Instagram functions in 29 of the 32 discrete languages of iOS (42 if all national or dialectal variants are counted). Its purpose is to communicate via one photograph at a time. You can scroll, but you cannot set up a lightbox or layout of photographs as you can everywhere else. Nor can you embiggen a photograph without taking heroic measures. (Both are possible in a browser.)
Because the application senses your system language, when it does need to talk to you it uses your language without any effort of your own. Instagram fundamentally communicates nonlinguistically via thousand-word pictures – and also with words you already understand. And in the majority of its languages, “Instagram” is itself a plausible and pronounceable word.
The fly in the ointment here is comments. I’m sure it’s much worse for girls, who appear in my “feed” so rarely I’m taken aback every single time, but any reasonably cute narcissistic male with a plethora of shirtless and/or swimsuit pics will be larded with comments in Portuguese (Brazilian in every case), Spanish, possibly Thai and Arabic, and always English.
Spanish is most annoying here given Instatwits’ insistence on calling every cute boy guapo, an irksome word whether or not one pronounces the G.
Rich Arab Muslim gays with their own shirtless and/or swimsuit pictures are a cultural phenomenon unto themselves. They’re at risk of murder by fellow Muslims and they aren’t fooling anybody.
The cutlines you write for your pictures are, I believe, ignored. I know this in part because any time I fact-check kids’ asses they can’t believe my temerity. (As elsewhere, they must be new here.)
Emoji are another nonlinguistic system seen everywhere.
Instagram thus achieves paralanguage. It represents the apex of software localization: Nothing it presents to you seems foreign or takes effort to understand. Instagram hovers on top of human language, functioning as a de facto global medium. Yet it does so without a hint of cultural appropriation or imperialism.
Added fun fact: As with blocking on Twitter, blocking on Instagram is pointless. Any open account is viewable when not logged in, and in fact blocking produces a Streisand effect. It also tempts me to download pictures, an easy task I have done on occasion.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.28 11:37. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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I did tell you to listen to right-wing podcasts. Via an episode of Red Ice Radio I learned of Evalion (not Neon Genesis Evangelion), an 18-year-old Nazi and anti-Semite who, by her own admission, lives in “Southern Ontario.”
With her parents, actually. (Or parent; see below.) “Your parents know that you’re in the next room, possibly talking about Hitler?” asks amusing hostess Lena Lokteff. “Yes, and they support me 1488%,” the little Nazi replied in code. “They didn’t always support me, but now they do…. They just kind of caught on .” This little Christer is the kind of girl who, no doubt due to Internet contagion, actually utters the acronym “SJW.” Evalion responds to every lobbed criticism by stagily interjecting “Oy vey!”
She also wants Jews removed. (“Do you despise the Jews as much as I do?” she asks.) Then there’s her offhand mentions of “lazy niggers” and “faggots.” “I see myself more like Joseph Goebbels,” she told Lokteff.
I return to Irshad Manji’s formulation: “Great issue. Where’s the story?” The issue is Canada’s littlest Nazi. The story is her parents. Even if Evalion is a legal adult, she states she lives at her parents’ house (her side of the interview was recorded in the basement, where it’s cooler, she told us). What exactly happened with Evalion’s parents such that “they just kind of caught on”?
Are we talking about both parents or just her mom? (From a separate video: “I’m not sure about my dad; I haven’t talked to him in eight years. But my mom, she shares my views now.” And, proving that Google makes money off infringement, an ad for Google Play Music [!] interposed itself during viewing.)
If Anti-Racist Canada were a viable progressive activist group instead of bloggers who seek to dismantle white supremacy by screencapping Facebook comments, here’s what they’d do.
They would put not very much effort into finding her home address. A private dick can do that for not much money.
Armed solely with an audio recorder, they would knock on that house’s door when the parents are likely to be home and demand an interview. When the parents refuse, as they surely will, activists would hand the parents a written request for interview with all sorts of methods of contact. That won’t result in an interview either, but it will discharge all ethically and legally necessary prerequisites for a responsible-communication defence should the little Nazi and/or her parents try to sue the activists.
Next, activists would pay attention to Evalion’s supporters. Her YouTube videos keep getting taken down, then reposted by fellow-travellers. But one or more supporters run a fan page that solicits donations via PayPal, in clear violation of PayPal’s terms of service. It is colossally difficult to file a terms-of-service complaint with PayPal, and its sole help page on the topic implies that it will take action only in countries with legal bans in place. Nonetheless, that is an avenue to be pursued.
Then, last but not least, activists should carry out a decidedly limited form of doxxing. By definition the activists would know where Evalion and her presumed enablers live. It would lead to potentially irreparable harm to publish that information, even implicitly. It is grievously irresponsible to publish home addresses even of people you hate; you then become complicit in anything that happens. Here, a single photograph of a house would be enough to identify its location, as we learned in the Rob Ford case, so no such photographs should be taken. (Turn geotagging off.)
