I Want Self-Zippering Pants!

 I’ve waited all my miserable life for this. When I was a kid, my Dad said I’d have a flying car in my garage on Mars.  Never happened, Dad. (Thanks a lot, Obama!) 3-D TV? Sort of, but not really happening. Robot hoovers sucking up dust by dancing the roomba around the house? Boring. Self-cleaning ovens? Old school. Self-photo-taking? Yup, The Selfie fulfilled that dream. Self-driving cars? Oh, yeah! Almost there and just in time for aging Boomers who dread being on the pitiful end of “The Talk” when their kids explain that, no, Mom, you didn’t misplace your car keys..we’ve taken them and are prying your almost dead cold hands from around the steering wheel. Autonomous cars will allow Boomers to rule the road until the day they never die.

But when Nike recently announced its new Self-tying shoe I knew the future had finally arrived. It’s called “adaptive lacing.”  Press buttons on the side of the shoe and the laces automatically tighten or loosen to match your comfort level or mood: uptight, nervous, or afraid? Just press the tighten button. Feeling groovy, marinatingly mellow or banging? Just press the loose button. No muss no fuss. Only down side is you gotta bend down to press the mofcukin’ buttons! Com’on Nike, where’s the remote? Or app that’ll let me tight&loose by tapping on my Fitbit or Apple Watch. See, the Damn Future is always just around the Damn Corner.

So here I am, in the present here and now, mindful of the moment, which is very popular these days. But still waiting for, as Apple used to say, “The Next Big Thing” …until Trump settled that argument. So I guess until I get my Self-Zippering pants, I’m just a lonely guy on the Avenue of Ass-kicking Dreams with his fly stuck open…or shut. (Hmmmm…autonomous socks that roll up automatically?)

L.Rudmann (praajek.com)

The Night They Burned Old Dixie Down

Ban it & Burn It. 

Spurn it & Burn it
Flag it & Rag It. 
Flag it & Bag It. 
As even Supreme Court inJustice Scalia would probably agree, you have a right, like him, to be an asshole. Yes, take the Confederate flag down from government sites..after all it’s a symbol of a treasonous insurrection against the U.S. government. But ban it? We don’t ban ideas nor representations of ideas…symbols…the flag of the treasonous who wanted to overthrow the government in order to keep their human slaves. If you want to buy a confederate flag made in China then by gods buy one for your man cave or a flag bumper sticker for your pickup. This is America, right? The country of free expression, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (and assholeness) that supporters of that flag wanted to overthrow and sacrifice to so they could keep people in slavery. But don’t over-react like Apple by removing pictures of it from video games and computer apps. What would a Cracker Barrel restaurant be without confederate flags and refrigerator magnets? Or little red and blue stripes of iron-on cloth for confederate flag DIYers at Hobby Lobby? Does Chick-fil-a sell them? Did Amazon, Sears, Walmart and eBay decide to ban the sale of the pro-slave flags for any reason other than negative PR and the effect on profits?  Probably not. Good riddance from public government institutions, yes. Purge it and ban its sale, no. Besides, we know what banning something does…Amazon reported flag sales increased up to 2,000% just prior to its decision to pull flag merchandise. (Of course we don’t know what that means in real numbers) It’s likely that if a scientific poll could measure it more than 25% of Americans are genuine (as opposed to just fake) assholes. (I just pulled that number from guess where) So let’em buy it if so inclined. Maybe they will buy the flags to remind themselves of the shame of Confederacy. Maybe. 

My Nude Photos Hacked, Sacked, Jacked, Whacked and unpacked for the world to…

Don’t look now (seriously) but the biggest news story of the summer has just gotten bigger (worse). Not only have nudie pics of lady actors, tall thin ladies who model clothes, attractive celebrated females (femlebrities) such as Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence and a bunch of other cutie-nudie posers been hacked by a cloud hacker, now I discover that my own extensive and HUGE nudie selfie-portfolio has been violated by an unknown shoebox hacker. 
In a breach of privacy unknown in the Western and Eastern worlds and throughout my neighborhood, I discovered recently that my secret stash of nude selfies which I had cleverly stashed in the bottom of a gym bag under a pile of sweaty smelly socks and underwear, was scattered all over my smelly sweaty closet floor. Someone had been rummaging through my secret gym bag and unearthed my precious nudie selfies. Tossed hither and thither were 3×5″ Polaroids of me in various degrees of nudity: freezing my naked butt off building a snowman; running naked in a Naked Iron Man Triathlon thru the Mojave Desert; body-painted and birthday-suited in the Black Rock Nevada desert at Burning Man doing flaming cartwheels with fellow “Burner” Grover Norquist; romping full-frontal, fearless and feckless, at a Ruby-on-Rails after-seminar coding rave; swimming and diving bare-skinned and buck-nekked at an all nudie Mitch McConnell Blob Fish look-alike festival in Honey Dip Kentucky… All these and more…oh the privacy! 
Are some of them missing? Did the hackysacker photo them with his iPhone and now prepares to seed the clouds with them letting loose upon the land a global swarming of my hunkyjunk?  
Who pirated my privacy? I want to know! Was it you Apple? Or “Don’t Be Evil” Google? NSA or Edwin Snowden? Surely my humble closet and gym bag would present no challenge for the considerable hacking skills of this cowardly, traitorous, unAmerican Putin-boot-lickin’whistle-blower-with-no-country Rooskie-lovin’ former CIA-NSA employee. In a world where a guy has to live in fear that his nude selfies might be exposed to that world…in a world where one’s sacred gym bag is pried open letting loosed upon the world foul dirty sock emanations and nude selfies…is a world where the only thing left to do is….stop taking nudie selfies? Damn you cleaning lady, I know you did it !

