Webtacular World Issue # 362, March 28, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. Apparently Americans just like killing each other too much to stop. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: The Same Thing Keeps Happening
Why: Because it was another week, so there was another mass murder. Want to know some “wacky” gun facts? The weapon used to kill 10 people waiting in line for a vaccine so they wouldn’t die of COVID was this – a Ruger AR-556 pistol. Now, ignore for a second that “AR” stands for ArmaLite Rifle and the 556 designates e a 5.56x45mm NATO cartilage designed to be fired by rifles, or that anything that looks like this should rationally be called as a “rifle.” It is categorically a pistol – due to its barrel length being under 16 inches, and its “totally not a stock” brace that is in no way designed to be fired from a shooter’s shoulder. Great job everyone.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Boaty McStuckface
Why: Because a giant container ship went perpendicular in the Suez Canal, blocking one of the highest trafficked and important shipping routes for days. Between this and the continuing meme stock debacle, this year is really trying to push the “but business IS quirky!” take on us. 

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Jim Crow Pt. II
Why: Because Republicans apparently cannot win elections where people are allowed to actually vote.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Relief Finally In View
Why: Because in California at least, vaccines will be available to all adults starting in the middle of next month.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Pac-12 Is Somehow Good At Basketball?
Why: Because March Madness continues to earn its nickname.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: One Half Of Mr. Show Goes A’Killin’
Why: Because Bob Odenkirk, best known for his role as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, is actually a hellluva action star, too, apparently.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: RIP Jessica Walters
Why: Because no one else could make not understanding the price of a banana so endearing.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The One Where Lil Nas X Pole Dances Down To Hell
Why: Because Lil Nas X just made one of the biggest gay music anthems ever.

MUSEUM THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Louvre Is Live Online
Why: Because one of the most important museums in the world just catalogued a huge portion of its works for free on its website.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: RIP Beverly Cleary
Why: Because the author of numerous children’s’ books that actually focused on the kids themselves passed away after 104(!) years of age.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Does What It Says On The Box
Why: Because Monster Hunter Rise is the latest in a series of games about slaughtering different monsters for their parts to make armor and weapons for the purpose of slaughtering more monsters, but more efficiently. It is excellent.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Big Boat Stuck; 1998 In Three Minutes
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK NEXT YEAR
What: Next Year May We Be Together (So Close!)
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 361, March 21, 2021

The travesty of this last week has left my Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) friends reeling in pain they have been experiencing without notice and acknowledgement for far too long.  As far as minorities within the United States go, the AAPI population is viewed as being dealt with fairly and succinctly – a modern day success for how all people of non-white backgrounds should adhere to in America. After all, the “model minority” is dominating all metrics in scholastic achievement (unlikely), “they” are overtaking our media consumption (K-Pop’s internal issues are like American pop on cocaine; and it took until THIS YEAR for an East-Asian American to get nominated for best actor), and have been generally unaffected by racist US policies (a massive lie). What more could a person who identifies as AAPI want out their country????? Being singled out for a large increase in crime rates is probably not what most people would be looking for.

Concurrently, the events of this week demonstrated the abhorrent treatment of women and sex by religious institutions and their followers. The prevalence of “sex as sin,” particularly on the fault women’s inherent desirability driving men to temptation, is something that is much too prevalent in a fair and secular society. With this mindset and lack of actual treatment and general personal accountability, the result is the death of multiple people who the media could not even correctly identify due to racism inherent in the anglicization of naming norms (for example – many [but not all!] Americanized Korean names include the full name as the name [i.e. “Dae Jung Kim’s” given name would be “Dae Jung,” not “Dae,” middle name “Jung.” This means you should probably never abbreviate “Dae Jung Kim” “Dae J. Kim.” Got it?] These things MATTER). Are you tired from thinking yet? Fine. Imagine, simply, the headline “Terrorist Kills Multiple Grandmothers at Work.” That’s what you should take from this event. You should feel worse.

Whiteness is a problem. White men were promised the moon in exchange for existing, and their response is to often lash out at everything around them when the moon they were promised for nothing doesn’t show up. The person who did this was not just “having a really bad day.” As a cis-white male, I am continuously trying to be better. I am also trying to hold others accountable as well, whenever I see it. I am far from perfect – I have made mistakes. BUT I AM TRYING. I hope the rest of you try too. It is not necessarily easy. It may not make you many friends. You will not always get it right. But, with effort, it will make the world a better place. Just try. On to the news. 