Since I am accusing Anti-Racist Canada of being glorified keyboard warriors, barely discernible from the mythic Angry Pyjamas who post comments that hurt leftist feelings, I propose the alternative of holding a small demonstration on the public sidewalk outside that house (or the roadway if it’s in a subdivision without sidewalks). Take photos and videos only of yourselves, with no architecture whatsoever, and no landscaping other than lawns or edges thereof, in the background. An easy way to accomplish this is to bring your own backdrop, which could double as a surface on which to scribble slogans with the lousy type that leftists are prone to using. (Right-wing assholes use different lousy type – lots of Arial cap’s with misplaced apostrophe’s.) You can record audio no problem.
Last but not least, take on the hardest task of all – a criminal prosecution for hate speech. That always requires signoff from the attorney general, a high bar that is in place for good reason. But it’s not impossible. From the interview:
— So what are the laws in Canada? Could you get in trouble?
— Only if I’m making actual, like, flyers? and books? It’s the distribution of material, and, uh, I don’t think making videos is considered that. I would be in jail already.
Let’s put that to the test.
I do think Nazism, anti-Semitism, and, yes, racism are worse when espoused by the very young. Such a case warrants the exact opposite of the principles underpinning young-offender provisions or aboriginal healing circles. Evalion is the kind of Nazi one makes an example of.
And, while I have ridden the asses of Anti-Racist Canada here, I could have done the same with any number of keyboard-warrior downtown-progressive journalists, and not merely that Trigglypuff manqué with a Toronto City Hall beat. This would certainly be well within Vice’s wheelhouse; if Justin Ling could just take some time out of a workday filled with decrying transphobia and (foreign) Islamophobia, wonders could be done.
Last: Evalion claims to be a vegan. So’s her boyfriend, apparently, and I guess his would be another story to follow. So would her estranged dad and her stepsister. Important stories to investigate… if we had hacks with balls and activists who took action.
I do question if those hacks would refuse to investigate Evalion because I’m the one suggesting it.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.19 12:34. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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At the Kaffeehaus that straddles artisanal and mainline, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a strangely coloured skin illustration. I also saw trees.
The bearer later walked by – a solid thick classic regular guy with a C. Kent haircut and E. Costello glasses.
Everyone with a tattoo has a story they’ll tell you more or less unbidden. This Michael became an illustrated man to commemorate his family cottage (hence the stand of trees under the Northern Lights); the place he comes from; Rocky Balboa (“Inevitably”); a Roman numeral I didn’t have the heart to tell him he got wrong; and a murder of crows on a wire standing in for him and his buddies.
“Why? What do you do?” he asked. I couldn’t quite tell him “I see all,” but I did say I had an eye. I talked about my other acquaintance, the man with the vines growing up his side.
I told Michael if he gets more tattoos to stick to the right side. Why? “Staying on one arm is a statement.” He got that immediately. This is a man (very much so) who can be taught to design. He’s halfway to a classic male designer already.
Queers, LGBTs, and trannies – being opposed to fact and being mortal enemies of gay men and simply enemies of men – have no tribe. Their lives are Venn diagrams of negation. That makes sense, though, seeing as how they are an abnegation of life itself. There is nothing elemental and timeless about resentment, chest scars, self-hatred, and make-up slathered on a linebacker. Trannies, queers, and LGBTs have become what neoconservatives became in the 1980s: A collection of hatreds. Nothing can nourish them because they taste of bile.
Whereas I can talk to a man, one who commemorated the other men in his life on his very body, be taken seriously, and walk away nourished by the feeling that men like him and me matter.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.13 13:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Julia Fleischaker at Melville House, a female working in an industry where most workers are in fact female while most executives aren’t, takes time out of her busy day to belittle men’s book clubs. Fleischaker couldn’t be bothered answering the following question:
Yeah! Just keep reading other men, all you men out there, and maybe one day you’ll be taken seriously! […] That’s hard to argue with, and we would never discourage reading, or joining a book group.
Yet that’s exactly what you’re doing.
But, as Meredith Clark at Glamour… points out “rather than think about it too much, pick up a book – any book – and if you don’t like it, pick up another one, no judgment on the gender of the author or characters needed.”
In other words, when presented with men’s private spaces making their own rules, you show up and tell them they need more women and fewer rules.
For attribution, answer this question: Why?
Dyspeptic Jessa Crispin founded and ran Bookslut, a title that dares you to call her dyspeptic. She shitcanned the joint and offered this aperçu about her next book.
