on Russians, sharks, bears, swimming, and who to trust

You, the average normal human, require a new hammer. You use it to fix up your house, apartment, hovel, or yurt. You have several options to choose from. But recommendations tell you that you can have the hammer made by a partially competent American maker at a reasonable price, or the cheap one made by a former KGB assassin. Which do you choose?

Well, I suppose if you lived in Russia you would pick the KGB guy. Or be made to pick the KGB guy. But if you’re not Russian why would you, or anybody else, choose the KGB guy? This question has always been on my brain as folks and organizations have chosen Kaspersky Labs to handle their internet security to the tune of half-a-billion active users.

I mean I somewhat get it, Norton, McAfee, and the many other generic Western firms are only above average at best. But what do you expect when the Internets sandbox is an inherently flawed security nightmare. That doesn’t mean you go running for help with Ivan, aka the guys who are directly responsible for much of the security nightmare. Unless you desire to make the counterargument that because Kaspersky is KGB, that it’s good business to ask the devil to guard your church because he knows how to mix it up, barstool style. But I don’t buy that argument. Eventually the devil will rob you and use your pilfered cash to buy cinnamon whiskey, his drink of choice.

Kaspersky is somehow considered respectable, which further proves the marketing goons of the planet can put a shine on anything and twist people’s brains with glorious abandon. Kaspersky advertises on NPR! So he must be legit, right? And since the beginning Kaspersky has tried to always prove they have an independent hand. Their claim is that Russian they are, doesn’t mean you can’t trust them. They’re separate and distinct from the functioning arms of the Russian state, honest. Eh, if they say so.

As far as my take, I think this Washington Post article sums it up pretty nicely. In particular:

“James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said ‘it’s difficult, if not impossible’ for a company like Kaspersky to be headquartered in Moscow ‘if you don’t cooperate with the government and the intelligence services.’”

Yeah, no kidding. So if you or your business has put your trust in Kaspersky, well, you deserve what you get.

Hey speaking of failed trust, apparently a whole bunch of people actually thought Discovery Channel was going to get Michael Phelps to race a shark. Instead they just computer simulated it and Phelps lost. Because Phelps is a human, as in, a creature not meant to inherently swim in the water. Kind of like how a shark is. But I digress.

Did folks actually think they’d put Phelps in the water alongside a shark and race them in lanes? Do folks understand that humans can’t order sharks around like that? Gee I sure hope so. How did people logistically think this would occur? Why are they angry with Discovery Channel? How did they trust that this would actually happen?

The only thing I can think of is they’d capture the shark and chain it up like some kind of angry Star Wars arena beast. They’d have him in a lane in the ocean contained by two sheets of transparent aluminum. And Phelps would be on the other side. Then they’d fire the gun and release the shark. Only, but what if the shark didn’t swim forward and instead tried to turn around and attack the folks behind him? As in, the folks who’d just chained him up. Or what if the shark swam for a bit and then stopped? Or what if the shark busted through the transparent aluminum and swallowed Michael Phelps whole in an orgy of chum related violence? Or what if we get Kaspersky to race a 700 pound grizzly bear? Maybe his KGB training, Russian bear familiarity, and Vlad inspired judo can save him? But I doubt it.

Who not to trust? Well for starters Russians who say they’re here to help. And folks who claim a human can race a shark. Along with all other kinds of lunacy that just don’t seem to make sense. Kind of like most of the nonsense written on this degenerate blog.

You could adopt the tact of: trust no one. But instead, just use your common sense. We’ve all got it. It’s pretty neat. Go with that.

fun time

four creatures enter; one creature leaves

chasing cash off a cliff

One of the best metaphors ever created since sliced bread was invented is the idea of dangling a shiny object in front a cat. As in, showing a plate of sliced meat to Ralph the Butcher is like dangling a shiny object in front of cat.

If you’ve ever actually seen this behavior in our feline friends, it’s hilarious. I don’t have cats, but both my brothers do. Some people use laser pointers, but I prefer the shiny object because it doesn’t require a computer chip.

You take said shiny object and journey it around the room and the cat literally becomes unhinged from reality. If I offer a dental chew to my doggies they’ll go insane and depart from reality while they eat it. But if I scream or drop a hand grenade next to them, they’ll put down the chew for a moment if for no other reason than to determine what’s going on and assess potential dangers. The cat isn’t like that, they’ll just uncheck from the universe. My unfamiliar with cats brain attributes this to the singular possessive mindset they must have had when hunting live animals.