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: A Number And A Race
Why: Because a sad / mad young white man shot and killed multiple older women of East Asian decent. The identity killer was more of a story than the people who lost their lives due to a distraught Christian who failed his unyielding belief system. Also, to note, the reporting on this type of violence, for whatever reason, feels like a return to “normalcy.” I hated writing that sentence.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Debt Relief (For Some)
Why: Because Biden’s administration relieved one billion dollars of student debt for those students who enrolled in failed education endeavors. This is an excellent start. 

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read; or, in the alternative, 2 min. read for the Article’s introduction, which should suffice as a summary)
What: Choose One
Why: Because these smart people did the work to disprove that I have always believed to be a bad faith argument by right-leaning lawyers and legal scholars. For those in the back – YOU CANNOT BE BOTH AN ORIGINALIST AND “NONDELEGATIONIST” FOLLOWER OF LEGAL AMERICAN THEORY. 

EDUCATION THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Get Ya Paper Here!
Why: Because one of the largest global sources academic papers just made a giant push towards open-access publishing.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Title IX In Action!
Why: Because March Madness (and boy is it mad!) is here, yet it is blatantly obvious how far sports has to go to treating male and female colligate athletes as equals.   

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read [AKA ALL THE TIME YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT THE NEW VERSION OF DC’S ANSWER TO THE AVENGERS])
What: THE SNYDER CUT IS UNLEASHED
Why: Because is it better than the theatrical release? Sure! Is it worth it? Probably not! The real question is do you want to spend four hours dedicating your time to scenes in slooooooow mooootiiiioooon? Also, probably not! Unless you love DC comics! Or Snyder movies! YOU DO YOU.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Only Time I’ll Agree With Adam Levine
Why: Because bands are dying. This is both a good and a bad thing! It is good because it means more individuals are able to self publish and determine what their inner soul is wanting to release. It is bad because it means there is less collaboration, less developing that “it” that only can be reached when multiple people converge on the same task, bringing their own spin to create something that only exists with those people present. This issue is popping up EVERYWHERE (Hey reader! I’ve been “publishing” this unedited and free blog [to you (yes, it costs me money to write this!)] going on eight years! In some other lifetime, I may have been working for a newspaper! WITH AN ACTUAL EDITOR! Instead, you get this, with all of the mistakes and thoughts of a singular careless human being writer you can expect. We no longer have a barrier to entry, so all entries are welcome! Hooray! AHHHH!!!).

Speaking of bands – Kings Of Leon recently released something that sounds pretty good to my 70’s to mid-aughts trained ears. It was good enough to listen through the entire album on a long drive! That is not easy to do. Is it great? Definitely not! But it pleasantly met my expectations. And that is good enough.

ALSO. Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars – two very successful solo artists – joined together as Silk Sonic to release the funkiest R&B / slow disco this side of the millennium. LONG LIVE BANDS.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Here’s More Books!
Why: Because March may be half way over, but your list of books to read just got longer still. Sorry.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Microsoft Buys Everything
Why: Because Microsoft closed the deal to purchase Bethesda, and immediately placed an immense, well-regarded back-log of games on its Game Pass (think Netflix but for video games) service. 

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Meet Me At McDonald’s; Exhibit #305940 for Why The World Doesn’t Need Billionaires; Florida Man, Personified
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Billion Dollars (See Above)
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 360, March 14, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Like that one show said, “time is a flat circle,” and so here we are, again, one year later. Luckily, we have the 360th issue of Webtacular to also help out with this metaphor – neat!

This weekend marks exactly one year since I started working remotely full time due to COVID. This was undoubtedly the most tumultuous and uncertain period of time in my life. Over the last year, we faced political upheaval, wildfires threatening our home, and a massive economic downturn. My wife and I also got to experience parenthood for the first time, but without the network of familial and friend support we were expecting to be able to rely on. With the increasingly positive news about vaccine effectiveness and availability, COVID’s days are hopefully numbered, and we can all return to a better version of normalcy soon.

But not all things stay the same – last week also marked my final day at the Public Advocates Office at the California Public Utilities Commission – spending the one year anniversary of leaving the office by leaving the organization completely is not something I ever anticipated doing, but here we are. For a bit of background – the CPUC regulates utilities in California – think PG&E, certain telecommunication companies, and water companies. The CPUC essentially acts as the vaunted “invisible hand” of these markets, due to these service providers being natural monopolies. The Public Advocates Office is charged with protecting Californian electric, water, and telecommunications utility ratepayers in an increasingly evolving regulatory landscape. I am incredibly proud of the work my colleagues and I have accomplished over the last decade, whether it was trying to increase California broadband capabilities, keep water rates low, or boost the adoption of distributed energy resources at a reasonable cost, even as the challenge of keeping California going continues to rise.

