Survivalists (a word I “cling to” over the less agressive term “prepper”) communities talk like they “swing for the bleachers”. There’s a reason for this; stories about “Bert Gummer and his six truckloads of ammunition” is flashier than “Adaptive Curmudgeon manages to keep the chicken water thawed”. However, we live in the real world where “small ball” is the wiser path to freedom.
Time for another small step on that path. First some background and navel gazing:
In 2008 there was a kerfuffle about the IRS withholding tax exempt status from conservative causes as part of the “elect Obama or die trying” mood of the times. It’s a serious offense which (in my eyes) was never rectified. (As an aside: This may be a root of the left’s current post-election freak out. They weaponized bureaucracies without considering someone like Trump might someday be in charge. Right wingers are fools if they create powers they wouldn’t want operated by Al Gore. Left wingers ought to ponder every regulation as it would be implemented by Dick Cheney. Socialists should have imagined Obamacare as implemented by Darth Vader.)
Conservatives moaned about the unfairness of it all. They were missing the point. The first thing organizations claiming to “fight for liberty” did was request bureaucratic acceptance? If you’re going to “stand up to the man” why whine when you don’t get tax favored status from “the man”? Consider it your first skirmish in a glorious career of “standing up for stuff”.
It’s unfair that the “The Al Gore Glee Club and Obama Worship Fund” got instant tax-exempt status while “Monster Trucks for Jesus” and “The Republican Guns for Orphans Fund” got hosed. Life isn’t fair. Any “movement” that shits itself when it discovers that the IRS is mean needs to nut up.
I mentioned 2008 because I wanted to segue into 2016. All year the folks that run/own/manipulate “social media” proved they aren’t to be trusted. Everyone (on any side of the aisle) should limit exposure to “untrustworthy entities”. Nobody wants to fall for sudden yet inevitable betrayal. Here are a few instances of note:
Twitter: during the election cycle, Twitter introduced me to a new word; “shadowbanning”. Another enterprising fellow proved changing a single word from white to black changes Twitter’s reaction to an identical sentence from “hunky dory” to “hate”.
Solution? Don’t count on Twitter. Fuck ‘em. If you’re not of the anointed class you’re now fully informed that Twitter can and will stab you in the back. Learn it, know it, and behave accordingly. I don’t use Twitter so it’s an easy call for me.
Google: Google images for Hillary’s faceplant on 9/11 were buried behind a plethora of public relations headshots. I don’t know who performed what act on whom to get that kind of preferential treatment but they certainly got Google to salute! Forgetting about politics, if you Google “American Inventor” you’ll wade through the cast of Roots before you bump into Edison or Bell. The top “American Inventor” is Lewis Latimer. I’m not making that up. I’m sure Latimer is awesome but “an improved toilet system for railroad cars” seems less exciting than human flight or curing polio. Solution? Presume Google is full of shit because it often is.
Facebook: So many examples it’s too goofy to even mention. If you think Facebook is your friend you’re probably a gay, vegan, poet, in Los Angeles who’s never had an unpopular opinion on anything. Solution? I haven’t used Facebook in years.
WordPress: WordPress is a corporate entity that could wipe any blog they host from the face of the earth with the flip of a bit. Solution, don’t use wordpress for… OH SHIT!
My blog is hosted by wordpress.com. It’s a vice with a firm steely grip on my balls. Bad image in your head and bad practice for me.
Let me start out by saying WordPress has treated me well. I’ve never heard a peep out of ‘em. For all I know it’s all running on a 486DX in a closet in New Jersey and they’ll never mess with me. I write verbiage and they paste ads near my crap and we don’t piss each other off. I have no ill will toward wordpress.
It’s just that I am dependent on them and dependency is Latin for “eventually dumb blogger will get deleted”. WordPress can randomly decide talking to trees is a hate crime, owning a chainsaw is punishable by banishment, or crackpot theories about Abba are threats to civilization.
If they decide to “off” my blog I can’t do Jack shit to stop them. What kind of idiot would entertain such dependency after the lessons of 2016? Could any larger hint be possible?
Thus, Adaptive Curmudgeon will soon to go to a new hosting service. (Not yet… I’m still working on it.)
Don’t worry, it’ll be seamless to the six readers who care. How do I know this? Because someone smarter than me is handling it. (We both agree that any man who’s experienced a tractor fire in his garage should not play with advanced features in the blogging software.)
When the time comes, I’ll put up a redirect page on adaptivecurmudgeon.wordpress.com. I (or rather someone smarter than me) will move every post and comment from the last 6 years. (Who am I to deprive the world of my bullshit?) There may be fewer ads because wordpress’ ad system will go bye bye. There may be more because web hosting ‘aint free.
This is my Christmas present to myself (and you… if you care). What better present than peace of mind? Hopefully you can keep reading about lesbian squirrels forever.
Preparedness isn’t all MREs and tactical nukes in the basement. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching hosting services before I piss off a faceless corporation.
This is Dr. Mingo. I read Adaptive’s post from a few days ago when he teased me about posting hunting photos and pulled a virtual “Rick roll”. What a bunch of whiny blather. Pics or it didn’t happen overrides all!
I discussed the matter with the only real authority at the Curmudgeon Compound, his dog. AC’s dog is a fickle creature. Most of the time it regards humans as inferior beings put on earth to cater to its needs. AC could have gotten a cat for that matter. But unlike a cat, which perpetually communicates disdain for its owner and everything else, the dog has an apt system for communicating with humans. AC considers his dog the font of wisdom. But after lengthy observation of interactions between AC and the dog, I noted that the dog mirrors the responses of a Magic 8 Ball.
