Five questions from Mom



& links

Nov. 12, 2022

Same as every Saturday morning, I had breakfast with some of the family today, and Mom asked each of these five questions. She asks these questions every time we meet for breakfast, and often via text message. My answers never change.

• "Are you moving soon?" She always asks, because once, six months ago, I mentioned that when I get a job, if it's not an easy commute I'll probably move closer.

• "How's the job hunt going?" The answer is always, "There's nothing to report," and due to past experience, that'll be the answer even when there is something to report. 

• "How's your cat?" My cat's fine, and every time I say so, Mom repeats the cat's entire backstory to me, because I told it to her, once. Yes, Mom, she's a rescue cat, she's from China, she was abused, and for more than a year she wouldn't let me touch her. And we'll recap the cat's story again next Saturday morning.

• "Are you still in touch with ______?" The names change, but cycle through just about everyone Mom ever knew was a friend of mine, unless they're dead. April, Brian, Leon, Maggie, then back to April again. Today it was April, an old girlfriend who dumped me in 1985. I haven't heard from her since, never will, and I was married to someone else for 21 years, but Mom still asks.

• And, for each of the last three Saturday breakfasts and again today, Mom has asked, "Do you know about the movie Till?" This question should thankfully drop off the list after today, because Mom said she'd be seeing the movie this afternoon, and again she pleaded with me to go with her. I didn't go, partly because I don't feel COVID-safe in a theater, but mostly because it's going to be a come-to-Jesus movie, and I don't want to come to Jesus.

I'm not a Twitterer, but all through the courtship and court case that brought Musk and Twitter to wedded bliss, right up until the current shitstorm, I'd stupidly assumed Twitter was a profitable business. It's not. It's been hemorrhaging money for years.

I'll excuse myself for not knowing that, because I don't give a damn about Twitter. Elon Musk, though, spent $44,000,000,000 to buy an unprofitable company, when he *clearly* had no viable ideas to make it profitable.

That has to be the dumbest purchase ever made, at least as measured in dollars.

Call me cynical. I am cynical. I could not possibly care less about any news from the current "COP27" summit — the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference. Less than nothing will come of it, because the world's leaders do not give a fat flying fuck about climate change. They only care about posturing to look like they care.

The best possible news from COP27 would be yet another new international agreement, which will be both nowhere near enough and ignored, like COP26, COP25, COP24...

And now, the news you need,
whether you know it or not

Internal documents show how close the FBI came to deploying spyware 

The FBI eventually decided not to deploy Pegasus in criminal investigations in July 2021, amid a flurry of stories about how the hacking tool had been abused by governments across the globe. 

Curiously, the article doesn't cite a source when it says that the feds never deployed Pegasus. Presumably, the source is an FBI spokesperson or FBI documents, but neither seems like a reliable source to me.

At least $1-billion in investor assets missing after FTX collapse 

Well, nobody couldn't have seen that coming. Yeah, let's put huge chunks of money someplace where there's no oversight, no regulation...

Why AP called Nevada governor for Joe Lombardo 

I've seen several articles like this, explaining why a media source called an election they way they did, and it pisses me off. It is not necessary to explain this, except for imbeciles, and imbeciles aren't going to read the coverage anyway.

Generally speaking, mainstream sources like AP can be trusted not to screw up on something as big as calling an election. In the past they never needed to assign reporters the task of explaining the process, but now they have to explain it, because so many millions of Americans have been poison-well programmed by Republicans to suspect fraud at every election, even though voter fraud is incredibly rare, and election fraud is even more rare.

Inside the Twitter meltdown

The link above leads to an article about Twitter's Musk-managed suicide, and it's decent coverage, but this first paragraph hit me like a banana cream pie to the face:

Everything went from bad to worse at Twitter on Thursday. Today let's talk about a truly chaotic 24 hours at the company, and the mounting fears over what it means for the service that still serves as the heartbeat of the global news cycle.

"The heartbeat of the global news cycle"? It's just a throwaway line, but what does that even mean? Twitter is the "heartbeat" of nothing but Twitter, and a hobby for Twitterheads.

Certainly, a lot of lazy news sites quote tweets as if they're news, but if Twitter completely flat-lined, the only long-term effect that would have on "the global news cycle" is that we'd have no more empty-headed coverage of celebrities', companies', and politicians' tweets.

Are climate change emissions finally going down? Definitely not.

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops...

Fired Vallejo officer involved in fatal shootings gets job with Broadmoor police

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops...

Kari Lake taunts Maricopa County election officials after stoking fears on mail-in ballots 

And it never stops...

Links I liked

Joni Mitchell, interviewed by Elton John 

It's a conversation about music, between two people who know a lot about music. Unlike an interview with a reporter, Mr John doesn't ask even one question so stupid it makes my eyes roll.

How Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers brilliantly skewered fascism 

Militarized dolphins protect almost a quarter of the US nuclear stockpile 

Blue Man 

San Pedro Prison 

Mystery links
"Like life itself, there's
no knowing where you're going"




♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

• "I Scare Myself" by Dan Hicks

The End

Michael Basman 

Ernie Lazar


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. "The best possible news from COP27 would be yet another new international agreement, which will be both nowhere near enough and ignored, like COP26, COP25, COP24..."

    You're saying all COPs are bad COPs?

  2. Thanks for the Michael Basman obit. Everybody who has ever glanced at a chess board should take seven minutes of their lives to read it. He was a slightly eccentric player, but a damned good one.

    And thanks for the Dan Hicks song. Sometimes I worry that he and his terrific bands will be forgotten; other times I remember Henry's caution and know that all will be forgot.


  3. What if Michael Basman had made music and Dan Hicks had played chess?

    1. Dan Hicks played chess on the guitar with fiddles, a bass, and several other instruments behind him with some killer girl harmony singers on the side. Can't speak for Mr Basman, and now he can't speak for himself.



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