The Internet Archive

2

Pedophilic Love Beam

(Note from Ben: You probably shouldn’t click on any of the links below if you — or the coworker looking over your shoulder — can’t deal with the Internet.)

Saw this at a bar last night. Not much I need to say about this one if you’re a /b/tard. If not, then enjoy your three-minute experience as a pedophile. As the resident semiotician on B&S, or so I’ve been delegated it seems, I could point you towards the props befitting of a four year old, her equally four-year-old-like demeanour in her childlike wonderment with said props, the white angelic outfit bespeaking of innocence, or if you’re to believe feminist discourse about the lips and how the colour of lipstick simulates the desired appearance of the labia, or the brotherhood between the kawaii aesthetic and the non-taboo-ness of perversion (especially the pedophilic sort) in mainstream Japanese culture, but I think it’s best just to experience the video as is. And for those of you non-4chan surfing readers, allow me to bring attention to a li’l meme called Pedobear. Google it, or else, look up www.encyclopediadramatica.com for a more in-house introduction. Bon appetit!

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Tina Brown is the Antichrist (Or, Upon the Purchase of Andrew Sullivan by the Forces of Evil) [Updated!]

While Andrew Sullivan spends an awful lot of time concern trolling about debts and deficits and “entitlement reform,” you have to admit that his blog, The Daily Dish, pretty much sets the industry standard. He somehow covers everything, and even if he’s a bit too earnest for my tastes at times (“Know hope!”), and a bit of a moonbat at others (“Trig Palin Truth Now!”), he’s usually worth reading. That’s why I was sort of disheartened to hear of his upcoming move to Tina Brown’s Evil Media Empire, The Daily Beast:

But there are some opportunities you just can’t let pass by. The chance to be part of a whole new experiment in online and print journalism, in the Daily Beast and Newsweek adventure, is just too fascinating and exciting a challenge to pass up.

Translation: Tina Brown offered me a shit-ton of money, which was too “shit-ton” to pass up.

Le sigh.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with making money, and it’s not like Sullivan wasn’t surrounded by some pretty terrible bloggers at The Atlantic (ahem, McArdle, Goldberg), but I can’t help but think that being Meghan McCain’s colleague — of all the people in all of the world — will damage the Sullivan brand a little bit. Meghan McCain’s only accomplishment is being born to noted confused and curmudgeonly old person John McCain, who you may remember from some election a couple of years ago. Meghan McCain writes an occasional column for Tina Brown, who for some inscrutable reason deigns to publish it at the Beast. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce Sullivan to his new co-worker:

What’s happening in Wisconsin? The state in the Midwest is looking more like the Wild, Wild West.

This is Meghan McCain’s lede for a recent column on the protests in Wisconsin. If you think about it for even a second, you realize how nonsensical it is. When did Wisconsinites start having duels at high noon and panning for gold and wearing cowboy hats and spurs and chaps? And when did they start riding horses and moseying through saloon doors to order bourbon and play high stakes poker? When did they start warring with Injuns and lassoing bad guys and dodging dust-bunnies? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN, MEGHAN McCAIN?

The answer is that it didn’t, and that either the “Wild, Wild West” connotes something very, very different for Meghan McCain than it does for the rest of the world (possible, if not plausible!), or that Megan McCain is a bad writer.

Inevitably, the rest of the column is a ringing endorsement of the latter possibility. It can be summarized, fairly accurately, as “I am a bad writer. I am a sloppy thinker. I am also a bad writer. I do not understand anything at all, and my writing skills are also poor. But I’m getting paid by Tina Brown and so, conclusion… wait for it… Unions bad!

I will miss the veneer of respectability The Atlantic lent you, Monsieur Sullivan.

[Update!] Alex Balk points out some more trailblazing journalism published in The Daily Beast today: a lovely photo essay called “30 Deadliest Pasta Dishes.” No, I am not making this up.

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The New Gawker is still a Giant, Glitchy Mess

A metaphor for the new Gawker, featuring Nick Denton and pie.

I don’t know who Nick Denton, Gawker guru of operations, is trying to fool here, but judging from the (1200+ mostly negative!) comments on the article, he may have missed his target. He begins with an admission, of sorts:

I should first explain the radio silence of the last couple of weeks. We’d wanted to respond to feedback not with promises of future improvements but with actual fixes.

Okay, so there were problems with the roll-out of the new design. Nice of Denton to acknowledge that much. But it turns out that the problem wasn’t that the new Gawker was a giant, unwieldy, monstrous piece of shit; it’s that the readers weren’t ready for all this change, which, after all, is the way of the future:

We had mistakenly thought mouse scrolling (via scrollwheels or trackpads) and keyboard shortcuts were enough for story navigation—an overly optimistic expectation to say the least.

