Strife of Lie
Strife of Lie
by Tom B. Taker
Never tell ’em up front how the story ends. I had a good movie-going experience. Oops. What? Yes, it’s true. In fact, I’d say it was literally the best movie going experience I’ve had in years. We’re off to quite the positive start, eh? Or are we?
The devices were turned off.
No one sat too close.
The theater was sparsely populated.
But it wasn’t perfect.
The young man who knocked on the door had dropped the name of Cliff Face. He was about to get booted from my porch, too. But that name! It gave me pause. For the moment the stranger had captivated my attention. Curiosity always got the better of me.
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Flash Friction: Marshmallow Armageddon
I noticed a trend. My posts filled with vile hate and bitterness haven’t been getting much love. I thought to thine own self I was supposed to remain true? I think what Shakespeare must have meant was to try that, at least until the comments start to go down. So this morning I woke up resolute and ready to do something different. I was going to write something happy, uplifting and full of joy. The following piece of Flash Friction is the result. Enjoy! –Ed
It was a day that started much like any other. My friends and I were chilling, as always, in The Bag.
Things with the wife were in a state of flux. I wasn’t quite as stay puft as I used to be. Of late the relationship was getting a bit stale.
Like often happens in times of melancholy, I found myself in my special place. I admit I was feeling a bit roasted. It was the far corner of The Bag and the place where the Holy Ingredients were listed. I’d been here so many times I’d long since memorized them all, and my eyes had long ago adjusted to the backwards printing.
… sugar … corn syrup … water … gelatin … dextrose … vanilla flavorings …
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U is for Undertow
At least at the beach you knew where the undertow might be lurking. It was generally isolated to that narrow strip of the sea where waves expended themselves on the sand. If you didn’t go in the water the undertow couldn’t get you.
My undertow was more ingrained than that. It wasn’t limited to any geographical location. No, the undertow I dreaded was the one inside my head. I could feel it flirting on the frayed outer edges of my consciousness. It was there, an omnipresent black cloud, probing for ways to get inside and drag me under.
The waves and the primal roar of the ocean gave me no solace, so I stumbled back to the parking lot and drove away. The cloud temporarily pulled back. Continue reading →
ABC News can eat my ass
The internet is not just a series of tubes. My God! It’s full of links!
Today, while my mind was contentedly numb and was clicking things on the internet like a monkey pushing a button for a reward (mmm, banana!) I happened to click a link that led to ABC News.
What can one say about the ABC News internet experience?
First, before you even get to the page, you are subjected to a full page advertisement and the option to “skip this ad.”
Here’s the link that aroused my ire and prompted this post: ABC News
The next thing you notice is that your browser says, “Hey. Psst! I have prevented a popup window.”
At the top of the page is a giant banner ad. It’s moving, of course. It’s flashing and trying to get your attention.
Near the top right of the screen is a rectangular ad area that flashes every five seconds or so, encouraging you to click “Play” to watch more about some ABC television show.
And then, without your prior consent, on the left side of the page and embedded in the article, is a video window. It automatically starts to play, sucking up your internet connection and most annoying of all, it begins to pump out sound from your speakers!
That’s just damn rude.
What’s the etiquette of stealing bandwidth from people who decidedly did NOT click “Play” on your video? And then surprising them with sound?
Is your baby laying in your arms asleep? Too fucking bad, says ABC News. We’ll wake that son of a bitch up. We have gots to get paid, yo.
Angry, I immediately located and clicked the MUTE button on the fucking thing. I was almost shocked when it actually worked. Alas, I was not that shocked when the click also brought up a popup window with yet another advertisement. Shit, I thought my browser was blocking those? Apparently not this one.
In the time I’ve been composing this post, that embedded video has been happily playing. Each time I go back and glance at that tab, the video is still playing, thankfully still without sound.
In a smaller box, still within the article, is embedded more advertising. This time a small box labeled “sponsored links.” Scroll down a bit to the bottom of the article and you’ll find two more boxes of sponsored links.
All told I found no less than five items on the web page labeled as “advertisement” or “sponsored links.” This does not include the ad I was forced to skip to land on the page. Nor does it include the two popup windows (one blocked, one that got through.) And, lastly, it does not include the commercial video that started playing with sound when I first loaded the page.
