Own Goals

As y’all know, when my liver’s been acting uppity I put it back in its place by playing a drinking game called “If They Were Serious.” You can vary it up a little bit if you want — “If They Were Competent,” for example — but it all boils down to the same thing: Serious social movements, staffed by serious people with actual goals, have to do certain things. Unserious movements don’t do those things — indeed, they react to those things as a vampire reacts to garlic. At best, they do a half-assed, sloppy, slap-happy version of those things, because although they vaguely understand that such things need to be done, being profoundly silly people they have no idea why.

For instance, word comes that the Totally Legit Joe regime is pushing Facebook et al to collude in banning badthinkers for posting “misinformation” about the Kung Flu, the “vaccine,” etc. Which has a “coals to Newcastle” vibe from jump street — you mean they’re not already doing that? If I wanted to have a few minutes’ pointless fun, I’d sign up for the major social media services and see how long it’d take me to get lifetime-banned from all of them. The Vegas line is “5 minutes, 20 seconds.” Bet the under.

I know, I know, the irony of “dissent” going from “the highest form of patriotism” back to “a hate crime” isn’t lost on me, but that’s the thing — this ain’t my first rodeo. Dissent was good from 2000-2008, then bad from 2009-2016, then good again, and now it’s bad again. Same as it ever was, except these days, fiscal arteriosclerosis has set in. The first time dissent was the highest form of patriotism, social media was in its infancy. Yeah, sure, there were human toothaches trying to censor Facebook etc. from the get go — the SJWs ye have always with you — but Facebook etc. weren’t going for it.

Not, let us note, because of anything so quaint as “respect for our Constitutional rights;” Zuckerberg was practicing his “Lavrentiy Beria in a hoodie” routine almost from the first post. Rather, it’s that social media is dependent on its users to create content. As the old saying goes, if you can’t figure out what a company’s product actually is, then you are the product. No cat pictures, no Facebook, and all the cat pictures came from the users. Ditto YouTube and all the rest — there’s apparently some guy calling himself “PewDiePie” who has seventy zillion followers. I’d never heard of this dude until Z Man mentioned him; apparently his shtick is playing video games drunk or something like that. He makes, or made, a very nice living doing it.

The point is, back in the early days you could make money doing stuff like that. Nobody had ever dreamed something like that was possible. Much like Anonymous White Male said in the “art rock” post below (paraphrasing Frank Zappa), back in the days rock was new enough that the record company execs had no idea how to handle it. They didn’t know what the kids would like, and they knew they didn’t know, so they used the plate of spaghetti approach — just throw it all at the wall and see what sticks.

Fast forward a few years, though, and now they’ve got a pretty good idea of what “rock” is. More importantly, they’ve got a pretty good handle on what the market for rock is. At that point, they do what execs in any industry do. Why bother trying to find the hot new thing, when you can just make it yourself?

And that’s why two guys you’ve never heard of, Max Martin and a dude calling himself “Dr. Luke,” have written every #1 pop hit for the last 15 years. I’m sure they don’t work cheap, but it’s a lot cheaper than scouting every bar band in America for a sound / look / stage act that might or might not pan out. Much easier to focus group a few traits, call up central casting, have them send over a made-to-order bimbo, and have him / her / xzhem front Dr. Luke’s latest computer-generated ditty.

And if everything on the radio all sounds exactly the same, that’s because it is exactly the same. Max Martin and Dr. Luke, and their zillion Mini-Mes at every level of the record biz, sometimes write songs for specific people — hey, guys, Katy Perry needs another ballad for her new album, hop to it! But mostly they write on spec, and shop it around. Different singers, different bands, different genres, doesn’t matter — this time its the two generic prettyboys in the “country” band Florida-Georgia Line singing it, but last time it was Katy Perry, the next time it’ll be the Backstreet Boys on their triumphant comeback tour, feat. Jay-Z and MC Funetik Spelyn. Same exact song, literally — it’s just that Kenny Chesney needed one more track on his album this time, and Taylor Swift didn’t, so now it’s #5 with a bullet on the “country” chart.

