Posts Tagged ‘media’

The Mastodon In The Room: Why The Fediverse Isn’t All That

By mike flugennockSunday - May 8th, 2022Categories: Bidenism, Russiagate, Ukrainamania, liberty, media, war and peace

They’re non-binary, declare their pronouns, wave their trans flags high, wear their revolutionary cred on their sleeves — and they’re ready to stomp down dissent at a moment’s notice, and be “woke” as a motherfucker while they do it.

“Don’t wanna be an American Idiot,
one nation, controlled by the media —
Information Age of hysteria
is calling out to Idiot America!”
— Green Day

In January of 2018, I found myself rooting around for alternative social media spaces shortly after receiving this note full of thinly-veiled threats from Twitter regarding my following and retweeting “Russian-influenced” accounts. All the cool kids got one.

That spring, after taking a quick peek at Gab (and a long, hot shower afterwards), I was turned on to Mastodon by a fellow “Russian dupe” on Twitter. It was during that first wave of Left voices and publications being bounced off of Twitter for “Russian influence” — i.e. contradicting the official US media party line. Of course, I got my ass over there pronto and set up a presence. I didn’t mind that the traffic was a bit thin; it was basically what Twitter would’ve been without the trolls, bots, shills, spammers and Nazis — like, detoxed Twitter.

It was sweet for those first 3 or 4 years, speaking and creating freely in that peaceful non-toxic space without the DNC trolls, clueless celebrities, shit-take-dropping pundits and Nazi instigators creating endless background noise, without the threat of mass reporting by DNC flunkies. I grew to enjoy the light traffic flow, being able to associate and converse with fellow Lefties, anarchists, socialists without having to fight through the cacophony of Twitter. Even through the percolating zaniness of this past January and February I happily passed along the latest from Grayzone, MintPress, Breakthrough News, Multipolarista, Sputmik, and RT with no problems.

Then, after 30 years of US/NATO bullying, provocation, instigation and broken US promises, Russia moved in on the Ukraine to de-nazify the place — and the hysteria in the US, already surging to fever pitch, broke loose and flooded peoples’ minds with a tsunami of Krazy surpassing even the kraziest days of Post-9/11 and Iraq War v2.0. The Western bosses’ media cranked the krazy up to 11 and busted off the knob. Meanwhile, I naively thought Mastodon and the Fediverse would provide me with a “safe space” to hunker down and shelter myself from the krazy.

Oh, what a goddamn idiot.

“Welcome to a new kind of tension
all across the alien nation
where everything isn’t meant to be OK…”
—Green Day

One morning in the middle of this past April, a couple of weeks after returning home from a month’s vacation — and an entirely separate adventure in krazy — I was greeted by this jarring message from the mods at mastodon.social in reference to my short series of posts containing quotes from and links to an article on Grayzone about neo-Nazi Azov Battalion involvement in the Mariupol theater bombing …accompanied by the usual — and by now, just plain banal — claims of sharing “intentionally false or misleading information” in the Grayzone article.

Now, I challenge anyone reading this to have a look at the Grayzone piece and show me anything in there that’s intentionally (or otherwise) false or misleading or anything other than the posing of honest valid questions, stating plain facts about neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine, and reporting the real situation from “on the ground” in Mariupol. It should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that the mods at mastodon.social — along with virtually all US/Western corporate media — have chosen to redefine “false and misleading” as “contradicting the official US/Western media line”.

While not being actually thrown off of mastodon.social, I could sure as hell take a hint, and it was at this point where — as Maya Angelou reminds us — it was time to believe it when Mastodon showed me who they really were the first time not just at mastodon.social, but at instances all over the Fediverse. At the time, I also had a couple of other accounts running simultaneously, at kolektiva.social and mastodon.art; I figured it’d be a simple matter to just migrate my followers over to kolektiva, put a redirect on the old mastodon.social account, and get back at it.

Oh, what a goddamn idiot.

“Well maybe I’m the faggot, America
I’m not a part of a redneck agenda —
Now everybody, do the propaganda
and sing along to the age of paranoia…!”
—Green Day

It was barely two weeks later when I got this curt notice from the mods at kolektiva.social.

