I am looking at my email inbox on one monitor and the cursor last highlighted a robo-generated email from Amazon asking me how I liked my clip-on guitar tuner.
I am also looking the New York Times website front page on the other monitor (I have two monitors because of work) with a few pixels showing at the top of a huge full-width ad for the ShowTime show “Billions”. Yesterday I read a story in the NYT about the proliferation of “Billionaire Porn” shows on premium cable.
I’m looking at the headline below that, still on the NYT front page that reads: “Terror Attacks on New Zealand Mosques Kills 49”. A picture of someone being wheeled away on a gurney accompanies the headline. 6 more sidebar stories surround the mainbar.
I’m looking at one of my cats sitting in the open office window staring at a Chickadee, who’s dining on bugs from under the eaves.
The main perpetrator of the new Zealand killing spree apparently live streamed part of the massacre and posted a manifesto on Facebook containing his white supremacist bile and apparently in it a nod to a Swedish YouTube personality (with 59 million followers) who’s real name is Felix Kjellberg. I perked up at this because my mom’s maiden name is Kellberg (originally spelled Kjellberg before her grandfather immigrated from Sweden) and I wonder if this dude is a distant relative. He’s been accused of anti-semitism. I really hope he isn’t related.
I’m drinking coffee out of a mug I designed for a client. He’s no longer a client because after an 8+ year relationship, a few years ago we accidentally wandered into the subject of politics one day while talking about his website (we designed his website, logo, all marketing materials. He was one of our first clients). Turns out he has pretty extreme right-wing views on a lot of stuff and after he went into a lengthy rant about the “deep state”, I made it clear I just didn’t agree with him on any of it and he hung up and hasn’t called back. The only client in 18 years in business we’ve lost on idealogical grounds.
I clicked over to Facebook because I heard my daughter posted a video of her and my 16-month granddaughter singing together. Lump in throat. I scroll down. No mention of the terrorist attack or any other news or politics. That’s because I’ve taken great pains to “sanitize” my Facebook feed. Even so, I look at Facebook maybe once a week. Post even less and mainly just photos (I used to be a photojournalist.) I really loathe Facebook, mostly. Always have. If it wasn’t for Lainey (my granddaughter), I’d delete it. I think I have a dormant Twitter account but I never use it. Social media has had what, a 10-15 year run (?) and it’s clear (to me) it’s done more harm than good. I don’t understand why we’re all so concerned about making social media companies more accountable. They won’t ever be great at policing their own content, for one. But also, why not just stop using it? Everyone. Just quit. Life was better before Facebook and Twitter. We can still get information, stay in touch with people, live fulfilling lives without seeing every waking moment of everyone’s lives and sharing our own. Really. If it hurts when you do that…don’t do that. Why is this hard?
Wilson, the window cat just walked across my desk. Then Eddy, the other one.
On my way back from the grocery store this morning I heard an NPR piece on “deep fake” video and audio technology (using AI tech to fake someone saying or doing something seamlessly so its almost impossible to tell anything has been synthesized) and how this is being “weaponized” (a word I loathe) and being used for political and sometimes just sadistic purposes. End of truth? Maybe.
Amazon just send me another email suggesting I take a look at a windproof cycling jacket. Another email from Michelle Obama, Adam Schiff and a WordPress plugin developer. I have to scroll down two screens to get to a real person’s email. It’s from a client. I have no idea where they are on the political spectrum. Don’t really care. Won’t ever ask.
I’m listening to Ann, my neighbor across the street, hosing off the rocks surrounding her front yard fountain she and her husband keep going 24/7, which should really be a soothing sound but these days it doesn’t take much to keep me awake at night.
Eddy nuzzles the miniature fiddle-leaf fig on the bookcase by the window before hopping off, frustrated because I won’t open the blinds to maximize his viewing experience. The window faces west. At this time of day it cooks the plants and makes my monitors hard to see.
i’m trying to concentrate on the brochure I’m supposed to be designing. 49 souls, men, women, children, dead at the hands of some young, delusional, white male with a semi-automatic rifle and some point to make he scarcely understands. Trump says white nationalism isn’t a problem, it’s just a small group of individuals with “problems, I guess”. I’m looking at the video my daughter posted on Facebook over and over. There’s a car alarm going off down the street. Two empty coffee mugs now inhabit my desk. If my email is any indication, I really need to order some thing, some object, some shit from Amazon.