This week the people running Twitter announced that they were cracking down on abusive tweets by hiding them before you see them, therefore eliminating the need to mute or block everyone who casually threatens to murder your family online. That sounds like a swell idea, right? Finally, an algorithm that detects Nazi frogs for you! It’s like all my childhood dreams have finally come true.
Well, this being Twitter, the implementation of that idea has been a fucking mess, with mentions disappearing seemingly at random, based on unknown criteria. But since the company looks like it’s actually doing something after a long stretch of having its thumb up its ass, Wall Street “rewarded” them with a mild stock bump. As of this writing, your Twitter stock is now worth a whopping $18, or roughly 1/46th of Google.
This little bright spot will do little to alleviate the enormous problems presently plaguing Twitter, namely A) The company makes no money and has no good plan to make it (last year Time reported that Twitter has lost over $2 billion since its inception), B) No one will buy it, and C) The company is unable to square the demands of the stock market, which wants it to recruit four billion new users a day, with the demands of its users, who would sensibly like Nazis, spammers, and predators banned for good. There’s also the fact that the current leader of the free world uses Twitter to call out enemies, lie, complain about what’s on TV, and issue vague threats that cause massive global turmoil on a daily basis.
This is probably not sustainable. At some point, Twitter is gonna have to die so that venture capitalists aren’t foolishly parted with their money, and so that everyone else can finally breathe again. Relatively speaking, there are very few people out there who use Twitter regularly, but in 2017 the platform acts as a de facto test kitchen for the news, which means that even if you aren’t on Twitter, its tentacles still find a way of wrapping around you and squeezing you to death. Do you know how many times I’ve watched a news anchor literally read a tweet that’s right there on the fucking screen? I feel like I’m a four-year-old when they pull that. That’s how a lot of news sausage is made right now, fake or otherwise, and it’s already had an enormous, detrimental effect on informing the general population. What is said is news, rather than what is done.
As a result, there are plenty of people publicly quitting the service and/or performatively logging onto to Twitter just to smarm the universe with orders to “Never tweet.” I swear I am not one of the latter. I tweet through it LIKE A REAL MAN. And the service retains many of the charms that made it so popular initially. Sports Twitter is still gold. Awards show Twitter still gives me an excuse to watch the Oscars and openly bitch about them. @ZODIAC_MF is our greatest living American. Oh, and there are the Young Pope jokes! Those are great.
The best that present-day Twitter can offer is to remind you of the service’s initial potential, where assholes like me would start an account and be like, “This is fucking stupid,” and, then a few days later, would be like, “MY GOD IT’S THE FUTURE!” Well, we are now living inside Twitter’s future, and it’s fucking terrible, and I’ll go ahead right now and take responsibility for my part in its endless, trolling circle jerk. NUH UH TED CRUZ DIDN’T OWN US YOU’RE THE CORNCOB NOT ME.
So now Twitter needs to die. The only reason that Twitter still exists is because so much money has been sunk into it that investors refuse to accept defeat and walk away from the blackjack table. But it’s time. It’s time for whoever controls the grand money spigot to shut it off and force hopeless addicts like me off the grid, so that I’m not spending an hour a day on the shitter staring at my feed hoping to find something I know won’t be there.
I have no illusions that the end of Twitter will solve much of anything, be it for the world at large or my own personal shortcomings. If it dies, people will just flee to Facebook (which is the worst), or Snapchat, or anywhere that is not Google Plus to have their little digital soapbox. You plug one hole in the dyke and seven more spring up. But at least the death of Twitter would force some kind of scattered digital migration, especially for self-branding media-types like me who can’t help but build a worldview around it, and for dipshits who issue game theory tweetstorms on a daily basis. The great spell that Twitter casts over our national conversation would be broken, at least for a precious few moments.
Also, both Trump and Darren Rovell would have a fucking aneurysm without it. So get on with it, Silicon Valley. It’s time you, and everyone else, recognize a lost cause when you see it.