This also the first time in 20 years(!) where I will not be working in San Francisco. Growing up, I always had the idea in my head this is where I had to end up – its eclectic collection of endless possibilities crammed into a dense, hilly, gorgeous place was the only thing that made sense to me. It’s sad to leave, but it’s time.

So – here’s to new beginnings and new adventures. Hopefully the future holds good things for all of us.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: We’ll Never Be ROOOOYYYYAAAALLLLS
Why: Because the crown family is slightly racist! Whoda thunk?

REAL STORY OF THE WEEK(5 min. read)
What: Relief
Why: Because the massive $1.9 trillion COVID benefit funding was passed by the Democrats. Republicans once again failed to do much of anything to help Americans.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Senate Is Broken
Why: Because nothing wastes money and time like a Republican lawmakers.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: More Vaccines, Please
Why: Because the U.S. rollout of its vaccination plan is finally picking up pace. This is terrific.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (some reading)
What: All Stars and Retirees
Why: Because the NBA All-Star game happened when no one really wanted to play, and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints pulled an anti Brady and actually will be hanging up his cleats. Oh. Also, a WHOLE BUNCH OF RACISM, because of course.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Eddie’s Back
Why: Because some types of nostalgia are OK. The first one is still entirely entertaining.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The Grammys
Why: Because all art must be a competition for some reason. The voters did a pretty good job this time, even though Phoebe Bridgers didn’t win anything.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: WTF are NFTs
Why: Because tech ruins everything good.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Not Canceling Culture, One Rhyme At A Time
Why: Because a publisher who owns the rights to a group of books deciding to no longer publish a small hand-full of those books for problematic imagery that doesn’t really fly today is not censorship.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Do Some Loops
Why: Because is playing a game that sort of plays itself actually playing a game?

BIRD THINGS OF THE WEEK (read and watch! they’re about birds, damnit!)
What: BIRDS! BIRDS! BIRDS!
Why: Because Spring is here, along with daylight saving time, so I guess a bunch of people are obsessed about birds all of a sudden.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: SBC, Drug Kingpin; Jake And His Camcorder; How To Be An Intellectual; The Truth About Camo
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Vaccine, Please.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 359, February 28, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! I’m not sure I have much to say this week – although plenty of things keep happening, whether its the Senate parliamentarian (once again, I am constantly befuddled by the amount I don’t know about how the government works – why hasn’t this position been important for literally anything else the Senate has / has not done in the past number of years?) deciding that a $15.00 minimum wage can’t be part of the COVID Relief Plan, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents on behalf of Saudi royalty, and Conservatives brought literal “Golden Calves” to CPAC in the form of a gold be-shorted Trump. At the same time, none of this seems as urgent as news over the past four years did (or past four weeks, for that matter [HEY! The insurgency in Congress happened less than two months ago! Man, that was CRAZY! At least everything totally is OK!]), because all of this is within the realm of normalcy, regardless of those things not being particularly great.  On to the news, as “normal” as it may be.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Pay
Why: Because the Manhattan district attorney finally got access to Trump’s tax records.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Push For $15
Why: Because America’s failure to maintain a livable minimum wage across the country is one of the major factors explaining how the U.S. has reached levels of economic inequality at a rapidly growing rate.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Net Neutrality Is Back On The Table
Why: Because net neutrality is one of the most important cornerstones of a truly open internet.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Bye Bye Fry’s
Why: Because Fry’s was one of those stores that gave tangibility and access to being able to purchase and build your own tech. Ordering online for these sorts of things is fine if you already know what you are doing, but the closure of larger hobbyist shops like this may make it harder to tinker with electronics.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: [Insert Tiger Woods Driver Joke Here, Even Though It’s Tasteless And Not Funny]
Why: Because Tiger Woods was seriously hurt in a car crash this past week. Fox Business takes the very useful and necessary question as to whether this was a good or bad thing for the makers of the car he was driving.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Golden Globes, I Guess
Why: Because good movies won, but the controversies surrounding the event won’t (and shouldn’t) go away.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Goodbye, Daft Punk
Why: Because in the Summer of 2001, I spent a month in Salamanca, Spain. More importantly, Daft Punk’s album Discovery came out earlier that spring. That meant instead of doing Spanish Homework, I got to spend almost every night as a teenager in Europe living essentially on my own for the first time in my life closing down clubs to the song “One More Time.” I don’t know if I ever have felt as Alive as I have dancing with a group of young, drunk Spanish people scream-singing “music’s got me feeling so free” during the song’s breakdown at 2 AM. To this day, it remains one of my favorite songs ever.  To say that this duo influenced my musical taste would be a massive understatement. I guess they helped me feel Human After All. Thanks for the (Random Access) Memories.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: More Books To Read
Why: Because people seem to keep writing the damned things.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Time To Go A-Vikinging!
Why: Because most survival games get boring quickly due to a lack of real purpose. Valheim fixes that by giving you an actual quest to fulfill.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Epilogue; The Daft Punk ExperienceInterstella 5555; Electroma
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Time Machine Solely For The Purpose Of Seeing The Alive Tour At The Greek Theater.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 358, February 21, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. The United States is about to reach 500,000 COVID deaths. Almost a year ago, Dr. Fauci and the CDC were estimating 100,000 to 240,000 people could die – a number we reached in November. As of today, more people are dying daily than did during the summer peak. COVID is still far from over. Please get the vaccine if you can. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Texas Freezes Over
Why: Because Texas’ “go it alone” strategy failed its citizens completely. After a week of freezing temperatures and limited electricity, the state now has to fix its water supply. However, since Texas continues to vote people like Ted Cruz (who remains one of the worst humans alive – in the last two months, he helped instigate an attempted over throw of the United States, and then fled across the boarder to Mexico to avoid dealing with his state’s massive infrastructure problem) into office, things will not change.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Avoided Costs
Why: Because Texas had ample warnings and time to ensure its infrastructure could survive intact. Americans apparently hate planning for foreseeable events.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: No News Is Some News
Why: Because Australia implemented a law that would force tech companies to pay for Australian news content (read Rupert Murdoch owned companies). Facebook decided not to pay, and removed Australians’ ability to post links. Maybe Facebook should implement this over here?

