Webtacular World Issue # 340, August 30, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators. If you’re anything like me, last week may have been incredibly difficult for you. The RNC decided reality does not matter, even as an cops continue to kill people extra-judiciously, proud MAGA children murder protesters and incite further violence across the US, and yet another one of this administration’s creators is charged with fraud. One of the preeminent faces of Black greatness passed away after creating some of the best performances in cinema while fighting back colon cancer. Sports collectively decided that they couldn’t provide passive entertainment while Americans continue to ignore the vast problems that exist within this country. These are not normal times, and the fact that too many people, both those in charge and those with no power, have decided to ignore science, decency, and general courtesy is mind-blowing. But maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised – many of these problems have existed my whole life, but thanks to a number of factors, have been able to slowly fester into the malignancy that currently exists within our culture. Sorry I cannot be more hopeful right now. I really just do not have it in me. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Worst This Country Has To Offer
Why: Because what has been ongoing in Kenosha since an officer decided to fire seven rounds into a person is the EXACT representation of all that is wrong with the US, with conservative thought, with police and their recruitment efforts, gun culture, and conspiratorial nonsense that has overtaken way too much of the US.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Reckoning
Why: Because even as stocks continue to bafflingly reach pre-COVID heights, businesses are beginning to act like this facade cannot last.

LEGAL THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Get Fucked, Bannon
Why: Because Steve Bannon is one of the worst humans in the US. He deserves worse than what he’ll get.

EDUCATION THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Hell For Thee But Not For Me
Why: Because Falwell has been duping thousands of true believers to support a version of Christianity that obviously doesn’t exist. This sexually deviant ass hat and his family have already done so much to make secular life worse than it should be. It’s about time that I never have to hear about him again. (Note – I don’t care about what he does behind his own doors. However, I am applying his own standards of living to him, so he can go right off and fuck himself along with Steve.)

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Dreaming Of Electric Pigs
Why: Because Elon Musk claimed to have debuted a computer / brain interface product in a recruiting effort presentation. This article is the only article I found that does not take Musk at his word, which is the correct way to report this.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Speaking With A Singular Voice
Why: Because the entire American sports world came to a halt in order to support Black Lives Matter. This is a huge deal – protests up to this point been individual in nature, (see, Kaepernick, Ali, Carlos and Smith, etc.) which has allowed the immensely powerful organizations they are part of bury their messages and punish their actions. By acting as a cohesive entity, these individuals and teams were able to force people to listen. The NBA alone drives BILLIONS of dollars a year in revenue – removing the ability of these sports organizations that potential take for a social cause is unprecedented. Maybe the rest of us could learn something from them.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Wakanda Forever
Why: Because Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed numerous Black heroes both real and imagined, passed away after a long battle with colon cancer. Separately, if you need a break from reality right now, go watch the new Bill and Ted to be reminded of the fact that we should all be excellent to each other.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bro-owulf
Why: Because a linguist decided to translate Beowulf into a version that uses the phrase hashtag:blessed in it. Do with it what you will.

DANCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: The Mud Water Project
Why: Because my friend My-Linh directed a movie about the turfing dance movement in the Bay Area. Turfing is an outgrowth from the OG Black Bay dance form known as Boogaloo, which is currently fighting to reclaim its name from asshole militia folk who have co-opted it. Help My-Linh; beat the racists.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Venture Back Into The Post Apocalypse
Why: Because Wasteland 3 manages to pull off an interesting game in this setting, which hasn’t really been done since the original Fallout. It’s particularly fitting to explore a world that exist after society falls apart right now (if you can stomach the idea, which if not, completely understandable), especially ones that make it interesting to be there.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: This is becoming an increasingly dumb tradition to continue, because the Internet of now vs. the Internet of 2013 are two completely different beasts. However, in the continued tradition that there might still be some things worth looking at, here you go.
Criterion Of What?; Tiny Desk At Home; A Rational And Compassionate Voice
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Back the Mud Water Project.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 339, August 16, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators! Today is my last day of paternity leave before heading back into this very same chair and desk I am writing to you from now bright and early tomorrow. I was expecting to have a nice relaxing final day off, but because it is the hellscape that is 2020, I didn’t get any sleep, there was lighting, rain, and humidity (???) in the middle of August, and then our power went out for 6 hours. So ya. Everything is fine.