Same deal with social media. These days, there’s no discernible relationship between “content” and “revenue,” because Facebook doesn’t have “revenue.” All it has is a ticker symbol. Much like Enron, whatever physical product Facebook might once have theoretically produced — all those cat pictures — has been totally subsumed into share price fuckery. Yeah yeah, theoretically their “revenue” comes from ads, but as is well known, a) there is not, and never has been, in any industry, a discernible causal relationship between ads and revenue, and b) Facebook lies through its teeth about it anyway. How many times have they been caught now, including in sworn testimony to Congress?

Given all that, why not censor? Why not let your freak flag fly? Just as being innovative actually counts against you in the music biz these days — sure, sure, y’all might be the next Beatles, but we know Taylor Swift’s lab-grown replacement will move fifty million units — so there are considerable drawbacks, in the social media moguls’ minds, to letting just any old schmoe post anything he wants up on their platforms. What if Faceborg’s ad-generation algorithm decides to put a #woke company’s ad on a badthinker’s page? Faceborg’s entire business model rests on getting #woke companies to keep buying ads, since those ad buys are the only thing that keep the stock price up. And since those #woke corporations have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want those people’s business…

Swing it back to the top. Faceborg et al have figured out a surefire way to “make money” by manipulating their stock price. They don’t need a physical product to do it, but what they absolutely must have, the one thing from which all others flow, is “clicks.” Eyeballs. Whatever you want to call it, the whole house of cards is built on the premise that there are actual users out there — real, physical people, who exist in meatspace — who might theoretically buy the advertisers’ products. But….what if there aren’t?

Zuck et al have been pretty good at faking it so far, but as everyone knows, they are faking. For one thing, they keep getting caught. For another, even academics — the dumbest critters in captivity, Commodore 64-level NPCs who can be counted on to swallow the SJW narrative hook line and sinker — keep publishing studies showing that some huge number of all social media accounts, on all platforms, are bogus.

Indeed, you can test it for yourself. I know, I know, FED!!!!, but hear me out: Get a VPN. Sign up for a burner email. Rejigger the VPN, then use the burner email to sign up for Faceborg, Twitter, whatever. Don’t actually post anything; just sign up. It’s 1000 to 1 that even with no activity whatsoever, you’ll still be deluged with friend requests. The algorithms will take care of that, because as we’ve noted, they have to push the illusion that people are using these platforms, that eyeballs are landing on pages, that fingers are clicking on ads. You’ll get a whole list of “suggestions” of which accounts to follow, all of which — surprise surprise — are never more than a click away from some big advertiser.

Here, at long last, is the point: I think it’s safe to say that, given the current environment, those accounts posting “misinformation” about COVID are real users — actual people in meatspace. Also given the current environment, those might be among the only real users. Push them off in one coordinated purge, and two things seem very likely to happen: One, those few remaining actual users will end up spending their pointless hours talking to bots, which is good. And two, those who get banned will realize that they don’t need social media, which is much better.

You know Zuck et al are going to go apeshit with it. They can’t help themselves. They’re all SJWs, and SJWs only have two settings: Asleep, or incoherent frothing rage. “Restraint” is not a concept they’re familiar with, because if they could stop for a second and contemplate whether something might have some long-run consequences, they wouldn’t be SJWs in the first place. They’re going to go at the badthink bans Oriental despot-style — the guy who posted it, plus his entire family, plus their families, plus anyone whose name shares two letters in common with any of the above. And just like the COVID lockdowns had the highly beneficial effect, in many places, of getting people outdoors and actually interacting face-to-face with neighbors and family members, so kicking people off ALL social media, simultaneously, is going to make them realize just how much time they were spending clicking on stupid cat videos. Time that will need to be filled somehow….

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24 thoughts on “Own Goals

    1. AvatarSeverian

      I briefly skimmed that article, and I’m disappointed — not one single reference to pizza!!! Delicious, delicious pizza. That IS a parody site, right….?

      This is why it’s important to always recall that correlation is not causation. I’ve seen a lot of this kind of thing. It’s a subset of what I called “beachhead facts.” From the indisputably true facts that 1) carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and 2) “greenhouse gases” cause the temperature of a closed system to rise, and 3) certain human activities emit carbon dioxide that otherwise probably wouldn’t be there, we get 4), and that’s why we must immediately enact global socialism that will return everyone but me and my friends to the Neolithic.

