Monday morning.

We discovered a new cocktail in France: the negroni sbagliato. A negroni, as fans of Stanley Tucci know, is very easy to make — equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, shaken with ice, garnished with an orange slice. Very refreshing. In a negroni sbagliato, you substitute sparkling wine for the gin, which lessens the alcohol content and makes it super-refreshing. (“Sbagliato” means “mistake” in Italian, and the legend goes it was invented when a busy bartender reached for the wrong bottle, but you know about legends.)

Alan bought a bottle of prosecco the other day, but it hasn’t exactly been refreshing-cocktail weather lately. Dreary rain and chill. (Also, you don’t want to open a bottle of sparkling wine if you’re not going to finish it, and so it’s best for when you have friends over.) I made the first soup of the season last night, if you don’t count last week’s chili. Cream of broccoli, because Vegetables. Probably should have served a hot toddy in the cold rain, but we just drank the remainder of the white wine after I added a cup or so to the soup.

And now I think I’m going to take the week off drinking. Got a little too accustomed to the 50cl bottle at lunch, and more at dinner, etc. Of course, in a country where McDonald’s and Haagen-Dazs both have alcoholic choices on the menu, you’re just going with the flow. Back home, you should stop drinking so much, you ol’ sot.

I’ve been reading a fair amount about Facebook lately. I said on my own page that I was ready to pull the plug on that hellsite, that once I stopped working for good and didn’t have to post stories for work, I’d be happy to step back and never post again. Maybe keep the account active for the Marketplace and because some people simply refuse to communicate any way other than via Messenger, but otherwise? Pfft. And I must say, the site is making this easy. My news feed is now disproportionately what’s known as “like farming,” i.e. stupid posts that encourage engagement. “Who remembers when the national anthem was played at the end of the broadcast day,” maybe, or “Come on – who here hasn’t gotten a DUI?” The idea is to get people agitated enough to interact with it, which boosts its position, which boosts the poster’s other material, etc. If this is Facebook, fuck ’em. If I want content like this, I can wander down to a local oil-change place and look at the 25th-generation Xeroxes on the break-room bulletin board.

But I realize I’m in the minority, that the site still has way more active users than detractors, and that it’s continuing on its path to destabilize western democracy, just the same. Social media in general doesn’t appear to be good for anyone, but as a Twitter addict I will say I enjoy the kitty videos, and Cats With Jobs (@CatWorkers) always pleases me. Anyway, back to FB, here’s the NYT today:

Apart from the Like button, Facebook has scrutinized its share button, which lets users instantly spread content posted by other people; its groups feature, which is used to form digital communities; and other tools that define how more than 3.5 billion people behave and interact online. The research, laid out in thousands of pages of internal documents, underlines how the company has repeatedly grappled with what it has created.

What researchers found was often far from positive. Time and again, they determined that people misused key features or that those features amplified toxic content, among other effects. In an August 2019 internal memo, several researchers said it was Facebook’s “core product mechanics” — meaning the basics of how the product functioned — that had let misinformation and hate speech flourish on the site.

“The mechanics of our platform are not neutral,” they concluded.

You don’t say. Elsewhere in the same edition, Ben Smith has a column on Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower. It mentions the platform’s role in fomenting sectarian violence overseas. Getta loada this shit:

Dozens of religious extremists burst into a Pentecostal church outside New Delhi in June, claiming it was built atop a Hindu temple. The group installed a Hindu idol in protest, and a pastor says he was punched in the head by attackers.

Members of a Hindu nationalist organization known as Bajrang Dal claimed responsibility in a video describing the incursion that has been viewed almost 250,000 times on Facebook. The social-media company’s safety team earlier this year concluded that Bajrang Dal supported violence against minorities across India and likely qualified as a “dangerous organization” that should be banned from the platform, according to people familiar with the matter.

Facebook Inc. balked at removing the group following warnings in a report from its security team that cracking down on Bajrang Dal might endanger both the company’s business prospects and its staff in India, the people said. Besides risking infuriating India’s ruling Hindu nationalist politicians, banning Bajrang Dal might precipitate physical attacks against Facebook personnel or facilities, the report warned.

