Burning Rain

Pretty chilling language in this riveting article on the boredom faced by drone operators stationed halfway across the world from their targets:

A lot of military drone operators take issue with the word “drone.” They prefer to call what they fly Remote Piloted Aircraft, or RPAs. The problem is that “drone” implies thoughtless automation, a robot going through the motions, doing what it’s told. While that description may be accurate for the big objects soaring through the skies over Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, or Yemen, the system is far larger than that. It includes human beings who have to think, analyze information, and make decisions.

The operators are right: drones aren’t robots. They’re human-machine hybrids tasked with carrying out military operations. Sometimes those operations entail spying on unsuspecting people as they go about their day, and other times they require staring directly into the rapidly cooling pool of blood forming around some father or toddler who has just been killed by a missile.

The Dream is Over: Internet Taxidermy and the September That Never Ended

Read this comment the other day discussing Boing Boing clickbait and the state of the internet since ~2010:

[–]jurimasa 4 points 6 days ago
Same here. Everything is shit now. 4chan, StumbleUpon, BB, Slashdot, Twitter, Reddit…
All reduced to this inane crap.
I can’t take it anymore for much longer. I think that the Internet dream is, like, over.
And it fucking makes me sad, man.

Every bullshit news aggregator, blog, media platform… all stuffing, preserving, and posing the same hideous corpses, then scrambling for display space in the museum that has become the internet.

The Boss of Juneau, Alaska

I once lived in Alaska with George H, the dog of dogs. Vietnam vet, Agent Orange victim… real salt-of-the-earth American. George was from Gary, Indiana, America’s Chernobyl. He pissed bullets. If he came across some yuppie nancying about in a fashionable Navy pea coat, he’d always be sure to ask them where and when they had served.

Once, after a protracted court battle with Hank the Texas Cowboy, one of his former tenants, the judge asked George if he had any comments. He replied: “I won the bet!” When the judge asked him what he was talking about, he politely informed her: “I bet my buddy Gab five bucks that I’d mop the floor with this clown.” The judge found him in contempt.

Another tenant, Timmy-boy, a drunk and deadbeat dad, defaulted on 3 months of rent. George rented a U-Haul, loaded it with all of Timmy-boy’s belongings, then tossed 3 frozen salmon in the middle of the pile. It was the height of summer.

Among George’s exploits:

  • He got kicked out of the mall in Juneau one time after calling the security guard “Shaft,” then went back an hour later with a fake moustache and glasses on.
  • Once, he caught a hippie painting a peace sign on the ground at the ferry terminal. An hour later, George returned with some paint of his own and wrote “through superior firepower” underneath it.
  • He got banned from his son’s school after scuffling over the removal of an American flag, then spent the next few months calling out the school, teachers, and, finally, fellow parents in the local newspaper.

When I lived with him, George and I would listen to Bruce Springsteen quite often, and George would always refer to him as “the Boss of Rock n’ Roll.”
Depending on your political tendencies, you may or may not agree with the fact that Springsteen writes songs about (and for) guys like George, but he does.

Here is the “Boss of Rock n’ Roll” covering Suicide:

Ros Sereysothea

Ros Sereysothea was a supernova of Cambodian pop during the pre-Khmer Rouge cultural renaissance in Phnom Penh. You’d have to be deaf to ignore the preternatural quality of her voice. Her brief life was snuffed out at its peak, possibly by Pol Pot himself after she was forced to marry one of his assistants. Humans are occasionally luminescent spectres who shove broken vases through the violent ether of life and emerge with bouquets of stinking flowers.

A Shit-cake of Broken Dreams

My childhood in a nutshell…