Well, I guess we have to say something about Tina Turner. It’s hard to do, because so much has already been said about her. Now that the top ranks in news organizations have been taken over by Gen X, the headlines and obits are concentrating on her ’80s period, i.e., post-Ike. That’s a defensible stance; her struggle to leave her abusive ex-husband was the turning point of her life and career, and we’re not supposed to give bad people like Ike Turner credit, even for the good things they did.

But the first time I saw Tina perform she was with Ike, and it left a mark. They were at the Ohio State Fair, we got in early enough to be in the first rows, and their performance was…indelible. (That means “it left a mark,” ha.) This must have been in their career bump after “Proud Mary,” and they performed as Ike and Tina Turner. I remember none of Ike, lurking in the back like the dark presence and bandleader he was. You watched Tina. The three Ikettes stood to Tina’s right, a few feet behind her. But they were all dressed similarly, in short dresses with fringe that never stopped shaking, because they didn’t, either. God knows how Tina could sing as well as she did, moving all the time; she must have had the cardio fitness of a Tour de France stage leader. They did slow songs, but Tina stutter-stepped through those, too, leaving it all on the stage, which was set up on the racetrack where harness races were held, the first rows seated on the track and the rest up in the grandstand. It wasn’t a glamorous venue; the fair director was famous for x-ing out those infamous tour riders that performers insisted on, delivering the same mediocre fair food to all the acts.

I’m sure Tina was used to it. Her memoir — most memoirs of performers of that era — was pretty clear about the tour grind they went through on the way to making the charts. Stage life is difficult, especially when your cheating husband is going through Ikettes like jelly beans, and beating you when you object. And they were black, which meant the chitlin circuit to start, until The Rolling Stones invited them to open in the ’60s, and they started reaching white audiences. It is said that Tina taught Mick Jagger to dance, and I believe it.

If you saw “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” the biopic based on her memoir, you know all this, especially the dramatic split with Ike, where they fought in the back of a limousine in Las Vegas Dallas, she got out at a light left Ike sleeping in their hotel room and walked across the street crossed a busy highway to a Ramada Inn, where she told the manager she had 36 cents in her purse and a Mobil credit card, but would they give her a room anyway? He did, and she stayed at Ramadas for years afterward, mentioning the kindness in interviews whenever she was asked.

So it’s not surprising the interviews will mention the triumphant, you-go-girl part of her career first. I saw the Private Dancer tour in Fort Wayne, the shaggy-wig look, the Auntie Entity persona, and it was excellent. But you never forget your first Tina.

You guys can talk about that Tina if you want, but the record I’ll be playing in my head today is my absolute favorite, the Phil Spector production of “River Deep, Mountain High.” The story goes that Phil agreed to put Ike’s name on the recording, but only if he butted all the way out, and he did. So this is Tina-without-Ike, plus another bad man, but oh well.

One more small thing, no, two: She was really her own woman, embracing Buddhism and practicing it faithfully. And she left behind American racism, moving to Europe decades ago and settling in Switzerland. I always liked that about her, and pictured her hitting her singing bowl and chanting her mantra.

She also had the best single response to a question about whether she’d had plastic surgery, during her comeback. She replied yes, she had, because being beaten by her husband had left facial fractures that affected her breathing. And “I had my breasts put back in place,” she said. Take that, Ed Bradley, or whoever asked.

Did you ever see her? What did you think?

Posted at 4:16 pm in Current events, Popculch |

54 responses to “Tina.”

  1. Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    While she lived a lot longer, this hit me harder than any celeb death since Prince. She was a magnificent, entrancing, bold performer. What a life she led.

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  2. Brandon said on May 24, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    Tina Turner, American Diva.

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  3. Deborah said on May 24, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    I never saw her in person unfortunately. My favorite was her version of “I Can’t Stand the Rain”. She had fantastic legs and kept them that way for a very long time. RIP Tina.

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  4. Peter said on May 24, 2023 at 5:36 pm

    You’re right that River Deep, Mountain High is an unbelievable song. I don’t understood why it never really charted in the US, ruining Phil Spector’s career in the process.

    That being said, some those early Ikette’s songs are fantastic – like I’m Blue.

    And how about Tina Turner and Ikette’s doing backup vocals on a couple of Frank Zappa’s albums?

