Mixed Emotions

Ryan Braun has retired.

To say that I have mixed feelings about this is an understatement; he lied. He used PEDs. His best performances were when he was on performance enhancing substances. Yes, he was a part of a Brewers team that tried to make history, tried to get to the World Series, but he was cheating. Even worse? Once he was off the stuff, he was never the same. It was blatantly obvious.

He’ll more than likely have a spot on the Brewers Wall of Honor. I’m fine with that. But I don’t want to see him being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He doesn’t deserve it.

To be quite honest, he should have retired years ago. Maybe then we wouldn’t have to struggle with the legacy he’s leaving behind.

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Cue Surprise

Can you believe it?! Facebook has been lying to us! Oh, the shock and horror! Cue the shocked Pikachu face!

In private, the company has built a system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, according to company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The program, known as “cross check” or “XCheck,” was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists. Today, it shields millions of VIP users from the company’s normal enforcement process, the documents show. Some users are “whitelisted”—rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.

You don’t say…

But do go on.

To minimize conflict with average users, the company has long kept its notifications of content removals opaque. Users often describe on Facebook, Instagram or rival platforms what they say are removal errors, often accompanied by a screenshot of the notice they receive.

Welcome to “What I’m Starting to Do 101”. I have also been encouraging Prime to do the same. Facebook can pull this “Uh, but that’s not what really happened” all they like, until you bring out the screenshots.

However, even that’s dangerous. People have been banned for posting screenshots of harassment, because somehow the victim posting that they have been harassed breaks community standards for harassment.

Facebook pays close attention. One internal presentation about the issue last year was titled “Users Retaliating Against Facebook Actions.”

They don’t pay that close attention. Period. There’s a subreddit called “Fuck Facebook”. The comments on a number of pages I follow have gone from “Cool Post” to “Why is Zuc trying to kill our group? WTF?” There are a lot of people who post similar comments: they were harassed, they were bullied, they reported the comments and nothing happened. But they told the asshole to back off and got an immediate ban. There’s a fuckload of victim blaming here and the harassers get off scot-free. There’s also been cases of people who have been threatened with the loss of their accounts because of something they posted six years ago and they can’t find that particular post in order to delete it. It’s ridiculous.

Shitcan the bullshit.

“Literally all I said was happy birthday,” one user posted in response to a botched takedown, according to the presentation.

I posted a pair of memes. Now I’m dealing with a thirty day ban.

“Apparently Facebook doesn’t allow complaining about paint colors now?” another user complained after Facebook flagged as hate speech the declaration that “white paint colors are the worst.”

Yep. You also can’t call an anti-vaxxer an “ignorant potato”. But “r*t*rd”? That’s acceptable. Except according to community standards, it’s not but hey, who’s counting?

“Users like to screenshot us at our most ridiculous,” the presentation said, noting they often are outraged even when Facebook correctly applies its rules.

Here’s the problem: they don’t. Quite literally, one of Facebook’s community standards outright states that ableist slurs are not allowed. Period. Prime had a Facebook user calling him–and other people–“r*t*rds”. Prime called the asshole out on his bigotry. Prime is serving a thirty day ban. As for the ableist piece of shit? Who knows. But probably not.

This is why everyone hates you, Zuc. You fucking suck at running your social media site. Or, maybe it runs exactly as it should; after all, you started this bullshit to rank girls on their “hotness”.

Prime has said he’s done. He’s not going back to Facebook again. Me? I’m going to do the same, but I’m going to make a friends only post and let everyone know about my blog. I’m going to tell them that I’m far more active here and that I just can’t use Facebook in good faith anymore. I’m done. I can’t support that sort of toxicity. So I’m done.

Hopefully, the place will begin to rot from the inside and collapse. Only it won’t happen fast enough for me.

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For the heck of it, I went ahead and did a little cleaning up on my online game: my Pal Pad had several accounts that had been abandoned. I’m talking about people who hadn’t been online for three years or more. So, I deleted them and managed to add a few others. I also took the time to rearrange everything by alphabetical order. Just because, I guess.

The leaves are changing in earnest now. We’re heading into autumn. I haven’t been able to get as many supplies as I did last year, but I’m not as concerned about that. If I have to go out, I’ll keep wearing a mask. It’s only a matter of time before I get my booster shot. Prime is looking at the end of the year for his. In the meantime, I’ll try to stop by grocery stores and get a few things here and there. I don’t need a lot. I still have quite a few nonperishable items from last year. I should be okay.

In two months, the Diamond and Pearl remakes will be released. I won’t be bored during the winter. It’ll be me, Lulu and the Switch. I think I’ll be fine.

Tomorrow night is Shang Chi. I hope the theatre isn’t too crowded; I wear two masks for that very reason. I don’t trust people anymore, sadly.

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Sunday Morning Nostalgia Crush!

The opening and closing to The Jetsons. Not-so-fun-fact: it seems everyone was living in those skyscrapers because the Earth’s surface was far too polluted for anyone to stay there. How… cheerful. 😦

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It’s been another shitty week, so I’m going to make it a kitty week. So here’s why a certain black kitty now has some white on his muzzle. Enjoy!

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Seven Quick Takes Friday: I Know It’s Late Edition

1) Current mood:

2) This is your weekly reminder that #FacebookIsTrash.

3) Thought for the Week: I’m already tired from next week.

