July, 2017


3
Jul 17

BEWARE THE TRUMP SWARM

Bill Maher said Trump voters aren’t upset by his public misbehavior, his vulgarity, but instead “they bond with him over it”. They remind me of the sort of entourage that follows a school bully around, the ones who laugh and encourage him as he bullies someone.

Many people have probably noted the phenomenon of Trump Trolls turning up in swarms now–first time I noted it was on the Washington Post’s subscription page. They were there in large numbers, a Trump Troll Swarm using many of the same links and “fake news” phrases, condemning the WAPO; I decided to subscribe to the Washington Post online because they said not to (and because it’s good). But their numbers and consistency made me feel that they had been directed there by someone else, an organization; then, when I posted a particularly pungent Washington Post article about Trump and his Russian connections, on Facebook, they swarmed in on my thread. I counted forty of them, arriving in short order–people I’d never heard from before.

The bully’s entourage apparently had been directed by some low-level, perhaps unofficial, Trump propaganda group or bot to ridicule the post, and what they called “the big Russia Hoax” being pulled off by the “mainstream media”. I predict we’ll see this more and more–in wider numbers. Beware The Swarm.


3
Jul 17

A Voice from My Pants

I heard a voice coming from my pants pocket. “I’m sorry,” said my pocket. “I didn’t understand your question.” A nice lady, it sounded like, was calling out to me from my pants pocket as I pulled weeds in the yard. “What the hell?” I said. “Could you repeat that?” she said. My phone, yes, had bumped something and –it was my front pocket so I won’t say I butt dialed Siri.

I find the phenomenon of over anxious, too-easily-activated Apple phones irritating. About a week later, I was doing some recording in my little studio, and of semi dancing a bit to the guitar solo. I’d forgotten and left my phone on. During a lull in the song I heard voice in my pants say “Hello? Hello? Hazel Dell framing? I can’t hear you.” Somehow a business call had been re-called. In my pants.

Then today, I took my youngest son and wife out for a July 4 weekend brunch. I heard music from under the table at the restaurant. First I heard the Pixies, then the Toadies, then, amazingly, the band Television. “Wow,” I thought, “this restaurant has a *really hip mix* playing! But why did they put the speaker under the table? Then I heard a song from Lou Reed’s first solo album. “What wonderfully good taste!” I said, looking under the table for the speaker. “Lou Reed’s singing from under the table.” My son said, “It’s your cell phone.” The MP3s I have on my cell phone had been activated. My wife, the waiter– a young guy–and my son were all laughing at me.

I blame Apple.