For What it’s Worth

There are serious implications of government gathering private info on citizens. If in the current Prism NSA National Security Agency (No Such Agency?) case it turns out that actual phone conversations, emails etc. were accessed, then we might be talking serious and criminal.  But what is absurd is the shock and dismay being expressed that government would do or attempt to do this contrasted with the reality of how much people today are willing to divulge of their private info in public forums, like Facebook Twitter & other social media. When people post on Facebook or Twitter when & where they’re eating, peeing, who they’re sleeping with, that they’re drunk, high or visiting a museum or theatre why would they care if the government knows it too? It’s Facebook! You just posted it for the whole freaking world to see! (Even if you limit access to “friends” every time you post something it’s ultimately available for worldwide distribution.) I just ate this, here’s a photo of my caprese salad. I just arrived here.. I’m seeing this now..  I have a new grandchild and here’s 35 photos of her wrapped in swaddling cloth. I’m I’m I’m me me me look at me.. I’m important, I’m doing cool things, I’m relevant, I’m part if the world, I’m Special!!! And then when you find out the government is looking at the how Special you are… you are shocked. Shocked!

Cameras on every street corner, donut shop & grocery store. GPS in your car tells that GPS company and the government (government-licensed satellite) where you are & where you’ve been. Get cash from an ATM and you’ve left tracks. Grocery “value” key cards track your eating/drinking preferences. I’ve got 12 such cards on my key ring. The Target store chain admitted last year it could predict buyer purchases based on buyer history & demographics..i.e. stock more maternity items and junk food in low-income areas. If you shop at Lane Bryant with a credit card you might find it harder to buy health insurance. People talk loudly and freely and often purposely on cell phones in public places sharing intimate details of their “important” lives with annoyed and reluctant listening strangers. We live in a world where we are made to believe that sharing our personal information is cool, that privacy is not, that too much info is better than not enough. We say singsongedly “Too much in-for-ma-tion!” But we don’t really believe it.

So, do I trust the government with my personal info? Not any more than I trust my hospital, car dealer, grocery store, toll road agency, or the myriad other businesses and institutions I interact with.

At this point it has not been shown that the government actually listened or transcribed my phone calls or emails. The danger in the government’s Prism program is its potential to collect and store indefinitely our private communications and transactions. And why collect and store if it doesn’t use it.

If paranoia is justified then I must also be afraid of Verizon, ATT, Comcast, Citibank, Google,  Apple, etc. Those companies already have my info. And I don’t get to elect their CEO or directors. Is there really any essential difference between a big corporation and a government  agency besides election day accountability? The U.S.uses private military companies such as KBR (former Halliburton unit) and Blackwater to supply corporate soldiers to fight our wars; Booze Allen tech consulting derives 90% of its income from a government contract with NSA. Verizon provides a special physical fiber-optic pipeline to NSA. We need to unearth a vast supply of paranoia to cover all this.

Maybe we over-share
Can’t have it both ways..
Share it you bear it.

The issue is what will or could government do with your phone calls, email, social media updates?

Ultimately the total paranoid answer is “anything it wants to do to you it could.” Audit your taxes? Check. Restrict your travel.. deny passport, driver license?  Seize your guns? Check. Deny medical care? Form a death panel? Sure. Make your life miserable?  Lock you up? Kill you? Oh yeah!  All this assumes that government is intrinsically evil. Or if not, then it will choose an evil path if given the choice; that we elect leaders who are so flawed, weak, manipulative and willing to ignore the Constitution that we might as well not give a damn about anything and just live our pitiful little lives under the lens of Big Brutha.

“Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away.” Buffalo Springfield

Praajek@gmail.com