And with that, another season of shitty Jamboroos is in the books. Let’s close out the 2016 NFL campaign in style and embrace the cold, dead misery of February. Mmmmmm… Seasonal Affective Disorder. HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU.
None. No games. It’s all over. And who’s to say we didn’t just watch the LAST NFL season? We could all be engulfed in a nuclear fireball by spring. And if that’s the case, I gotta say the NFL sure went out on a high note. They really tied up some of those loose plotlines in that series finale! Kudos to the Ginger Hammer and his writing staff. It was a really dark ending, but I understand why. Best to end it now before the show really started going downhill, AMIRITE?!
Now for the random crap:
•They made an enormous mistake going back to Roman Numerals after Super Bowl 50. All week long I stared at that stupid logo for the game and thought to myself, “Super Bowl LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Just use regular numbers, man. No one gives a shit.
•This was not the case for Pats/Falcons, but a lot of Super Bowls are plagued by first-quarter jitters, where quarterbacks overthrow everyone by 90 yards and coaches waste the first 15 minutes trying to sniff out what the other team is doing. There were a lot of great Super Bowls that got off to miserable starts, with Pats/Panthers and Rams/Titans foremost among them.
So, what I propose is that we make the Super Bowl FIVE quarters. That’s right. WE SUPERSIZE IT, just like those special old episodes of Friends. That way, you’d get one warmup quarter, then four full quarters of teams that have settled in and are ready to beat the piss out of one another. And more ads! Who doesn’t like more ads? I know I do. We could even trot out a minor act, like that Soul Patrol guy, to play a miniature intermission in between the fourth quarter and the bonus period. WHO SAYS NO?!
[everyone says no]
•I’m gonna confess here that I was aligned with all the old fuddy-duddies who kept TO out of the Hall of Fame specifically because his legendary turdiness tore two teams apart (remember when he implied Jeff Garcia was gay? “Like my boy tells me: ‘If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat.’”)
But then I quickly realized that if you keep TO out, you also have to keep Randy Moss out, and I can’t really go along with that. Also, they just let fucking Jerry Jones in. How many airplane hookers did THAT guy deploy to get the necessary amount of votes? You could also argue that, by firing Jimmy Johnson, Jones did far more to destroy a team than TO ever did. So fuck it: Put TO in, and then I can throw dog poop at his bust.
•I have become increasingly sloppy about my ChapStick radius. I put on Chap Stick like the Joker puts on lipstick. Once I’m finished smearing it on and smacking my lips, half my face is glossed. The lights in the room reflect off my mouth like a fucking mirror. They gotta narrow the standard tube size for better precision.
•Here’s the NFL Films footage of that insane Edelman catch…
The best part is at the end, when neither Edelman nor the DB realizes the other is watching the catch up on the monitors. I think they were even more shocked by the replay than the rest of us were. I’ve never seen a catch quite like that.
•I already publicly voiced my support for the idea of moving the Raiders to Vegas, but if they actually get the votes to relocate in March (without additional funding from Sheldon Adelson or Goldman Sachs, it seems like the Raiders either have to find another investor OR scale back the plans they made for a stadium that, somehow, will cost an estimated $2 billion), Clark County would be ponying up $650 million for Mark Davis, who looks like every man I’ve ever seen in a Vegas chain restaurant, and his P.F. Changs tab.
Now I’d rather see the deal fall through and watch Davis go groveling back to Oakland or commit the egregious sin of trying to move to San Diego, of all places. I want them to get totally boned and forced to play games in a Ross Dress For Less parking lot. They deserve orphan status alongside the Chargers.
Super Bowl pick: 0-1
Song For The Offseason
“Fucking Tenderness” by Planes Mistaken For Stars! Here’s reader Chris:
A savage fucking song that will make your heart pump nitro and leave you growling, looking for something to rip apart. I honestly can’t imagine what’s happened to the lead singer in his life but something’s changed in the off season between albums. Seriously, listen to their earlier songs, like “Copper and Stars,” a downright happy little ditty. Now he straight up sounds like he’s devouring souls while singing and I, for one, get amped.