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  5. Mark P said on May 24, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    I was never a big Tina Turner fan and didn’t pay much attention to her music. But I heard a song recently that I liked, so I downloaded it and play it fairly often: Better Be Good To Me.

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  6. David C said on May 24, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    I saw her at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo. I had to look up the year. It was 1985. It would have been about the time of “We Don’t Need Another Hero”. That was one of the encores. It was one hell of a show. Like they said, she had more moving parts than a Cadillac.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    Her energy seemed inexhaustible, but when I read all her health problems, starting with a stroke 20 years ago and proceeding through cancer and kidney failure, well surely she does deserve to rest in peace and become one with the universe.

    I can’t pick just one song but River Wide, Mountain Strong would be right up there. Any performer who wants to learn how to build a song should study Rolling on the River.

    Anyway, we’ve been seeing tremendous performances in Kimberly Akimbo, Sweeney Todd, and the waitstaff at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where they sing and serve your food at the same time. We see & Juliet tonight for the millennial and tour guide among us, our daughter. Tomorrow is the Museum of Broadway and a late night flight. We’re already planning our next trip.

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  8. Brandon said on May 24, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    She also had the best single response to a question about whether she’d had plastic surgery, during her comeback. She replied yes, she had, because being beaten by her husband had left facial fractures that affected her breathing. And “I had my breasts put back in place,” she said. Take that, Ed Bradley, or whoever asked.

    It was Mike Wallace.


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  9. alex said on May 24, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    Never saw her in person, but she was a gay icon, rising from the ashes in the 1980s when no one ever expected to see her again. Sorta like Cher’s star turn in cinema. And even if she was just doing a bunch of soundtracks for crappy movies, more power to her.

    I remember the Mike Wallace interview. She was pushing 70 and doing high kicks and stage acrobatics like someone one-third her age. And so I’m shocked at her passing at 83 because she was hellacious vivacious not all that long ago.

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  10. Jeff Gill said on May 24, 2023 at 10:20 pm

    Hard to top this, and it was not that very long ago, either. 2010 I believe.


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  11. Kath said on May 25, 2023 at 1:47 am

    I never saw Tina, but I saw the little person drag queen Teeny Tiny Tina Turner at Show Girls in Provincetown. She wore the shimmy dress and she absolutely killed it.

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  12. Dexter Friend said on May 25, 2023 at 3:10 am

    Unless it was a Pope or a President , an old-age death was always relegated to the last 3 minute seg on NBC Nightly News. Last week it changed, as Jim Brown took up the entire second six-minute segment.
    Lester Holt and his producers set a record last night for an old-age death. Tina led off the show, first item, then world and national headlines were covered, then a commercial, then the 6 minute second segment was all-Tina. Then, the last three minutes of the show, which is all anyone ever got unless they were assassinated, we closed out with more Tina. I think Lester Holt is/was a big fan, saying he was going to be cranking up Tina in his car on the way home.
    And , again, the local cops ran Pogo and me out of a city park. This town has a permanent dark-to-dawn curfew, no kidding. Pogo gets too upset by the damn feral cats in the ‘hood here, so I take her in the minivan somewhere where she can relieve herself. At 1:30 AM, on the outskirts of town, in a field I did not know was part of the park system, lights, confrontation, my license was run, scolded, get out, all the same bullshit. Countless times I have been stopped by these cops, day or night. Always chickenshit stuff, like too much snow on my vehicle, but usually walking Pogo after dark. These damn feral cats gotta go. They ain’t going nowhere, the fuckers.

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  13. Jeff Gill said on May 25, 2023 at 7:31 am

    Thought I’d see how the DeSantis “Twitter launch” went yesterday, & I think Ron hadn’t seen how casually Elon Musk accepts crashes & explosions as part of the cost of doing business. Got on at first just before 6 pm; I saw the listener count go up past 617K as it kept trying to launch Spaces, but my Twitter app literally shut down four times, and I had to re-open it and hunt to Musk’s account each time, who ultimately wasn’t the host: the problem they said was the load of his follower count onto the actual listeners. Which was a known factor, you’d think. Plus how is over a half million a surprise for a campaign kickoff?

