Charlie's Blog: Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 26

9.03.2016

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects 26


Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
STEVEN WRIGHT


Father Longenecker is someone I read on the regular, and he predicts that blogs will die. Are blogs the CB radio of the internet? In some ways, yes. The thing is that blogging has been a thing since 2000. That was when I got into the blogging thing under an alias I have since shed. I have been blogging since I was 30 years old. I am now 45. Blogs are not going to end unless someone forces them to end via government censorship. Father Longenecker doesn't know what he is talking about.

The thing with blogs is that the vast majority go unread. This is because the vast majority of them are not worth reading. The ones that are read garner traffic through the controversial and the sensational. Basically, the National Enquirer beats the New York Times in the blogosphere.

You can make a quality blog. Getting that blog read is another matter. Father Longenecker blogs as a paying gig because he is one of those married priests who has to support a family on a priest's salary and whatever he can make on the side. Now, he could get a second job working part time at Home Depot, but I doubt his bishop would tolerate it. So, that leaves blogging which presents no real time conflict to priestly and family duties. The problem comes in pay. In order to get paid, you have to get traffic. To get traffic, you have to be a colossal jerk. Priests aren't supposed to be jerks.

Father Longenecker has picked a couple of fights with people online, and it must have done him more harm than good. Then, there is the combox which I liken to a flame box. I nixed my combox a long time ago, and I don't regret it.

Blogs will go on. Making money from blogging is what is in serious doubt. I can honestly say that my traffic has declined in direct proportion to me becoming a nicer guy. The same will happen with Father Longenecker. But I will keep on reading him and probably like him more for being nicer.

2. SMARTPHONE RANT OF THE WEEK

A fellow member of the Flip Phone Posse revealed to me that he broke down and bought a smartphone. I am still stinging from the betrayal. This guy is a decade older than me and concurred with me that the flip phones would have to be pried from our cold dead hands. Then, his phone died, and he upgraded to an LG slab of glass. Yes, that guy is a total Benedict Arnold to the FPP.

I am the only person left at my work who still uses a flip phone. Yes, it causes me to reflect but not to repent. I wonder if I am not being a kind of semi-Luddite. There are writers who prefer an Olivetti to a Macbook Air. There are musicians who prefer vinyl to CDs and mp3 files. Then, there are those like me who prefer flip phones to smartphones like this guy or these guys:


Here are some of my favorite recent articles on the subject:






Digital fatigue seems to be a favorite reason people give for being smartphone refuseniks. I spend a lot of time online, so I like being disconnected when I leave my computer. Because I don't have my face buried in a screen all day, I notice the world around me, and the thing I notice is that everyone has their face buried in a screen. This aspect of smartphones is what makes me consider them to be a fad. People think I am crazy for making this wild prediction, but fads have the quality of gaining wide acceptance and fanatical devotion followed by fatigue and letting it drop in favor of the tried and true.

People will argue with me about how convenient smartphones can be except it is very inconvenient to pay $100 a month or more for a single phone. These are people who carry no jumper cables in their car and do not belong to AAA, yet both of those highly convenient things cost less than one month of data for their smartphones.

The reality is that smartphones are digital crack with Facebook being the primary drug of choice. No one disputes with me when I say that Facebook is a fad. At some point, people will fatigue out and question why they are paying so much money for such foolishness. Then, they will also see they are having to work more to pay for all that fun that is no longer fun.

My foolishness is the belief that over the long term people drop things that make them worse instead of better. It could be fast food, tobacco, or heroin. People grow weary of the negatives, and this motivates them to quit. Basically, the novelty wears off, and they are left with the cost. Once the cost outweighs the benefits, people let it drop. 


3. CHARLIE HEBDO

Whatever sympathy Charlie Hebdo garnered from being the victims of a bloody act of terrorism, they have managed to exhaust every ounce of goodwill they had with this insensitive cartoon about the victims of the Italian earthquake depicted as pasta dishes:


Charlie Hebdo is an evil and vile publication. Comparing earthquake victims to Italian dishes takes a level of tastelessness that few people can muster. Perhaps when their offices were shot up by Islamic terrorists, there should have been a cartoon mocking that tragedy.

4. HAWAIIAN PUNCH


One of these things is not the like the other. My wife has been pointing this out to me lately with packaging for various products. In this case, the packet of Hawaiian Punch on the right is devoid of the blue color of the packaging on the left. Are they embracing minimalism? Heck no. They are desperately trying to save money on production by eliminating that blue ink. She has noticed similar things on other products. For instance, the salad topper container used to have a flip cap for customer convenience. They have now returned to a screw off cap. I can go on and on with examples but will spare you, Gentle Reader. What does it all mean? We are in economic decline. When name brand consumer products begin to resemble generic products, things are not good.



YouTube now joins Twitter and Facebook in their efforts to police and censor politically incorrect content. This is a trend featured regularly on the Drudge Report. I have to wonder when my blog will no longer be allowed on this platform.