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: TO THE MOON MARS!
Why: Because NASA successfully landed a rover on Mars to search for signs of life. [Takes massive bong rip] WHAT IF WE’RE ACTUALLY THE ALIENS????

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Changing Of The Guard
Why: Because Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open. She blew past Serena Williams, who herself had blown past her competition. Both of these highlights are well worth watching. It is amazing how much better at tennis Naomi was than everyone else.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: MOOOORTAL KOOOMBAAAAT
Why: Because video game movies are BACK, BABY! This is the silliest looking thing ever. It is perfect.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The Evolving Landscape Of Rights
Why: Because Taylor Swift is re-recording her entire catalogue, De La Soul went on a cartoon to widen their cause in their decades long fight with their original record label, and Metallica’s BlizzConline Twitch stream had to replace live performance music with nonsense to make sure streamers wouldn’t get strikes against their accounts.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: MARS!
Why: Because Mars is cool.

SPEECH THING OF THE WEEK (long watch)
What: Look At All Those Regional Accents!
Why: Because American English is all over the place.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Diablicious
Why: Because Blizzard is re-making Diablo II, the purest form of “click on the pixels until they die” that has ever been made.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: All Your Base Are 20, And You Are Old; Masterclasses All The Way Down; Day In The Life Of Boat
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Gritty
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 357, February 15, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. I’m not going to spend any more time than Trump’s defense team did discussing America’s failure to punish a terrorist for leading an attack against a branch of the US government. America is broken, because most Republican officials are also traitors, and continuously put their no-platform party above country. Also important to note, there has been a drastic uptick in racist attacks against people of Asian descent in the United States, which would in no way have anything to do with idiots referring COVID as the completely inappropriate term “Kung Flu” for a year. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Trump Acquitted In Senate
Why: Because Republican Senators couldn’t or wouldn’t do their jobs. The attorneys representing Trump barely did theirs.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Now We’re Cookin’ With Gas, But Why?
Why: Because gas stoves are probably awful for humanity.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Britney’s Back (For Some Reason)
Why: Because Britney Spears is back in the news for trying to free herself from her conservatorship. Britney doesn’t want to be so overprotected.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Effects Of Climate Change
Why: Because for a state that was floating the idea of secession a few weeks ago, Texas sure is going to need a lot of federal socialism to help with this. And yes, this is entirely related to global warming even though snow is cold. “Weather” and “Climate” are two very different things

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: STICK TO SPORTS
Why: Because the NBA failed to just let people play some net ball and instead have to mandate the very important reminder that some of the games take place in the United States of America. Just let them ball