I bet he went through a bad breakup. That’ll turn a man into a Satanic wildebeest in no time flat.
Gregg Easterbrook Memorial Haughty Dipshit Of The Week
I lived in New York back when Bloomberg issued his citywide smoking ban, and I remember the New York Post went fucking batshit crazy about it, treating it like some kind of liberty holocaust.
But did you know that smoking bans are also PROBLEMATIC? That’s the opinion of one June Thunderstorm(!) over at The Baffler. This thing is nearly 3,000 words long.
The powers that be say anti-smoking legislation is for our own well-being. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Are you sure? Because that seems like the one law that actually WAS implemented for a good reason. The CDC, which will probably stop existing at any moment, says secondhand smoke has killed over 2.5 million people.
The attack on cigarette smoking does not improve the lives of those it claims to protect
Yes it does.
Anti-smoking legislation is, and always has been, about social control.
Can’t you see how all that clean air is just THE MAN trying to hold you down?
It is about ratcheting up worker productivity and fostering class hatred, to keep us looking for the enemy in each other instead of in those who are making a killing off cigarettes and anti-smoking campaigns alike.
The government sued tobacco companies and reached a settlement of over $200 billion, which was then invested into anti-smoking initiatives. What in the living fuck are you talking about, Thunderlady?
It legitimates the privatization of public space, limits popular assembly, and forces the working class out of political life into private isolation via the social technology of shame. It whitewashes the violence exacted on the poor by the rich to make it all seem like the worker’s own doing. It is, in short, class war by another name.
WAKE UP SHEEPLE. This gets worse, by the way…
Of course, cops in the United States also kill black men simply for walking around and breathing, so maybe cigarette packs should read: “Smoking Is a Leading Cause of Death Unless You Are a Black Man, in Which Case SMOKE ’EM IF YOU GOT ’EM.”
Neither does the “public” protected by public health initiatives include people of the working class, no matter what color they are. If it did, initiatives would be directed first and foremost at the process of production, not consumption.
Okay, well what if we regulated unsafe workplaces AND banned smoking at your neighborhood Applebee’s? Can we do that?
In fact, it seems when civilized governments discuss “health and safety,” what often follows is “sickness and death,” so we are wise to stay on guard.
Can you name some of those? Because here are some government health initiatives that have actually saved millions of lives:
- Fluoridated water
- Mandatory vaccinations for public school students
- The advent of the FDA
- Mandatory airbags and other motor safety measures
You are a fucking moron.
I recently saw a woman brandishing the Mercedes Benz of strollers walk through a sea of idling traffic toward a smoker only to say the smoker was “murdering her baby” by polluting the air. Such an act has nothing to do with protecting children, and everything to do with venting bourgeois malaise by attacking powerless people whom state authorities have constructed as abject and undeserving of respect.
Actually, that has everything to do with mega-stroller owners being colossal shitheads. There are obviously a lot of bad laws out there designed to separate the rich from the poor and cement class stratification. And lord knows that poor people are often blamed for their own bad fortune while the rich seek handouts and get them. But making sure people don’t smoke in a movie theater does not seem like the root of the problem.
As a university student…
Oh here we go
…I could not get a proper note from the Office of Students with Disabilities prescribing some time off to quit smoking because, as the nurse said, “Starting smoking is something you chose to do.”
You asked for time off to quit smoking?
My peer with back problems also chose to get into the car that crashed during her European holiday, yet it seems to be taken for granted that professionals simply “need” vast cosmopolitan mobility.
I’m just… it’s a fucking car crash! People of all stripes ride in cars! OOOH LOOGIT MISTER FANCY GUY RIDING AROUND IN HIS LAND CHARIOT. And to think no one will fund my tobacco detox! This is the REAL crime in America today.
The smoker needs nicotine to function just as the suburban professional needs his car
No! No they don’t! That’s insane!
Once, at an Occupy Wall Street assembly, standing six feet beyond the last concentric circle in the parking lot, I lit up a cigarette. In short order, I was asked to leave.
