Crash Into Me

Crashplan

A few days ago, my trusty ThinkPad T420s’ hard drive decided that it had enough and it was time to retire. Major bummer, right? Eh, not so much. Thankfully, I have this nifty service called Crashplan which seamlessly backs up all my stuff to the cloud. What a lifesaver. Once it became obvious that the hard drive was beyond the point of reclamation, it turned into a scenario of “OK, let’s move on and do something else.” And because that damn service had all of my shit tucked away in a remote data center somewhere, I could do that. Setup new laptop, load Crashplan on it, start the restore before I leave for work, and my data is waiting for me—fully intact no less—when I get home.

The moral of the story is it only takes one total hard drive failure to make the money you spent on a backup service worth every penny and then some. Get a service and back your data up on the regular.

Cold As Ice

icebucketidiots

Let’s talk about that stupid fucking ice bucket challenge. Yup, I called it stupid. I really cannot stand this whole thing. This is one if those things that sort of took off, because we’ve become a total meme culture that has to follow something because someone (usually their favorite celebrity, because nothing matters more to so many people these days than what the celebs “care” about) else does it. Think about what this thing is. You’re nominated by someone and either donate $100 to an ALS charity or you dump a fucking bucket of water and ice on yourself. Basically, it’s a bully move dressed up as philanthropy. I thought this started as a whole “wouldn’t you rather give us some money rather than be doused in ice cold water? Come on, buddy, you know you want to stay dry ;)” until it took off as this whole “Haha look at me. I was up to it. Aren’t you?”

Fuck all of you. I am so turned off by this, because it’s a whole social bullying thing now. Aren’t most if your friends on Facebook berating anyone who thinks that the challenge is dumb, or complains about water being wasted, or whatever? I’ve seen more than a few of mine do it. This is philanthropy at its absolute worst.

I ow my opinion on this is unpopular. I also know that ALS is a serious disease. I am also sure that the ALS charities are better charities to donate to than a charity like Susan G Komen. I’m sure these charities do important work. But this peer pressure campaign rubs me the absolute wrong way. Let me choose where I want to donate my money. Or, better yet, let’s take some of this energy and use it to pressure world governments to actually pony up their money and resources to try and cure this disease. Until then, take your ice bucket and fall in it.

Photo Credit: MSNBC

Gimme Shelter

MISSOURI-master1050

I started writing this on August 14th. I let it go for almost a week, but, nope, the anger still hasn’t bubbled over.

See those guys in the full tactical gear up there, standing in front of an armored vehicle? That looks like it should come from a report in Iraq, or Syria, or Gaza. We’ve seen so many of those images over the past 13 years that we’re pretty immune to them, I think. Except, this is not any of those places. This is motherfucking Missouri. MISSOURI for Christ’s sake. The middle of our own damn country. This is the fruition of 13 years of fear and loathing in the wake of 9/11. We’ve officially descended into a police state.

Why do townie cops in suburban towns need full tactical gear, high powered rifles, gas grenade launchers, and armored vehicles? Are they the NYPD? Are they trying to prevent another 9/11? Hell, we could have a whole other argument about whether the NYPD really needs to be a junior division of the US Army, but that’s for another time. Life in a lot of these places isn’t all that crazy. There aren’t a ton of major crimes like in a big city, or on the Mexican border, and etc. And this generation, shit. Think about this. You have a generation of kids who grew up playing Halo and Call of Duty and such, and now they get to do it for real. That line of thinking isn’t just me generalizing. I think it’s encouraged. Becoming a cop isn’t just about protecting your town and doing some good. It’s about being the hero and saving everyone. And we wonder why some of these responses aren’t proportional?

Even more troubling is how the local police are handling this. Hiding the identity of the cop who shot the kid? Hiding the investigation? Realizing that hiding the cop doesn’t work and doxing him only to frame it as “the kid was a robber, so he totally deserved to get shot all those times”? Sending out your idiot cops in full motherfucking tac gear and armored vehicles, having them fire tear gas and flash bangs, and expecting less? This is all from the “Holy shit, here’s how to do it as wrongly as possible” manual. This is not motherfucking America anymore. This shit has gone to the gonzo zone. And the worst part of it is, even as more and more facts come to light, continuing to hide the police report about the shooting just makes things look worse. Maybe the kid did come at the cop in a threatening way that caused the cop to defend himself. You would think, though, that if that were in the report, they would have put that shit out the day it happened, and this likely would have blown over more quickly.

Let’s not forget the real stew that has bubbled over and then some. Ferguson, MO, is predominately black. Its power structure and police apparatus is predominately white, and pretty obviously racist as fuck. This really isn’t news. Minorities all over this stupid nation have to deal with the presumption of being guilty just because of the color of their skin. Keep that shit happening and it turns into a powder keg. A powder keg that exploded the minute that kid got shot. Don’t let anyone dissuade the happenings here. The race problem runs deep in this shit. Like it does when so many other minorities get done in by the strictures of power that are meant to protect them. The sad part is that so many white people can’t figure out why these people are angry. How do you think they feel when these protestors are met by an army — a real live fucking army, like they’re in the third world or some shit.

Lastly, for those of you who don’t get it. Who think the cop is the one being persecuted. Who think the kid “deserved” it. Step your white asses back and check yourselves. And for the love of fuck, don’t cry the fucking blues about how white people are being persecuted. You wouldn’t know persecution if it hit you in the balls. I know I don’t and I’m not even white. Seriously, check yourself.

This has been a fucked up week. It’s not really looking any better on the horizon yet. Maybe, one day, we’ll be able to learn from things like this and not let them happen again. A man can dream.

Header Photo Credit: The New York Times