That contemporary feminism is not only embarrassing but incredibly misguided to the point where I can’t associate myself with it. There’s outrage culture, safe spaces, the lean-in culture – but also the Gen X/BabyBoomer rah-rah capitalism, yay ! And also a lot of misguided notions about gender. As if women are somehow more naturally empathetic than men, and all we need is full participation in public life and somehow the world gets better. Which is not the case.
When I asked for more detail (initially branded “not for publication”), Crispin’s answer was “I mean, who are you?” And that is the kind of answer I publish.
Not everyone believes “women are somehow more naturally empathetic than men.” Certainly Ed Champion doesn’t, based on the dealings he separately told me he had with Crispin. But Champion is one of those men who simply deserves what he gets – à la Mike Daisey, he warrants perpetual destruction.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.08 12:19. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Bruce LaBruce has a set of scans of his old “queer punk zine” J.D.s up on some horrific site that presents PDFs in Web pages. Because I am actually competent, I merged all eight issues’ files, ran OCR, and added bookmarks and tags. Hence you can now read all eight issues of J.D.s in one go.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.08 11:52. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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John D’Agata, The Making of the American Essay, prologue (ancient Amerindian recitation):
Water went, they say.
Land was not, they say. Water only then.
Mountains were not, they say.
Stones were not, they say.
Fish were not, they say.
Deer were not, they say.
Grizzlies were not, they say.
Panthers were not, they say.
Wolves were not, they say.
People were washed away, they say.
Grizzlies were washed away, they say.
Panthers were washed away, they say.
Deer were washed away, they say.
Coyotes were not then, they say.
Ravens were not, they say.
Herons were not, they say.
Woodpeckers were not, they say.
Then wrens were not, they say.
Then hummingbirds were not, they say.
Then otters were not, they say.
Then jackrabbits, greysquirrels were not, they say.
Then long-eared mice were not, they say.
Then wind was not, they say.
Then snow was not, they say.
Then rain was not, they say.
Then it didn’t thunder, they say.
Then trees were not when it didn’t thunder, they say.
It didn’t lighten, they say.
Then clouds were not, they say.
Fog was not, they say.
It didn’t appear, they say.
Stars were not, they say.
It was very dark.
(Cf. Here. [Via.])
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.30 11:59. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Well, that’s not really the live issue. Not one but two Tom of Finland movies are apparently in process. Neither producer acknowledges the existence of the other. (The producer of the “official” film, Tom, denies that. The other producer ignored my question.) If either movie, or both, actually came to fruition, the producers could easily hire any number of Finns to play Touko Laaksonen at his various ages.
What’s harder to cast is the idealized model in Tom of Finland’s drawings, generically named Kake in the comic books that are not as well known. As the queens on DataLounge pointed out, not only do all Kakes make mesomorphs and roidheads look like 98-pound weaklings, they all have the same nose. It’s a short, flat nose, and it occupies the top of the flowchart when it comes to casting a live actor to embody the illustrated man.
The problem has a solution, and his name is Jon Bernthal, a big strong strapping specimen with in fact just the right nose.
Here we have to be sensitive to Hollywood’s century of casting against type. Bernthal is a hot Jew (if only he were also a ginger), and Tom of Finland knew not of Jews. He could barely draw blacks. For his lovemap was drawn from his time in the Finnish army, from its enlisted men and officers and most of all from their uniforms.
Tony Shalhoub isn’t Italian; Scarlett Johansson (q.v.) is not Japanese; Jon Bernthal is not a Finn, real or imagined.
He is, however, perfect for the role. And he’d do it! Bernthal and Andrew Lincoln achieved the impossible when, in The Walking Dead, they hugged and nuzzled and held and grappled each other with complete violation of each other’s personal space yet no eroticism whatsoever, only brotherhood. I have never seen this before or since.
Here, compare the casting in Beefcake, a film that still holds up and that starred a cast of thousands of very game young men. I know one of them is mildly embarrassed by the whole thing, though I told him not to be. Then there is Bernthal manqué Josh Peace, who these days sports a shaven head but has always been the lissome and open figure you see in Beefcake. I’m sure he looks back fondly on his time there. (Despite walking by his house for years, and despite observing him stride manfully about town, I found no way to ask him. I am still sure that’s how he feels about Beefcake.)
Imagine Jon Bernthal as Tom of Finland’s ideal. An instant classic. Bernthal could just stand there and look beautiful. Easily.
It’ll never happen. Niklas Högner plays Kake in the “official” Tom of Finland film.
Further concerns: Nordics thinking they speak good enough English and can replicate even an iota of the American experience that was half Touko Laaksonen’s life in his later years. In either or both films, I expect Finns looking Finnish, and speaking English in an accent they by definition cannot even detect, acting as “Americans.”
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.22 13:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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