Turn the crank

Having your computer flake out on you gives you a lot of time to think … not always a good thing. Especially when you remember you haven’t finished your taxes—or your column—yet.

I will steal hours of your life away with the spinning wheel of death! Image found on clker.com.

I will steal hours of your life away with the spinning wheel of death and annoying trolls!
Image found on clker.com.

It seems worse, though, when you decide to watch a really bad guilty-pleasure movie which then freezes up, starts, and freezes again, apparently to gauge just how lazy you are based on how long it takes you to just shut the danged thing off.

There’s a reason I call my home computer “Lucifer.”

Meanwhile (as I wait for the latest Windows version to download yet again), I’m musing on a few things.

If only getting rid of trolls was this easy. Image found on Digiex.

If only getting rid of trolls was this easy.
Image found on Digiex.

Like why some people even bother to post on comment boards when they usually say the same thing every time. I mean, really, how many times can you pose the same hypothetical about three people applying for the same job, or rage about the intolerance of the tolerant, or fling the same insults (proglibs, Rethuglicans … I must admit, though, that I love Y’all-Qaida) at those with whom you disagree? Why not just set up smart keys to save you from typing it all out every time? Or … here’s a thought … actually read and respond thoughtfully to what you’ve read rather than skimming and reacting with over-used talking points. Hey, anonymous trolls, I’m talking to you. Take your logical fallacies and straw men far away from here.

Oh, you mean TJ didn't say that? Are ya sure? It's just so perfect, I'm using it anyway. Image found on Business Insider.

Oh, you mean TJ didn’t say that? Are ya sure? It’s just so perfect, I’m using it anyway.
Image found on Business Insider.

Then there are the people who constantly quote Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde and others, but not anything those people actually said. C’mon, why worry if they said it or not? Just stick their name on something you pulled out of a hat, even if it’s completely outrageous (mo’ betta), and everyone will believe you. No one checks this stuff anyway. Oh, wait, I do … I guess I’m No One.

Blinders belong on horses, not people. Image found on tjs-labs.com.

Blinders belong on horses, not people.
Image found on tjs-labs.com.

Or the people who can see nothing outside their very narrow viewpoint … I do worry about them walking out in traffic with those blinders on. But if they take them off, they might have to consider other points of view and perhaps think for themselves and eschew the standard party line … and meh, that’s just too much trouble. Much better to let others do the thinking. Aren’t they paid to do that crap?

Along the same lines, some people can’t seem to see anything beyond stereotypes—liberals as evil socialists, conservatives as evil capitalists, women as flighty and dumb, men as sexist meatheads. Yes, those people do exist, but are rarer than some seem to think (and admit it, specific people popped into your head, didn’t they?). Broad generalizations help few other than those who like to rile people up … like political pundits, who of course are all thoughtless, attention-seeking cranks. That’s what I’ve heard, anyway.

I think the cat's plotting a conspiracy right now ... Image found on Ol' Buffalo Blog.

I think the cat’s plotting a conspiracy right now …
Image found on Ol’ Buffalo Blog.

This, of course, includes a few tinfoil-hat-wearing folks sure that they know the real story, and who will tell you to Google whatever they’re talking about to find lots of “proof.” (Don’t mention fluoride, climate change or vaccinations around them if you value your sanity.) Either they don’t know or don’t care that the search results at the top are generally the ones most searched/clicked on (or those that paid for the privilege), not the most reliable. Just like we need contextual spell-check a lot of the time, contextual Google wouldn’t be a bad idea. Of course, actual peer-reviewed research isn’t what most of these people are after; it’s really just whatever confirms their beliefs. I’m still waiting for that North Korean report of the grave found for the last unicorn to be confirmed … you just know it has to be true; they were real, dadgummit!

Rain, rain go away ... why not head out to L.A.? Image found on Green Pro Lawn Care.

Rain, rain go away … why not head out to L.A.?
Image found on Green Pro Lawn Care.

And rain … why won’t it stop raining? It’s like the grass is growing six inches a day, but you can’t mow mud, so you’re kinda stuck. On the other hand, I never did get those seeds planted, so it’s not like the rain’s washing them away … still, a little less rain would be welcome. I’m sure my relatives out west would be more than happy to be waterlogged. I’m not.

Hmmmm … seems I’m as cranky as my computer right now … and yet there are no cranky pants in sight.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way … some letter-writers may notice that some of their letters that were confirmed haven’t appeared. We’re very sorry about that, but because of a backlog exacerbated by multiple staff illnesses, some letters just got too old to print. There are still some in the pipeline that should soon appear, but if you want to submit something more timely, please feel free. We apologize for the delay.

Editorial cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Editorial cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Also, please remember that we do fact-check (though not opinion; while you may disagree and think it’s wrong, it’s opinion, not necessarily fact), which means that some letters get hung up in documentation, some never to emerge again (generally the ones filled with the most falsehoods). Not all letters can be printed (for various reasons, including unsuitability for a family publication), though we do read all of them, and all are edited, but usually only slightly. And yes, the more amusing crank letters tend to land on my bulletin board.

Thank you for your patience, at least those of you who have been patient and have not tried to strong-arm staff here … aaaand, back to cranky.

I knew it couldn’t last. Danged computer. Danged rain.

3 thoughts on “Turn the crank

  1. You’re sounding mighty chipper for someone whose computer is on the fritz. I get a little crazed when either my TV or computer messes up and it absolutely positively must be fixed the same day.


    • Nah, it’s all a facade. Really, the computer’s been cranky for a while, but until last week was functional. I finally had to just reset the system, and now I’m trying to track down things like the disc for the printer setup, the external drive setup … which is annoying as hell, but can wait until I get other stuff done.

      I’m very impatient, but I’m trying to calm my ass down. 😉


  2. Pingback: For whom the trolls yell | Serenity is a fuzzy belly

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