Steam Whistle News Feed – February 17, 2023

Against my better judgment, I wanted to talk solely about two things this week, two things that sum up much of what kind of spurious gruel the world’s figurative fat-cat trenchermen and their private chefs are cooking up and serving to people.  And like the little Dickensian, grime-faced, wall-licking orphans we are, starving for a real adoptive parent (i.e. safe news source, avuncular or materteral political figurehead) to tell us where to go and what to believe in our lives, we gobble that sh– up like Daddy Warbucks’ or Mr. Drummond’s kitchen staff was serving it to us.  Which, I guess, in the case of the latter, would just be Mrs. Garrett.  (Changed metaphors mid-stream there, but I think you get the gist of it.)

Not that if we lived in some kind of progressive, child-centered care facility not penned by Charles Dickens (like a no-kill animal shelter, but for kids) we would necessarily be served better meals.  They would just taste better for all the lashings we wouldn’t be absorbing afterwards.  It’s all about perspective.  You could go to places like ProPublica, Democracy Now! or The Intercept right now and find highly probing, informative stories about your government and world (which you really should do), but those outlets lack the mainstream credibility of the juggernauts of media today and, hence, are ignored for not being cool enough by the average American urchin-orphan (by which I mean citizen). 

I shall talk about more than two, however.

The two I wanted to discuss first came from the mouth(s) of the hydra, itself—the Associated Press and Washington Post—and I found them remarkable for how mind-alteringly enlightening they were.

You want to know how to overthrow a government/monarch/person with so much clout they think they’re some kind of ridiculous demi-human, kid?  Use their own ridiculous words and deeds against them.  For what else defines us in this limited-run, seriocomic production we all call Life but what we do and say because of the things we think? 

I mean, cancel culture has this stuff down, but I’m saying do it regarding things that actually matter, and not as some kind of reverse-celebrity revenge factor. 

Which would make a great TV show, by the way.  Fear Factor meets The Apprentice meets Most Extreme Elimination Challenge meets those three Guyanese dudes smoking spliffs on the corner of Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Pijlsteeg in Amsterdam’s red light district looking at you out of the corner of their bloodshot eyes to see how drunk or high you are, fondling the blackjacks in their pockets like they were some kind of cross-cultural omaromi dedicated to their patron saint, St. Dismas the Penitent Thief. 

I’d watch that.

The first was this story that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, like that pet alligator you were too dumb not to realize you shouldn’t have begged your weekend dad for, and then just dumped in the Gowanis Canal after it got big enough to eat your dog: Fox News hosts, producers and even the big man himself, Rupert Murdoch—thanks to documents that have come to light via the US Dominion, Inc. vs. Fox News case brought against the network—have been caught bantering via various communication devices about being well aware the people they invited on their primetime shows were slinging absolute and no-two-says-about-it bullsh–, but let them do it anyway so they wouldn’t lose viewers to the other far-right networks who were falling over themselves to out-bullshit one another.

And then there was that story by the Post: seven high-profile murders by U.S. police force members were dissected, one by one, to show that, in each, the officers who first filed the reports (and who did the killing) lied about what happened to cover their asses.  For killing someone who shouldn’t have been killed in the first place. 

And next, I suppose, running with that theme a little farther, another couple stories about people showing to the world (sometimes via their friends or relatives, in the case of this next one) their Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray-ness:

The day of the Super Bowl, Elon Musk, like many other Twitter users, put out a tweet in support of the Philadelphia Eagles.  When the game ended and the Eagles had been defeated, the tweet was deleted.  Several hours later, it was reported, Musk’s cousin gets on Slack and basically tells Twitter employees that an urgent problem has occurred and, like it were the Cuban Missile Crisis or some other kind of global thermonuclear Cold War brinkmanship/confrontation, says every relevant warm body should get their asses on deck and remedy it. 

The urgent problem?  Joe Biden’s tweet got more likes than Elon Musk’s.

I don’t like using the expression all that often, but you really can’t make sh– like this up sometimes. 

Not to mention Musk, because he’s hemorrhaging so much cash at Twitter now, is talking about charging people to use its Application Programming Interface—that thing that helps volunteers and nonprofits wade through the morass of bullsh– on Twitter to locate things like, oh, I don’t know, distress calls after something like, say, a g–damn massive, strike-slip earthquake in someplace like, I don’t know, maybe Syria or Turkey?  Or both?  Which, right now, happens to be free of charge and saving a lot of lives in the process of existing as such, combed through by people and organizations who don’t possess the extra $100 a month to be paying Elon Musk for the regrettable life decisions he’s been making lately. 

And then one more story from this guy, head of Army marketing, Major General Alex Fink: While conservative minds have been crying ‘wokeism’ and citing forced vaccinations as the reasons for a continued low-enlistee turnout in America’s armed forces, the major general stood up and responded, ‘Nah, son. People just don’t want to f—ing die, get f—ing hurt, get needlessly stressed out or put their g–damn lives on hold to f—ing die, get hurt or get needlessly f—ing stressed out.’ *mic drop*

Occam’s Razor right there. Boom. (That’s the mic drop.)

And, I suppose continuing to run with that same theme because apparently I’ve taken part in some kind of ‘Statue of Liberty’, ‘hook and ladder’ or other trick play with a name that sounds like a filthy-yet-consensual bedroom practice you don’t want any of your friends to know you’ve been engaging in with your new significant other (and I’m still on my feet for some reason), there’s this:

A Republican election official in Wisconsin sent out an email to some 1,700 people, telling them they and their kind can all be proud of the weak voter turnout in Milwaukee in the 2022 midterms by people of color. And then publicly counters getting his hand caught in the metaphorical partisan-political cookie jar by saying that what he really meant was ‘be proud of our ability to counter the Democrats’ message in those same communities’. Which translates to: ‘Yeah, I had my hand in the cookie jar, but I wasn’t stealing anything from people I and everyone else deem inferior or unworthy of eating the cookies only we love and deserve, I was trying to take away from the bakers who are trying to bake cookies for those people, because……-ause……-ause……-ause………’

And, I suppose-suppose one final thing (I’ve basically fumbled the ball by now, I’m certain of that), this one right out in the open: According to a report by two European environmental think-tanks, out of 24 major companies rigorously examined (including the likes of Amazon, Walmart, PepsiCo, Samsung, Microsoft, Apple and American Airlines), it turns out only one wasn’t exaggerating (lying about) their purported and suddenly dubious efforts to curb the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, of which they undeniably play a significant role.

And by “right out in the open,” I mean, like nearly everything else mentioned, hoping to keep it concealed from prying eyes because they feel it’s really none of your business.