Anyways, it would seem lately that NFL owners have had Los Angeles dangled in front of them like a shiny object. Dean Spanos has decided that after fifty years of San Diego football he’s going to chase the cat toy up the road to LA. The NFL is a business first and a sport second. And so it’s of course all about the level of Spanos’ international gold reserves. But you have to get past the initial figures to determine what’s actually going on.

The whole reason San Diego apparently wasn’t in the Chargers’ future was that taxpayers wouldn’t subsidize a man worth north of $2B in building a stadium. But, in order to relocate the Chargers to LA, Spanos has to fork over a relocation fee of $650M to the league. When you combine that with the essentially free $300M that the NFL offered him to stay in San Diego, one comes up just a few bucks short of a pretty sweet billion dollar stadium in San Diego. And yet he moved anyways. Why?

Because he thinks LA is a shiny cat toy.  Spanos, alongside former Mr Universe contestant, breaker of thumbs, and jai-li extraordinaire Stan Kroenke are betting that LA will give them substantially more long term gold than San Diego or Saint Louis ever could. Well, I’m going to speak to the future here and say that both of them have made terrible mistakes. It’s not going to work.

1) This has been tried before

Once upon a time the Rams and the Raiders occupied LA. They both left within a few years of each other. Why? See (2) and (3).

2) These teams suck

If you were to journey into the ancient Chinese wilderness, you’ll eventually encounter (after 13,437 years of mystical travel) the ghosts of Confucius and Sun Tzu who will be getting messed up on baijiu in a tent. Among their many limitless levels of knowledge will be a stone table with the Chinese character for mediocre on it. Beneath this character will be chiseled in stone the team logos for the Rams and Chargers. This is a team that gave Jeff Fisher a contract extension. Fisher is the man who can throw a six sided die and land on the number 8, 50% of the time. Then there’s the Chargers who have wasted one of the more talented quarterbacks in history with Philip Rivers. When they acquired Rivers, Spanos might as well have hired an assassin to break his legs, it’s the same thing.

3) You might care about LA, but LA doesn’t care about you

Do folks care about Jennifer Lawrence or Lord Leo? Good for them, but guess what, they don’t care. Does Spanos care about LA? Good for him, but guess what, LA doesn’t care. LA cares about LA. LA cares about LA things. I don’t know what people in LA do all day? Maybe they shop or get their hair done or go hang out at the beach or whatever. But I’m pretty sure it’s not getting passionate about football. They probably think it’s a game for people less cool than they are. Like folks who would eat McDonalds over In-N-Out. There’s probably a bunch of people in LA who love football. But enough to fulfill the financial obligations of two separate teams? I think not. A delicious stat from this 2016 regular season was that NFL ratings within LA actually went down. Even with the Rams in town, less LA citizens watched football this year.

4) History matters

The Cleveland Browns are less talented than a few college football teams. But their fan base cares and is dedicated to the team in a way that makes it a perpetual ongoing Greek tragedy. It’s not called the Factory of Sadness for nothing. Yeah, there’s less to do in Cleveland, but also the team’s been there forever. It has a history associated with Cleveland. The Chargers have no history in LA. The Rams do, but it’s not that much after all those years in Saint Louis. It’s for this reason that at this very second, there are likely more Raiders fans in LA than Chargers and Rams fans combined. When the Raiders move to Las Vegas, it’s going to stay that way. Football crazy LA citizens will be happy to commute to Vegas to drink, gamble, and actually watch a competent team. They’ll not be interested in an equivalent journey time sitting in traffic to watch a terrible LA team.

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You’re in trouble Dean.

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PS, this is the worst sports team logo since the 1337 Manchester Alley Rats, which was nothing more than a charcoal picture of dead plague rat.

I might not watch one frame of these Olympics

I actually gave this some relatively serious thought this weekend. It was essentially my first full weekend home in two months, so I had the time. But my television is not typically hooked up to receive the necessary signal (don’t ask). Connecting the television so I could watch the Games would have required about two minutes of hardware work, plus about ten minutes of boot time. I had so little zest about watching that I decided twelve minutes wasn’t worth it. So my box remains unconnected, and I haven’t watched one second of these Olympics. We’re a few days in and I’m wondering if I’ll watch any of it.

