Tag Archives: Facebook

We’re All Vampires Now

The Mercers Are Evil, Mark Zuckerberg Is a Bastard, and Facebook Is For Vampires

✎  Wayne K. Spear | March 20, 2018 • Politics

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HE DISEASE KILLING US is a goddam burrowing maggot, and you realize how deep it goes when you pull. At first it’s just this sick and sickening President, like a pustule on the body politic, but then it’s the media and money in politics and all the greedy bastards who aren’t going to yield until they’ve killed the oceans and your city is under water. And the sickness doesn’t stop there. Pull a little more, and it’s you and me, every day a little more insane, every day a little more lost, and you’re a fool if you don’t see it.

Bastards

We’re all going down, once again into the churning primal vortex, the mad chaos that’s never far away. Eventually we’ll reach that place where the gravitational pull exceeds our collective will, and there will be no turning back. Bricks and battle, baseball bats in the streets, knives under our shirts, a foot stomping on a face over and over until one side runs out of bodies and blood. Today some of us are putting bombs on porches, and some of us are cheering for the Nazis, but most of the decent among us have simply given up on politics and are looking for a good seat to watch the world burn. That’s the best news the evil bastards have had in a long time. Don’t worry, you’ll get a fire.

The President of the United States is a vicious racist bastard who’ll kill your children and hang them high for a cameo on Fox. He’s surrounded himself with operatives every bit as dead on the inside as he is himself, grifters and junkies who feel nothing except the pain they inflict on others to get themselves off. It’s already too late to save the Republic: this President knocked and the world let him in, not because we didn’t know he was a vampire but because we are all vampires now. The President survives by feeding on our worst characteristics, and every depraved mutation of the human gene works to his advantage. He is us and we’re him and it’s useless to argue otherwise.

Before Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, and the others of the vampire Trump nation, were White House sycophants, they were Mercernaries, part of a cult led by the misanthropic father-daughter team of Robert and Rebekah Mercer. Bannon was spreading his toxins on the Mercer-funded Breitbart News and hoping to burn everything to the ground. The Mercers are technocrats and data nerds, heavily invested around the world in “psychographic modeling,” which they hope to use to manipulate voter behaviour. Maybe they’re good at it, maybe not. Robert and Rebekah Mercer funded the theocrat Ted Cruz before they chose Trump, but the Cruz campaign wasn’t impressed with the work of the Mercer’s data firm, Cambridge Analytica. That’s how the falling-out began.

The Mercers prefer the dark—vampires usually do. They want to be in the background, not in the spotlight. Cambridge Analytica is in the news because a whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, admitted that the company took private information from millions of Facebook users to help the Trump campaign and the Brexit referendum. Not long before that, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, was taped discussing his company’s role in the Trump victory and the techniques Cambridge Analytica uses to destroy opposition candidates, including bribery and entrapment. The Mercers want to overturn governments in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Americas—not for ideology or policy, but merely to cause revolutionary chaos and turmoil, because it makes them feel powerful. There shouldn’t be a place, anywhere in the world, where these misfits can sleep without keeping one eye open, and the same goes for their reptilian operatives, right up to the Corrupter-In-Chief.

Pay attention. You and I let the vampires in, and if we don’t want to become vampires ourselves, we have a responsibility to do something about it. The Mercers and Mark Zuckerberg have been working together for years, and there’s no reason to think it’s gotten better. Don’t ever forget that Facebook started out as FaceMash, a hot-or-not drinking game that Mark Zuckerberg created with student data stolen from the Harvard server. It’s a small step from there to selling us all on the dark web to fake-news nihilists and power-drunk extremists who want to burn up the world, like the Mercers do, because they can and because we let them.

Social Media, Conversation, and Connection

People can smell bad and have unpleasant loud voices but we can’t do without them

✎  Wayne K. Spear | October 26, 2017 ◈ Essays

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HE ODDS ARE you’re not old enough to remember what it was like to be bored and lonely before the days of Facebook, so let me set the scene. In those days I watched Friends and reruns of The Rockford Files on cable television and I drank and I smoked cigarettes in my living room, or I walked the streets of my city for hours in search of diversions. One night, in my 20s, I drove to a singles party on the edge of town, circled the building twice, and went home, unable to summon the nerve to go inside. I was in a PhD program at the time and I spent my days in libraries or in front of a computer that was not connected to the world of distractions that we call the Internet. It was a good life when it was good, and when it wasn’t good it was an empty howling wilderness that I filled with words that no one else would ever read.

Many of us were already experts on isolation when Robert Putnam wrote his book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. A book like that wouldn’t have been written or read otherwise. In my 30s I had a family, well after my contemporaries had done the same, and I became fully absorbed in my work and responsibilities. But your world can shrink as a parent, especially if your extended family is far away. My partner and I didn’t go out for a movie or a restaurant meal for years, and even if we had tried to arrange a social outing it would have been an ordeal. To this day a drink in the neighbourhood with a friend can require weeks of negotiation. A get-together with someone from another city (and most of my friends live in another city) requires months, and often there are cancellations and deferments. The reality of post-college life for most of us is that we’ll rarely meet face-to-face with the few friends we have. The reality is that you’ll spend a good deal of time alone. Maybe that’s why Friends was such a big hit. We all want that life, and few of us have it.

I almost didn’t write this essay because I decided instead to spend my scheduled writing time at a Meetup for writers in my neighbourhood. Five minutes was all I could stomach. I sat at the table with a dozen strangers and one of them immediately took control of the group, setting down what she believed should be the terms and conditions of the meeting. I felt as if I was at an inaugural Bolshevik congress, when all I wanted was an intelligent conversation. We should have a closed Facebook group, the woman said. We should submit our writing for critique as an attachment and not in a post, she said. And on and on, we should do this and that and not these and those. I’m allergic to the word should, so I went outside, lit a cigar, walked home, and wrote this.

People have smells and loud irritating voices and ways of laughing that get under your skin like a nasty insect bite. But people can’t quite do entirely without people. When I was young I dreamed of writing for the magazines and newspapers. I fantasized about the smart dinner parties and the witty conversations that would be the collateral of my life of letters. My many writer friends would be creative and interesting and bold, and my nights would be filled with the feast of reason and the flow of soul. A bohemian life. The reality is another thing entirely, as everyone soon enough knows. The labour of writing is tedious and isolating, and for most of us it doesn’t lead to glamorous diners or even friendships. Instead, there are inboxes with messages like this:

Your a horrible writer, you dont even know what your talking about. Give your head a shake. This is the stupidest thing I have ever read. You should go back to working as a carnival barker.

Life is the same for people of all professions. Few of us bowl or join clubs or social organizations anymore, if we ever did. Less of us go to church or spend our weekends at the Legion than our parents’ generation did. We don’t drive to the singles’ dance, we look for love on Tindr. We have Meetups and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. We go to the Internet for conversation and camaraderie and connection. There, we smell the virtual smells of other people, and it isn’t always pleasant or pretty. But it’s human, and we’re lying to ourselves if we think we can do without human connection.