    Anyhow, the rehomed Spaces link from Musk’s page launched a half hour later, but it never reached even half of the number initially linked to the scheduled start. And the announcement by DeSantis was read by him like boilerplate for five minutes, then it turned into a very “online right” series of interviews, each bracketed with effusive praise for… Elon Musk. DeSantis was more a guest on a niche podcast than a candidate launching a national campaign.

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  14. Deborah said on May 25, 2023 at 9:28 am

    A beautiful brisk morning in Chicago, my last until September. It was 49° when I walked over to the coffee place nearby.

    Why would DeSantis even launch on Twitter? Seems like a big mistake from the get go to me. Such a sad sack.

    I had forgotten that I used to pass by a Tina impersonator when I walked home from work many evenings before I retired. He/She/They were great, it’s been years.

    I finished season 1 of Succession last night, on to season 2.

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  15. jcburns said on May 25, 2023 at 9:41 am

    Jeff, I know it’s hard, but step away from the Twitter. It’s toxic.

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  16. nancy said on May 25, 2023 at 9:48 am

    I’m still on Twitter. You can avoid the toxicity, especially if you don’t follow Elon or any current blue checks.

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  17. jcburns said on May 25, 2023 at 9:52 am

    Nancy, I know it’s hard, but step away from the Twitter. It’s toxic.

    (And it’s not about what you avoid…your calling up the site makes money for Elon Musk.)

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  18. Mark P said on May 25, 2023 at 9:56 am

    This was on Twitter but I don’t do Twitter, so I’ll show the link to where I found it. Just in case you missed the actual DeeeeSantis announcement:

    By the way, if you missed the story somewhere about DeeeeeeSantis’s wife, you might not get the spelling. He used to emphasize the “De” but his wife told him it sounded better if he de-emphasized it. However, I noticed he has gone back to “Deeeeee.”

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  19. Suzanne said on May 25, 2023 at 10:20 am

    I still use Twitter but I don’t even know how to get to Twitter spaces so I don’t believe the DeSantis talking points that the system crashed because so many people logged in. I think they hired lots of bots to log in so that when the campaign rollout went badly, as people knew it was destined to do, they would have an excuse. Every GOP operative I have heard on the radio today has said that the campaign rollout’s only flaw was that it was so popular, it overwhelmed the system. They lie about everything, don’t they?

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  20. Heather said on May 25, 2023 at 10:59 am

    Blocking people proactively is key to using Twitter. I block every MAGA chud who comes across my path or that I happen to see in replies on other tweets.

    In that Mike Wallace interview, he also asked Tina, after viewing her giant home under construction, “you think you deserve all this?” It doesn’t seem like he meant it in a challenging way but it’s . . . interesting he asked a Black woman entertainer this question.

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  21. jcburns said on May 25, 2023 at 11:18 am

    Suzanne, Heather: I know it’s hard, but step away from the Twitter. It’s toxic.

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  22. Jenine said on May 25, 2023 at 11:30 am

    @jcburns, I’m another one, hanging onto my imaginary friends via a ruthlessly curated Twitter feed. I think I have a mastodon acct but I never figured out how to find people I wanted to follow/interact with. I got a spoutible acct – ha! I asked for a bluesky beta acct, no dice so far. Fbook drives me crazy that I can’t get a chronological feed. I check in there every few weeks.
    Any other suggestions?

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  23. Scout said on May 25, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    I want to step away from the Twitter, but there is no other platform at this time that has the immediacy and instant news/opinion sourcing. I have blocked thousands of accounts, one of note is the site owner/destroyer of worlds.

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  24. Sherri said on May 25, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    I assume DeSantis launched on Twitter because David Sacks is his major big money supporter, and David Sacks is part of the PayPal mafia and an Elon friend and has been trying to promote Elon’s purchase of Twitter. That, and the otherwise general incompetence of DeSantis’s campaign organization.

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  25. LAMary said on May 25, 2023 at 4:09 pm

    It’s been 48 years but I still remember this article in Esquire.


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  26. Sherri said on May 25, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    It’s 2023. Companies and organizations need to be prepared for backlash when they do things in support of LGTBQ+, or else, why are they bothering?

    The LA Dodgers, like many sports teams, have long held a Pride Celebration. This year, they chose to honor the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Of course, there was backlash: drag nuns! Marco Rubio, who is in Florida not California, denounced them, as did a conservative Catholic organization.

