Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A tortured hour

It's 3:34 AM....

The house is dark but then the house is always dark to me even in the middle of the day.

It's hot, too hot.  The thermometer says it's 88 degrees outside but in here it's closer to 100.  Why? I can't afford to turn the AC on.  Such luxuries are for other people.

Madness! a Phoenix summer where the weatherman cheerily announces weeks of 110 degree plus days. No escape, no money for a reprieve from the heat.  No comforts...

Things haven't been so good.  The refrigerator's almost  always empty and what little is there provides meager nourishment for body or soul.  Everything around me seems somehow broken.  Things that should have long since been discarded forced past their prime, patched together and pressed back to service until they can finally give no more.


For five years it's been a tough row to hoe.  It's never been easy but this time it's harder.  I know, it's been that way for many but I'm most familiar with my own tribulations.  

Excuse the pain if you've heard it before...

It's the kind of thing that makes you hate television, especially the commercials.  Constant nagging about things nobody really cares about all with the promise of taking your woes away...for a price.

A price I can no longer afford which makes me hate them even more.  It's like being mocked, the proverbial carrot inevitably followed by the stick.  I don't hate them for selling their wares; I hate them for the assumption that I don't know any better.

Buy this car and save money on gas, Enroll in that diploma mill and have a brighter future.  Neither is true and I've got close to 100K of debt to prove it with nothing to show but the collection letters.  The worst part, they sell a lifestyle with expensive trappings but little meaning.

When did becoming a member of the middle class become a lifelong aspiration?  When did simple civilized survival become a goal?

It's 3:44 AM...

Something's rattling on the car, I know what it is, I know every sound it can make but all I can do is hope that it remains little more than an audible annoyance...

Comfort is a luxury.  There is no peace in my surroundings or my soul. 

Middle aged, underestimated, dismissed, hopeless but still defiant!

Pull myself up by the bootstraps!  But I have no boots...

Never cared for that analogy anyway.  It's a fallacy perpetrated by those who never knew the predicament.

Opportunity is made not found but opportunity doesn't happen in a vacuum but lately it seems I do.

Whose fault?  Mine I suppose.  But then far more worthy than I have a similar tale.  We can't all be wrong.

What can I do?  For myself, I'll try anything that doesn't risk the little that remains.  Is it enough?

Time will tell, but do I have the time? 

It's 4:00AM

Do something, do anything.  Unbridled ambition thwarted by petty finances.  Do I believe in myself? Am I all that I thought I once was?

Not a high bar, humility or more appropriately the edge of self-loathing has always been a companion.  Ego and hubris have no place.  But neither did confidence.  I rarely win so I refuse the gamble.

This isn't the life I planned or should I say any of the lives I've planned.  I've started over so many times but always end up in the same place. 


Keep trying, keep striving all the time fearful of losing the little bit I have left even if I hate the prison it creates.

Do I have time to try again?

It's 4:16AM

Damn! it's hot in here.  The winters are better but I still can't afford the heat.  I sit in the remains of my chair, it too is broken, drenched in my own filthy perspiration the only comfort being the memory of it that will come when I can see my breath waking on some January morning.

Not defeated, not giving up but lost.

How do I move forward?  What's the key? 

4:23 AM

Recruiters, agencies, headhunters.  Hardly better than TV commercials.  Promises not kept, selling a bill of goods only for their own ends.  The product doesn't match the consumer, no sale.

Still I try, find the needle, ignore the haystack...

My own pursuits?  On virtue success, on paper, failure. 

I never wanted to do anything that didn't matter to someone.  It seems that's a dying...virtue.

It's 4:24 AM

Everything still seems broken.  I look around me and see so much that could be done.  I want to fix it, I want to fix me...

I'm not in a vacuum. Others suffer for my affliction.  I want to fix that too.

Keep trying, keep looking, deny the doubt...

Fix it...

It's 4:34AM

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Evolution's been redacted or at least TWIT has

It's the chat room's fault...

Of course! It's all those horrible weirdos with no lives who caused all the trouble with Leo's photo album...

It's June 3rd and the TWIT chat links on still work.  

In a not so stunning half-hearted reversal it appears the chat room survives although it's not as central as it used to be to the daily going's on at TWIT. 

Apparently the May 27th announcement of their demise was premature.  In the intervening week there's been some softening of the position that's allowed the chat room to continue.  Whether or not the show you're watching is live,  however, is a big secret. 

In the early chatter between Laporte and Steve Gibson during the Security Now broadcast stream (6/2/2015), Laporte discussed how the chat rooms would be maintained but it was up to the hosts as to whether or not they wanted them visible.  Showering pity on his chat moderators, Leo relayed a tearful tale of how one of his chat mods had quit due to the incredible pressure they were under from all those "weirdos."

He went on to explain that while he actually "owned" the chat room, it really belonged to the moderators and that faced with its demise they protested. 

So what have we learned...

1. The picture of somebody's junk was all the chat room's fault
2. Actually, everything is the chat room's fault...
3. Dictatorial chat mods on a power trip have feelings too
4. The chat room isn't central to TWIT programming anymore
5. Laporte is still delusional
6. TWIT brilliantly exemplifies the fallacy of the Straw Man 

In the weeks that follow you can expect more of the same as TWIT deemphasizes the interactive nature of its programming that it once championed.  You can also expect to see a more filtered version of Laporte even going so far as to cancel live events like the 24 hours of TWIT New Years broadcast.

Honestly, I could care less about the TWIT's chat room and haven't bothered with it for the better part of a year.  It was just far too tiring to frame every comment in a way that wouldn't run afoul of a code of conduct that could get the Pope banned.

Ok, it's a privately owned service and TWIT can run it any way they please.  That's understood.  We all know that free speech takes a back seat to corporate interest in the good old USA.  We have the freedom to censor anything we find unpleasant if it's under our control.  Whether or not it's freely offered to the public is of no consequence.

Perhaps all these changes at TWIT are a good thing although they're probably too late to save the network.  TWIT and Laporte in general could have perpetrated the myth of being "family friendly" if only we hadn't seen so much of that... raw sausage.

Laporte could have been lewd, dictatorial and creepy all he wanted and none of us would have been the wiser. 
But that didn't happen.  We saw the stark contrast between the man and the image and we didn't like it. 

The proverbial cat's out of the bag.  Maybe if TWIT survived another 10 years all of those unpleasant memories would fade.

Thing is, the Internet is forever and try as you might it doesn't forget.

"The evil that men do lives after them"...etc...etc.. (The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2)