Corporations can be just as heavy handed and authoritarian as any government. In fact, they can be worse because no First Amendment constrains them. This is why alternative media outlets are so necessary. This is a story that I will continue to follow, but it reinforces my distributist beliefs about decentralization and subsidiarity.

I love Drudge Report for two reasons. The first is its old school brutalist web design. The second is that it acts as a megaphone for stories the mainstream media ignores. The powers that be would love to see that website disappear.

6. Q & A

Q: Do you play golf?

A: Heck no. I hate the game. My opinion of others also drops a notch when I find out that they play the game. This would include Donald Trump.

Golf has always been a rich man's game. It was also an elitist game with country clubs denying membership to Jews and blacks and anyone else who could not afford the exorbitant yearly fees. Then, SOMETHING HAPPENED. That something was Tiger Woods who made the game more accessible culturally for people who were shut out from playing. Of course, you still had to pay a lot of money to play.

There are some "blue collar" golf courses around where I live, and I understand that some working class people enjoy the sport. I see these people in the same light as those pigs in Animal Farm that decided two legs were good after all.

There is a much better sport for blue collar people. It has always been their game. It has a long tradition, and it is egalitarian and FUN. This sport is known as bowling. I highly recommend it over chasing white balls over grass with stuck up snobby people.



7. THINGS THAT NEED TO BE SAID

A ghetto name tells the world your mom was unwed and stupid. I wish I was a lawyer, so I could do name changes for these people pro bono.

8. JOKE OF THE WEEK

A Minnesota couple decided to vacation to Florida during the winter. They planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday. His wife would fly down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, he sent the e-mail. 

Meanwhile.....somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister of many years who was called home to glory following a sudden heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she fainted. 

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read: 

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: 16 May 2003

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is not as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

9. QUOTABLE QUOTES

Since happiness is nothing else than the enjoyment of the Supreme Good, and the Supreme Good is above us, no one can enjoy happiness unless he rises above himself.
ST. BONAVENTURE

No one heals himself by wounding another.
ST. AMBROSE

And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.
ST. AUGUSTINE

My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, to Your love; my future to Your providence.
ST. PIO

Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of action, and therefore are cursed by the Lord since He Himself cursed the fig tree when He found no fruit but only leaves.
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA

You were very hurt at being slighted. That means you are forgetting too easily who you are.
ST. JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA

Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love.
ST. CLARE OF ASSISI

A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction between its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us.
ST. BASIL THE GREAT

Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

One single act done with aridity of spirit is worth more than many done with feelings of devotion.
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

10. ODDS AND ENDS

--In 1961, President John F. Kennedy pledged to put a man on the moon. In 2016, President Barack Obama pledged to put a man in the women’s bathroom.--the running joke today

--Barbara Streisand's threat to leave the USA if Trump wins is just another awesome reason to vote for the Donald. 

--If you can't say the Pledge of Allegiance or stand for the national anthem, you should do the next logical thing and leave the USA. LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!!

--Things will not get better in Venezuela until the people there drag the socialists out of their hiding places and massacre them in the streets. This could happen as soon as tomorrow.

--Georgetown will victimize African-Americans again by giving slave descendants preferential admission. I wouldn't wish a Jesuit education on my worst enemy.

--The greatest obstacle to making a sequel to The Passion of the Christ would be having a director living in a state of objective mortal sin.

--Women do not belong in combat roles. Trannies do not belong in the military. Homosexual activity in the military should be punished with immediate dishonorable discharge. Ahhh, the good old days except they aren't that old.

--There is an abundance of evidence that Hillary destroyed evidence and obstructed justice. Martha Stewart did actual prison time for less than this.

--I totally support robust enforcement and busting people for texting and driving. These people are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road. Ahhh, the good old days when it was just drunks behind the wheel you had to worry about.

--Pamela Anderson urging people to give up porn is akin to Ronald McDonald urging people to go vegan. The right message from the wrong mouth.

--Ahhh, the good old days when the Holy Father concerned himself with real sins.

--I finally saw my second Hillary Clinton campaign sign this week. I count the tiny bumper sticker I saw a month ago as the first. Hard to believe she is winning in the polls when I have yet to meet anyone willing to admit that they will vote for her.



11. LINKS OF INTEREST

ASSANGE: Hillary ‘a demon that is going to put nooses around everyone’s necks’

Hillary Clinton: Incompetent, Or Criminal?

At The Privilege Factories

The Beauty of the Rosary

We Need Sacred Liturgy, Not “Better” Worship

Mother Teresa's Sainthood Miracle

Pope Francis and the Decline of the West

The Poignant but Triumphant Story of the Yugoslavian Nun Who Was Raped

3 Ways Catholics Misunderstand the Death Penalty

A thriving Midwestern diocese’s secrets to success

Detachment: Letting God Be All We Need

Did you know Mother Teresa experienced visions of Jesus?

Interview With an Exorcist