    The Dodgers caved, and disinvited the Sisters. Not difficult to predict what happened next, other local organizations began withdrawing from the Dodgers Pride event. Eventually the Dodgers reinvented the Sisters, but it took several days.

    Fortunately, the Sisters are very forgiving.


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  27. LAMary said on May 25, 2023 at 5:02 pm

    It was a pretty bonehead move for the Dodgers to uninvite the Sisters. I’m pretty sure the archdiocese had something to do with it. Lots of Catholics her in LA: Mexicans, Filipinos, other Latin Americans. I don’t mean to say that those groups are anti-gay. I mean to say that the archdiocese has a lot of power.

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  28. David C said on May 25, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    I dumped Twitter. I don’t remember what Elmo did to make me say enough. I looked at Mastadon. It was a pain in the ass. I was on Post for a while. It’s boring. I’m on Spoutable now. It’s OK but it’s sort of a lefty gated community. I got a list of my Twitter follows and followers and look for my favorites on Spoutable regularly. Very few have joined. Bluesky is automatically out. It’s given me extra time to do other stuff so maybe it’s for the best.

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  29. Jeff Borden said on May 25, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Well, some wonderful news today.

    Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years for seditious conspiracy. (He HATES the name Elmer, so I choose to use it.) I’d have preferred he get the entire 25 years the Feds were seeking –or life for that matter– but this is a good start. It’s time these lawless chuds started going to prison for a long, long time. And I’d certainly include some of the Congresscritters who were part and parcel of this effort to bring down our government, but for now, seeing this arrogant piece of shit go down hard will do.

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  30. Deborah said on May 25, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    I ditched Twitter a while ago. Tried Mastadon, found it too complicated. I’m on Post and Spoutable now. I looked into Bluesky, what’s the deal with that?

    We’re in Pasadena now, at a swanky hotel way out of our normal price range but very nearly across the street from my husband’s sister’s place is, where the big family (+) blowout is happening this weekend. Did I mention there will be a Ferris wheel set up on their property for this? And 250 people expected to be there, thankfully they have a large compound to accommodate everyone.

    On the long flight I had a man spreader in the seat next to me plus he hogged the armrest, I was stuck in the middle seat. Halfway through I switched with my husband who had the window seat, so he could sit in the middle and arm wrestle with the guy. As I understand airplane etiquette the person stuck in the middle gets both armrests, am I right?

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  31. Jeff Borden said on May 25, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    I’m with J.C. on Twitler and am seriously considering exiting Facebook. I read enough newspapers and magazines daily –all have a vigorous online presence but are gathered and curated by professionals– to not really need Twitler. And, yeah, I truly despise rich assholes like Elmo Musk, who were born on home plate and think they hit a home run. I’d just as soon not put a nickel in his platinum purse.

    Scary times remain before us, but I’m buoyed by the utter ineptitude and cluelessness of the right. Dear dog, they honestly seem to believe ‘Muricans don’t want no abortion or challenging books or reasonably priced health care or affordable housing. Their policies are toxic sludge. Why would anyone but a chud cast a ballot for their morons?

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  32. Scout said on May 25, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    I wonder too, Jeff. Maybe we should ask our resident chud.

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  33. diane said on May 25, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    I cancelled my Twitter account when Musk bought it. I thought I’d miss it (I did have a well curated set of accounts that I followed and it was often my first alert to whatever was happening in the news). To my surprise, I don’t miss it.

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  34. FDChief said on May 25, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    What I’m reading suggests that the Pudd’n Ron Muskbacle was because Meatball is terminally online. Hence the woke mind virus obsession and his other culture war nonsense. Elmo = uptight, white, and online, so perfecto! Unfortunately for Pudd’nhead, his man crush has fucked up his new toy like a football bat. Sadly for the rest of us, you don’t need to be bright (or wise, or sensible , or anything else) if you’re a mediocre rich white dude in the Land of the Free.

    Twitter? I use it to follow soccer, some artists, and a handful of political writer like Bouille and Edroso. I don’t read the replies because I was on the internet in the Before Times when if you valued you illusions about human nature you Never Read The Comment Section to any news story. So no Nazis for me! IMO it’s like the freeway; are there assholes driving there? Sure! Do I stay away from where they’re driving? Yabetcha!