Look on your works, Mark Zuckerberg, and despair. Have I mentioned how very very tired I am of “move fast and break things.” It’s given us piles of shit-tastic technology, and an overwhelming culture of shrugging and back-to-the-ol’-drawing-board and hey-don’t-blame-us-we’re-just-a-platform. It’s maddening.

Anyway. That’s Monday morning. How’s yours?

Finally, I think I’m going to drop some random France pictures in here until I – or you guys – get tired of it. Less-traveled Metro station, here. Love that tile:

Posted at 9:53 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |
 

45 responses to “Monday morning.”

  1. Suzanne said on October 25, 2021 at 10:20 am

    As I mentioned at the tail end of yesterday’s post, we re-watched Apocalypse Now for the first time in 40+ years, having seen it in the theater back in the day with a friend sitting next to me who would not shut up so I didn’t get the gist of it at all. Brando looked way younger than I recalled and I was intrigued by how prophetic it was. The chaos of the movie mirrors the chaos of today. I know it’s about the chaos of war but right now, we are in a kind of war as society as a whole clearly struggles with knowing who really is the lunatic.

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  2. Deborah said on October 25, 2021 at 10:47 am

    I’m mixed on quitting Facebook too. I will definitely quit when they allow TFG back on. I’m seriously addicted to Twitter right now and don’t know what I’ll do if they let TFG back, I’ll probably have to quit cold turkey there too. It’s sad that the bad parts are outweighing the good. Unintended consequences are the pits. I don’t get why those platforms can’t just give up some profits to do the right things, easy for me to say I guess.

    Yes coming back from France requires a dry period, the wine is so damn good over there, it’s hard to be disciplined.

    Apocalypse Now is a must see for us at least once a year, fantastic movie, but also unsettling.

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  3. LAMary said on October 25, 2021 at 11:12 am

    I share pictures of cool cars on Facebook and I compliment my artist FB friends on the stuff they post. I stay in touch with old work friends, congratulating them for new grandchildren, retirement, new chickens added to the backyard. But everyday I come very close to bailing out. The garbage is too much. If I do, though, how will Dexter and I share opinions about soccer and baseball?

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  4. Bruce Fields said on October 25, 2021 at 11:16 am

    It worries me that people hear this as a story about Zuckerberg being a Bad Person. Maybe he is, but he’s not the only one jockeying for this niche, and if it wasn’t Facebook it could be the same story with different names.

    Fundamentally:
    – Advertising generates income.
    – Attracting eyeballs to your advertising using professional writers is expensive to scale globally: you end up hiring people for each individual city, country, hobby, etc.
    – Attracting eyeballs by maintaining a platform that anyone can post to scales more cheaply: the additional data centers don’t cost that much per person.
    – Any kind of human editing and moderation defeats that plan, because it’s a per-user cost. So, almost all your moderation will be done by computer code.
    – There will always be spammers, political actors, etc., with huge incentives to game the system.
    – In the arms race between your computer code and a world full of ingenious humans, the humans have an advantage.

    Facebook claims 2.9 billion active users. For them and Youtube and competitors, per-user costs are everything.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on October 25, 2021 at 11:21 am

    No Twitter here, and I’m not sure if friends are posting less to FB or if it’s just harder to see their posts with all the other clutter of ads. It’s still good for catching up with scattered family and friends. so there’s that.

    D got back from his brother’s memorial service and reported that he took wrong turns a couple of times driving around the Fort. He also reported 38° overnight. I don’t miss that one single bit. By now I would already be well into the dread of all those grey days and crummy weather, with full blown depression creeping up on me. Today there’s less sun and a chance of rain, but that’s okay because it means I don’t have to water our new plants.

    The Paris subway tile has the same dirty grout problem as ours. It never gets clean no matter what I use. People who build bathrooms without exhaust fans should be sentenced to an eternity of scrubbing tile with a toothbrush. With smelly chemicals that you can’t vent because there’s no exhaust fan.

    Love the colors, though.

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  6. Ann said on October 25, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    I’m here for all the France pictures you care to share. I’m undoubtedly a FB super/over user–they’ve probably got my photo on a wall somewhere. But I got 900 comments when I posted that my mom died, and though many of them were the same sort of generic comments I make when someone has lost someone I never knew, there were hundreds that were very personal and very touching. It would be hard to give that up.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on October 25, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I’m passing along this link primarily for Jeff TMMO, but it’s also a good read for anyone interested in the intersection of politics and religion.