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Non-Americans Also Go To Space
Why: Because the prevalence of space stories are full of mostly white people who speak English (except for the non-humans) becomes more and more ridiculous the more you think about it.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (short reads)
What: Remembering Some Innovators
Why: Because Johnny Pacheco, who was largely responsible for introducing the US to people like Celia Cruz and Cuban salsa, and Chick Corea, a pioneer of Jazz Fusion, both passed away this week. Even if you don’t know their names or recognize their music, their influence touched many people you have heard of.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Some Photographers
Why: Because since everyone has a camera in their pocket now, it is harder than ever to be recognized for actual photography talent. Here are some people to follow.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Revisiting Some Books
Why: Because the NY Times has been reviewing books for a long time, so they looked at some of their best reviews written by some of America’s best writers.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Grab A Friend!
Why: Because couch co-op is still a fun thing to do, even if it’s harder than ever to do that. Also, the newest-old Mario game just came out on the Switch. It is very good, as Mario games tend to be.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Am I Cat Or Am I Lawyer?; Am I Link Or Am I Bevis?; Am I COVID Or Am I Death Star?
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Blue Senators
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World # 356, February 7, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, that was underwhelming. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: One Month
Why: Because that’s how long it has been since our previous President lead an insurrection against the government. At this point, Trump’s failure has already put the US in terrible shape to address other countries’ democracy issues (See Myanmar and Haiti) with any sort of authority.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Bezos
Why: Because the wealthiest / second wealthiest man in the world is stepping back from leading Amazon.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: The Defense States Its Case
Why: Because President Trump must be held accountable for his actions against the United States.

MAP THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Election
Why: Because the NY Times breaks down exactly how most parts of the US voted in the 2020 election. Zooming in to see how an 8 square block in San Francisco has the same number of votes as a few hundred square mile section of Wyoming is something that really brings the whole idea of what it means to be American into focus.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: YAWN
Why: Because the Rom Bradowskis and a rapist beat the KC Chiefs in the COVID Bowl a lot to a little.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: CAGE/OFF
Why: Because Nic Cage seems to have stopped aging in the late Nineties, and also has become further out there with his career choices.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 25 Years Of Foo
Why: Because Dave Grohl and Co. have cranked out their 10th album that was supposed to support a worldwide van tour and a celebration of their 25th year as a band. For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen. As you may have noticed, Webtacular has a soft spot for this band that started when I found the “Color and The Shape” while digging through a college music store bin in 1999. They have a consistency and drive that is unparalleled in modern music – and produce some of the most fun rock shows that I have ever seen over multiple decades. I, for one, am stoked for the day that I can see them perform live again.

Also, since this album is the furthest thing from music discovery that I probably have ever shared, give The Weather Station’s “Ignorance” a listen. It’s good stuff.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Great Job, America
Why: Because we are just awful at stopping COVID.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Black Kids
Why: Because I got to listen to the author speak about this book last week, and one of the things that struck me (rightfully) is that one of the reasons she wrote this story is to fight against the prejudice that many people have (EVEN WELL MEANING PEOPLE WHO WOULD NEVER DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS RACIST!) when thinking of “Black” stories as only ones involving poverty. Read it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Google Shutters Stadia’s Dev Team
Why: Because Stadia was striving to be an Xbox or PS5 competitor, in that it would develop its own games for its “system.” However, while it still remains a very good way to play games cheaply *IF YOU HAVE GOOD INTERNET*, it’s use case just got smaller.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: GoldenEye As You’ve Never Seen It Before; The Princess Bride As You’ve Never Seen It Before; Big Bird As You’ve Never Seen It Before
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Better Super Bowl Commercials
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 355, January 31, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Apparently, I have access to a space laser that I helped a company I regulate set fire to the state I live in. How are people this dumb and cruel in Congress? On to the news

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Meet The New Team
Why: Because there are a bunch of familiar names with decades of experience heading Biden’s cabinet. It’s nice to have the U.S. Executive Branch back in the hands of qualified professionals.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: GameStop Is Breaking The Stock Market
Why: Because hopefully you took my suggestion last week – and hopefully don’t stay in too long unless you’re doing it solely for the LOLZ.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Giuliani Gets Sued By Everyone
Why: Because it’s really hard to lose a defamation suit, but Giuliani is dumb enough to do it. Also, Trump no longer has any representation for his defense at his impeachment trial, because all of his lawyers quit.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Union-bet
Why: Because after the story broke that Google’s employees launched an international union, this follow up piece appeared that potentially hamper US employees’ efforts to have representation.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. watch)
What: How?
Why: Because Danny MacAskill continues to do things on a bike that I just do not understand.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Dance In The Sun
Why: Because the Sundance Film Festival moved online – here are some things worth watching.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read / listen)
What: RIP SOPHIE
Why: Because I was mostly unfamiliar with SOPHIE’s work before hearing about their passing – however, it is clear that SOPHIE was incredibly influential in their short life. Think a futuristic, clubby, queer version of Passion Pit if Passion Pit kept making music like Sleepyhead.
Also, Weezer somehow released yet another album, but not the one people were expecting. (For those of you counting [because who ISN’T?], this is their 6th album since 2014, with another already completed, but delayed due to COVID. For comparison, Weezer released seven albums from 1994 – 2009.)