Back to parental leave – why this is not mandatory for new parents is beyond me. The amount of time and effort it takes to properly raise a new person is astronomical, and has only become more apparent in the middle of a pandemic. I’ve been running on 4-6 hours of heavily interrupted sleep a night, and from talking to other parents, that seems GOOD. If anyone had any expectations for me to work at full capacity while doing this, I’d probably laugh and then jab a pair of scissors in their ear. The fact that the US forces most of its workers to get no time off is beyond ridiculous- new babies need to eat every 2-3 hours, so it is absolute nonsense for new mothers, but the fact that we pretend fathers are non-essential for this part (assuming that there is a more than one parent [single parents, I literally have no idea how you do it by yourself]) is criminal. No wonder America is full of sociopaths. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Mailing It In
Why: Because apparently it always has been super easy to beat American democracy – you just have to remove postboxes, dismantle mail sorting machines, raise postage, and rally idiots against voting access.  The House is returning to session early to deal with this nonsense.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: What Economy?
Why: Because since Congress ran away for summer vacation, they never voted on whether to keep sending a paltry amount of money to people to not become destitute due to the continued presence of COVID 19.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Driven By Employees
Why: Because California deemed drivers for Lyft and Uber to be employees. Up until now, drivers have been classified as contractors, which, sure, I guess. As a result, Lyft and Uber are threatening to cease operation in the state. BTW, if universal healthcare were a thing, this fight most likely would not need to happen. 

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The TikTok Teens’ Reckoning
Why: Because apparently Republicans don’t actually seem to want a limited government or competition, Trump is trying to force the sale of one of the largest communications platforms in the US to a US company.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Maybe Colleges Relying So Much On Athletics Was A Bad Idea?
Why: Because schools are super screwed during the pandemic. Not only is their business model of charging students and their families exorbitant amounts to attend idyllic campuses full of amenities not really happening, but many divisions, such as the PAC-12, are (smartly) opting out of holding fall seasons. This wouldn’t be a huge deal if schools literally live and die by how many people attend their football games. Now you would think that this is because sports generate enough revenue to fund themselves and maybe fund other parts of school education, but this is almost hilariously wrong  – even highly successful programs charge students who go to the school additional fees pay for athletics. The real money comes from boosters and donors who get access to athletes, coaches, and who knows what else to make them feel like part of something. With no sports, it is probably likely that many schools will be unable to meet their general funding goals, let alone support the cost bloat that is college sports. To recap – schools charge students fees to prop up massive sports budgets which make a bunch of people (but not students or athletes) billions of dollars to act as advertising for the school, which somehow benefits the broke as fuck students. AMERICA!

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Seth’s His Own Grandpa
Why: Because An American Pickle tells the very relatable story of a pickle maker (played by Seth Rogan) getting fermented into the future and meeting his great grandchild (also played by Seth Rogan). Hilarity ensues. What does make it interesting is that it is very much about the experiences of Jews in the US, and how the idea of what it means to be a Jewish American has evolved over the last century.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. listen)
What: Wet Ass Pussy
Why: Because even though everyone is pretending that this is a huge revelation for women in rap and pop (you know, because male rappers have been talking about their dicks and fucking forever), women also have been doing the same thing since Lil’ Kim verse, Jr. MAFIA’s “Get Money” in 1995, Khia’s “My, Neck, My Back” from 2002, or any other number of women wanting good sex songs for the last 30 or so years. Also, it’s hilarious that the video’s lyrics are censored, but somehow the words “wet and gushy” are worse.

FASHION THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Fashion Of COVID
Why: Because I haven’t bought anything clotheswise this year, and essentially only wear workout shorts or sweats and T-shirts. I’m pretty sure most of you are the same.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What:Fighting Walled Gardens With More Walls (And Rocket Launchers)
Why: Because Epic, the company behind the behemoth battle royale game Fortnite, where players supposedly are supposed to fight to be the last person standing in a 100 person free for all, but has somehow morphed into a place for live concerts and The Last Jedi backstory reveals, is trying to break apart Google and Apple’s extremely anti-competitive mobile app store models. There are essentially no good guys in this story – this is about access to the billions of dollars we all spend on digital content annually.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Grandpa Metal; The Only Streaming Service You Need; Weezer Meets Wyld Stallyns; Star Wars Titles Are Wrong; Alanis And Her Daughter
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: An easy transition back to work.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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