4) Tomorrow is the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. I’m not going to blog about it. This is the only mention that I will make of it. It was stressful then, and it still is even now. I’m not saying we should forget. But out of respect for those affected, I won’t be saying anything about tomorrow. It isn’t my place.

5) We’re looking at highs in the eighties tomorrow. With humidity. I’m not happy about that.

6) We’re doing quite a bit of hiring at work. Some are probably seasonal hires. Others might actually be permanent employees. My hours have been cut to 29 for the next couple of weeks, but I don’t expect this to last. If anything, I’ll be either asked to stay later or come in earlier. We’ve had one person let go several weeks ago for a ridiculous reason; I’m fairly certain it’s going to happen again.

7) It’s September. Which means I have to hit Walmart and see what sort of costumes they have for Halloween. I’m pretty sure that there’s at least one Bumblebee costume out there. I’m going to need it for my collection.

With that said, I’ll go ahead and draw this to a close. But I’ll be back next week with more random thoughts and brain farts for you to read. So until next time, have a great weekend and I’ll see you soon!

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Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 36

It’s long past time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s another edition of your Weekly Reader!

Got a hot blog post you want to share? Found a great editorial from your local newspaper? Came across something you wanted to share? Just drop by the comments and leave us a link!

The Feds Want to Know What the McFuck Is Going On With the McFlurry Machines (from Gizmodo): “To backtrack a bit, McFlurry machines—manufactured by a brand called Taylor—are notoriously fussy. They have to be able to withstand both the cold temperatures needed to keep the ice cream frozen and the heating cycles that blast them during the cleaning process. Despite the fact that they account for about 60% of sales of desserts at McDonald’s in the U.S., according to a consumer survey by research firm Technomic Inc., they’re also not intuitive at all and packed with what some have interpreted as deliberately janky code, which is why some franchise owners have such a difficult time getting them back up and running again.”

Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century. It’s also killing the 21st (from Tech Crunch): “When did indoor air become cold and clean?”

“Air conditioning is one of those inventions that have become so ubiquitous that many in the developed world don’t even realize that less than a century ago, it didn’t exist. Indeed, it wasn’t so long ago that the air inside our buildings and the air outside of them were one and the same, with occupants powerless against their environment.”

Cult recovery experts explain how to “deprogram” QAnon adherents (from Vice): “Still, there are a lot of similarities between QAnon followers and cultists. So while there’s a definitional debate around what QAnon is (and certainly some would argue it is a cult), there is a consensus that it’s destructive to many people’s lives. Once people get so far into it, they’re living a life that’s no longer grounded in reality and that can be destructive to themselves and the people around them.”

Remington Subpoenas Report Cards of 5 Children Killed in Sandy Hook Shooting (from Vice): “Gun company Remington has subpoenaed the report cards, attendance records, and disciplinary records of five kindergarten and first grade students murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to new court filings in a civil lawsuit filed against the company. “

Restaurants are desperate to hire. My coworkers aren’t ready to come back. (from the Washington Post): “I tried to quit my job three times in the past year. It’s a part-time second gig at a pizza place in downtown Los Angeles that I picked up last summer, when hours at my other job at a Vietnamese restaurant were cut and the first round of federal unemployment benefits was about to run out. I put in my two weeks’ notice in November, after shifts at my usual position became available again. The owners kept asking me back, though, and I kept accepting — on my terms. I want to work only on Tuesdays? They can accommodate. I’m going out of town for three weeks? No problem. It feels like I’m doing them a favor every time I show up. And in a way, I am.”

That’s all for this week. But I’ll be back next week with more information to stuff into your brain holes. Until then, have a great rest of your week, stay safe and see you soon!

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bUt mY fREe-dUmBs!!

I had a doctor’s appointment today. Everything is fine, except that my doctor is retiring. I congratulated him and thanked him for everything. I’m on this side of the dirt because of what he’s been doing for me. For that, I’m grateful.

I’m also… sad. I know, I know. Weird thing to feel sad about. But I do. I’m just odd like that.

Prime and I managed to finish off the Punisher arch in Daredevil. I did sympathize with Frank Castle but I can’t say that I find his methods all that ethical. I’ll just leave it at that.

The weather has gotten better, but the house is still too stuffy for my liking. I just hope that the humidity stays low; I’m sick of sweating for no reason.

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Working For the Weekend

What’s… Up Dog?

This weekend was insane. I’m not kidding. We had door counts of 200+ and one that was over three hundred. Members were hostile. We were doing E-Blocks and we didn’t have enough people to assist on the front end, let alone scan membership cards and make the sales pitch for upgrading their Gold Star membership into an Executive. I was bounced from place to place on Thursday; I really should have been at the door but I wasn’t sent there. Instead, it was whatever.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I was at the doors. All three days were busy and we were still short people. One of our employees was absent for two days; when she came back, she looked awful. She wasn’t sick, but she said she took those days to spend time with her mother.

Her mother isn’t doing well. That’s definitely not a good sign. She may be going on bereavement leave sometime soon. But it’s hard to say right now.

Prime just got another thirty days from Facebook; he was being harassed by someone who was using an ableist slur, but somehow, ableist slurs that are actually against community standards don’t actually break community standards. But calling out an abusive POS? Oh, we can’t have that. 🙄

I’ve got seventeen days left on mine. It literally doesn’t matter; I’ve been reading Reddit a lot more lately. Facebook can shrivel up and die for all I care. It means nothing to me now.

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Day Off

Since it’s Labor Day, let’s have a little break. I’ll be back tomorrow to update you on my weekend. See you soon!

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