DON’T WORRY! OPTIMISM/TO A PUP/THAT’S OKAY!


Before they shut it down in a fit of pique, the Mormons who ran Typophile banned me from the place, accusing me of having made no contribution to typography. I started out in typography as a preteen and I can prove it.

Piles of printed matter in front of LP-record shelves

Splorp in Calgary is now in possession of my lifetime’s memorabilia and ephemera in typography, ranging from Monotype hot-metal-typesetting brochures to a HEL·Fucking·VETICA lapel pin. (I no longer have my nearly full run of U&lc, but I’m not sure that’s rare or even of interest.)

Typophile’s de facto replacement, TypeDrawers, is kind of surviving and its sextet of “moderators” is always one vote away from banning me there, too, despite This Week in Type.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.03.27 11:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/03/27/type-ephemera/

“Saatchi Cole” is a hack who went through RyeHigh J‑school. Her portfolio is weak despite having every advantage handed to her post-graduation. Koul is subjected to racist and sexist harassment on Twitter, neither of which ills has held her career back. Now, despite an obvious lack of seniority, she’s a “senior writer” at the content farm that manages to be worse than Arianna’s.

She has a deal for a book that seems plainly insipid. (Time will tell – I quite enjoyed And the Heart Says Whatever, a clear antecedent.) It’s called The Pursuit of Misery, which threatens to be Koul’s epitaph.

The value proposition Koul presents to her gullible, dogmatic, juvenile, ahistorical downtown-progressive audience is that of aggrieved but outrageous vizmin minx. It makes even less sense in practice than as described there. Her wuvvable/outlandish persona, expressed not just on the natural home of cyberbullying but in podcasts and radio appearances, is mistaken as evidence of strong womanhood, though not the type that is “tough, cold, terse, taciturn and prone to not saying goodbye when they hang up the phone.”

To an adult who has published longer than someone like Koul has lived, her outbursts come off as an unformed youthful persona and a deep well of future regret. If and when she finally grows up, once an actual Scaachi Koul comes into existence in lieu of the avatar she’s selling now, Koul is gonna look back with sorrow and embarrassment at how she destroyed her credibility and reputation at such a young age.

Then she’ll get a third book contract and will be poached to work as editor-in-chief of whatever even more meretricious and deplorable content farm boots today’s out of contention. She’s gonna win forever, despite being an obvious liability and a source of lethal gamma rays to all in her orbit. Eternal flowers shall bloom from what should be her career graveyard. For she is the right kind of people. This spunky Indian girl – like another poseuse, she’s really just a kid from Alberta – has battled one obstacle after another to get those opportunities handed to her with a knowing smile.

Koul’s status as agente provocateuse makes her an architect of her own demise, such demise being of course a figment of my imagination. She’s already doing great and will rocket to the top of her field, though that field is not “journalism” in any viable sense.

Here I have to wonder what estimable hirsute Haligonian Heeb Craig Silverman must be thinking. (Neither hack would comment when asked.) He’s editor-in-chief of – “founding editor for” – the Canadian arm of that content farm and has credibility out the ass.

Or had. Now he’s spattered with the entrails of Koul’s goring. Running a hefty Paul Watson exposé dipped Silverman’s toes back in the life-giving waters of journalism. It’s one posting in a throng, and, as an exception, does not disprove the rule, but it was a signal to the profession that Silverman planned to somehow stay serious. That seems like a tall order with a race-baiting harridan consuming all the oxygen.

Right and wrong victims of online abuse

Motivated by principle as so few are, I deplore the use of Twitter to attack and defame. But that is Twitter’s natural function. Abuse is an ineluctable outcome of the Internet in all its forms. I should know, because I’m coming up on 25 years online. (Koul is the same age.) My archives show I battled not only my own attackers but organized cyberbullies who targetted hapless civilians. And of course it’s a fine line, but there is a line. It’s been crossed umpteen times with Koul as target, but she’s tramped all over the line too.

As I write this, downtown-progressive circles are very concerned indeed at how those intrinsically beastly “white guys” have acted towards Scaachi Koul, a saintly harp seal manquée no one should get away with clubbing. I view this as rank hypocrisy, a complete absence of principle. Koul deserves to be defended not because what happens to her is wrong, her acolytes feel, but because she’s an adorable vizmin girl with correct thought. (They ignore Koul’s unclean hands.)

Whereas when I am assaulted online, now for decades, up to and not quite including actual legally defined defamation and in one case before a packed house in an auditorium, it’s the least I have coming to me. The structures I have set up to protect myself are proof those structures need to be barraged to defeat.

Meanwhile, poor Scaachi Koul, unclubbable-harp-seal eyes welling, has to stop using Twitter for a while. Unlike Jan Wong, Koul keeps her job and her book contract.

