So I’ll start this as an update on the media fast I had attempted starting last December. I’ve still been successful avoiding the variety of what I would term manipulative and/or sensationalistic news sources that I used to read regularly. These news sources were across the ideological spectrum: left, right, and “mainstream.”
But part of the reason I’ve found it relatively easy to keep most of these sites out of my regular online diet is because they are often filled with intrusive and/or frankly disgusting ads (of the literal “here is a picture of an ass infected with parasites” variety).
It has not been so easy to avoid Twitter and Facebook trending topics, the former of which I will still definitely check multiple times a day.
The holiday season is upon us, and I wanted to say how very lucky I feel having been contacted by Mr. Marvin E. Large, a citizen of the United States of America. He has a considerable sum of money (One Million United States Dollars) that he needs to hide from his terrible wife before he dies of lung cancer, and being a good Christian he would rather see said funds go to an honorable charity than into her loveless coffers.
I received notice of Mr. Large’s dilemma through an email entitled, “Do Not Ignore.” And it is a good thing he labelled it thus, as the message was originally caught in my spam filter. Even though he has never met me, I feel honored that Mr. Large gave me his cell phone number so I might participate in his scheme to deposit the One Million United States Dollars via a Sealed Consignment Box In Disguise and a special Security Company.
So the other day I had a troll visit my Facebook…or rather, some sort of “bot.” It was nothing really directed towards me, but rather some short, asinine, vaguely ideologically-driven, near word-salad commentary left on a major news story I posted.
And I would imagine they fish for the trending keywords and then deposit this near word-salad on a bunch of random accounts, for whatever purpose; to spam-promote a pyramid scheme, to assist in the continuing takeover of our country by foreign powers, or perhaps simply to make friends and influence people.
A few major mainstreamy articles have come out spotlighting what has been known in the fringe community as “Elsagate”—basically, those weird & often fetishistic videos for children featuring knock-offs of popular characters such as Elsa from Frozen, Spider-Man, and the Joker. (I’ve done my own “exposé” on the subject here)
And to my shock this whole sordid kiddie-vid enterprise extends way past the comic book superhero/Disney princess thing and embraces pretty much every main children’s fandom, including Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol—videos for both blithely showing characters being tortured in dentist’s chairs, pissed on, eaten, hypnotized, murdered, going to strip clubs, and committing suicide. You know: “the new normal.”
The problem is that we (most of us, run-of-the-mill humans) have already opened our lives up to the vast digital matrix that is Facebook/Google/Amazon/Apple. We are already “in the system.” We have signed off on perfectly legal “backdoors” to our own histories, our digital “footprint.”
We did this a long time ago—not just with these gigantic corporations, but with every online tom, dick, and harry that came along. We ensconced ourself into that vast matrix.