little things to help start the day + trains

Friday nearly cuts the subway population in half.  This is a huge benefit when with my subway over half the train cars don’t work right now.  So say on a Thursday you get to share personal space with 173 of your best friends.  But it’s Friday and on Memorial Day weekend so I suppose a whole gaggle of people want nothing to do with the office today.  This was a nice little pick me up to get the day going where I had space enough to actually read my magazine.

In merry old England they just opened the Elizabeth Line which is one of the most modern (and expensive) train lines ever built.  But then I read that even London’s subway is still only at about 2/3 to 3/4 of pre pandemic capacity.  So it seems working from home is semi-permanent, or perhaps a lot of businesses no longer see advantages to being downtown.  Is it in fact going to permanently reshape urban transportation?

Or, with inflation, war, supply shortages, alien sabotage, etc, the economy has still not fully recovered from pandemic?  Maybe in say five years after inflation has cooled, Vlad is impaled on a spike by that Hero Comic Guy, and people can once again buy critical supplies again (like garden rakes) then the economy will blast off.  And when it does downtown offices and their supporting subways will get cracking again.  Who knows?  At this point, it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen to the planet in say three or four days.

But we at TAP are here to help!  We can predict what will happen by next Tuesday!  Honest.  Let’s go!

1) Zombies

2) Pizza will be made illegal

3) …

Nah, nope, we’re ah, we’re just not going to do this today.  Sorry.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Boris will get drunk, comically push the train conductor out, and drive the train to Wales (somehow) where he will stop the train at an old Edward I hilltop fort castle (somehow) and then pass out drunk by falling through a wooden table.

pop ups are back [frowny face]

Will the Internets devolve? Is Netscape coming back to life? What about [shuffles through some old dusty velum parchments] Myspace, I think maybe they’ve got Facebook in their sights.

Well, at least we got rid of pop ups. Remember those? From like 15 years ago. It was so bad you had to download pop up blockers. But then each individual web browser began putting the blockers inherently into the browser’s code. So you didn’t have to worry about it.

Glad those days are over. So yeah, I was talking to my dog and … oh, oh

oh no

no, please no

Am I going to have to search for a pop up blocker? For fuck’s sake I might as well search for the hottest new clamshell phone. REMEMBER THE 486?!!! IT’LL BE BACK SOON!!! [throws chair]

setting $500M on fire

Last month we wrote a piece in which we were flabbergasted that any rational human would be interested in CNN+. But even we had no idea it would be this bad. After three weeks and a daily average of only 10K users the hammer came down and it’s done.

They spent $500M on this. There are some fellow bloggers on wordpress that get more than 10K visitors a day. What a disaster. But this was predictable. We saw it coming. Hell give me that $500M. I need my own zoo.

To me, this is a good thing. Some streaming services need to fail and fail badly. Otherwise we’ll just replace cable with 79 different streaming services. Which is asinine and silly.

oh, CNN is now streaming too

Soon there will be 129 streaming services, somewhat close to the number of core cable channels I suppose.  But at $5.99 each month per service, your new streaming bill will be $772.71 per month for them all. Please save ahead of time so your bank account doesn’t go into the red.

So don’t think for a second all the media companies are upset that cable is dying.  Not even a decade or so ago nine out of ten Americans had cable.  Within the year I bet it’ll be less than half.  But media companies are making more money than ever (except for live sports) so it all works out for them.

And so now CNN is in on the game.  In America you can watch all their programs, but not live news. The international version gets live news.  Because the last thing people know CNN for is live news.  You could spend time with such intellectual heavyweights like Wolf Blizter or Anderson Cooper on their talk shows, two arrogant empty suit guys who have contributed less to the goodness of America than your local jury duty foreman during any equivalent time period.

Uh, there’s some food stuff on there.  Because I guess CNN thinks food will sell.  But Bordain’s dead, so they’ve lost that brilliance.  So I guess they’ll pull some other person out of the woodwork, like some celebrity to talk about food.  Umm, I think they have a bunch of documentaries hosted by people they picked off a spreadsheet based on their political beliefs and skin color.

