The Crowd Catches Up With The World [243]

Hi Crowd!

I'm back from a week at a remote lake house in the mountains of Tennessee and dear reader let me tell you it was wonderful to get away from the internet, but also nerve wracking to come back and see everything I missed, but also a nice reset and help remembering what is important and also that some parts of the US are really really really scary. I'm glad I don't live there anymore.

Once upon a time I helped Glen E Friedman present his FUCK YOU ALL photography exhibition in Chicago, and as part of that he put together a playlist of a bunch of songs that related to the world. We spent days hunting down the MP3s for them and once it was done I remember thinking that I could just put that on random and for the rest of my life hear nothing but awesome tracks that I'd never get sick of. We updated the playlist when we did his THE IDEALIST exhibition in Los Angeles years later, and it only got better. Sadly over the years with computer and software updates being what they are that original list doesn't function the same, and I've often thought about trying to recreate it. Luckily, for his BURNING FLAGS exhibition that just opened in Pairs Glen made a whole new updated and even better list - it's 10 hours and on Spotify and I'm listening to it right now and and it's brilliant. If you need a life soundtrack, here you go. Put that on random and repeat, and you can just let it play forever.

But wait, before you do that check out the new 8TARI track "Baby Pandas." If you are in/around Tokyo next month, stay tuned because we're doing an event there around a new video release that's going to be pretty exciting.

While we're taking a constitutional down memory lane remember when photocopiers destroyed the publishing industry? Yeah, that was terrible. The AI panic has the same vibes.

Speaking of hair brained silliness, Twitter has been rebranded as X, for the moment anyway. The X logo they are using is atrocious, so luckily someone has already made a chrome plugin to bring back the bird. You are welcome. Also, lets take a moment to appreciate the thought that went into the bird logo in the first place. Lets also enjoy that someone else owns the trademark to using X as a brand. And while we can laugh about it, there is likely something far more sinister behind the basically concentrated effort to destroy the "global town hall."

But something else just happened too which speaks to a bigger issue. Back in 2007 when no one was on Twitter and anyone could register any username they wanted pretty easily, there was a little trend to get 1 letter usernames because at that point you only had 140 characters in a tweet and that included username. So Gene registered @x and has had it ever since. Well, until this week when Elon Must took it. I bring this up because we all, all of us, spend a lot of time building things and taking care of things that don't belong to us and can be taken away from us at any moment. This happens across a wide range of things but it feels much more personal when talking about you username on social media. Which is why I'm excited about steps being taken with the next wave to avoid that - Bluesky lets you add a DNS record so you can use your own URL as a username and Farcaster lets you use an ENS name as a username. These are both separate digital items that you verifiably own, and while a URL can still be taken from you by a government an ENS can't so I think these are great steps in the right direction.

Speaking of new social media, Threads? No.

Worldcoin? Um... uh... I don't think so.

Lots of news this week about how global warming is accelerating faster than all of the models predicted and various panic around that. The Day After Tomorrow style. I won't spend time on that because I'm not about doom and gloom but I'll just remind you all that "carbon emissions" was made up by the oil industry to shift blame away from themselves and if you are worried about this and talking about it and haven't shifted to a plant based diet yet then your outrage is performative. Can't wait to see how many subscribers that one costs me.

Good thing I have a beard and can take a punch.

While we're getting people angry, let's talk about The Sound Of Freedom - the surprise summer blockbuster that is taking the world by storm! It's astroturf. It's fake. It's worse than fake, it's a scam. And an intentional deflection by Q-Anon conspiracy pushing self serving fucks. In case you don't have time to click through and read all that, and I don't blame you, I'll tl;dr it for you: A Catholic and a Mormon who claim to be super concerned about children being sexually trafficked, rather than focusing their efforts on the many and very real and well documented cases of child abuse within their churches, made up a fake story about busting up a ring of child traffickers in some other country, where they are the heroes and saviors, then used church groups and conspiracy theory networks to market their movie, advance buying tickets resulting in sold out showings and empty theaters.

Speaking of churches enabling child abuse, sadly Sinéad O'Connor has left us.

She was right about everything.

While we're just running with this vibe, whatever it was that happened with Mitch McConnell the other day, it's been wild to see people who have been rightfully critical of him - he's a horrible two faced piece of shit who has caused an immeasurable amount of pain to countless people - suddenly bend over backwards to say they wish him well and that they would never want something bad to happen to someone even if they didn't like them. Often noting that he will receive the best healthcare available in the US, for free, ironically after years of pushing policies that keep others from receiving even the most basic care. But why? What is this obsession with being "the bigger person" or whatever? It doesn't actually make you look like a good person, it makes you look fake. I do wish ill on people I don't like, well that's not entirely true, in most cases I just never think about people I don't like at all. They never cross my mind. But if I do think of them, I wish them harm. And if something bad happens to them I enjoy hearing about that. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe, but I assure you I'm being much more honest about that then every single person on social people who is saying some version of "I don't like him but I hope he gets better soon." No you don't, you are just afraid to say how you actually feel.

On a positive note, I watched the entire 2 hour congressional hearing about UAPs and I'm convinced. I mean, I grew up watching The X Files so I wasn't so much convinced as I was glad to see this all finally being discussed openly and seriously. I can only hope the aliens wipe us out fast before the world boils/freezes us.

If you are still reading this thanks for sticking with me for all these years or for the first time if this is your first issue of The Crowd thanks for making all the way to the end. How are you these days?


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