Koul got in trouble because her boss (in effect, Craig Silverman) let her botch a call for new minority contributors to their content farm. This will have to remain an exercise, but what would happen if an ex-Muslim woman applied to cover Islam, or a gay man who believes manhood is important applied to cover “LGBT” issues, or an MTF transgendered person who knows he’s still male applied to carry out months-long enterprise reporting on transgenderism and suicide? They’re the wrong kinds of seals and they’d be culled.

Progressive young nonwhite “journalists” are not interested in minority voices. They are obsessed with designating some thought as correct, some people worthy of protection and promotion, while endorsing ostracism and outright attack of everyone else. They claim they’re losers by virtue of race and sex (“gender”), yet they themselves are bent on designating a whole new set of winners. They aren’t underdogs – in “new media,” they run the show, and Koul owes them her career.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.02.29 10:29. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/02/29/liability/

  • Jews and Arabs for Animal Rights: Now, these are Muslims you can get behind. Their protest met or exceeded ACT UP/Gran Fury heights of graphic impact.

    Protesters raise their hands over their heads, crossed wrists bound with yellow rope

    Though I cannot quite figure out why Vegan North’s mascot is a reindeer with antlers.

  • Orthodox Jewish vegans.

  • The kind-of-amazing (if misencoded) 269 Life, though frankly that seems too similar to neo-Nazis tattooing themselves with 88.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.02.27 11:42. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/02/27/israelivegans/

In the compilation Information Design as Principled Action, by the estimable Jorge Frascara (q.v.), one reads of a project to redesign a New York City government form. It almost doesn’t matter what the form is for.

The designeuse was Karen Schriver, Ph.D., and the article’s title used the driest bureaucratese available: “The rhetoric of redesign in bureaucratic settings.” This project went completely tits-up in a manner that Schriver, if her doctorate is worth anything, should have been able to anticipate or at least recover from.

Our supervisors on the project – who were staunch advocates of plain language – ran into difficulties when they presented our redesign to the city’s legal team. We had assumed that our project supervisors had appr[a]ised the city’s legal team of the redesign concept as it progressed. The design had gone through four iterations prior to the semifinal version, with each iteration receiving extensive client feedback.

Like many information-design teams, we worked remotely through electronic means and had never met face-to-face. We collaborated through E‑mail and conference calls, but because the legal team did not have (or make) time to participate, we had no access to their opinions.

Note the addition of “(or make)” the time – a clear attempt at deflection.

Months after the redesign had been approved for publication by our project supervisors and collaborators, lawyers for the city voiced skepticism…. First, lawyers argued that they could have done a better job of making a plain-English version. They criticized the revision because it did not use the same legal language as the original. Second, they contended that if the redesign was actually better, it should have been shorter not longer than the original.

Yes, they really said that. And it killed the project.

In retrospect, our team had not anticipated the legal team’s rejection of a citizen-oriented revision.

Again an attempt to shift blame. The client didn’t reject “a citizen-oriented revision”; these lawyers thought they could write better and shorter than Schriver, whose team couldn’t figure out how to convince them otherwise.

This case study shows that although we were quite skilled in redesigning the documents and in negotiating with the team members we worked with, [if we do say so ourselves,] we were unable to gain support for our activities within a powerful segment of the larger organizational culture. Information designers can draw a lesson from this case.

Yeah, by not being total fuckups who can’t talk to lawyers.

Can you imagine getting a contract to redesign a city form, then never bothering to meet the client? Later, when confronted with objections, can you imagine not being able to talk your way out of them? Then can you further imagine publishing an article in a book that essentially blamed the other side for not making time to see you and being grievously insensitive to your “citizen-oriented revision”?

Have you ever blown a client meeting this badly? How could you have?

Now: Who is this Karen Schriver? The end of the chapter includes a 339-word bio that is basically full of shit. I can’t find any online presence for this design luminary, which suggests she either died or closed up shop.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.02.23 16:15. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/02/23/schriver/

When we last left Mormon mantrepreneur Brett McKay, his Art of Manliness empire was going strong with its podcast, blog, “merch,” and the like. On an episode last December, Tod Moore of Atomic Athlete, some kind of gym in Austin, appeared as a guest.

McKay helpfully transcribes his podcasts now, so let’s quote Moore directly. Well, actually, I’ll start with McKay: “During a single weekend I shot pistols, did land navigation, butchered a rabbit and a chicken, and was taught how to fight by Tim Kennedy. It was awesome.” (Elsewhere he describes those as “man skills.”)

At any rate, Moore:

  • “Last year was kind of like a very intense, hectic pace. It was like a 36-hour event. And we did everything from rappelling on the 100-foot tower to a full-sized military obstacle course, we did slaughtering and butchering small game, we did self-defense, we did medical stuff, we did firearms training.”

  • “We can’t become a world-class butcher in a three-hour class… but what it does is give everyone exposure.”