Um, they do some history stuff every now and then.  Like they had that series that covered each decade.  But that was shallow, pandering, and sucked.  So, um, [furrows brow] what preciously is there for CNN to stream, without live news?  If I were them, they should just throw a puppy on screen with a ball of yarn.  Though they can’t do that because Animal Planet already has a $4.99 a month service exclusively covering puppies playing with objects.

Would it be too earnest of us to ask the aliens to just get on with it?  I mean I know the invasion target date is 2037, but what’s the point in waiting?

all trees must pay, for the alter of work

A new person at work has decided that they’re going to manage everybody’s training records.  I suspect because they just got hired, nobody is telling them what to do, and they feel that have to do, like, something, anything?  Normally this wouldn’t matter to me, but now they’re after me on my training records like I work for them.  Normally this wouldn’t matter to me, but all our work training sucks and is a check in the block.

Plus, all this extra work, spreadsheets, training records, etc, is all paper printed off, signed, scanned whatever.  We go through a legendary amount of paper in this office.  It’s like it’s still 1947.  We buy paper by the pallet full.  All trees must pay, for the alter of work.  Bow down to it, or they get mad at you and put your name in red text on an excel spreadsheet.

There’s this theory going around, I think somebody wrote a book, on the era of white collar “bullshit” jobs.  Where folks think they (or actually) accomplish nothing of actual value.  They just keep the hamster wheel of their place of business moving along.  I’ve read a few articles lately about how all that’s a lie, and that much of this work actually matters, it’s just most people hate their jobs.

I would tend to agree with that, that most people don’t like their jobs.  But the idea that our super modern white collar world is not about 73% bullshit, is, well, not exactly, precisely correct.  On a given day I’d say about only 1/3 of what I do actually matters.  The rest is the hamster wheel that my boss, or his new training assistant, makes me do that has no value.

I should quit this bullshit gig and go take care of homeless puppies.  But then I’d have a bill pay problem, my dog’s kibble is expensive, beer doesn’t pay for itself.  I should quit and take a risk at value, I won’t, that’s the trap I guess.  We all got bills to pay and white collar work combined with dead trees means you don’t work in a cadmium mine 12 hours a day.

to Office Space is a verb

I watched four of my employees this morning struggle mightily with the photocopier like it was cavemen learning about fire. They fought the machine for a half hour before they got it to work again. This copier is brand new, and it already is failing. It’s a Xerox, who has been making copiers since 1959 and things still don’t work.

You’d think if they’d been making the same kind of machine for over six decades they’d have figured this sort of thing out. Nope! Everybody around the planet is still struggling with the same flaws, failure, frustrations, and fury. It’s almost like they build these machines poorly on purpose. So you can pay them for maintenance or have to buy a new one all the time.

Everybody wants to Office Space their photocopier. It will always be so. Aliens don’t even need to blow up the planet to take over. They just need to give every family on Earth their own copier. After one month of dealing with failure, we’ll be begging the aliens to become our overlords. Just as long as they destroy all copiers.

not complying with electronic equipment environmental disposal / destruction laws is the dream of every white collar employee

Japan hosts sporting event, things happen

Five years later I can’t really say my overall opinion of the Olympics has changed much. This boondoggle probably made a whole bunch of Japanese construction guys super rich ala The Bad Sleep Well. Instead, they probably should have spent all the money fixing Fukushima but oh well. What’s a two week sporting event for supermen and superwomen when you can just go ahead and dump a billion gallons of radioactive water into the oceans. Silly oceans, what do they really do for humanity anyways?

What really is kind of crazy is how the IOC and the Japanese government are so hell bent on making this happen. To them the Olympics must happen. All the athletes are already there, rearing to go. Why? What makes these two weeks so special that they have to risk the health of the Japanese nation just so a bunch of creepily machine engineered humans can defeat the other creepily machine engineered humans by 0.15 seconds.

Well, the first answer is money. And the second answer is money. The third answer is politics (Japan sees cancellation as a political failure. Let’s not forget the IOC is a corrupt money pot like FIFA where dishonest men and women go work to take backhanders from politicians and corporations. Don’t think these politicians and businessmen are just gonna go ahead and let the Olympics get cancelled just because somebody’s health might be endangered.