Most questions to the dog result in a blank stare, the subtleties of which imply a non-committal response, “Reply hazy try again” or “Ask again later.” When asked a question and the dog licks itself, the answer is always affirmative. So on to the question of the photo.
Mingo: “With my new found powers, should I publish the AC’s deer photo?”
Dog licks its privates. “Yes. Definitely!”
The dog and I are in agreement that there’s nothing wrong with posting hunting photos provided the photos are properly redacted, scrubbed, or possibly photoshopped. Therefore, I present the buck with proper OPSEC editing:
This is Dr. Mingo. Adaptive has been doing some software housekeeping in anticipation of refurbishing his cyber-bunker. In a complete failure of OPSEC, he gave me access. He made me promise that I would “use this power only for good, never for evil”, which is cute but… No.
Adaptive needs to be ridiculed and the first test is to see if I can make a live post before he notices it:
“There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.”
There’s been a mild debate behind the scenes here at Curmudgeon Compound. It’s all about transparency versus paranoia.
Dr. Mingo, who is the saner (and far less secretive) of the two of us, says I should post a photo of the buck. Why? Because that’s what men do. (He’s correct. There are men who’ll show you a photo of an elk or a fish sooner than they’ll show you a picture of their kids. This is good thinking because I generally don’t want to see a photo of some schmuck’s kid.)
From a logical point of view Dr. Mingo is correct. “Pics or it didn’t happen” encourages the transparency our world craves. I usually love transparency. Yet, the people reading this post might be wondering if “Adaptive Curmudgeon” is for real. Perhaps I’m a 13 year old Chinese girl in Beijing, a Seattle Hipster’s alternate personality, or an experimental AI that passes the Turing test but sometimes talks to trees. (Hint: I’m just a generic ‘Merican male, but you already knew that.)
America might be a more stable Republic if we took transparency to heart. Ideally we should round up every employee of the mainstream media and tattoo “Pics or it didn’t happen” on their ass. The only drawback to my wise suggestion is Paul Krugman. Some poor soul would have to look at Paul Krugman’s ass and after all the economic bullshit pulled out of that orifice it’s going to look like the gateway to a deluded and incomprehensible hell. Nobody wants to see that!
So logically, I should post a photo of the buck.
On the other hand… fuck no!
Yeah I’m sayin’ it. The world needs Curmudgeons. There aren’t many of us left. We’ve been hounded since childhood. We’ve endured “group projects”, “group hugs”, and the ultimate “group navel gazing” that is social media. Those last few strange beings that still refuse to post their breakfast choices on Facebook need space. Give us a break, we’re mostly harmless.
“I took a photo of the buck in a trailer, there is no personal information in that photo.” Argues Mingo. (He’s right. Unless you’re going to magically reconstruct my DNA from the trailer’s corrugation pattern, it’s just a dead deer.)
“Fuck you.” I explain.
I’m reticent. I’m not sure why. As I always do when I need deeper wisdom, I consult my dog.
“Dog, what should I do?” (Note I’m not telling you my dog’s name. Why that should matter is beyond me. It’s not like my dog’s name is somehow important…)
“You’re being illogical.” My dog cuts my thoughts short. “You spent a dozen posts naming and renaming Bowling Pin Chicken.” We both bow our heads briefly in silent reverence for the freest creature either of us has known. (He died as he lived, free and stupid.) Then the dog continues. “You posted the duck’s name(s) when it suited you but act like I’m an international spy.”
“I see your point. So I should post the buck photo despite my illogical misgivings?” I ask.
But the dog is ignoring me. It sniffs a plant and squats like it’s going to take a dump on it. Suddenly it changes it’s mind and strides forward to a different plant three yards closer to the mailbox. On this plant, which looks identical to the first plant, it drops a load.
“As I was saying, what should I do about…”
“Did you see that?” The dog interrupts.
“The first plant. A fescue I believe. I was fixing to air bomb it… but then I switched to the other plant. I think it was a yarrow. Buried it!” The dog is talking to me slowly; as if I were particularly dense.
“Yeah, I smelled it too. So you’ve got a thing for yarrow over fescue.?” I’m trying to keep up with the dog’s logic.
“Nope, a plant’s a plant. I just felt like crapping on a yarrow today.”
I turn this over in my mind while the dog enjoys the breeze. “So you’re saying…”
“Crap where you wish for the world is yours to behold.” The dog shakes it’s head. “Humans overthink things.”
“I see.” My dog is wise.
So, for those of you who really want to see a photo of the buck, I’ve provided a link here.
P.S. I’ve been trying for the last month to avoid posting about politics. It’s hard. It’s meant to be my Christmas gift to the world. Like all homemade Christmas gifts, it’s flawed; I went on a half dozen non-specific rants. I can’t help myself! (Keeping my mouth shut during the biggest tsunami of schadenfreude of the decade is hard!) Anyway if you see a hipster who’s in week four of post-election freakout give em a hand up. Smile, pony up for a non-ironic Pabst, and point out that so far cattle cars filled with unemployed baristas aren’t being shipped to… um wherever they’d fear… Texas maybe? Anyway tell ’em there is just the tiniest possibility that Trump isn’t the Antichrist and he probably doesn’t have minions in KKK sheets ready to invade Boston. Perhaps they’ll see that life doesn’t lose meaning when your team loses an election. Hopefully that’ll cheer ’em up. (Or, if you can punch ’em in the balls instead. We all spread Christmas cheer in our own way.)