Lydster: Instagram, copyright, bullying

teen drama

breaking bad kids
via Aaron Paul’s Instagram
Early in my retirement, my wife and I were sound asleep in our bed at 11:30 p.m., because that’s what we do. Our dear daughter came into the room needing to talk, preferably to the male parent. Oh yeah… zzz.. that’s me.

The issue is that some young woman, who I’ll call Happy, had taken a graphic from someone else’s Instagram page. The artist, who I’ll call Art, is a friend of my daughter.

Art politely asked Happy to take the piece off her page. Happy refused. As some of Art’s friends got involved in the conversation, Happy became more adamant. She suggested that Art and all of his friends should get together and cut themselves.

My daughter wanted my advice, which I suppose I should appreciate. I recommended, regarding both the artwork and the response by Happy, was to contact Instagram.

This is not the first time I’ve learned about the Sturm und Drang involving teenagers on social media. Back in the old days, if there were bullies, you and your geographically close friends knew who they were and how to avoid or confront them.

Now, there’s a network of friends and “friends” who get intricately involved in these dramas. I am utterly fascinated, baffled and more than a bit concerned how these issues can escalate.

I know this is probably unAmerican, but I have never warmed to Instagram. It seems difficult to ascertain what pictures actually belong to whom, with photos and graphics swapped about.

Huh. I went to my Instagram account, which I hadn’t used in so long that I had forgotten the password, which is not that rare. I was puzzled to note that while I had 14 followers, I have apparently never posted anything.

It’s weird because I swore that I had submitted photos of some of my ancestors. I probably will use Instagram at some point in my purported free time. But I will have expectations that the pictures will be shared.

Oh, here’s the kicker. Because I went to visit Happy’s Instagram page, she sent me an invitation to friend her on Facebook! I declined.

October rambling #1: Thoughts and Prayers App

Ronald McDonald Is Laying Low

trumpish-indianExplaining Progressive Christianity (Otherwise Known as “Christianity”)

He was tortured by the U.S. and held without charge. Suleiman Abdullah Salim is still haunted by the prison he calls “The Darkness”

Misogyny defied: Michelle Obama’s New Hampshire speech (start at 25:00) and Dear Men from Amy Biancolli

Time to Own the Legacies of Others

Five myths about Russia

John Oliver: Police Accountability

Racist Social Media Users Have A New Code To Avoid Censorship

Yes, Preschool Teachers Really Do Treat Black And White Children Totally Differently

Confessions of a former neo-Confederate – Who believes slavery wasn’t really that bad? I did

6 million citizens blocked from voting because of felonies

The ‘Green Book’ Was a Travel Guide Just for Black Motorists, which I wrote about here, plus a PDF of the 1949 iteration

How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah And The Presidency – It’s unlikely, but far from impossible

Robin Williams’ Widow Writes A Devastating Account Of His Final Year

The Ross Perot myth

Thoughts and Prayers App

Elena Ferrante published her books anonymously, but recently, the NY Review of Books published a piece that exposed her true identity. As friend Dan notes: “None of it was relevant; I would go so far as to say it was unnecessary.” One of many critics of the unmasking

950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Bill Warren, R.I.P.

NOT a parody: Ronald McDonald Is Laying Low Until the Clown Craze Is Over

Racer disqualified for using ChapStick?

Professor and student interaction

All Of America’s Science Nobel Prizes This Year Were Won By Immigrants

PBS’ American Experience: Tesla premieres October 18

THE FANTASTIC URSULA K. LE GUIN – The literary mainstream once relegated her work to the margins. Then she transformed the mainstream.

How to memorize scripts, part 1 and part 2

Learning YouTube tricks

Now I Know: Baby, Not Bored

Audrey Munson, the first supermodel

Tank top

Why I Stopped Wanting to Make Serious Art Films and Came to Believe Movies Should Be Fun

Extra Gum ad: The Story of Sarah & Juan

Would you pull a Coke can off the head of a skunk?