I have this idea for an official Tokyo Olympics commercial. It’s of a random human buying a Coke with a Visa credit card and then getting into their Toyota with Bridgestone tires while wearing an Omega watch and they’re talking on their Samsung phone and so are so distracted as they exit the parking lot they run over a 78 year old Japanese woman on her way to get tested for covid. Then they quick cut to a whole line of rich dudes in suits licking their cigars with 10,000 Yen notes and the CEO of Omega looks directly into the camera and wryly states, “Stupid peasant, she should have gotten out of our way.”

Eh, why bother? I’ll probably just binge watch a BBC series on Netflix for two weeks. Or, like, read a book.

enjoy the spectacle, for one day, we shall die

human stupidity reaches a higher plane of existence

So we’ve started to see a brand new kind of water receptacle in the office lately.  It’s the BuildLife Motivational Water Bottle.  Here a picture of this insanity:

So you see, the purpose of this bottle is to display the time of day.  Then you get to drink as much water to get to that time.  Do you get it?  Then, if you fall behind you can read all these motivational slogans to keep you going throughout your day.  So you can stay hydrated.  DO YOU GET IT?!  Wow, who would have thought hydrating your body throughout the day could feel like a mandatory work training event where they take a roster.

You know, once upon a time humans were drinking not water, but ultra-low alcohol beer to stay hydrated.  Water was poisoned or tainted for the most part.  They drank this swill out of simple stone or pottery or animal skins.  Now we apparently need something that will set you back a minimum of $13 to look like an idiot.  At first I only saw flaky coworkers sporting this.  Now a ton of people are.

My personal water source is a nondescript stainless steel bottle in dark blue.  I have no idea what brand it is, I don’t care.  I think it cost me $5.  I think it’s about 24 ounces.  Maybe.  I drink from it five times a day.  I do so without any motivational crap whatsoever.  I just do it, it’s a task I set my mind to and I do it.  End of story.

I have some questions about the methodology of this bottle though:

1) What do you do if you get up before or after 7 AM?  Or go to bed before or after 9 PM?

2) If you’re drinking water at 9 PM for hydration purposes, wouldn’t you get a terrible night’s sleep by going to the bathroom all night?

3) If I fill the bottle with vodka instead of water does the same motivational spirit still count?

4) What happens if I get to 9 PM and I’ve only reached the 5 PM mark?  The bottle says NO EXCUSES.  What’s the bottle going to do to me when I fail, kidnap my niece?  Do I have to beat myself with a wire brush?

5) Is any human being on the planet actually motivated by statements such as “Keep going” or “Tons of ENERGY”?  If so, they should severely contemplate their life choices and report to a reeducation camp.

6) Is purchase and display of this bottle more of a personal flair statement first, and a water source second?  Kind of like how you wear a tie of your favorite sports team or stupid superhero character?

7) The water bottle is clear, so if you’re outside or it’s hot, you have to suffer all day drinking hot water.  Or, constantly have to put it back in the fridge or cooler thus killing the perpetual hydration process the bottle requires.

8) If two people have this bottle, and it’s 3 PM, and one person has met the bottle’s demanded goal, and the other person hasn’t, does the person who’s fallen behind have to cut off their pinky like Yakuza?  Is the shame too great?

9) How long will this company / fad last before they go bankrupt and the founder moves onto Etsy to design Hello Kitty water bottles so poorly even the Japanese don’t buy them?

10) Why did I do this post?

We, here, at TAP are here to help.  Motivation is for losers.  Demotivation is for those who take life seriously and are winners.  Here are our bottle recommendations:

7 AM – Congratulations, you woke up, you lived.  Nothing else you accomplish today will be just as successful.

9 AM – Drink this water, or you’ll die.

11 AM – Just kidding, you’re going to die one day anyways.  Resistance is futile.

1 PM – You have accomplished nothing of actual value today.

3 PM – Whatever you have done today will be meaningless to you in three years.

5 PM – In 147 years, nobody will remember your bleached skeleton ever existed.

7 PM – Are you with family or alone?  Either way, you’re alone.

 9PM – There is a monster under your bed.  It’s the monster inside your head.  Fear everything.  Sleep tight.

when are you actually in space?