      1-3 are the beachhead facts; 4 is the conclusion of an implied argument. It’s the exact same thing that Z Man quoted somewhere, about how per capita chicken consumption (or something) correlates — and it’s an eerily strong correlation, apparently — with per capita oil imports. No one suggests cutting down on chicken consumption to reduce oil imports, but that’s the exact same “argument” behind Global Climate Whatever.

      So from the beachhead facts that 1. there’s apparently a finite store of universal symbols in the human consciousness, and 2. symbols can be manipulated, and 3. lots of those symbols show up in the pop culture industry, therefore 4. there’s a secret conspiracy involving pizza etc.

      Who knows, maybe there IS a causal relationship between “eating chicken” and “oil imports,” but no one has yet managed to tease it out. And so, perhaps, there IS a satanic pedo pizza conspiracy. A much likelier explanation, though, is that a) given that any artistic endeavor, no matter how low, will feature at least one of that finite stock of symbols, and b) pop art is all formulaic, because c) everyone involved is kinda dumb and shortsighted, therefore d) what appears to be soulless, mercenary, trend-surfing bubblegum pop is, in fact, just soulless mercenary trend-surfing bubblegum pop.

      Oh, there’s a boilerplate “feminist” message? Taylor Swift jumped on that bandwagon long ago, but recall that she was already a star long before that — indeed, she became one largely thanks to her “I just want to marry my long-term boyfriend and settle down” country songs. She just wanted to be a bigger star. In other words, if she’d been coopted by the pedo pizza conspiracy, it happened back in her “shy country girl years.”* Now I suppose that could be part of Their ™ sinister long-term plan… or, you know, maybe it’s just a gal who clearly likes fame and money wanting even more fame and money.

      Same way with the butterflies and whatnot. I admit I didn’t do an exhaustive site search, but I’m interested to hear the secret satanic pedo significance of dolphin tattoos. Remember those? Back when the Ho-ification of America really started going great guns (patent pending on that nickname for the historical era c. 1999-present), every third college girl started showing up with a tattoo on either her wrist or her tailbone, collectively known (especially the latter) as “tramp stamps.” By far the most popular tramp stamp was a dolphin.

      Is there some deep mystical satanic significance to those, or is it just that college girls have the collective IQ and behavioral pattern of a school of… well, of dolphins? To say nothing of lesser fish. Recall also that this was the era of low-rise jeans and high-rise thongs, which resulted in the “muffin top” look in the front and the “whale tail” in the rear. Lord help me, I think my testicles are trying to crawl back inside my body even as I type this, I can’t believe anyone got laid back then, but whatever, point is, for every butterfly or one-eye symbol one can find in current pop productions that seemingly have occult significance, I bet I can find three that don’t, because everyone involved is stupid and they’re just stupid trends, same as it ever was….

      *I always wonder if she plays any of that stuff anymore at her concerts. Given that she’s deep in her very own “I insist that you treat me as a sex object, while I lecture you about not treating me as a sex object” phase**, does she stash a fiddle player in among the 5,000 scantily clad backup dancers, or what?

      **which I’m sure is hilarious, but let’s give it up for the original, Jewel. I wrote about 9,000 words about her last summer for some reason — lockdowns did weird things to people — and her “I insist that you ogle me, you chauvinist pigs!” thing she did when nearing the Wall was world class.

      Reply
      1. AvatarJennifer7084

        She does stash a violin player back there!

        In true form though it’s a stronk empowered slutty wahmen violin player.

        I’m amazed Taylor Swift hasn’t been through a cancel rotation for the song from her first album where there’s a song with the lyric “you tell my friends I’m crazy, fine I’ll tell you’re friends you’re gay.” It’s actually hilarious and I’ve always like the song.

        I’m also a big fan of Katy Perry’s classic “you’re so gay and you don’t even like boys.”

        Reply
        1. AvatarSeverian

          I’m guessing those two get more of a pass than Lefties typically do for their hypocrisy, because so much of their fan base is at least “metrosexual,” as the phrase used to be. Someone like Lady Gaga (THE stupidest, most annoying stage name in the history the universe, btw) could probably get away with anything short of wearing a MAGA hat on stage.