    Peter Wehner, a staffer at The Atlantic who is himself an evangelical Christian, assesses the current state of that particular religious brand and finds it frighteningly disconnected from the teachings of Jesus Christ in favor of the embrace of rightwing grievances, angers and rages. He also notes the impact of Southern culture on the evangelical movement, particularly the importance of an all-powerful patriarchy protecting women and children from the world, and the strain of anti-intellectualism.

    It’s well written and well sourced, too. I’m not sure if The Atlantic allows a visit or two through the paywall, but here’s the link in case they do:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/evangelical-trump-christians-politics/620469/

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  8. Suzanne said on October 25, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Jeff, I read that article this weekend and passed it on to quite a number of people. It is excellent.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on October 25, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Jeff, we’ve seen all this in our daughter’s denomination and she’s been deeply wounded by it. A purge has begun of churches and pastors, mostly for being gay or ministering to the LGBTQ+ population.

    At this point she’s withdrawn from all her denominational boards and appointments and is no longer attending the conferences. She’s also begun to explore what denomination she could join, yet still remain pastor at her local church.

    It’s a struggle for me, too, since this is now my church. We’re going through the membership classes, but I’m not going to join, only be an associate member. I won’t put my name on the rolls of this group.

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  10. Jeff Gill said on October 25, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you to cousin Borden, from one Jeff to another; I’d already posted and shared and emailed that Wehner piece to a great many colleagues (some of whom have already severed themselves from Facebook). The pre-existing slow motion devolution of the United Methodist Church, in the works actually before the Trump ascendancy, is something I’d been warning friends and fellow clergy about for a long while — how that sorts out in the West Ohio Conference (which includes most of central and even chunks of the east half of the state) will have a major impact on adjoining congregations and judicatories. In some cases, refugees departing Methodist churches depending on which way they go, and in other cases the decision of the UMC congregation down the block will trigger folk in groups like my own Disciples of Christ or our UCC cousins (which is the denomination I’ve been preaching in as a supply guy for the last year) to push for a similar vote in their own more congregational polity. I’m not sure about the polity guardrails in the ECC, but I know even Mennonite churches in this area are becoming re-roiled.

    I can’t say much, or I’d say more than even one of my long comments, so I’ll just say it’s a cluster of epic, tragic proportions. And add this link which suggests that even non-churched folks might miss the existence of local congregations if, as some of us suspect, we’re about to see an unprecedented wave of closures over the next few years:

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/november/church-empty-pews-are-american-public-health-crisis.html

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  11. Christy said on October 25, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    I had to start blocking the engagement-mining (or whatever they’re called) pages on FB because my friends would not stop sharing their favorite childhood breakfast cereals or whatever and I was not getting good enough pellets from the Skinner box to continue to engage. But it’s just amazing to me how many of my friends just respond to those sorts of posts and not much else.

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  12. Suzanne said on October 25, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Jeff, that article makes some interesting points but seems a bit self serving to me. For example, this statement: “Our own research indicates that declining religious service attendance accounts for about 40 percent of the rise in suicide rates over the past 15 years. If the declines in attendance could have been prevented, how many lives could have been saved?”

    I am reading this thinking that maybe the rising suicide rates are due to the very reasons religious service attendance is declining such as sexual abuse cover ups, the increasing politicization of church, the creeping in of the the entertainment model of worship. In other words, people increasingly see church as a sham, an entity that doesn’t promote peace, patience, kindness and the like but is built up for its own protection and enrichment and is marketed to them like any other product. It can leave those raised in a religious environment unmoored, searching for an anchor.

    I have been following the stories of exvangelicals and what a great many have in common is that they formerly were ardent followers of Jesus, earnest & sincere in their belief until at some point, they came to realize that it was a house of cards with a very dark side. It’s not just young people, either. I know a number of older people in their 50s and 60s who have walked away from the faith because it simply no longer makes sense to them. The infusion of politics into religion has certainly spurred on the exodus, but I think it’s deeper than that.

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  13. Scout said on October 25, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    I just caught up on the last thread and saw near the end a rather sketchy comment from someone named “David Smith”. Not that there aren’t at least a million David Smiths in the world, but that was my toxic ex-husband’s name. Anyway, he seems like a Danny type agitator only here to fling right wingnut nonsense poo and not to add anything useful to the discourse.