Arthur, about me asking about his blogging, or somesuch

Music

Sir Neville Marriner obit and music

Sviatoslav Richter plays Handel keyboard suite in G minor, no.9

1812 Overture

Coverville 1142: 20 fantastic Sting and Police covers

No Man’s Land -Glass Hammer

Sara Rose Wheeler: Soundtrack of my life

K-Chuck Radio: More forgotten 60’s pop music

It’s Too Late To Apologize – New Republic with lyrics

Coverville 1144: 20 Simon & Garfunkel and Paul Simon solo covers for Rhymin’ Simon’s 75th

Duke Ellington – East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

Let’s Have A Party Albany (1986)

Robert Morse sings “I Believe In You”

“Fan” Star Trek Original Series Clip to “Common People” by William Shatner

The World Map of Nobel Prize in Literature, including Bob Dylan

Reggie Harris music

October rambling #2: absquatulate

I have a stuffed lion with a wild mane which I named Lenny.

librarian.skeleton
The office move is mostly complete, but the inner offices are chaos. The recovery goes well, so now I’m trying to catch up on everything that got put on hold.

How Propaganda Works.

The Rise and Impact of Digital Amnesia.

Re: Hassan v. City of New York lawsuit against the NYPD over its surveillance program targeting Muslims. Plus the dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Greenland Is Melting Away.

MIT Technology Review: Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

There are No Innocent Black People.

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls.

Plus The Orwell estate is cracking down on people who dare to use the number “1984” without permission.

Pope Francis has NOT endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.

The 1,657 TV shows that spent less time on the air than the Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing.

Pastor, former Arkansas governor, and current Republican candidate Mike Huckabee Suggests Poor People Should Be Sold Into Slavery For Stealing.

The Atlantic has a LOT of interesting videos on various topics, among them ‘Don’t Sneak’: A Father’s Command to His Gay Son in the 1950s.

Say “no” more often. You’ll be happier and healthier.

6 Phrases With Surprisingly Racist Origins.

Jim Crow-Era Travel Guides for Black Families Now Online Through Schomburg. Hey, I wrote about this.

Arthur does some Internet Wading: Truth and facts. I almost picked items 2 and 3 myself for this feature in my blog.

There’s an online petition to Congress to end Daylight Saving Time, which I signed, because DST makes no sense.

Happy 600th Anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt.

Cole slaw killed Ogden Nash.

I still need to see more films with Maureen O’Hara, the lovely actress who died recently at the age of 95.

Albany basketball legend Luther “Ticky” Burden died.

Marty Ingels, R.I.P. I watched I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster the year it was on. And Al Molinaro died, who I watched on The Odd Couple and Happy Days.

‘First Lady of Jazz,’ Lee Shaw, dies at 89. I talked with her a couple times during breaks in her sets. She was a wonderfully gracious, and an amazingly talented musician.

This month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passing of Leonard Bernstein. True: I have a stuffed lion with a wild mane which I named Lenny, in honor of the composer and conductor.

The Beatles “Revolution” Original Video, Remastered, New Audio Mix. My FAVORITE iteration of this song. Also, A Day In The Life.

LISTEN NOW, before it disappears. First Listen: Bob Dylan, ‘The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12’.

There’s a reason so many people love ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’

K-Chuck Radio: The Rocshire Memories. Featuring a song by Eddie Munster.

The three times Nasreddin was called upon to speak in public.

The word absquatulate came out of an odd fad in America in the 1830s for making playful words that sounded vaguely Latin. My spell checker recognizes it, too, Dan!

Now I Know: The Epidemic That Saved Lives and Winnie the Pooh-Poohed and Cattaxtrophy.

Advice From the Creator of Calvin and Hobbes; Comic by Zen Pencils. Words by Bill Watterson, art by Gavin Aung Than.

About comic book inking.

Ken Levine mentions Oscar Levant, confuses readers, comes up with a list of some people you might want to know.

Bob and Ray, and Dave Garroway, plugging the new show called TODAY.
hymns
GOOGLE ALERT (me)

The TWCQT gang reflects on which penciler/inker teams have had the most impact on them.

Alan David Doane Remembering His Mom on Her 90th Birthday.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)

Would-be Bond: The naked truth. “Enter New Zealander Roger Green – ex-All Blacks rugby union player, ex-sheep farmer, and party animal.”