          Alas for them, #cancellation comes for us all, often — just coincidentally! — when their album sales start to dip. Taylor Swift, being the business-savvy gal she is, will dodge that bullet longer than Katy Perry — when her “Logan’s Run” moment comes, she’ll put on flannels and work boots and join whatever replaced the Lilith Fair as the newest member of the Indigo Girls, but they’ll get her eventually.

          Reply
          1. AvatarVizzini

            I’d add that completely apart from all VC’s MKUltra mind-control industry slave stuff, the entertainment business is fully sleazy and degenerate and exploitative of naive young people enough just engaged in its core business functions.

          2. AvatarDave b

            It’s already started. Some group is up in arms over Taylor Swift and her unbearable whiteness. Apparently it is pure evil for a white girl to write songs that reflect her race. But if she wrote songs about blacks or the other sacred groups she would be guilty of cultural appropriation. If your white the only acceptable action is to apologize for your existence and commit suicide.
            Will she learn anything from this? Hah! Does the Pope shit in the woods?

      2. AvatarVizzini

        That IS a parody site, right….?

        My take is that, like AnonymousConservative, he’s schizophrenic and seeing connections everywhere. The site is always fun, even if you don’t take it seriously and now and then he happens on some really creepy finds.

        Reply
        1. AvatarSeverian

          I’m certainly not saying the music biz isn’t creepy and degenerate. I’m quite confident that anyone who is in any way intentionally famous — that is, who sought to be famous, instead of ending up as an internet meme or whatever — has done things that would make Aleister Crowley blush. Tell me that your average Hollywood exec or record producer is, personally, the kind of guy who would be a high-ranking member of a pizza cult, if there were such a thing? I believe you.

          But that’s a far different thing from asserting that a pizza cult actually does exist. I highly doubt it, and for the most mundane reason — anyone who is nasty enough to belong to one is nasty enough to rat out all the other members, so that he can rise higher in Hollywood, or the cult, or of course both. It’s the same reason I don’t believe in any big government conspiracies — not that they’re not evil and shitty enough to try, but because the very fact that they’re that shitty and evil means they’d dime each other for petty personal advantage long before the conspiracy got off the ground.

          Reply
          1. AvatarVizzini

            “Emergent behavior” is a better explanation. I have acquaintances who religiously parrot the left’s lines, and I’ve worked in the same office with some lefty journalists, and I am positive they are not receiving direct instructions from John Podesta in their pizza boxes.

          2. AvatarVizzini

            Because I come up with these ideas while I’m walking out to fetch the horses or putting out feed for the goats, etc., I sometimes come up with them disjointedly, so pardon the small additive posts.

            Emergent behavior explains some things, but there are definitely conspiracies. I was on a federal circuit court jury and one of the charges for which we convicted the defendant was conspiracy. It’s a thing.

            It’s trendy to use some of the wilder conspiracy theories, like Flat Earth, to discredit the discussion of more plausible conspiracies. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t forces that are both conspiring and which are hostile to us, to truth, beauty and the American way, etc.

            Take the World Economic Forum. They are a real group with real goals. They put out policy papers and books. They work hard to influence the leaders of nations to move toward their policies. That is a conspiracy. It’s not necessarily an *illegal* conspiracy, but they still “conspire.”

            And they do try to minimize the degree to which it is known they are influencing world leaders — no prime minister is coming right out and saying, “I’m pushing for the WEF policies in my country and globally.” That would engender pushback — nobody voted for the WEF, so why should they get a voice in a nation’s policy? But it’s happening. I’ve watched speeches by prime ministers and other high level officials in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the US that are peppered with phrases lifted directly from WEF policy papers.

            In other instances, we now know the leader of the Oathkeepers at the Feb. 6 protest was an FBI asset.

            We now know that the shooters at Pamela Gellar’s Draw Mohammed contest in Texas had an FBI hander who was present with them right at the event, right before the shooting. This was hidden for years. He didn’t try to stop them or alert authorities. On he contrary, when he was fleeing the scene he was stopped and used his FBI credentials to be allowed to leave. If it weren’t for that, we probably wouldn’t even know years later.

            The FBI absolutely conspires to produce dangerous events against the well-being of the American people.