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Normal Spouses
Why: Because I’m not sure I ever saw the last first couple show each other any real public or private affection.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (quick buy)
What: That’s A Long Dog
Why: Because my friend Avery who’s work has appeared in this blog regularly due to a seemingly unlimited well of creativity wrote a new children’s book about, well, a long dog.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (15 min prep – 6-8 hour cook)
What: Glo-BOWL-ization
Why: Because if you throw oil, diced onion, garlic, mushrooms, and tomato paste in in a pan on medium heat for a few minutes, stir in a dash of salt, pepper, and essentially whatever spices you have in pantry (I used, in no particular order: cumin, ginger, curry powder, Mexican chili powder, herbs de Provence, poultry seasoning, mustard, hot Hungarian paprika, Italian seasoning, and turmeric [YOU DO YOU]), and then throw that mess and some type of stock (I used chicken), some sort of cream (I used Greek yoghurt and half and half), choice of meat (again, I used chicken), some sort of acid (I used lime juice) and some mushrooms into a crock pot for 6-8 hours, you will get something absolutely delicious. CRAZY. If you want to be “healthy,” throw in some extra veg (I used bell peppers and kale) an hour before time is up so you don’t overcook it. Serve over rice, in a bowl, so the name makes sense. I didn’t include measurements because I didn’t use any – I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to mess this up. Go nuts. Of course, if you do happen to make something awful, please let me know. (Other people’s) cooking disasters are one of  my favorite things to hear about.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: How Not To Talk About Video Games
Why: Because the NY Times hosted an Op-ed that completely misidentified just how fucked up a year this has been, and how video games are one of the few ways kids (and adults!) have gotten to stay in touch with their friends. You can worry about too much screen time once people stop getting killed by COVID.
Also, the new Hitman is very good.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: It’s Jurassic Park But Pee-Wee Instead Of Dinos; STONKS!; Maybe Internet Food Delivery Companies Don’t Need So Much Money After All
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Time Machine So I Can Invest My Life’s Savings Into A Dying Video Game Store This Past Summer.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World # 354, January 24, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! So – this is what a week without the worst person in the world screaming at you constantly feels like. “Traitor Ted” is losing a Twitter fight to noted pot head and potter Seth Rogen, Bernie Memes have taken over the world, and I already forgot who all the decent people Joe Biden hired as his staff, such as Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a consummate professional, because they aren’t screeching demon hell-spawn like this or this or this (HAHAHA SHE NEVER GAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE!) or this. It feels… normal. Let’s see how long this levity lasts – I hope a while, because it feels fucking fantastic not waking up to a self-inflicted crisis every single morning. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 hour watch)
What: The Biden Experience
Why: Because this whole proceeding felt as hopeful as possible given that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and the traitors still in power are trying their damnedest to pretend that they didn’t try to overthrow the government a few weeks ago.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: WSB Vs. The World
Why: Because the most interesting fight between a whole bunch of small time traders vs. institutional powers is coming to ahead when the Reddit subgroup jumped on the Gamestop stock bandwagon and essentially called a bluff on a massive short-sale on a failing company. If you invested last Wednesday or Thursday (or especially a year ago) because you decided to YOLO and go to the moon, please think of me when you make your millions.

HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: A Comprehensive Plan
Why: Because unlike the previous administration, Biden has a comprehensive plan to do something with the vast power afforded to the Federal government.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Go Electric
Why: Because the value of electric cars, especially when including their carbon cost, are a better buy than their gas-powered counterparts.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: RIP To The Greatest
Why: Because the Hammer was the best. Also, go climb a mountain, because fuck the COVID Bowl. And double fuck Tom Brady.