    I’m conflicted about Facebook. On one hand I despise everything they have wrought and think we should all stage a mass walk out and let it die from lack of oxygen. On the other, it is the only link I have to friends and family who are scattered about the country. And like Ann @6, when my Dad died it was an efficient way to inform so many more people that I could have otherwise, plus the condolence messages were comforting at a such difficult time. I do think all social media platforms should be better regulated, though, dangerous lies should be treated like yelling fire in a crowded theater. Free speech is great until it gets people killed. Would beefing up the FCC be of any help? I’m sure there are people here more knowledgeable than I who might know.

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  14. Deborah said on October 25, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    I didn’t know you could block the engagement mining posts. I’ll have to look into that.

    I finished Jonathan Frazen’s latest book, Crossroads, last night. I didn’t know it was the first of a trilogy. I’ll be looking forward to those coming books. It’s timely about the state of the church now. Crossroads takes place in the early 70s with flashbacks in the 40s

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  15. Sherri said on October 25, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    I remain on Facebook for the same reason I finally created an account: that’s where the powerlifting community is. Facebook also gives me, for both good and bad, some sense of the local political waters beyond just who is the noisiest.

    But, yes, Mark Zuckerberg is a bad person, and yes, that alone isn’t the problem. Google and YouTube is also awful, and Twitter is terrible, too. They are all in the business of promoting outrage to provide ad impressions, and if they destroy democracy and kill a few people in the process, well, in the words of Succession, NRPI.

    (No Real Person Involved, if you haven’t been watching)

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  16. alex said on October 25, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Engagement mining posts. So that’s what they’re called.

    I understand that some of these (your drag name = the name of your first pet + the name of the first street you ever lived on) are phishing for your answers to your bank account security questions and so on.

    Then there’s the “Bet you can’t come up with a female first name that starts with T and ends with an A.” Not sure what that shit’s about.

    Lately I’ve noticed a new sort of meme that obviously has right-wing undertones but is camouflaged as being left-ish. Perhaps this is how they’re beta-testing new political doublespeak for the Youngkins, Vances and other amoral political assholes of the world. Has anyone else noticed?

    I’m surprised that Facebook has become a habit for me as I resisted it initially and have never really warmed to it all that much.

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  17. tajalli said on October 25, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Set up a FB acct when a friend from a listserv group out of Univ Neb Lincoln started a meditation discussion group there. In short order learned how to set boundaries for my homepage “living room”, block, unfriend, unfollow the overly verbose, and generally manage FB to suit me and not it. Rather than follow a page or group, an HTML page with direct links to these, as well as valued but overly loquacious friends, affords me the full offerings of each rather than FB’s idea of how much and which items.

    Initially, re-sized my desktop page to obscure ads until they started to appear directly in my newsfeed as Suggested for You (Engagement Mining??). Discovered that by ruthlessly blocking all these “offerings” (think cruelly butchered and decomposing little animals on the doormat) several days in a row, I found that FB’s AI would relent and leave me “suggestion”-free for a few days, then I’d repeat the blocking process.

    Method for mass blocking: First, I read what I want from friends, pages and groups in my newsfeed. Second, I scroll back to the top and block the most recent “suggestion” by hovering the cursor over the avatar until a dialogue/menu appears, move the cursor over the ellipsis (…) in the lower right, click and select Block. Third, blocking will cause the newsfeed to refresh and place you at the top of the feed. Block the next rotting creature. Be ruthless – block all suggestions, even cute ones (except Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell). Keep repeating for 10-20 suggestions. Repeat entire process for several days in a row and the AI will stop pestering you for a while. When it starts up again, you initiate another round of the blocking process.

    Some FB page creators are switching back to a formal blogs and only posting cute photos and contentless reminders of new blog posts. So, individual blogs, such as this fine specimen right here !!, are coming back.

    Oh yes! Welcome back to our proprietress and many thanks for the photos – keep them coming, as far as I’m concerned.