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  35. Dexter Friend said on May 26, 2023 at 5:42 am

    Twitter was created as a simple format to post thoughts in 140 characters, period. Fun stuff. Now it’s too time consuming and I never really adapted to the constantly changing formats. I only went there when someone sent me there to see something. I am just a Facebook grandpa, even as many of my old contacts quit along the way these past 18 years, many to only-Instagram, a Facebook platform.
    Elmer got 18 years with 14.4 years mandatory confinement within prison walls before any possible parole hearing.
    The unrepentant blowhard self-styled martyr should have been (fill in your thought).

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  36. ROGirl said on May 26, 2023 at 7:32 am

    I had a facebook account at one point, nothing with twitter. I guess that makes me a luddite.

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  37. FDChief said on May 26, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Facebook used to be a convenient way to keep up with distant family and friends; a sort of epistolary friendship for the digital age.

    Inevitably – since it was a commercial venture – it’s become increasingly monetized. Now it’s so crammed with ads (and many of the ads are bizarre and intrusive) that the value as a means of staying in touch is almost gone; it’s more work than ever to sift thru the dross.

    Unfortunately the alternatives are no less work. Returning to pen and paper? Spanning multiple platforms? (He’s on Instagram, she’s at Mastodon or Twitter or…)

    So I’m not sure if there’s a “solution”…but I’m guessing people will keep experimenting. We’ve been doing this “staying in touch with distant friends” since the clay tablet times …

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  38. Deborah said on May 26, 2023 at 8:51 am

    I quit Facebook before I quit Twitter, it bugged me. I still have Instagram which is mostly visual, I never post anything there but follow a few, mostly food stuff and designers. It has fewer ads.

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  39. Jason T. said on May 26, 2023 at 9:03 am

    I miss some of the people on Twitter. The chance of getting a random reply from a celebrity was always fun. (Ed Asner and Nancy Sinatra liked my tweets! Ken Jennings did a podcast based on one of my suggestions!)

    But the quality of the interactions went way down after Leon let all of the trolls back onto the service, and blocking them feels like pulling the drapes and turning up the radio when there’s a crazy man outside, screaming at your house — you know he’s still out there, in the darkness.

    Mastodon was easier to figure out than I’d thought it would be, and I’m enjoying it. I’m also on Post.News, and I find it a little bit meh.

    I suspect social media has peaked and is on its way to the same place as pogs, Beanie Babies, hula-hoops and CB radio. It’s no longer cool. If there’s a digital flea market, look for piles of used social media apps for sale soon.

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  40. Icarus said on May 26, 2023 at 9:51 am

    I use this for Twitter and LinkedIn, and it helps keep my sanity:


    without it, my Twitter feed forces gross Matt Walsh racist posts. With it, I can see just the people whose notifications I enjoy.

    I built up a large following, but how it happened is a bit of a mystery. I had an account since nearly the beginning but didn’t do much with it. It was a long time before I surpassed 1K. I worked the TwitterVerse slowly and steadily and the number increased the same. Then one spring day in 2014, I started getting tons of followers, most with middle eastern and Arabic handles. Our theory is someone with a similar Twitter name or ID bought some followers and I got them instead. I’m still short of the magic 10K which supposedly makes you an influencer unless that number has increased but I don’t mind.

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  41. LAMary said on May 26, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Never liked Twitter. I had to use it for work when I worked at a hospital. I went on a few times with a personal account but decided it was too crapful. Not that FB hasn’t become crappy but I haven’t seen as many stupid pissy postings on FB. I like staying in touch with the Dutch relatives I’ve discovered, some college and high school friends, all that stuff. That and looking at interesting cars, rocks, birds, butterflies, political cartoons.

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  42. jcburns said on May 26, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Twitter: less useful to publishers. According to one research study, social media has gradually declined as a traffic source for many publishers. Twitter, especially.

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  43. brian stouder said on May 26, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    (Old guy alert!): Way back in the day, when big-time American open-wheel racing split (CART, the good guys, versus the IRL, which almost ruined the Indy 500…. but we digress!) I landed at the Indy-Star’s website, and they had public-comment site. I became hooked on that, and the unending discussions/arguments (mostly arguments) about all things related to CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) versus the IRL (Indy Racing League). Every so often, Robin Miller (the Indy Star’s racing reporter) would pop in and comment; generally a neat place to go most of the time, and I met some of the folks who posted there, including one fellow who lived literally 4 or 5 houses away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. By way of saying – this ever-evolving internet thing is genuinely amazing, and definitely much more positive than negative – especially in ‘interesting times’….