OTHER REST IN… SOMETHING OF THE WEEK (reads)
What: Larry King And Phil Spector
Why: Because a man who was spectacularly unprepared for his job and a murderer who was famous for creating a wall of sound seem to have been given multiple second and third chances that people now would never be afforded, assuming you aren’t a politician who tried to overthrow your government earlier this month.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: In And Of Itself
Why: Because this one man monologue / magic show / ode to human identity is extremely worth watching. Or, if you’d rather turn your brain off, which, hey, I get it, watch the new Godzilla vs. Kong trailer.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3  min. read)
What: Weeeey Heeey Blow The Man Down!
Why: Because sea shanties are back, baby! What a time to be alive.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (quick / long look)
What: I Mean…
Why: Because we have a Black, South Asian, WOMAN as a VP. The historic nature of this multiple-glass-ceiling-shattering fact still hasn’t been lauded and praised enough.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: If Only We’re Brave Enough To Be It
Why: Because you really should read the words Amanda Gorman spoke to us at Biden’s inauguration.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Most Presidential Presidents
Why: Because video game presidents are something else. Also, if you’re still wondering what the best games of last year are, Giant Bomb currently has it’s guest top 10 lists up for your reading pleasure. The thing about these lists that make them special is essentially that the site somehow has enough connections to the industry that many of gaming’s top creators, personalities, and assorted voices come together in one place to talk about their favorite games of the previous year. It’s basically the equivalent if there was a movie website that somehow got James Cameron, Brad Pitt, and Hanz Zimmer and their peers to talk about their favorite movies of the year. There is also just some excellent, cathartic writing reflecting on a particularly difficult year – I suggest reading Scott Benson’s, Alex Navarro’s, and Mary Kish’s – but all provide some context to a year when video games helped a hell of a lot of people cope with being inside.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Wellerman; More Memes; The Muppets Are Coming Back
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Low Key News Weeks! OH MY GOD I FEEL SO LIGHT!
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 353, January 18, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. Welcome to the new year.

First, a few words by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., written from his cell in Birmingham, Alabama.

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I created Webtacular World to bring some semblance of “slow news” to the increasing news cycle. I could not, in good conscience, write about what I bore witness to the first week of January due to the spiraling uncertainty of the events that occurred.  It was too raw, and I was too overwhelmed with the fact that supposed “patriots” marched through our government’s hallowed halls bearing symbols of the Confederacy and the Nazis in celebration of their failed leader. I am still furious, but at least I have some additional perspective on the vast failure of American institutions that lead to what I hope will be Trump’s dying crescendo.

On January 6, 2021,  MAGA seditionists, guided by words of the Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol and attempted to overthrow Congress as they were performing their Constitutional duty of affirming the count of the Electoral College votes for the 2020 election of Joseph R. Biden as President-Elect.  

To those of you who were surprised that this could have happened, you really shouldn’t have been –  the undercurrent of American fascism, bellied by American white supremacy, have been apparent throughout America’s history. THIS IS WHO WE ARE.

A short review:

In 1619, before the formation of the United States, white privateers aboard the White Lion and the Treasurer attacked and robbed the San Juan Bautista of its cargo, and brought it to Point Comfort, Virginia. That cargo consisted of 20 or so Black slaves, and were the first slaves traded on present day American soil.

In 1778, the Constitution of the United States was ratified with the following language in Article 1, Section 2 –

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

This clause enshrined the existence of Black slavery within the formation of the United States.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate soldiers fired on Fort Sumter, starting the American Civil War. The war fought by the secessionist South to protect their states’ ability for white people to own Black people.

For a decade following the Civil War, the United States entered a period known as Reconstruction, which attempted to allow newly freed Black Americans the same civic life as their white counterparts.  Reconstruction ended in failure with the Compromise of 1877, where presidential candidate Hayes assured that all Federal troops would be withdrawn from the former Confederacy in exchange for granting him the electoral votes for him to win the presidency.  Without federal support, terror against Black Americans continued.

Following the end of Reconstruction, former Confederate states enacted multiple “Jim Crow Laws,” the colloquial name for a swath of rules and regulations enacted by Southern states for the sole purpose of disenfranchising Black Americans through the use  poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and record keeping requirements.  White people were generally exempt through these requirements through the creation of “grandfather clauses,” which allowed people to vote if their grandparents could.  Through these rules, many Southern states removed Black American participation in the Federal and State electoral process. 

Segregation remained the de-facto policy in the United States from this point until 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act – 100 years after the conclusion of the Civil War. Interracial marriage was not legal until 1967. Extra-legal, racist-based laws and practices exist to this day (gerrymandering; racist police practices; restriction of voting rights; education; COVID mortality rates; access to loans and debt… really I could go on, but I think [hope] you get the point).

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

White, right-wing Americans continued to terrorize Americans of all backgrounds from this period onward.  Between 1994 and the present, right wing terrorism is responsible for a majority of terrorist acts and deaths within the United States, without counting the singular act of religious-based terrorism on 9/11.  This includes incidents at Wacco, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the vast increase in mass shootings. This especially includes the continued growth in violence perpetrated against Black Americans, and those calling for the end to that violence, by law enforcement.