A whole lot of very, very rich and famous people are going to be making their first trips into “space” in the next year or two.  There are essentially three private companies getting launches out the door:  Amazon, Tesla, and Galactic.  These aren’t their actual company names but you all know the three lunatic billionaires behind all this.  These genius businessmen / ten year old boys are going to send people up there for millions in coin per ticket.  Plus they’ll go up on their own.  Bezos is going first.

There’s also an effort to send people up to the ISS.  There are currently two competing movie companies sending Russian and American film teams up to the ISS to shoot C grade movies that’ll look like trash.  I think Tom Cruise is the American guy, because of course.  This is not a joke.  He’ll get space madness (his normal demeanor) and treat everybody around him like human garbage (also his normal demeanor) before the drunken Russian botanist puts him out the airlock.  Then Cruise will get what he always wanted, seven billion people always able to look at him for all eternity.  But seriously, Tom’s a talented fun actor.

But, what exactly is the barrier of space?  As in, when are you actually in space.  Though behind a play wall, The Economist gives a pretty good background for the accepted definition.  But apparently there really isn’t an accepted definition.  It’s between 80-100 kilometers up depending on who you ask.  BUT, this is not enough altitude to actually put you into orbit.  You get up there, see the black, feel some lack of gravity, but you end up coming straight back down to Earth like an artillery shell.

So if Bezos goes up there in his rocket, and only feels weightlessness for a few minutes, and then immediately comes back down on a parabolic trajectory is that actually space?  No.

We propose a new definition of space.  We’ll call it the Arcturus Space Definition Those Who Disagree Will Be Purged First (ASDTWDWBPF):  You have to reach orbit, and then complete a single orbit.  Then you’ve been to space.  Anything less than that, in terms of altitude or length of time in space, then you haven’t been to space.

Gagarin completed a single Earth orbit 70 years ago.  He went to space.  If you want in on the space club, you have to match Gagarin’s flight at minimum.  Otherwise, you’re a fraud and total loser.

Unrelated picture of a Bond villain who’s actually not going to get to space.  So Bond is unimpressed, ignores nonexistent space travel, takes the day off, gets blasted in a Moscow bar, toasts Gagarin, takes three Russian women back to his hotel room.

Cena likes money

John Cena likes money. That’s about all you need to say in conclusion after watching his forced, hostage video-like, confession of crimes that would make even the most jaded of Community Party goons proud and open to tears.

I mean, you could take it to extremes and be like: John Cena hates democracy, universal human rights, and supports genocide. That would probably be accurate, but still at least a little over the top for what’s actually inside his brain.

But the reality doesn’t really get past the hard goal of coin. John Cena likes money. China has money Hollywood wants China’s money. Hollywood will do as China tells it. John Cena will do as China tells him.

You need look no further for other examples than LeBron James / entire NBA (who worship BLM, but who also somehow apparently don’t believe in universal human rights, but also love money) or Zucky (who still has a copy of Xi’s book on the desk inside his heart, and who also loves money).

One of China’s most effective weapons is not what it does, but what it makes money loving cowards do for them without prompting. China didn’t send a knife wielding goon to Cena’s house. Cena did this entirely on his own. It’s quite pathetic. Cena is a grown man allowing somebody he’s never met determine what he says.

You know I just watched Five Came Back by Netflix where it chronicles how Ford, Wyler, Capra, Huston, and Stevens basically left Hollywood to put their lives and careers on the line to defeat fascism. It cost them their bodies and their brains for the rest of their lives.

I guess if China invaded Taiwan, or China continues to exterminate an entire culture, or if China sank a few US aircraft carriers, Cena would have to apologize to China for all the trouble we caused them.

I think Cena, James, Zucky, and all these celebrities and tech goons think the rules are different now. That China is not Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, or Soviet Russia. And so taking China’s money is perfectly fine. That they will do as they’re told, cash that check, and there couldn’t possibly be consequences.

They should tell that to their Muslim neighbor, particularly if they’re Uighur. Or maybe they can go on record and explain to America why they think Communist China is awesome, and how Democratic Taiwan is full of losers. In the meantime, it completely exposes them as money loving hypocrites who society should ignore, but won’t.

There is a very clear choice. China is not shy of describing what kind of world they want the 21st Century to generate. They’re not lying, it’s all very clearly put out there by Xi and his people. But these dudes have made a choice, and the choice is money.