Colonial Heights (VA) mourns loss of Roger Green of the Chamber of Commerce. “Green had been battling Urachal cancer, a rare form of bladder cancer, for several months. He was 64 years old.”

The “national conversation”: guns, flags, race

Our “national discussion” is coming out of both sides of our collective mouth.

guns.AmericaTackling more Ask Roger Anything questions, where a theme seemed to emerge:

New York Erratic wants to know:

What is the #1 thing that annoys you on social media?

Mostly that so much of it is so banal. I post these blog posts to my Facebook and Twitter and get a few comments. I write, in response to an Esquire clickbait article, “If you think I’m going to click on this 80 times, you’re crazy;” it’s gotten over 120 likes, many of them in recent days.

Sometimes, though, it does some good. Which nicely segues to…
***
Jaquandor muses:

I often hear calls for “a national conversation” to deal with Big Issues. What would a “national conversation” look like?

Since we can’t seem to agree on simple concepts, such as facts about science, I think the “national conversations” bubble up in ways that I don’t think can possibly be entirely controlled.

The Ice Bucket challenge last summer was one of those events. WE decided, via social media, to triple the amount of money for research for a disease most of us had been either unaware of or wasn’t of interest.

The sudden rush to remove Confederate battle flags from Wal-Mart, Amazon, and other retailers in recent days clearly was a conversation WE had. That emblem was obviously not a significant issue to most folk the day before the Charleston shootings. But when those people died, and their loved ones showed such grace in mourning, WE decided, or most of us, that the “stars and bars” that the presumed killer embraced were suddenly toxic.

Now if you WANT to have a “national discussion,” such as the ones President Obama has periodically attempted to instigate about race, it’s usually a flop. “He’s a race baiter.” “Ooo, he used the N-word,” without any understanding of the context of what he was trying to express. “There’s just one race, the human race,” which is both true and irrelevant.

In this age of increasing partisan division, I am finding it harder and harder to even empathize with the “other side” (in my case, the political right in this country). I used to at least understand how they arrived at their worldview, if not share it, but now I increasingly can’t fathom how or why they would look at the world that way at all. Does this make sense to you, and if so, what can be done about it?

For me, this is less of a problem of left/right, and more an issue of “Do they really mean what they say, are they just trying to be provocateurs, or are they just intellectually lazy?”

I get the sense that some of them just SAY things because it’s sensational. Ann Coulter attacked Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) as “an immigrant” who “does not understand America’s history” because she changed her mind about having the Confederate battle flag on state grounds. Let’s ignore the fact that Nikki Haley was BORN IN SOUTH CAROLINA to immigrant parents. Facts need not get in the way of a convenient narrative.

My own defense mechanism is to declare that certain parties – Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Congressman Louis Gohmert (R-TX), and certain others – as unreliable reporters. I don’t mean “reporters” in a news sense, but that what they say, what they report, is, based on a great deal of observation, not worthy of my consideration.

This is actually useful because it minimizes my outrage. I don’t spew in anger ranting, “How can Hannity say such a stupid thing?” Instead, I can calmly note, “Oh, there’s Hannity saying something inane again. Ho-hum.” It’s SO much better for my blood pressure.

George Carlin said, over ten years ago on an album (closer to fifteen): “Wanna know what’s comin’ next? Guns in church! That’ll happen, you’ll see.” Nervous tittering laughter from the audience, and yet… here we are. How inevitable was this, and how do you see future historians looking back on our incredible resistance to the mere idea of giving up our guns?

Sure, Australia has a mass shooting in 1996, and the people decide to limit their guns. In 2012, 20 children and six adults were murdered at a school in Connecticut, and since then, nationally, there have been about as many laws expanding gun use as there have been restrictions. In other words, our “national discussion” is coming out of both sides of our collective mouth.

To be fair, history will also laugh at us for being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and yet:
has massive income inequality
is the only industrialized nation without paid maternity leave
is ranked only 12th in freedom
is 14th in education
*is a whopping 33rd in Internet download speed
plus relatively lousy scores in children’s health, and a bunch of issues about which we might consider having a “national discussion”, but can’t.

