Tag: Lasers

Psst, Consumer, Wanna Buy Your AlieNation?


Like many Americans right of center, the ads I see online feature plenty of vaguely patriotic products. Some of the stuff’s campaign gear. Some of it’s randomly tacti-cool. (Already got a tactical pen? Have you tried our tactical toothbrush yet? Got the toothbrush already, have you? What about a tactical toothpick?) Perhaps because my browsing habits are eclectic, the ads “targeting” me are eclectic, too. According to my ads, I’m a Trump-voting, militantly pro-life charismatic sedevacantist Catholic wiccan secular humanist who’s also militantly pro-choice and pining for the deceased Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I’m deaf, too. Because of earwax. But at least I’m not alone in that: judging by consumer ad complaints, the main symptom of Covid-19 is massive earwax buildup.

People who say they know about these things say that Covid’s virtual earwax buildup is a symptom of declining click-throughs on online ads. The more time we spend online without clicking through on ads, the more “bottom feeder” ads we see. Maybe I am who I am to online marketers because I don’t click through. Therefore I must “want”, in no particular order, Osteen Cubes, <insert name of Biblical woman here> Anointings, conversational Medieval Latin kits, “homeopathic” essential-oil blends consecrated to Jesus or my choice of goddess. Little lapel pins featuring lab flasks bubbling vacuities like “Science is real!” or light-splitting prisms spelling out “I’m gay for science!” in rainbow writing.

Rapid-fire lapel pin advertising directed my way, whether from right or left, never hits its target, since even if I saw a pin I liked, I wouldn’t buy it. If I saw an ad for a lapel pin featuring the smexxxiest anthropomorphized doped garnet laser — adorned with real synthetic garnet chips reading “She blinded me with science!” — well, I’d chuckle. But I wouldn’t click.

Occam’s Chainsaw


Early on in my time in the military I had a senior NCO tell me never to bring him a problem unless I had an idea for a solution.  As you might guess, that kept a lot of people out of his office crabbing about everything from warm egg salad to having to change the oil in the motor pool.  But, it’s a useful approach to life, and more importantly, when you analyze a problem often times you see patterns and eventually, novel but simple solutions.   Think of it as Occam’s Chainsaw.

Will Rogers is credited with saying that some people learn from the mistakes of others but that “other folks have to pee on the electric fence.”  Shocking, I know.  But the fact is if you look at the coverage of Portland on Twitter (because other than Fox and OAN, there is no coverage in the mainstream media), here’s what you learn.  Every day thousands of actual protesters show up carrying signs, being peaceful.  Every day a bunch of communists shows up behind them, carrying everything from explosives to loaded magazines.  When the actual protesters get tired and go home, mayhem unfolds until the early morning hours when the feds break up the party with tear gas, rubber bullets, and the occasional thwack upside the head with a baton.  As a parenthetical note, I would like to see more thwacks and less tolerance, but I’m just that kind of guy.  The “wall of moms,” “wall of costumed vets,” and “wall of dads” (most of whom are not) act as buffers to give the real rabble the chance to engage the federal officers with violence and then whine about the arrests.  The women put on an unconvincing act.  Last night I saw a woman kick and hit a federal officer and then act shocked when she was arrested for assault, claiming she was a “nice girl for Wisconsin,” although the expletives that followed seemed to negate that narrative.