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  18. tajalli said on October 25, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    And a tasty treat from a FB page I do follow. Why not stuff my ears and mind with sweetness.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEzDxxbkJS8

    Speaking of sweetness, the SF Public Library had a lovely interview with Alice Walker, jumping off with a discussion of her latest book, Sweet People are Everywhere.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KpWuXVE7Ec

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  19. Christy said on October 25, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Deborah – if one of your friends responds to one of the “like farming” posts, click on the ellipsis to the right of their name, and you should be able to block whatever the originator of the post is, rather than just blocking your friend.

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  20. Sherri said on October 25, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Just read the Atlantic article, and much of it rings true, though I’ll say what he describes isn’t limited to the evangelical church. I was talking to my friend who serves on the school board last week, and she said that Washington state has lost around 50 school superintendents in the last year, because who wants to spend their time getting yelled at all the time? Our school board has gone back to virtual meetings because there were people who would show up and refuse to wear masks.

    I haven’t been back to church since the 2016 election. As I told the priest then, I was going to spend my energy with the ACLU, because I was clear about what they stood for, and I was no longer clear about what the church stood for.

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  21. LAMary said on October 25, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Ann, I’ve never met you but I enjoy your posts and your photos. You shared your mother’s story a while ago and you shared great photos of her enjoying life. I felt a real loss when she died. I didn’t know what to say but you should know that I thought she was a brilliant woman. We should all learn from how she lived.

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  22. David C said on October 25, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    I still have a Facebook account but I’m not very active on it at all. I started with lots of family and people I knew in high school but they’ve mostly all been unfriended because the glimpses into their lives I got the more I didn’t much like them. So we both had some uncomfortable unfriending blowups. I like Twitter much better. Somehow, follow and unfollow causes a lot less drama than friend and unfriend. I could waste hours on it though. I have to limit myself to fifteen minutes a day. It can be so addictive.

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  23. Deborah said on October 25, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Ann, ditto what LAMary said.

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  24. basset said on October 25, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    Never have had a FB account or felt the need for one – I was on LinkedIn to try & drum up some work and am still there, the only gig I did find through LinkedIn contact was a one-time, barely paid thing doing voices for a gambling website. Probably for the best that didn’t work out.

    Surprised nobody has mentioned the Alec Baldwin accident. As our resident gun owner all I will say is that the movie crew and Baldwin himself appear to have violated the most basic and essential rule of safe gun handling – you always, always, always treat it like it’s loaded, doesn’t matter who says it’s not, doesn’t matter what you think you saw someone else do, just assume there is live ammunition in it and behave accordingly.

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  25. alex said on October 25, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    tajalli, thank you!

    I never had the patience to try to figure out how to block unwanted stuff on Facebook. Lately when ridiculous right-wing crap would appear, I would simply go to the comments and write “What’s this fucking garbage doing in my news feed? Fuck Facebook and fuck you too.”

    Well, tonight there was a nutty anti-abortion screed in my feed so I hovered over the avatar, waited for the drop-down and clicked Block. The page refreshed and suddenly all of the suggested readings (quite a bit fewer of them) were agreeable with my sensibilities, pleasingly so. It was so much fun I wanted to try it again but it’s not giving me the opportunity.

    So I assume this is also how one is supposed to handle noxious douchebags and asshats if one doesn’t want to risk their wrath by unfriending them?

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  26. Dexter Friend said on October 26, 2021 at 1:47 am

    If Suzanne’s lead-off post regarding ‘Apocalypse Now’ has you thinking of re-visiting, make sure to watch the redux version, for the scenes at the rubber plantation with the French people who stayed on ties it together a bit; it explains colonization somewhat. I have been studying Vietnam by reading books, dispatches, watching all the movies, for 52 years now. ‘Platoon’ the movie was cartoonish compared to A.N.
    I have mined all the streaming services and tonight my gold panning yielded no nuggets, so on HBO Max I found one of my fave films I have not seen in 25 years, ‘The Pope of Greewich Village.’ What a gem it is.
    Pogo the Labbie had to go back for a blood workup regarding some liver problems. Whatever it was, it’s OK now, but she’s on antibiotics now for an infected spot on her leg. Not complaining but oh wow man, it costs a lot to keep a dog well. Couple hundo just today.

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  27. ROGirl said on October 26, 2021 at 4:48 am

    I deleted my FB account without any regrets. Linkedin has been good for connecting me with recruiters and job searches.