Jump forward. On January 17, 2017, Trump gave his Inaugural Address. Here are the some of the words I wrote immediately upon reading the content of his depraved words:

DT- “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”
A political system built around total allegiance to country is fascism, not democracy. Also, patriotism by definition includes a prejudice against people who are not of citizens of a particular country, or, in practice, people who are not perceived to be belonging to a particular country.

DT- “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”
I really have no idea what point he is trying to make here. It doesn’t fit within the context of any of the other sentences around it, and, by itself, seems more like a vague threat than anything else.

Overall, this speech once again demonstrates Trump’s complete lack of understanding of the position of the Presidency. I hope that we can continue to keep America great, but this, as with most of the thoughts and actions Trump has taken so far, continues to leave me underwhelmed and uncertain that he is capable of achieving this goal.

On January 13, 2021, Donald Trump was impeached for the second time in his Presidency.

Trump’s idea of patriotism always was the same idea of patriotism that enabled slavery in the United States. Trump will be remembered as the worst President in history for is continuous, abject failures.  Trump’s supporters will go down in history as the same sort of traitors as the Southern seditionists in the Civil War. The law enforcement that was supposed to prevent this from happening are no better than the slave catchers or men who turned hoses on protestors. This is not hyperbole, exaggeration, or euphemism.  The people who enabled Trump all looked at what he had to offer, weighed the options, and decided a fascist, racist man who was responsible for the death of 400,000 Americans and counting due to his mishandling of COVID was the best choice.  They had four years of worthless policies, befriending dictatorships, purposefully splitting up families, destruction of the middle class, selling out the United States all so they could enact tax cuts that the majority of people will never see and place extremist judges who will continue to destroy the fragile fabric of law that the United States is based on to enrich those who already have too much.  Their selfishness and inability to reason brought us to destruction’s doorstep, and it is still to soon to know whether or not they will succeed.

Republicans, and some Democrats, are hellbent on “putting this behind us” or “joining together in unity to heal.” I have no interest in joining with Nazis and Confederates who would destroy the few decent tenants of our country so that they may flourish. They must face justice. There cannot be peace without justice. Americans must not make the same mistake as a nation that were made during Reconstruction. The rot that has always existed in the United States must be excised. Only then can we prove that we have changed as Americans, and can move forward to a better future. This is a start.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: January 6, 2021
Why: Because this will hopefully be the end. The use of the BBC article here is purposeful – this is the same nonchalance that American media give to the havoc that occurs half a world away. Here it is as it happened.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: A Real Recovery
Why: Because it is absolutely infuriating to see how much power the current administration refused to use to help people, and how easy it would have been for them to do so.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Supreme Court Of Killers
Why: Because the self identifying Christians on the Supreme Court were complicit in the deaths of thirteen prisoners on death row over the last six months. During this time, the Trump administration executed three times the number of federal prisoners as had been executed in the previous sixty years, and the first federal execution in seventeen years. To say that this is a miscarriage of justice and goes against the plain text meaning of “cruel and unusual” punishment is an understatement.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Too Little Too Late
Why: Because although social media companies ultimately made the right decision, there must be a reckoning for what they allowed to happen. Trump was banned from Twitter, and then FacebookParler was “hacked,” and Parler was taken offline

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Fuck Sports, And Fuck Fascists
Why: Because leagues continue to pretend like anyone cares while throwing manbaby tantrums to get traded while exposing people to COVID or being destroyed for our entertainment or using the funds gained from said entertainment to provide funding to House Representative insurrectionists, so we might as well enjoy looking at a house we cannot afford while understanding why it is appropriate to call the January 6 rioters “terrorists.”

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK ( a few hours or something)
What: Choose A Bad Movie And Watch It
Why: Because I spent the weekend doing that, and it helped me ignore the awful in the world for a bit.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: More Concerts From Home
Why: Because I am working from home until September, at least.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Attack
Why: Because one of the few benefits of modernity is that we can all see what actually happened.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Fuck Hawley
Why: Because he is a piece of shit human who should be thrown in a hole and forgotten. 

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Foreverever
Why: Because although there are probably bigger stories from last week, sometimes its good to know that some companies are making simple games Like EVERSPACE 2 where you’re just a clone in a spaceship that shoots other spaceships in space.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: State Of Georgia; Fleeing The Death Star; Make Killing Nazis Fun Again
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: 2 More Days.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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