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  44. jcburns said on May 26, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Well, Brian, I’m with you that “this ever-evolving internet thing is genuinely amazing”…but I think it’s dangerous to lump together websites with public-comment places and ‘services’ like Twitter.

    Some of that internet out there is infested with people who want to make money off of your words and there’s no way they are “more positive than negative.”

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  45. brian stouder said on May 26, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    JcBurns – agreed! I have no genuine understanding of the internet, beyond the visceral experience of finding like-minded folks (on American open-wheel racing, or whatever other shiney object folks wanna talk/argue/reflect upon) and trading thoughts with them. The monetization of all this human interaction is as old as humanity itself, including the regular folks and the pick-pockets (etc) that one must always try to avoid

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  46. Sherri said on May 26, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    If we want to talk back in the day, I’d guess that I’ve been on the “Internet” longer than most here, since I’ve been online before the Internet became the Internet. Once upon a time, nobody was making any money off of anybody online, but still, many of the problems we see today existed. There was still abuse, and trolls, and flame wars, and unmoderated spaces could become unusable because some faction decided to take them over. This was when the online world was small and relatively homogeneous.

    Scale makes everything harder, and when companies start selling users, eventually the places they’ve provided to those users become shittier, because they need to extract more from the users while providing less to the users. Cory Doctorow explains this enshittification process quite well: https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-platforms-cory-doctorow/

    Twitter has moved even beyond enshittification. Elon Musk, a prolific shitposter, didn’t like the way Twitter worked, and on a whim, said he’d buy it. I don’t think he really wanted it, or thought he’d get it, but soon discovered that the board took him seriously and that the court in Delaware was going to take him seriously, so he was stuck with it. Since all he knew was that he didn’t like it, that meant that the current employees were all idiots, so must be fired. Now, all he has is a mess, that he’s never going to be able to fix because he doesn’t have that skill set, that will continue to bleed users and advertisers and is in a living death. It may take a long time to die, but it’s already dead.

    I don’t know if anything will take its place. Twitter didn’t become Twitter overnight, and really, Twitter never had a reasonable business model. It just captured attention. I always thought Twitter was the most successful unsuccessful company, until Uber came along. Not sure it’s possible to build either in today’s interest rate environment, unless you’re doing AI, but that’s a whole other topic I could write a long post about.

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  47. Julie Robinson said on May 26, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    Twitter and I never danced, and indeed I barely understand Instagram, what with posts, stories and reels etc. I started on IG because people were discontinuing their blogs and going there. It’s more time than I want to spend online.

    We were so busy in NYC that I didn’t engage in much news, but I was extremely pleased that a Tina Turner kicked Ronny Puddin’ Fingers off as top story. Her final revenge against the patriarchy.

    And speaking of Ronny, I couldn’t help but think how our final show, & Juliet, would have been his worst nightmare in all the best ways. It’s a rethinking of Romeo & Juliet using pop music, full of gender queer and gender fluid characters (and actors, which kind of goes without saying). It celebrated everyone’s right to be whoever they were, even though that made for some complications. It was joyous and funny, and to quote Lizzo, f*cking perfect.

    The other shows we saw were also wonderful, mountaintop experiences. & Juliet was the one our daughter really wanted to see, and the one I had zero expectations for. We even took earbuds because we expected it to be too loud. What a revelation on what creative people can do with pop music and a tired old story.

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  48. Dexter Friend said on May 27, 2023 at 5:12 am

    One aspect of monetizing I didn’t realize until about 2 years ago is the windfall anyone can receive if s/he can post videos on YouTube that draw folks to watch the ads they provide. There is a formula anyone can access, top-line earners are making hundreds of thousands, while pikers are getting the occasional $400 checks. It’s definitely work, I think it’s great that anyone who is creative and interesting enough to post monetized videos can earn a lavish or maybe just a modest income, while providing some great entertainment after your kids or parents have cut you off Netflix because you are no longer worth the $7.99 per month to keep paying for your stream. For the record, I still get Netflix.