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  28. David C said on October 26, 2021 at 6:03 am

    You got that right Dexter. Vet care has gone through the roof. My company offers a discount on pet insurance and I’m thinking about it. So far, we’ve only had to bring the guys in once a year for their checkups with rabies vaxes every three. The last checkup was $100ish. My memory for such things isn’t that good but is wasn’t too long ago that they were $40ish. Our good luck with healthy pets isn’t going to last forever.

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  29. Suzanne said on October 26, 2021 at 7:28 am

    Dexter, it was the Apocalypse Now Redux that we watched. That French plantation scene really did tie things together and was chilling with the Plantation owners’ insistence that they would not leave no matter what because it was their land. I am only now, in my impending old age, realizing how detrimental the legacies of colonialism and WWI have been to the world.

    We recently got a cat after being without a pet for several years. The kitten’s first visit to the vet was at least twice what we paid before at the same vet practice. Has my salary or my husband’s gone up? Not a bit.

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  30. nancy said on October 26, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Basset, that’s fine advice, but really not applicable to a film set. We know very little about this incident, and don’t know what led to the discharge. For all we know, it was a shot where the actor, Baldwin, was called upon to fire directly into the camera — a POV shot from what/whoever he was shooting at. The DP on a lower-budget production is often the camera operator, too, so she’d have been sitting right in the line of fire. Depending on the distances involved, they might have been prepared for a bang-with-no-projectile. From what I’ve read so far, this sounds like a fuckup of the armorer, the props department person in charge of all the on-set weaponry. Not Baldwin.

    P.S. Lorraine Bracco says hi.

    Lorraine Bracco

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  31. Jeff Borden said on October 26, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Has anyone heard or read about the “debate” between the GOPers running for the vacant Senate seat in Ohio? It was held in a church in Westerville and moderated by rightwing tool Hugh Hewitt, but there was nothing noble or angelic about the rhetoric. It was all bloody, raw, red tRumpanzee meat with most of them trying to outasshole the others.

    You had your fauxbilly J.D. Vance smearing national teachers union president Randi Weingarten (who is gay) for not having kids so, of course, she has no interest in anything other than indoctrinating them into the socialist witches cabal. You had Jane Timken, the rich lady who once led the Ohio GOP, saying Ohio kids are dumb and illiterate because they are being twisted by CRT and socialism. And my favorite, Josh Mandel, who argued yet again there is no separation between church and state and we should be affirming faith in our schools, our workplaces and our culture. His faith, of course. It goes without saying. My understanding is Mandel is leading in the primary? Lucky Buckeyes.

    As Chrissy Hynde once sang, “Ay. Oh. Way to go, Ohio.”

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  32. Julie Robinson said on October 26, 2021 at 11:25 am

    According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio had more deaths in 2020 than births. Natural consequences of its citizens’ current political beliefs?

    Ann, I’m sorry about your mother. We also used FB to get out word about my BIL’s death. That’s the good use of social media.

    The new Florida Surgeon General is under fire for refusing to wear a mask to a meeting in a legislator’s office. She told him she’s in treatment for breast cancer and asked him to wear one, but he refused. She kicked him out. This man was allowed to keep his professorship, and between the two positions is earning over 500K per year. Incredible.

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  33. basset said on October 26, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    It was indeed a fuckup by the armorer, and I understand their first choice for that job turned em down because, among other reasons, he was worried about safety. Still, though, if someone hands you a gun you always check it, no matter what they say.

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  34. Scout said on October 26, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Happy Birthday, alex! I hope your next trip around the sun is the best one yet.

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  35. Suzanne said on October 26, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    I get that one should assume any firearm is loaded but why was a real gun, not a prop gun, on set in the first place? It doesn’t make sense.

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  36. Deborah said on October 26, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    I read that they use real guns so they look authentic. If it’s low budget which apparently “Rust” is low budget, they don’t want to spend money on an exact replica or something.

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  37. Deborah said on October 26, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Basset, if someone handed me a gun I would have no idea how to check if it was loaded or not. I’d probably shoot myself trying to figure it out. I don’t think I’ve ever handled a gun of any sort in my life.

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  38. ROGirl said on October 26, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    How would a live round end up in a gun being used as a prop on a movie set? What was the chain of custody?