I’m dying. Feed me a carton of Marlboros because my heart has already stopped beating. By the way, I can guarantee this lady wasn’t asked to leave just because she was smoking.
I insisted on Occupying.
I STOOD TALL. You smell that secondhand smoke? That is the smell of REVOLUTION.
We members of the smoking class might consider using bourgeois paranoia to our advantage. We might start organizing “Smoke-Ins” fifteen feet away from high-end daycares, exhaling in their general direction until all kitchen and cleaning staff are paid five times the minimum wage plus full health and dental coverage.
That is seriously the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. That idea just got confirmed by the Senate to run the Department of the Interior.
In the meantime, my last words for the smokers are simply: Never let anyone make you feel ashamed.
Finally, someone thought of the smokers.
You should be able to smoke precisely as much as you want.
And you can. Just not in a fucking library.
This is not because mass-produced cigarettes or “Big Tobacco” are beautiful things. They are not. It is, rather, because we are beautiful and precious. Our lives are beautiful and precious. Our lives, despite what the bosses say, are actually for our own enjoyment, not to make others’ lives easier, cleaner, and lazier.
There’s no way this lady didn’t vote for Jill Stein. It’s a mortal lock. She voted for Jill Stein and she wants to outlaw shoes. Are you wearing those sneakers, OR ARE THEY WEARING YOU?!
We’re all doomed.
Curt Schilling’s Facebook Lock Of The Week: Patriots (-5.5)
Schilling 2016 record: 9-10-1
Fire This Asshole!
Is there anything more exciting than a coach losing his job? All year long, we’ll keep track of which coaches will almost certainly get fired at year’s end or sooner. And now, your potential 2017 chopping block
(*-potential midseason firing)
I bet Pagano is gone by October. That team will start out 1-3 and then punt on the rest of the season. I would put money on it if all my bets didn’t turn out to be wrong.
Great Moments In Poop History
Reader Jim sends in this story I call BROTHER’S POOPER:
When I was seven and my brother was four our mom was going out to dinner with friends and dad was in charge of watching us for the evening. Thus far the evening had gone off without any problems, we were well behaved, ate dinner, etc. And then it was bath time.
My dad decided to draw one bath for both of us to speed up the process. The water was pouring into the tub and my brother got in first and sat down. I stepped into the tub and saw it, a turd lurking behind my brother. I jumped out of the tub and screamed, “DAD, HE POOPED IN THE TUB!” My dad came running in, took one look, and let out a good loud “GODDAMMIT!”
He pulled my brother out of the tub and plopped his ass down on the toilet. “YOU SIT HERE AND SHIT IN THE TOILET, NOT IN THE GODDAMN BATHTUB.” My brother sat there with this sick smile on his face. Dad emptied the tub, disposes of the turd and scrubbed the hell out of the bathtub. He turned back to my brother, “Did you poop?”
“I tried, but nothing came out,” said my brother.
“Okay, let’s try this again,” said my dad. He turned on the water for a second time. The tub fills up and my brother gets in. I didn’t even get near the tub this time before he shits again. This time it’s not a solid turd, instead it’s a liquid batch of sewage that quickly turns the water brown. My dad walked into the room and his face turned red. I don’t think I have ever seen him this mad.
“WHAT THE FUCK DAVID? JESUS?!?!!! I TOLD YOU TO SHIT ON THE TOILET.” My brother is just smiling at him, sitting in his own shit.
“YOU JUST SHIT IN THE TUB TWICE!!!! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??” Dad lifts my brother out of the bath and sat his ass down on the toilet again. Dad cleaned that tub with such anger and force that I am surprised he didn’t take off the finish. I l went and took a shower in the other bathroom. I haven’t taken a bath since. When mom got home we all pretended like nothing happened.
It’s the second poop that really makes the story. As a dad, I’ve seen a kid poop in the tub, but never an encore poop after the fact. That’ll bring a man down quick.