            We know the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign conspired with government agents to get the Steele Dossier created and submitted to the justice department as an excuse for the FISA authorization for spying on Trump.

            We know the IRS conspired to delay and deny non-profit status authorizations to Tea Party groups prior to the 2012 election.

            These are just the tip of the iceberg.

            At some point, it becomes a plausible move to give credence to too many conspiracies than too little, just to cover your bases. After all, I have no power — I pay no price for being “wrong” about PizzaGate either for or against. It’s not as if there is anything that could cause me to reverse my opinion of Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and that gang such that I’d feel happy having them run the country. The stuff we absolutely know they’ve done is too terrible.

            On the other hand, I’m neither autistic enough or schizophrenic enough to immerse myself in the body of “evidence” for the PizzaGate conspiracy other than to go “Huh. Well. Interesting” if I happen across something about it in my eclectic wanderings around the internet.

            So, do I believe “PizzaGate?” Not necessarily, but would it surprise me to learn that the many powerful people that spent years rubbing elbows (and other things) with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell are horrid sexual perverts, or worse? Not at all. I do believe it is possible for a group of terrible people to keep big secrets, sometimes.

            But sometimes you can kind of tell that things are seeping past believability, such as Anonymous Conservative’s narrative descriptions of the “surveillance” he sees in every set of Google Streetview photos.

            I’d rather indulge him and VC though. They don’t seem to be hurting anyone. It goes back to what one commenter said yesterday about mental illness being the wellspring of artistic talent. If there are any big conspiracy theories out there, it’s going to be the heightened perceptions of a schizophrenic like AnonymousConservative that spots it first.

          3. AvatarMaus

            I agree with Vizzini. There are actual conspiracies. But, notwithstanding that, whenever we had a case with two or more defendants, we’d throw a conspiracy charge in for good measure. There are two schools of thought: one believes it’s easier to prove the conspiracy than to prove the underlying crime; the other thinks it’s always more difficult to prove a common plan or motive. Evidence of mental states like intention or premeditation are almost always the product of circumstantial evidence. Going for the conspiracy is really only the better play when you’ve got a no-body homicide or a theft case with no recovered stolen property. If you can’t give the jury good, hard evidence; you can at least give ’em a good story. But that’s all it is, a story that’s reasonable beyond a doubt. Too many of the government and Hollywood capers allow for enough doubt to fail that test. Sometimes a pizza is just a pizza.

          4. AvatarFeinGul

            All this BS is to 1) distract us 2) Degrade us.

            The core conspiracies are well known Power and Money. State/CIA, FBI, DOJ, Deep State can and do keep secrets BTW. So does the Military. Real Power in America is Deep State+Finance. The actual Deep State is the State Dept. > I know you won’t believe it but that my dears is the core of the Empire. It may not make sense to you but that’s where it is.

            Besides, they don’t actually rat each other out. They publicly boast; https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/?amp=true

            Still there’s something very off about distracting your subjects with *degradation*. I mean the Pedo, Satanic, CRT, Trannys, etc. Stalin, Hitler, Mao never distracted with degrading the masses, they lied to them with false good news. If we had Beria in America he’d be putting his rape/pedo sessions on YouTube. The real man never would have, nor the dictators.
            This means 2 things; 1) as they have no experience of violence they have no fear of it, although even the college prank stunts of Jan 6 openly panicked them (folly to show fear).
            2) there’s something wrong with them.
            Their urge to degrade the commons speaks to their unhealthy nature, and foolish as well. Stalin would have shot them for a tiny portion of this arrogance.

        2. AvatarDamian

          Yes I read AC for a bit of fun, and also he finds some very interesting links now and again. I try to see him as a sort of fiction writer living in a parallel world with a completely different back story to ours………..but then the creepy finds do make me go hmmmm (which I think was a song by C&C music factory song back in the day?)

          Reply
      3. AvatarAl from da Nort

        Well, there *were* semi-secret signs used by borderline criminal types to communicate among themselves in the past. But there was no face-to-face conspiracy involved.

        https://owlcation.com/humanities/All-things-HOBO-signs-and-symbols

        I recall personally seeing some chalk markings on curbs as a boy down by the RR tracks in the 1950s and asking my Dad about them. He told us they were hobo signs but said he didn’t know what they exactly meant (or didn’t want to say lest we ask too many questions). BTW, there was no possibility that he’d personally ever ‘gone bum’.