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  39. nancy said on October 26, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Again, Basset: These are actors we’re talking about. Many don’t have familiarity with weapons. They have no idea how to check to see if it’s safe. That is the armorer’s job. He or she should be standing out of camera range during the scene being shot. Alec Baldwin or Meg Ryan or whoever is in the scene has to be able to trust that the weapon they’re handed to fire has already been cleared as safe by that professional. They fire it in the scene and immediately hand it back to the armorer until the next shot.

    Don’t fall for this “it’s ultimately on Baldwin because he didn’t follow The Most Important Rule” argument. This is what the wingnuts who hate him are saying, and again, it simply misunderstands — deliberately, I suspect — how filmmaking works.

    A friend believes Baldwin will ultimately face some liability, but mainly because he’s an executive producer on the production, and part of that responsibility is to make sure everyone is following the rules. If he were only an actor, he would be in the clear, depending on the circumstances, all of which we do not know.

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  40. alex said on October 26, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Coincidence?

    The guy who handed Baldwin the gun was fired for a previous incident in 2019 where a live gun discharged on a movie set.

    You’d think after a fuckup like that you’d never let it happen again.

    Today is my 21st annual 39th birthday celebration. So fun to be old! I can cash in my retirement savings penalty-free if I wish. I can tell sad sacks who sap my energy with their sob stories to buck up and fuck off and feel none about it. Well, sorta. My S/O let one such person bulldoze her way into our dinner plans this evening and there’s really no graceful way out of it. So I guess we’ll be celebrating her latest drama as we always do when she holds the floor.

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln feels fabulous today.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on October 26, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Since Baldwin is the producer he could be held responsible for the corner cutting that may have contributed. I read that the guns were being used off-set for target practice, which may explain the live bullets. But I’ve also read that union members walked off the set, claiming the long hours and distance of their hotels left them too fatigued to be on top of their game. Supposedly they were working with only one camera and were late filming because they had to find a camera operator after the union person didn’t show up. Who knows? There will be many, many lawsuits.

    Happy Birthday, Alex! I think you’ll have to have two birthday dinners to properly celebrate. My Medicare bd is Friday, and with any luck I’ll celebrate in a warm pool. Installers came today for passive solar but need one more day to finish. I am one lucky lady.

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  42. Sherri said on October 26, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    There’s only one statewide elected Republican on the West Coast, and she’s resigning to take a post in the Biden administration. Kim Wyman has served as Washington’s Secretary of State, and while she has dragged her heels on voting reforms, she did not repeat the Big Lie. She never opposed voting reforms so much as moved slowly on them, which is how she managed to hold on to her position for so long, but there’s little chance a Republican will replace her.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-secretary-of-state-kim-wyman-resigns-to-take-election-security-post-in-biden-administration/

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  43. basset said on October 26, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    I’m not a wingnut, I don’t hate Baldwin, and I have a pretty good idea how filmmaking works. The weapon should have been checked, it wasn’t, and that’s all from me.
    Now let me catch everyone up on the heat pump/refrigerator/printer failure trifecta…

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  44. Dexter Friend said on October 27, 2021 at 1:55 am

    I can’t get news that is 2 1/2 days old out of my head. I heard, on XM radio but didn’t even check which channel was playing, that the skull found in that Florida receding-water park was not that of Brian Laundrie, but were Halloween decorations. Was I listening to a comedy bit?

    I applaud the 1/3 dose child vax also. What a convincing campaign it will be to convince parents to vaccinate their kids. Also, all these cops quitting their jobs and crying poverty, as vax mandates take hold…I just don’t know what to make of that. As Trump lovers march on… If Terry McAuliffe loses Virginia..aye aye yi! Please no.

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  45. Sherri said on October 27, 2021 at 2:37 am

    I’m not a true crime podcast fan, but I stumbled across this episode, which is about a murderer I know. A guy I went to high school with, had several classes with, and dated a girl, Amy, I had known since third grade, is a sociopath who murdered that girl a few years later and murdered the next woman he took up with. He was also connected to the unusual deaths of Amy’s father and her aunt. He was a little odd in high school, but didn’t particularly stand out. I thought he was a little creepy, but not for any particularly reason.

    https://www.podcastone.com/episode/Amy-Vick-Part-1-of-2

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