smoothie; then I remembered — it’s called soup.

Cargo pants are just cleverly disguised purses.

If you eat probiotic yogurt when you’re taking antibiotics, does that mean you’re coming out about even?

When I was young, I fell off my bike and fractured my ankle.  I rode my bike home.  Last week, I stubbed my toe– and I haven’t left the sofa since.

When I was young, I wanted to spend a year backpacking across Asia.  These days, I’m pissed when the bum warmer in my car isn’t warm enough.

When I was young, I thought I’d have a great career, a wild social life, a cool apartment and a retirement plan.  I ended up with mismatched wineglasses and a toilet that won’t quit flushing unless you jiggle the handle.

I hate being the parent because I always have to say no to all the same things I loved doing as a kid.

Every morning, men leave the house with nothing but their phone, their wallet and their keys.  How do they make it through the day?

That awkward moment when you ask a girl out for the first time — and then, five years later you ask her to marry you — and she says no – both times.

Finally realizing that the reason you clean the house before people come over is you don’t want them to think you actually live this way.

When you accidently fart in a meeting and it sounds like somebody’s stretching the neck of a balloon.

Telling all your friends you have a twin so you don’t have to talk to them in public.

The secret to a successful marriage is never hating each other – on the same day.

With all the crap that’s going on in the world, these days I watch The Shining to relax.

The only thing in the universe that’s worse than a Man Cold is being married to someone who has a Man Cold.

Realizing you’re excited about Valentine’s Day because you know chocolate’s going to go on sale the morning of the 15th.

“Ignore this text.  I’m pretending to add some jerk’s telephone number to my contacts.”

It’s always difficult when you find out your wife eats spaghetti with a spoon and divorce lawyers are outrageously expensive — on the same day.

You know you’ve been in lockdown too long when the kids start referring to the Amazon delivery guy as Uncle Freddie.

Single people don’t know there’s a wrong way to load the dishwasher.

The best thing about working from home is you don’t have to fight through all the lunch purses in the company refrigerator — and, sometimes, a pigeon sits on the balcony.

When coworkers, doctors and boyfriends say “we,” they usually mean “you.”

And a couple of my favourites:

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat the people who work in restaurants.

People who add a “but” when they apologize aren’t actually apologizing.

Who’s Number One?

I lost track of popular culture sometime in the 80s, and now I’m permanently stuck with big hair and thin ties.  It’s not that I don’t like contemporary stuff; I do (pick and choose) but I have no idea who does what or even when.  For example, I was shocked to hear Destiny’s Child on my Classic (read — Old Man) Rock Radio station — so I looked it up.  My God! That was 20 years ago!  Anyway, I said all that to say I’m no expert on anything in the 21st century, but that’s not going to stop me from having an opinion.

So…  Last week, YouTube announced that it has a new “Most Watched” music video.  More people have clicked, looked and listened to this 2 minute track than any other song in human history.  It’s “Baby Shark!”  Just when I thought it was safe to finally come out of the closet and admit I actually like “Let it Go,” the mega-annoying tweenie hit from Frozen, apparently, two-year-olds have taken over the world.  (What next?  Womb music?)  Okay, okay, okay!  It’s a phenom: over 7 billion hits is nothing to sneeze at, but there’s a bigger question going on here.  Why is “Baby Shark” even in the conversation?  It’s not real!  It’s a novelty babysitter song for stressed-out parents who need a minute to sneak away and eat a candy bar or have a pee – in peace.  Here’s the deal.  Millions of chubby little fingers tapped this redundant little ditty to Numero Uno in the universe — even though most of those little fingers haven’t even mastered a knife and fork yet.  Unfortunately, that pushed all the good stuff out of the way.  “Despacito” (one of the best videos I’ve seen in years) got knocked off the top spot, and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was moved to third.  (BTW, how did that guy become a heartthrob?  Yeah, he can sing, but if he’s sexy, I should have girls lined up around the block — and I’m old.)  Meanwhile, “Uptown Funk” in its original incarnation is 6th and the mighty “Gangnam Style,” the video that started it all (first to one billion!) is now 7th!  My point is, these are all recognizable songs, musical renditions of something — even if it’s only an aging K-Popper leaping around as if he has an unfortunate itch.  Putting “Baby Shark” in that mix is like including Velvet Elvis in the National Portrait Gallery because it’s on so many trailer park walls.  Face it, folks!  Sheer numbers are not always the best way to rank things.