Gametime Snack of the Week
Rolo pretzel bites! My wife made these for the Super Bowl party. You buy a bag of grid pretzels, then you top each one with an unwrapped Rolo (what a pain in the ass), and then you stick it in the oven for, like, two minutes, long enough to get the Rolo soft. Then you smush an M&M into each one. PRESTO, you are in Flavortown. I’m a big fan of taking chewy foodstuffs, like caramel and marshmallows, and heating them up and cooling them back down so that they’re even MORE chewy. I wanna lose a molar biting into that shit. So good.
Gametime Cheap Beer Of The Week
Braník! From the Czech Republic! Oh, are you people in for a treat. Listen to reader Alex, our finest cheap beer tour guide yet:
Dobry den from Prague, Czech Republic, the undisputed beer capital of the world (get over yourselves, Germany. The Czechs taught you everything you know about brewing, yet they manage to not be total dicks about it).
But the Czechs do take their beer pretty seriously. The nearby city of Plzen literally invented the ‘pilsner’ a couple hundred years ago. The beer flows like water here and even the mind-blowing brews will rarely cost you more than $2 on tap.
With that in mind, meet Branik. Price at grocery store for 0.5 L bottle: 11Kc/ 0.45 USD, with 3 KC/0.12 redeemable from returning the bottle (so you buy 4 Braniks, chug ‘em, and use those empties on a 5th).
Branik shares a name with one of Prague’s secondary train stations, which is appropriate because you’ll mostly see Branik being enjoyed by Prague’s homeless & transient population. You can find them at any major train station at 8AM with a Branik in their hand and a song in their heart.
Other Branik enthusiasts include municipal construction workers, who are distinguishable by their neon-colored coveralls and the near-constant presence of Branik on their work sites at 6AM. This is one of the many booze-related delights of Czech culture that our BIG GUBMINT nanny state would never allow back in the land of the free.
For the non-homeless/non-construction worker set, Branik is most convenient after a night of heavy drug use at one of Prague’s many electronic music clubs (I once put away 12 of these while coming down from LSD, between the hours of 6AM and noon. It was a right and good idea at the time, and remains right and good).
Choosing Branik in this brewtopia is like fermenting your own toilet wine in France, or eating Dominos in Rome, or desperately scraping your weed pipe out for resin hits while vacationing in Amsterdam. But it’s still a million times better than Bud Light/Coors/PBR/Yuengling/any comparably cheap American macro. I’ll miss it greatly when I leave this country.
Let’s all move to the Czech Republic. In my mind, I’m already there.
Jim Tomsula’s Lifehack Of The Week!
“Don’t listen to people who tell you that you can drink your own pee. You can’t, okay? That’s dehydramiratin’ for you, and it tastes lousy. But other people’s pee? See now that’s a friendlier wager. That’s extra fluid for your body, instead of recycling your own. My tip is… If it’s clear, have no fear. If it’s yellow, it’s gonna smell-o.”
Sunday Afternoon Movie Of The Week For Browns Fans
Jack Reacher. This is a bad movie, but it DOES have a kickass car chase sequence in it (watch it above). They even paid homage to director Christopher McQuarrie’s The Way of the Gun, a much better movie, by having Cruise step out of a slowly moving car.
I feel like this is par for the course with your average Tom Cruise movie lately. You’re gonna get one bravura action sequence where Cruise does his own stunts, and other people in the cast and crew fawn about him in the DVD featurette (“He’s fearless!”), and then the rest of the movie is boring filler. They should sell a single two-hour cut of this car chase, plus the money action scenes from the Mission: Impossible movies. That’s all the Cruise you need.
Also, there’s a scene here where Cruise takes off his shirt and is trying to tempt Rosamund Pike and her huge, heaving boobs into hooking up. Without a shirt on, Cruise clearly looks like an old man who drinks a gallon of HGH daily and shaves his chest to look young. It’s very awkward.
Gratuitous Miller’s Crossing Quote
“I’m talkin’ about friendship. I’m talkin’ about character. I’m talkin’ about… Hell Leo, I ain’t embarrassed to use the word: I’m talkin’ about ETHICS.”
Enjoy the offseason, everyone. See you here in April for the Draft.