I wrote in with a question: [continue with “The Art of Manliness: “Stronger, faster, harder to kill”” →]

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.02.18 13:16. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/02/18/moreartofbarbarism/

As previously described, the 519 used to be the lesbian and gay community centre here and is still a City of Toronto agency. The 519 now has a rich kook, who may or may not be its éminence grise/shadowy grande dame Salah Bachir, offering to put up $10 million for an “LGBT sports and recreation centre.” (Bachir ignored my request for comment.)

Nobody wants this “LGBT sports and recreation centre.” Its claimed justification is that “LGBT” sports teams don’t have enough practice space. That may come as a surprise to them. But to make this project happen will require capital funding from government and operating funding from the City of Toronto forever. That rich kook is attempting to put Toronto on the hook for millions of dollars in perpetuity.

A justification for this “LGBT sports and recreation centre” is the 519’s feverish claim that Toronto gay and lesbian sports teams are male-dominated. That may come as a surprise to lesbo softballers, but in any event it’s the sort of thing that needs to be stopped.

I wrote the 519’s executive directrix Maura Lawless a letter, which she ignored until I pushed her. [continue with “What used to be Toronto’s gay community centre squawks: Your questions are “transphobic”!” →]

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.02.18 10:51. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/02/18/lawless/

Further to my complaints that greenhorn downtown-progressive journalists do not have the balls to keep tabs on, and get to know, right-wing extremists in Canada:

In the days of Keegstra and Zündel it was a simple matter of collecting pamphlets and making cassette tapes of messages on phonelines. To my knowledge, barely anyone had the presence of mind to archive early blogs. Everyone has been stymied in preserving Usenet since Déjà News archived possibly most of it, went tits-up, then got bought by Google, which then desecrated the archive after its corporate manner.

Archiving extremists’ publications falls prey to personal technical bias. There are twits who think that RSS does not exist anymore because Google Reader does not. (“I don’t use RSS, so it isn’t important to anyone.”) In the present day it’s easy to see the need to archive Facebook and Twitter because those with an interest in doing so use both of them. (“To archive Facebook” should not involve screenshots.) But I don’t see anyone archiving Tumblères or Instagram, or platforms I don’t even know about (QED).

History repeats itself further in podcasting. It would surprise downtown progressives to learn just how many right-wing podcasts there are. Then wait for their shock when they learn how well they are generally put together. If one wanted to archive blogs or Twitter, there are automated methods available. Podcasts are audio files broadcast by RSS, a fact many are unable to comprehend (hence the many “podcasts” that amount to files uploaded to SoundCloud). So in principle it is straightforward to keep archives of those recordings.

Then the problem arises that these are not text files (marked up or not), which could be mechanically indexed. They are spoken-word recordings. They aren’t even PDFs of old printed documents, which can at least be OCRed. You or someone you love has to sit there and listen to them. Yet the use case for podcasting is listening to it on an iPod or your phone while you are doing something else. You are not sitting down taking notes.

I’ve heard a lot about Jews on right-wing podcasts, and there was quite a strange interview with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who talked about “fags” (once). I didn’t take any notes because there is no real way to do that.

Right-wing podcasts are a uniquely personal form of propagandistic indoctrination, seen harshly. You’ve got people talking to you in your ears, with nobody else listening. It’s just you and your teacher. But because these recordings can be downloaded by anybody anywhere, podcasting is a great way to spread ideas to everybody everywhere, one person at a time. This is quite the opposite of the broadcasting model. Soi-disant progressives ignore the slow buildup of listeners at their own peril.

To solve this problem properly would require quite a lot of volunteers who agree to download and save every episode of specific podcasts; take detailed, near-verbatim notes on every episode, ideally in HTML (never ever Microsoft Word or PDF); then not just save the recordings and notes but upload them to a shared repository. Then you get into the problem of associating recordings and notes via metadata. This would take much more organization than aggrieved young mixed-race progressive girls are willing to commit to. Left-wing people are technically incompetent, and the whole prospect is triggering for them, which explains why they will never be real journalists. (Or engineers.)

Now: Isn’t everything I’m saying here also applicable to podcasts on the other side of the spectrum? Sure, if there were many of note and if they were any good. Defender Radio is the sole marginally competent left-wing podcast I know of. (And the best it can come up with for a homepage is a tag listing.) All the right-wing podcasts I listen to:

  • have better production values (Internet latency is still an issue; the double-ender remains unknown to this group too; all their Web sites are terrible);

  • have much smarter and more interesting and just much more fun guests;

  • and, very often, have devastatingly confident and competent host(esse)s.

On that count, Lana Lokteff is a simply awesome hostess whom I’ve heard on several shows, including her own. (When directly asked for comment so I could describe her political views accurately, Lokteff asked if I was directly asking for comment and went on a tear about how dirty the left is.)

Right-wingers are terrible at graphic design (too girly and faggy, though maybe not too Jewishy); left-wingers are terrible at radio. If you want to keep track of right-wing assholes, go where they are.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.02.18 10:18. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2016/02/18/rightwingpodcasts/

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