Way back in the day (1958, to be exact) when Perry Como got the world’s first Gold Record for a million sales of “Catch a Falling Star,” that number actually meant something.  It meant people were willing to take the time and trouble to leave the house and go to a record store; and, more importantly, it meant they were willing to shell out some hard coin to take Mr. Como home with them.  That’s a lot different from showing your kid how to click “play” cuz you need time to fold the laundry.  These two should be treated differently.

I understand that a million isn’t what it used to be, and even a billion won’t get you into the top 20 on YouTube.  However, I do think if YouTube wants to be taken seriously, they shouldn’t be rolling out those numbers quite so promiscuously.  Quite frankly, more isn’t preordained to be better.  If you’re using that flawed logic, sheep should be running the show in Australia.  After all, there are 3 times as many of them down there as there are people. 

Clickbait History!

clickbait

One of the latest trending convulsions of our troubled times is the girls and boys down at the “cancel culture” collective.  They’ve spent the last few months in an orgy of indignation, replacing place names and knocking down statues.  Their idea is – uh – I’m not really sure what their idea is, aside from the childish notion that if you don’t say it or see it, it will magically go away.  (Nobody’s ever going to accuse the 21st century of being sophisticated!)  However, in the short term, revisionist history is a pain in the ass, so responsible people need to find a way to safeguard the facts from these zealots.  Simple solution?  Clickbait!  If we turn history into clickbait (the heroin of social media) not only will people get exposed to history without them even knowing it, but it will also preserve the truth until this modern day “Reign of Terror” burns itself out.  Here are just a few examples to get the ball rolling.  (And thanks so much to AJ for being the inspiration behind this post.)

1 — Disabled man brutally shot in front of his friends and co-workers.

Admiral Horatio Nelson dies at the Battle of Trafalgar — 1805

2 — Privileged British healthcare worker shuns traditional healing and medicine.

Dr. Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin — 1928

3 — Over 250 illegal immigrants killed by angry local militia.

The Battle of the Little Big Horn — 1876

4 — After years of frustration, displaced migrants lash out, topple statues and burn public buildings.

Barbarians destroy Rome – 410 A.D.

5 — Tyrannical leader announces a controversial wall to keep out illegal immigrants.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang builds The Great Wall of China – 221 B.C.

6 — After years of struggle, ridicule and even imprisonment, a man with mental health issues is finally accepted by society.

Adolf Hitler elected Chancellor of Germany — 1933

7 – Teenage girl who gained fame and a huge following when her activist message changed government policy, convicted of terrible crimes.  Guilty or not?  You decide!

Joan of Arc burned at the stake — 1431

8 — 95 reasons your parents’ religion sucks.

Martin Luther nails his Ninety-five Theses on the door of Wittenberg church – 1517

9 – Jaw-dropping evidence that an unemployed Italian sailor scammed millions out of a Spanish royal.

Queen Isabella finances Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America – 1492

10 – Charismatic leader caught in sex romp with steamy Middle Eastern beauty.  Senate takes decisive action to remove him from office.  Read the startling details.

Julius Caesar assassinated – 44 B.C.

11 — Photographic evidence of a strange “craft” in the skies over North Carolina.  You won’t believe your eyes!

Wright brothers fly the first airplane at Kitty Hawk – 1903

12 – 56 wealthy landowners, businessmen and lawyers who used their influence to manipulate the government and get massive tax breaks.  You’ll never guess who’s on the list?

American delegates sign the Declaration of Independence — 1776

13 — US military man ruins pristine wilderness.  Experts say damage could last 1,000 years!

Neil Armstrong steps on the Moon – 1969

14 — Disturbing play glorifies teen suicide.  You won’t be able to hold back the tears.

Shakespeare writes Romeo and Juliet — 1595

15 — Sex worker dies in prison.  You won’t believe her shocking ordeal.

French execute Mata Hari for spying – 1917

16 — New technology destroys ancient storytelling industry.  Folklore threatened!  Thousands of jobs lost.

Johannes Gutenberg invents moveable type – 1450

17 — In a tirade of hate, an elderly man threatens violence against home invaders.

Churchill’s “We will fight on the beaches” speech – 1940

18 — Corrupt leader admits he used public funds to buy an extravagant gift for his wife.  Refuses to apologize!

Shah Jahan builds the Taj Mahal – 1643

19 — Radical religious cult denounces modern society, defying local authorities to open a well-armed wilderness “colony” on private property.

The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock – 1620

But I think my favourite is:

20 – College students across the country take action to remove offensive material from their campuses.

Nazi youth groups burn thousands of books at several German universities – 1933