Hey, ABC News. I got a question, and then I have a follow-up. Greed much? And why are you such a bunch of motherfuckers?
I can’t help but wonder what percentage of internet traffic is bandwidth consumed by video and sound that no one ever requested? I bet it’s a lot. It probably ranks right up there with spam and porn thanks to the greed of organizations like ABC News.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Television networks are the same people who decided to stick their logo on the corner of the screen when watching their programs. God forbid we forget what channel we’re watching. Except during commercials, of course. And then they decided to build in commercials during the programming in the form of moving images advertising the next show you should be watching. And then, naturally completing the progression, they added sound to those moving promos in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Fuck the viewer. The viewing experience be damned!
Never again will you be able to watch a show without being bombarded at the same time with commercials for the next show.
How much is enough? When will they say when? How many times do they need to get paid?
I’ve got an idea. How about making a web page that is informative with actual content and making the advertising proportional to the rest of the page? And how about keeping video and sound from coming on unless we ask for it?
Is that too much to ask? You betcha!
Is the audience the customer? No. The advertiser is the customer. And they’ll never ever let you forget that.
Moderation is not a word in the Advertiser’s Dictionary. Just how many boats can you water ski behind?
Hey, ABC News. Can I please read a news story without you spamming the fuck out of all five senses? That would be great.
Sexpresso: What part of ho don’t you understand?
If you thought fresh coffee spilled in your lap was enough to make you hot then get a load of this! Sexpresso. Say it with me. Sexpresso. The word just rolls off the tongue.
Sexpresso has been around for a while, but apparently it’s still too new for Wikipedia. No “sexpresso” page yet. I think this would be a rewarding project. Anyone want to help me publish one? Maybe launching a new Wikipedia page is my calling for 2010. I just knew I was going to do something significant for humanity this year. 🙂
Sexpresso is the term for a coffee stand that promotes a risque motiff featuring scantily clad baristas. Up in the Pacific Northwest drive-thru coffee stands are ubiquitous. Who knew that paying $3.25 for a cup of coffee could ever become such a booming business? The competition is fierce and sexpresso is a practice that started somewhere in the vicinity of Seattle, Washington, as one way to stand out from the crowd.
My town doesn’t have any sexpresso stands, but I’ve heard that it’s just your regular overpriced coffee served up by cute young women who may or may not have some coffee making skills who want to make fast money. The “barista” pictured on the left says she makes more in tips then she ever did as a waitress working at Hooters. (Click the image for the story.) They grow up so fast, don’t they?
I wonder if I wore a bikini to work if I’d make more in tips? Hmmm. Dammit, where is the outrage about my glass ceiling!
Sexpresso is popular. Bill Geist from CBS Sunday Morning even did a story about it way back in 2007. And it seems it has gotten bigger and bolder and sassier and slutier since then.
What do you like with your coffee? A little cream and sugar. Passé! Shots of Irish creme or Kahlua? Come on! Whiskey? Get real!
These days the proper accoutrements for your morning shot of joe are a bit more sophisticated. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that these sexpresso baristas have been pushing things to the limit as the competition heats up. The oldskool approach was to lean in on the customer when handing over the beverage to provide a few choice seconds of a maximized cleavage shot, just a quick bit of harmless fun that really enlarged the size of tips. (Heh.)
These days, though, cleavage is for wimps. How about a “booty shake” with your coffee? Or a pole dance? Yes, a stripper pole in a coffee stand. Wow. Other types of behavior that have been reported at some sexpresso stands: Boobie flashes, tramp-stamped baristas licking whipped cream from each others bodies, and posing nude for pictures. Come to think of it, I do like overpriced coffee after all!
The city of Everett, Washington, and Snomish County, Washington, have already enacted laws that treat sexpresso stands as adult businesses. On Tuesday, January 19th, the City Council in Yakima, Washington, voted 4-3 instructing city lawyers to draft new regulations to treat sexpresso stands as adult businesses. (Read the story here.)
Why does there always have to be a Scrooge? 🙂
Sometimes the internet can thrill you. I like to blob (deliberate typo) about karma so I was thrilled to find this blast from the past tonight. I was just doodling, listening to music and working on my next blog when I came across this gem. It’s an old “flash” animation from years ago that someone has thoughtfully restored to YouTube in pristine condition.
I hope you like it as much as me!