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  49. Sherri said on May 27, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    This week’s Amicus podcast is especially good. It’s from a live show Dahlia did a week or so ago with Mark Joseph Stern, Elie Mystal, and Jay Willis. They discuss how the media has covered (and not covered) SCOTUS. Stern makes a really good point: the SCOTUS press corps, primarily older, white, male, former lawyers, tend to treat cases like brain puzzles to be explained, rather than looking at the larger context of how the case came to the court, or examining the Court itself.

    It strikes me that much the same is true of the tech press; much of the coverage is of trying to explain how something works, or the gee whiz wonder of it, rather than any questions of what the context is, who is deciding what problems are important, or any of the costs. So the tech press is very credulous about claims from tech, like that self-driving cars will be here in just a few years, or that AI will doom us all because it is learning to think (hint, it is not).

    Anyway, listen to Dahlia.

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  50. Sherri said on May 27, 2023 at 9:02 pm

    Henry Kissinger is 100 years old today. Hell won’t even take him.

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  51. Suzanne said on May 27, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    We just finished watching FX’s documentary Secrets of Hillsong on Hulu. Worth watching. Complete indictment of Hillsong and the mega-church model. It’s worth watching.

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  52. Dexter Friend said on May 28, 2023 at 3:30 am

    Since I was a charter member of Facebook, I am to get a tidy sum of like $400 come August. Apparently some firewall had a hole in it and my personal data was ravaged by someone, somewhere, who was interested in that data. Of course, you will get some of that windfall, if you kept your account at certain times.

    By the way, the HBO and streaming show “Somebody, Somewhere”, starring Bridget Everett and Jeff Hiller is about the best thing going on any TV access point. Everett, who I only knew as the dancer whose big hit is “What I, What I, What I gotta do
    To get that dick in my mouth?” has proven she can really act on a sitcom. This show is so full of identity-emotion it’s compelling , and is can’t-miss TV.

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  53. Jeff Gill said on May 28, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    Sherri, I appreciated your observation that in the ARPAnet/Usenet days we had “abuse, and trolls, and flame wars, and unmoderated spaces could become unusable because some faction decided to take them over.” Weird stuff happened then, too; I recall lots more anti-semitism than anything else, but my first education in conspiracy theories was in FAQs and listservs in that early online space.

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  54. Sherri said on May 28, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks, Jeff.

    I’ll add my feelings about the current AI hype. Some of the people involved in the current AI hype are people I know, like Geoff Hinton, who just resigned from Google so he could speak more freely about the dangers of AI. Hinton was a professor at CMU when I was a grad student, and AI back then was going through one of its recurring cycles of “OMG, AI is going to save/destroy the world by becoming super intelligent/solving the general reasoning problem/modeling the human brain and outthinking us. I’ve watched this happen several times.

    Here’s what really happens. Computer hardware gets faster and/or some new technique is developed to allow computers to solve some new problem, be it in image processing or natural language or robotics or chess, and AI researchers claim that the next step is inevitably right upon us and will change the world in unimaginable ways. The reality is, AI solves some new problems in some domains, but then, once again, discovers that the problems are way way harder than they thought, and the hype goes away for a few years.

    Computers do not think. They do not learn. They are not sentient. Generative AI simply produces probabilistic responses to questions based on a huge mass of training data. Any meaning in that output is provided by us, the reader, not by the computer. It’s a carney trick. It is a useful carney trick, for certain problems, but it is not a step towards super intelligent AI. It will not solve nearly as many problems as the tech world seems to think it will right now.

    We all use AI regularly. When you use your phone to take a picture, there is a lot of AI software image processing going on, like to remove red-eye, improve low light resolution, stabilize blurry images, etc. It’s not that AI is not amazing, it’s that in 40 years of paying attention to this stuff, they have consistently made grandiose claims that are well beyond what was possible.

    Like self-driving cars. I told everyone here in the beginning that self-driving cars were not imminent. What I said we would get, and what we have gotten, are features from that work in ordinary cars, like radar assisted cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, braking assistance, parking assistance, etc.

    Currently, AI hype is serving the purpose of propping up tech stock prices, along with layoffs. It’s not like crypto, which is totally hype and scam with no useful purpose, but anybody who tells you AI is going to end humanity is trying to distract you from something else much more immediate.

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