1) NBC: I see from the online reactions that NBC is up to their usual tone deaf arrogance with this year’s go. Sadly, the usual shallow outrage trolls seem to be having the same issues with NBC (or anybody) over fake ‘…ism’ or ‘…ist’ type stuff. Whatever. Eh, my beef with NBC is more along the lines of poor pacing, incessant commercials, lack of live content, hack fraud interviews, and Bob Costas. I can’t begin to describe to you how badly I think they broadcast this event. This is what lack of competition does to quality. NBC owns the product in America, they paid handsomely for it, but without CBS or ABC/ESPN to challenge them, why should they bother to deliver a decent broadcast when they can simply count their money?

2) Supermen / Superwomen: There is something vaguely and disturbingly fascist about the basic intent that, “our Superman will beat your Superman by 0.86 seconds on this event”. These people train for four years to win some race by less than a second. Can you mentally comprehend that margin of error against the number of pushups these dudes have to crank out in four years? I can’t. It’s just weird. Unless your last name is Phelps or Ledecky, it seems it’s actually a competition not between athletes, but between National Olympic programs. As in, which National Olympic committee can machine engineer their athlete better than the other one. It’s creepy. Do you doubt this? Name me one gold medal swimmer or track & field winner from a non-rich and/or non-former Communist country.

3) Retread / Weird Sports: Some parts of the Olympics are appealing in that I don’t typically get to watch fencing or wrestling or whatever. But when golf or soccer or basketball is already everywhere, why should I care? I’ve heard the point made in the last month or two and I wholeheartedly agree that basketball already has their pinnacle of competition in the NBA. Soccer has the World Cup. So why is this stuff there? It takes broadcast time away from the more obscure but no less difficult sports that I couldn’t typically see. Then on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got questionable sports like badminton or table tennis. Games I would typically only play while drunk are not exciting to me.

4) Brazil: Normally I don’t want to go down this road of social guilt / whining. As in, well, we can’t enjoy anything because the world is total shit. But in Brazil, I somewhat make an exception as I did for Sochi with Russia. Brazil is essentially in an economic depression, the president’s under impeachment proceedings, half of Rio is a dystopian wasteland, the country while essentially bankrupt has had to hand over billions it doesn’t have, mosquitos are going around giving people the plague, half completed Olympic venues are populated by aggressive zombies, etc, etc, etc. I have a hard enough time watching a football game hosted by Chicago (ps Bears suck). Rio is just too much. Just as Sochi was too much.

5) Sacks w/ $ On It: Oh, 84% of Russia’s athletes were doping? What planet must somebody have lived on to not understand that was already happening for decades? And in any case, it’s been well documented that the International Olympic Committee has been taking sacks with a $ on it for years. And now these corrupt goons are going to judge some poor Russian automaton on what they put into their body? The IOC isn’t exactly as corrupt as FIFA, but it’s certainly not the totem of athletic morality. I think if we all lived in 584 BC, that the religious handlers would put all the IOC ruling body members to death for pollution of Zeus’ divine pure will. Then when you add in all the ongoing Brazilian corruption investigations to include Lula himself, it’s pretty clear that Brazil probably bought these games. Just like Vlad bought Sochi. It gives the Games a very mafia-like feeling, like you’re watching the proceedings of an ongoing criminal enterprise. It’s the last in a long list of straws, and I just don’t have the motivation to tune in. Maybe I will, but at least not for today.

rio

Not feeling that good ole spirit.

how do you become champions without playing a championship?

So these Leicester blokes just won the Premier League title. Folks are freaking out. It’s draped the news for days. Apparently the odds were so high that I figure it’s the equivalent of having the Jaguars or the Browns win the Super Bowl next year.

For amusement, my Guests have calculated the chances of the Jaguars or the Browns winning next year’s title as longer than, “…the chance the Sun viciously explodes tomorrow due to a fourth rate intern pressing the wrong button at the Large Hadron Collider.”

Doesn’t that sound super rare? Gee I sure hope so. That Collider thing scares the hells out of me. They be wielding black magic inside that mountain, I assure you. Think workplace violence is bad? Wait till the Black Hole Ghosts they let into our temporal realm warp all those Euro scientists’ heads.