Translation: You people are dumb! Sorry I didn’t realize how fucking dumb you are! Maybe if you learned how to navigate a website, we wouldn’t be having this conversation! Dummies!

Denton’s solution to the problem of the Ludditism and ignorance of his audience was to add a scrollbar in the right sidebar to improve navigation. Needless to say, the second scrollbar is glitchy, too! And it’s also slow! Which means it doesn’t really address the new Gawker’s overarching problems of glitchiness and slowness, because it’s both! And it compounds those problems by adding another layer of navigation to a site that doesn’t need another glitchy and slow piece of shit plugin on the front page!

Denton wants you to know that he’s been listening, though, and that he’s addressed another concern he’s heard from the commentariat:

For devotees of the traditional blog view, we preserved a version of the site in which the story excerpts (not just the headline index) are arranged in reverse chronological order much as in the past. But it wasn’t obvious how to set that option. So you’ll see a button at the top of the page which allows a reader to switch back and forth.

Yes, we all preferred the blog view. It was simple and elegant, as blog views are wont to be. So Denton would like to remind us that it’s still there, because he cares! But what he fails to address is the fact that the blog view, like the rest of the site, is slow! And glitchy! As fuck! Which is sort of the main problem with the redesign!

Next, Denton winningly addresses the problems with the new commenting system:

Yes, we thought that commenters could do for a few weeks without the fancier functionality such as reply notifications. We had a rollout deadline to meet.

[...]

[W]e should have at the very least restored the basic reply notifications. I hadn’t realized the extent to which the most avid commenters relied on that feature. It’s back.

From a glance at the comments on the article, reply notifications are back — with glitches! And not before half of the commentariat engaged in a voluntary exile to Crasstalk. I don’t know if it’s utter tone-deafness or just plain arrogance, but Denton seems to have forgotten that a good part of his business model relies on readers poring over the comments on any given article — which, I might add, are often better than the articles themselves! And bear in mind, too, that the commenters are people who stuck around through the infamous Gawker hack — i.e., they are pretty fucking hardcore. Now they’re fleeing en masse due to UI issues, and Denton has the gall to condescend to them by saying, “we thought that commenters could do for a few weeks without the fancier functionality”? I don’t know precisely what Denton has in mind when he uses the word “fancier” here, but an inability to navigate through comment threads counts as a pretty “basic” functionality problem. One that still hasn’t really been fixed. Bravo!

Finally, Denton addresses the elephant in the room:

I’m hesitant to provoke the server gods by declaring the worst is over. But the headline index was loading pretty swiftly and consistently last time I looked and all the comments on a post should now be displayed. (Neither of these things were reliably true the first week after the launch.) The pages are also lighter. As we further simplify the javascript on the page, they should load faster.

No, dude. Just, no. If my computer’s fan has to turn on every time I open a new tab on your Website of the Future because my RAM is 95% committed to loading the damned thing, you’re doing it wrong. Denton wants you to pretend that the new Gawker is not incredibly slow anymore. But it is! And if it’s sped up at all since the redesign, I certainly haven’t noticed it.

Look, Denton, I’m going to join the angry mob here for a second and get my pitchfork on: Go back to the way things were. Design a beta version of the new and improved Gawker Media Empire, toy with it for however long you need to until it actually, you know, works, and roll it out when it’s ready.

Thanks.

(FYI: You can still access the old Gawker sites by pretending you’re Canadian.)

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The Week is Over

 

Here are some things that happened.

If you need anything else, I will be at the bar drinking myself into a coma.

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New York Times Mistakes Report of Fewer Teenagers Blogging for Bad News

So this weekend the NYT found some high school senior who stopped blogging because nobody read his shitty, shitty blog, and BOOM! BANG! That’s a news story, amirite?

“I don’t use my blog anymore,” said Mr. McDonald, who lives in San Francisco. “All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”

First of all, “Mr.” McDonald (WTF? We give honorifics to high school students now?), you can’t put your Facebook profile on your resume. (HELLLLOO, New York Magazine! You haven’t gotten back to me yet! Don’t worry, though, I am STILL AVAILABLE!) Second of all, unless you are stupid, the only people who can read your Facebook posts are your “friends” (HELLLLOO, Facebook friends! Of course we are “friends” in real life!), which rather artificially limits your audience. Third of all, the Times story casts what any thinking person would call “very good news for humanity” as some sort of death knell for our wonderful medium:

[F]rom 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs.

This is a good thing, New York Times. It is G-O-O-D! It means that there are HALF AS MANY Bieber fan sites today than there would have been if he had been created in 2006! Can we not acknowledge that half as many tween Bieber blogs is excellent news for our country? Would that be unobjective? I do not believe it would!

Anyway, among the people who matter (i.e., voters, alcoholics), blogging hasn’t really died at all, as the Times kinda-sorta-reluctantly admits:

Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier

[...]