        Perhaps this actual (semi) secret sign language is a ‘beachhead fact’ for the MK Ultra crowd. Never heard the expression ‘beachhead fact’ before, but it seems a pretty apt and pithy explanation for that mode of argumentation. ‘The CIA can be pretty damn evil. In fact they pride themselves on it.’, is another beachhead fact lending potential weight to the whole chain of the argument. Likewise, it is a fact that there are highly damaged, sad people willing to use sketchy explanations to feed their drama while exculpating themselves from being the main cause of it.

        While I have little love or respect for the CIA, it is a perfect villain for the narratives of the unstable because, from the beginning they have wisely adopted a policy of refusing to comment on any and all accusations: Once you start reacting, a clever opponent can use the process against you.

        Reply
        1. AvatarSeverian

          “Beachhead fact” is, so far as I know, my own coinage.

          No doubt the CIA are some evil, twisted, sick sad bastards. If they were all that, plus competent, I’d be worried. But all that seems to be ramping up as their competence declines.

          Reply
  1. AvatarAllen

    I can see the day when the ATF agents posing as white supremacists sets up their sting to draw out those white supremacists which is made up of FBI agents who are trying to do the same thing on social media. The shootout should be epic. The media of course will trumpet the White Supremacist! angle until they discover that it’s all made up of FedGov people but will pretend that it’s real anyway.

    The social media morons will then ban the 12 people who actually post that sort of thing 5 million times each. Problem solved, except the mockery and laughter.

    Reply
    1. AvatarSeverian

      That’s happened before. I saw something on a site that wasn’t the Babylon Bee — perhaps it was notthebee — where a group of narcos posing as drug dealers was arrested by a different group of narcos pretending to be buyers. Shots were very nearly fired, and everyone involved was an undercover cop.

      I’ve heard a similar joke made about the Klan — there are about 15 guys in the Klan, total, and 10 of them are FBI informants… and the other five are actual undercover Feds, such that any Klan meeting is the five undercovers trying to entrap the 10 informants, followed by the 10 informants all hitting the phones to inform on the 5 undercovers.

      Reply
      1. AvatarNuke1776

        Funny you should mention this. Remember that “assassination plot” against Mother Whitmer last year?

        https://notthebee.com/article/remember-that-plot-to-kidnap-michigan-governor-gretchen-whitmer-that-the-fbi-foiled-yeah-it-turns-out-it-was-the-fbis-idea-all-along

        Story was released by BuzzFeedNews who, of course, are too dumb to realize that they said the quiet part out loud by revealing the big bag right-wing extremist plot was really just another FBI entrapment scheme.

        Any story involving monstrous conspiracies against Our Beloved Government is just Feds all the way down.

        Reply
      2. AvatarFeinGul

        3 man militia cell meeting is the undercover FBI agent and undercover DEA agent awaiting the arrival of the undercover US Marshal.

        Reply
        1. AvatarSeverian

          The sad thing tying everyone’s comments together is: It’s possible, indeed likely, that the various Fed agencies have absolutely no idea that they’re working with each other. It’s emergent behavior, like Vizzini says.

          Apparently it happens all the time, so much so that it has even been a plot point in Hollywood movies: The local narcs are working a case, their snitch is giving them great stuff… but when they go to move in, they learn the snitch is an undercover DEA guy. Or the reverse — the DEA gets stonewalled at every turn, because everyone who can give them anything belongs to the local cops. A five second phone call could straighten it all out, but it would mess up the chains of command — and, most importantly, the funding — so nobody ever makes it.

          Reply
        2. AvatarRangifer

          You know all of these (Whitmer, 1-06, etc) are utter BS as the organization for said events were done on Facebook. Any real event will have decent OPSEC and do everything in person because as the old say goes, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog”. Ahem, I mean Fed.

          Reply
    2. AvatarDinothedoxie

      That was sort of the plot of The Man Who Was Thursday. A novel by Chesterton from more than a century ago.

      If I had any talent I’d update it as a comedy.

      Reply

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