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Anyways, Leicester didn’t play Manchester United and knock them off in a brutal Duel of the Fates that risked the destruction of multiple stadiums by hooligans drinking too many non-alcoholic beers. Instead, Leicester gets the trophy because Tottenham and Chelsea played to a draw. What?

At first, when I heard Leicester was to play Manchester I thought it was for the championship. To win it all, loser goes home, etc, etc. Apparently not. I guess in EPL the title goes to the best record, or so I’ve been able to gather. There are no playoffs.

That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. So I embarked upon a quest to read the rules of the EPL to figure out why there is not just a straight Super Bowl like title game that would likely be watched by a billion people across the globe. After twenty minutes of this, I gave up. My head hurt.

You go ahead and try and determine via relegation, EPL rules, the Championship League, UEFA, FIFA, the various regional groups and ruling bodies, what the hell is going on. If you want to understand why the European Union is an unhinged organizational basketcase, kindly go and try to figure out how Euro soccer is organized.

If I’ve got it wrong, one of you seven fringe people who regularly read this blog who knows better please clue me in. I think I’ve got it right, but who knows.

Manchester United v Leicester City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford

Leicester City fans cheer on their side in the stands after the match despite not winning the title on the day, during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Two other teams just tied. We won!

outrage is now apparently the taste of victory

Great news! Your team just won. It’s a moment to celebrate glorious victory on the soccer / football field / pitch. You have many choices available on how you’ll enjoy this wonderful moment:

 

 a) Drink lots of beer with family and friends in an unbridled moment of enjoyable life

 b) Calmly read a book with your mate, pausing repeatedly to contemplate how lucky you were to get to see your team win

 c) Viciously parse random social media comments and shout loudly about how outraged you are that somebody wrote something that bothers you

 

Yeah, I know! I’d choose (a) or (b) too, and, oh, what, [unintelligible muttering] I’ve chosen (c)? When? [unintelligible muttering] But I did (a) and (b) last night. Doesn’t that count? [shakes head] [unintelligible muttering] Oh.

Once upon a time social justice warriors and the news media had pretty awesome causes to get behind. You could go to Alabama and do battle against goons who’d turn fire hoses onto people based upon the color of their skin. Or you could go to Nazi Germany and work against those guys who were too focused on mathematics and spreadsheets to realize what horrible fucking people they were.

You can do these things today too. For instance, you could go to Lebanon and deliberately cover the mass human misery and help millions in desperate need of support. Or you could go to Baltimore and cover the grinding day-to-day (not a single brief week) of how hard it is to live in America’s urban wastelands.

But why do any of this hard stuff when you can spend your time parsing somebody’s tweet and get mad at its content. After all, solving ISIS or urban America is awfully hard. Eh, whatever, let’s do nothing of actual value. Let’s sit behind a desk and trash free speech. It’s much easier that way.

I, of course, do this too. But the difference between me and somebody who works for the BBC or Washington Post is I don’t get paid for this. Plus, they’re on the nagging side. And I’m on the anti-nagging side. I want people to be free to say whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Their ilk literally wants to control human thought.

Two lunatic events to this end:

The Washington Post thinks this tweet is the most offensive thing England has done since the vicious firebombing of Dresden #BomberHarris #toosoon:

 

“Our #Lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title – heroes: …”

 

Activist, journalist, and stormy-cloud-frowny-face-man Ishaan Tharoor, who used to be a senior editor at Time and a Yale man (must be a coincidence) called this a “sexist tweet”.

But what if I alter this tweet a little and make it say this:

 

“Our #Lions go back to being fathers, partners and sons today, but they have taken on another title – heroes: …”

 

To which my point is: What’s the fucking problem?

Is it illegal for us to refer to these female humans for what they are? I’m pretty sure every female player on the England team is somebody’s daughter. Quite a few of them are mothers too. Maybe we need to sanitize this speech to the point it sounds like a faceless machine wrote it.

After all, isn’t the term “lionesses” sexist too? Doesn’t that imply that female athletes can’t be male lions? Isn’t the fact that we say a female human can’t be a male lion the most offensive English anti-feminist thing since King Arthur beat (alleged) his wife over an (alleged) adulterous act? The BBC doesn’t seem to think so (surprisingly). The term’s plastered all over their website.