Among 34-to-45-year-olds who use the Internet, the percentage who blog increased six points, to 16 percent, in 2010 from two years earlier, the Pew survey found. Blogging by 46-to-55-year-olds increased five percentage points, to 11 percent, while blogging among 65-to-73-year-olds rose two percentage points, to 8 percent.

So, smarter people are blogging more, Bieber fans are blogging less, and the Times has the gumption to call its story “Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter“?!? Jesus Christ, New York Times. The story SHOULD be called “BLOGS FLOURISH AS TEENAGERS GET DISTRACTED BY SOMETHING ELSE ON THE INTERNET!”

This is why newspapers are dying.

(Full disclosure: I have a blog.)

(h/t @on_the_media) (via)

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But Being a Writer is so Glamorous!

Teddy Wayne explains the “random similarities” between a satirical piece he published for Radar‘s website and an episode of “CSI: NY” that aired nine months later… and the response he received from CBS when he complained:

A few weeks later I received a six-page, single-spaced letter from CBS’s Vice President, Assistant General Counsel. She dismissed my claims of infringement because copyright does not protect ideas, only the “expressive elements of those ideas.” Therefore, the concept of “privileged New York City youth attending clandestine parties where they engage in illegal drug use and revert to pursuits and conduct typical of kindergarteners” is not protectable; only the expressive elements, “such as dialogue and plot,” are. And what seemed to me disturbing coincidences were, according to her—here’s the phrase I learned—“random similarities.”

He continues:

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Westboro Baptist Church is Probably Going to Have a Rough Couple of Weeks

So Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of “God Hates Fags” fame, under threat of attack from “hacktivists” Anonymous, issued a brazen “come-hell-or-highwater” response yesterday. It was probably not the smartest thing they ever did?

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*Here’s a copy of the Phelps letter:

Needless to say, their website is currently down. When you goad a group that successfully took down the websites of Visa, Amazon, and Paypal, you’ve probably picked a battle you can’t win — even if God is on your side! Because God is notoriously not tech-savvy!

Anyway, I encountered the lovely people from the WBC in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in the “free speech zone” and I’ve felt bad for their poor, poor children ever since. Here’s part one of a BBC documentary on the group. (Probably NSFW, what with all the “fags” being bandied about.) You will probably feel bad for their children, too!

(via Reddit)

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A Warm Introduction from the Tyrants at Brutish&Short.com

So in 1993, noted fat person Al Gore invented the Internet, which everybody knows because everybody heard him say that in a debate with somebody or maybe George Bush said it or was that Swift Boating or was it ‘97 or even 2000? Something about black boxes, I think. Lockboxes? Doesn’t matter, it’s a stupid question that everybody knows is wrong because Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet; the Internet was just there from the beginning and everyone knows that so get over it already. I mean, Jesus.
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Anyway, so the point of this website is that the Internet needs scrupulous and worthy and honorable guardians and gatekeepers, and since we’re not gonna be seeing any of those sprouting up like daffodils or blades of grass from, like, the ether anytime soon, or leaping to the defense of the Internet from the Internetty shadows — even though the Internet obviously needs all the help it can get because it’s like a guy holding up a convenience store, only reversed, where the guy getting held up is the Internet, you know? That’s what the Internet’s like right now! And we — the people of this website — are just here to be the good citizen in the convenience store who’s all like, “Hey, buddy jackass, hey you! Hey, guy holding up the Internet right now. You? Yeah, you! ‘Hey’ much? ‘Hey’! Knock it off!” and then we tackle the gun from the bad guy’s hands and smash into the rack stacked with 99 cent chips which explode (BOOMBOOMBANGclatterclatter) all over the linoleum, which will make it look cool on the YouTube video — from the surveillance camera, guys, never forget the surveillance camera.  Anyways. Then (getting back to the story), after all that, we get up — and we have the bad guy’s gun now, remember — and we say, “Hey, bad guy! HEY! Stay down! STAY DOWN! The police are on the way! THE POLICE! ARE ON! THE WAY!” And the bad guy does stay down! Because guns! And then, to top it all off, the Internet comes out from behind the deli counter and kisses us on the cheek and we blush and you can hear the sirens in the background and see them start flashing red and blue off the buildings and the camera fades out to a montage of skyline shots of the city you happen to be in. And all of that’s ALSO on the YouTube video! Or maybe it’s even on Vimeo, if the camera’s good! And there’s a really inspiring song playing right at the end — a really inspiring one, with maybe a piano or an organ or maybe a choir or something like that — and remember how the Internet is the girl/guy and in the end we get him/her — we get to win his/her heart?
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This website is exactly like that.

Sincerely yours,

~The Editors

PS – If you haven’t already, check out our Inflammatory Writ.

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