But we’re tops in gun deaths per capita AND in the number of prisoners. WE’RE #1! There’s some “national discussion” around the edges about the evil of mass incarceration; we’ll see where that goes.

At least the gun thing comes from an interpretation – a faulty one, I’d contend – of the US Constitution, backed, I’m afraid, by our Supreme Court.

After Charleston, I was watching a LOT of news. One security expert said churches, and other “soft targets,” need to have “situational awareness” when someone comes in who is a DLR, “doesn’t look right.” As someone who sits in the choir loft, I have seen a number of people walk through the church doors, who, some would suggest, “don’t look right,” but who have subsequently become members of the congregation.

Padlocking to keep “them” out is a formula to kill a religious body as sure as bombs or bullets would, just more slowly.

Moreover, I listened to two sisters of one of the murdered congregants of Mother Emanuel, and they talked about a fearlessness that comes from loving God. This is why, a week to the day after the shootings, they and over 250 others were present for the Wednesday Bible study.
***
SamuraiFrog interjected:

What is your opinion on the #WeWillShootBack hashtag that popped up on Twitter?

Thanks for pointing this out, because I was unaware of it. Not surprisingly, I’m generally opposed to it on both theological and strategic grounds. Nonviolent direct action as done by Gandhi and Martin Luther King was very effective, and shows the higher moral position; of course, both of them were eventually assassinated.

Did I mention that I LOVE Bree Newsome?

Sad but often true: when enough crap happens to black people, eventually a positive outcome is generated. Use fire hoses on black children, and white people get upset enough to want to do something about the situation.

The civil rights crusade has almost always needed white supporters, and they are welcome, although making sure white people are comfortable can be a drag.

Still, forgiving white supremacy can be a real burden. Mother Emanuel’s Bible study the week after the shootings was reportedly from the New Testament book of 1 Peter. I don’t know the verses they studied, but here are some representative verses from chapter 2, verses 19-21: “For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

I can imagine some black folks thinking, “To hell with THAT!” So I UNDERSTAND #WeWillShootBack. I don’t endorse it, but I know where it comes from.
***
Thomas McKinnon says:

With all that is going on in the news, have you talked to your daughter about racism?

Tom, it’s post-racial America. What’s to talk about?

Actually, The Daughter and I often watch the news together and discuss what it means. When she’s seen stories from Ferguson to Charleston, from Freddie Gray, who died in Baltimore in police custody, to Tamir Rice, who died about two seconds after the Cleveland police arrived. There’s fodder for a lot of conversation.

We both found the Donald Trump piñata story terribly funny. (Here’s a better picture.)

Current events have been a great point of entry, actually. I was loath to just dump on her some of the crap I had endured over the years. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I was thinking, maybe hoping, that we were getting there sooner than it’s turned out.
***
Arthur@AmeriNZ picks up on a theme from others:

Thinking of race relations in the USA, and maybe racial politics, who has surprised you the most?

Jon Stewart. I didn’t think, in his political analysis on The Daily Show, that race was particularly his thing. By his own admission, he was slow to hire correspondents of color. Larry Wilmore, who now has his own show, might get to pontificate occasionally from 2006-2014.

But Stewart started taking on the issue of race from his own voice. It may have started before this, but the pivotal program for me was the August 26, 2014 episode, where he first experiences the Ferguson Protest Challenge, then ends the Race/Off segment with, and I’m slightly paraphrasing here: “If you’re tired of hearing about racism, imagine how exhausting it is to be living with it.”

More recently, Stewart parodied the “Helper Whitey” effect… in a segment with Jessica Williams and Jordan Klepper. “First Williams [a black woman] would make a point, but Klepper [a white man] wouldn’t listen to her. When Stewart made the exact same point a few seconds later, Klepper jumped to agree.”

Who has disappointed you the most?

Bill Clinton, who got dubbed by someone as the “first black President,” for some reason, but who gutted the economic safety net, and continued the process of mass incarceration. Yeah, he did have a decent record overall on civil rights, but I guess I expected more.

Though the first person to really disappoint me was Jesse Jackson. He was running for President in 1984 when he used a slur against Jews in describing New York City, and that ended my support for him.