Whatever, I got my Guests to write this very, very professional tweet:

 

“Our #humans go back to being humans, workers and oxygen consumers today, but they have taken on another title – winners of the game: …”

 

See how much safer and kinder this tweet is. If only all our speech sounded this way. Then nobody would ever say anything valuable or fun ever again. Think of how awesome that world would be.

Next up is the BBC who (not surprisingly) raises the issue of how many low-class-haters took to the airwaves to use the term Pearl Harbor in conjunction with the Japanese loss.

Apparently, poking fun at history is horribly offensive and juvenile. What kind of insensitive pig would do something like that? Well, me. This is what I posted prior to the game’s start on an unrelated social media platform:

 

On July 5th, 1942 USS Growler torpedoed IJNS Arare and two other destroyers off Kiska or 2,527 miles from today’s stadium. Here’s hoping for an anniversary repeat. ‪#‎theystartedit ‪#‎toosoon”

 

But what if I alter this tweet a little and make it say this:

 

“On August 8th, 1942 Admiral Mikawa’s forces torpedoed and sank four Allied crusiers off Guadalcanal or 6,140 miles from today’s stadium. Here’s hoping for an anniversary repeat. #longlance #youstarteditoilembargo #toosoon”

 

To which my point is: What’s the fucking problem?

If we as a human race cannot laugh and tell jokes (even offensive jokes) about the most horrible war in human history, we’ll rapidly discover that humor no longer exists and we’re just a bunch of boring losers.

Somebody needs to get Tharoor and the BBC a bunch of beers and watch them drink until they calm down. Then they can just simply celebrate victory with the rest of us. They should try it now and again. They’d sleep better at night.

Normally I wouldn’t care, except that Tharoor and the BBC are powerful enough that people who actually matter are going to listen to them and further do what they can to control our speech.

It’s going to get to the point that anybody, anywhere is going to be afraid to tweet or say like, things, or anything at all, because they’ll be too afraid that what they say is offensive to somebody, somewhere, over something.

And what we can / cannot say will be dictated to us by an elite BBC woman and super-elite Yale man; upon pain of outrage and social ostracism. I fear this world. For when it arrives, it’s going to be a freaking miserable nightmare.

As an example, I almost, almost didn’t post my Kiska thing because I thought it’d offend people or folks would think it too juvenile. But I did it anyway. I’m glad I did.

stormy

The Arcturus Project’s Weekly (Not Weekly) Stormy Cloud Award goes to His Ivy League Eminence Ishaan Tharoor. Smart Yale man you might be, but wise you are not. Do you get it? I did a thing there.

schizophrenic behavior is never okay

I don’t care what anybody says, both those women were concussed. Alexandra Popp had her skull split wide open. Morgan Brian’s eyes looked like she was strolling through the Land of Chocolate with Homer Simpson. Neither of these players should have gone back into the game.

If this was the NFL, it’d be front page news today. The outrage. The mass hysteria. But because it’s women’s soccer, it’s somehow okay.

To their credit, many media outlets (SI, NY Times, Post) who hammer the NFL with glee do have articles this morning questioning the wisdom of allowing two very clearly injured players back onto the field. But other imperial bomb throwers (ESPN) don’t have a word about it at least a dozen articles deep.

You’ll see this line on this shitty blog again and again, I originally stole it from South Park:

“Either it’s all okay, or none of it is.”

If the sports media is going to demolish the NFL over concussions they need to demolish women’s soccer over concussions. Anything less is schizophrenic behavior from a media that chases an issue based on click value, not actual value.

And thus: NFL is popular = concussions issue sells, but women’s soccer is not popular = concussions issue does not sell.

I’m of the mind that everything in life has risks, even driving yourself to work. Sports have risks that need to be managed. Concussions happen. Life happens. And the sports leagues, NFL, FIFA, etc, can work the issue to make it better.  Without sacrificing the core of the games.

Clearly last night needs to get handled better by FIFA. It was not okay. I guess the point of this post is there’s progress to be made to lessen the risks, but the media treats the issue differently depending on what sport’s being played. This schizophrenic behavior serves nobody, nor the issue at hand.

Morgan-Brian-Alexandra-Popp

I kept waiting for the ambulance to come out; and ten minutes later they’re back on the field; these two players are real warriors, admirable; but they should have been made to sit down