Webtacular World Issue # 276, March 17, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators. This week proved that Right Wing White Supremacy is one of the most dangerous forces in the world at this moment. It is not a secret that this has been a long growing problem both within the United States and around the world. Everything from the resurgence of nationalist populism, Brexit, “both sides,” and vile entertainment posing as news links directly to this attack. Perhaps most tellingly, our president was directly attributed to being a beacon of hope for the ideas behind what lead to a person killing 50 unarmed people in peaceful prayer. This week also proved that the Internet, by and large, is a failure of its promise. Instead of promoting knowledge, kinship, and connection between people, it prompted someone to scream out memes about video games while he live streamed himself murdering people. There is no knowledge here, only death and sadness.

This week also proved that something is clearly wrong with identifying and supporting the best in our society, while obviously misidentifying and enriching those who clearly do not deserve it. When the news of the collegiate admission scandal hit, it managed to be one of those national stories that even though I am not involved, I am still way too close to it. I have the wonderful connection now of being one of a true handful of people who matriculated from the University of Southern California AND Marin Academy, one of the high schools which two of the families who are accused of being part of the scheme to bribe their children into college attended. Most concerning to me is that I personally know one of the families involved because I spent a decent amount of time as the child’s lacrosse coach. After having a week to think about it, I still do not understand how this father would have put everything his child had worked for, and decided that not only was it not enough, but it was essentially meaningless anyway (and yes, I understand how it can come across that these kids are just as much to blame in this farce as the parents [some clearly are], but I can assure you that the son is a decent human being [as decent as any high school age boy can be] and is in no way responsible for the actions of his parents). The idea that having money is truly seen by those who have it as an “I can do whatever I want” enabler has almost never been laid more bare in American society. I can assure you it does not stop at college admissions. It is a massive problem.

This week’s news left me incredibly drained and exhausted, because it points out just how little there is that the average person can do to stop any of these things from occurring. It seems like at some point in the last 40 years the world just decided collectively “this isn’t my problem,” and decided that everything that is happening is an unknowable and unsolvable travesty. This is a lie. These problems were identified and known – whether it is the dark underbelly of the internet goading idiots to massacre people, or letting wealthy people get away with whatever they want to do because they are able to pay for it. I don’t have any answers, but I know it isn’t good. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Remembering Christchurch
Why: Because we must know the people who were taken from us if this is ever going to stop.

What: The Cost Of Business
Why: Because it appears that getting a plane into production is more important than teaching people to fly it.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Liable For Creating Death
Why: Because gun makers are finally liable for when their products are used to murder people, which is the liability THE MAKERS OF EVERY OTHER PRODUCT IN EXISTENCE FACE. It’s about time. Also, Governor Newsom put a stay on capital punishment in California.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
Why: Because Facebook lost whatever right it had to be “privacy minded” when it made its first dollar selling information to businesses.

What: Scouts
Why: Because there are more people trying to find the best players than actual players on a team.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. watch)
What: Posters Tell The Story
Why: Because movie posters explain a lot more about the movies than you think.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3  min. read)
What: Nada Surf
Why: Because Dick Dale passed away.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Getting You There
Why: Because the seats of our public transportation systems have a long ways to go before they perform all of their functions well. It seems like the “comfort while sitting” is being lost to other considerations. At least they look kinda neat.

What: Prisoner, Revisited
Why: I know, I already mentioned this book this year, but I am plugging it again. This week I had the honor of getting to see Jason Rezaian speak about his experience as a prisoner in Iran, and how the rest of his life changed due to his experience. It seems like it would be difficult to talk to an audience of strangers about a life threatening international political scandal, but Jason remains one of the affable and down to earth people who had fame thrust upon him in an entirely undesirable way. The talk, which was hosted by one of my high school history teachers, also let me know 20 years too late that my history teacher was John Belushi’s nephew. I also now know that I did better in a European History class than a Harvard Nieman Fellow, so there is hope for me yet.

What: Google Games
Why: Because Google is unveiling something at the Games Developer Conference next week. It probably has something to do with streaming.

What: I almost decided that there was too much internet leaking into the real world this week, so I was not even sure if I should do a Webtacular this week. That being said, I did it, so here are some internet things that are the good kind of internet.
Throw A Burrito; Good Hair Don’t Care; Meet Nancy
Why: Because Internet.

What: Tesla Y, but really just a week where humanity stops acting like its potential worst.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™


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