Well, happy Thanksgiving to all. The holiday seems to expand every year, doesn’t it? I’ve read about young people, mainly women, referring to their “birthday month,” and expecting regular tributes throughout. That seems to be happening to this one, although who can complain, really? If you’re at work, you won’t be getting anything important done, unless you’re a police officer or an unlucky cashier at a grocery store. The white-collar world is phoning it in, or else shopping the Black Friday sales online, as I spent a chunk of yesterday doing. Like the holiday itself, they’ve expanded to the whole week. I can dig it.
So what are you thankful for? I’ll start with the trivial: I’m thankful for all the excellent shopping columns that have popped up in recent years, which help a person who doesn’t want to spend all day on the internet find the best deals. And yeah, I know they’re affiliate arrangements, but I don’t care. I’ve found several handy items I never would have even known about thanks to the Strategist, to name but one.
Also: Twitter, simultaneously a reason to get up in the morning and the bane of my existence (so hard to put down), a 24/7/365 cocktail party that, for all its infamous awfulness, also reassures me daily that I am not the only person who thinks X, not by a long shot. Kinda like this commentariat, actually.
What else? I have a new job, which is good news. It’s half-time, which is less-good news, but it’s a start. I’ll tell you more in a few days. This means I have to restart freelancing, a task that fills me with Ugh, but once it gets rolling, it’ll be easier.
No one is sick. Kate is investigating a study-abroad opportunity, and we have the money to pay for it. Our mortgage balance is down to a figure that doesn’t freak me out – thank you, 15-year loans. There’s a lot wrong with the world, but there’s still a lot that’s right. You can go online and, with a few clicks, and find dozens of videos showing turkeys attacking people. Turkeys were reintroduced to Michigan some years back, and they have thrived, not just here, but everywhere. Alan had to wait for a flock of about 25 to cross the road, the last time he went fishing up north.
So, on to the bloggage before I take a few days off, because Saturday is my birthday, and I won’t be back until Sunday/Monday. My first post-college job gave you a birthday personal day, and I try to keep that flame alive when I can.
There’s a Pulitzer Prize waiting to be mined from stories about how powerful forces are harnessing the internet for malign purposes. Here, the New York state AG explains:
In May 2017, researchers and reporters discovered that the FCC’s public comment process was being corrupted by the submission of enormous numbers of fake comments concerning the possible repeal of net neutrality rules. In doing so, the perpetrator or perpetrators attacked what is supposed to be an open public process by attempting to drown out and negate the views of the real people, businesses, and others who honestly commented on this important issue. Worse, while some of these fake comments used made up names and addresses, many misused the real names and addresses of actual people as part of the effort to undermine the integrity of the comment process. That’s akin to identity theft, and it happened on a massive scale.
I have some thoughts about the John Conyers story, most of which I’ll keep to myself for now. But this one I won’t: How BuzzFeed colluded with a notorious right-wing troll to bring you the story. Mike Cernovich’s role wasn’t revealed until paragraph 18, and his name mentioned only twice, within that paragraph. I have a problem with that.
So, then, happy holiday and long weekend to all. Go Lions. Go turkeys. Go have a nice meal.