Unlike the mastodon.social mods, the kolektiva crew’s irony-free, catchphrase- and buzzword-packed missives — they actually said “whataboutism”, f’crissake — were a little more old-skool McCarthyist, blatantly accusing me of being “pro-Kremlin” for posting news items from outlets other than Western boss media in “a very credulous way”. Oh, how I laughed — as if they and nearly everybody around me wasn’t happily guzzling US media hype and horseshit with off-scale credulity. The real howler is that in the midst of all the Red-baiting, the kolektiva mods openly admit that the RT and Sputnik reports were “more or less valid” but — well, y’know, RT and Sputnik. That’s basically all they had — the reporting was entirely factual, but it was Russian media, so they’re giving me the equivalent of five minutes to clean out my desk.

Being asked to leave a Mastodon instance with a supposed reputation for “revolutionary” thought, expression and action for posting content contradicting official Western capitalist media pegged my irony meter so hard it busted the needle off.

And this, kiddies, is why Mastodon takes the pipe big-time — not because of the underlying principles or philosophy behind it, or how their network is built, but the people. It’s a problem that’s plagued online communities ever since the days of local BBS systems and Usenet — people in positions of unaccountable authority. When you peel away all the “cuteness” on Mastodon, that’s basically what you have left — people just as heavily indoctrinated by Western capitalist media as anyone on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, happily inflicting the same kind of damage on free thought, speech and creativity. All the federated, decentralized, happy-time furry trans flag avatar “woke” goodness you can slather on isn’t worth jack if everybody there is infected with the same “disinformation” brain worms as almost everybody else in America and the Western World™.

The real “cancel culture” isn’t about some trash-mouthed racist comedian whining about being kicked off TV; it’s about the very real suppression of dissident voices on the Left by corporate media and their indoctrinated flunkies in supposedly dissent-friendly “free” spaces like Mastodon — which I’ve now realized is basically Twitter, but with dungeonmasters and “furry” art.

Mastodon bites, and “woke” is broke.

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Four More Years, no.1

By mike flugennockTuesday - April 6th, 2004Categories: Bushit, Iraq, media, war and peace

So, President Chimp had his “Mission Accomplished” moment, and America got all cocky and full of itself — just in time for the city of Fallujah to burst out with a wave of resistance and fightback, culminating the the capture, execution of several Blackwater mercenaries, followed by the burning of the corpses, and their hanging from a bridge near the edge of town. Media reports translated the irate Iraqis’ chants into “Fallujah Is The Graveyard Of Americans”, but I have a sneaking suspicion that what they were actually chanting was “Four More Years!”

fourmoreyears550w

Finally, the Iraqis of the town of Fallujah had all they could stand, rose up and kicked American ass, starting with the aforementioned gang of Blackwater corporate mercenaries. For a good week, the news media continued to insist that those punks were “civilian contractors” despite eyewitnesses report that said “civilian contractors” were wearing Kevlar vests and packing automatic weapons. Finally, NBC finally broke down a week later and started calling them “civilian SECURITY contractors”, which is about as good as it gets for NBC. I suppose they were “contractors” in the sense that they had a contract with the US Regime, and were paid large amounts of money, but let’s face it — they were mercenaries, guys whose job it is to kill and be killed for whoever gives them the best deal.

Medium-res jpg image, 903k

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“Pre-Emption” Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

By mike flugennockSaturday - October 12th, 2002Categories: Bushit, Iraq, media, war and peace

This was my first — and so far, only — “made for TV” poster, a “throwaway” idea that’d been rattling around in my head for a while, which I drew for the benefit of a crew from Swedish Public Television (STV) who’d come to town to interview me in my studio and to show my posse and I out for an evening’s wheatpasting in the wake of my big bust-out in the Washington Post.

preemption550w

This particular piece was done during the run-up to Iraq War v2.0, in which President Chimp was pushing the doctrine of “pre-emptive war”, which was basically the foreign-policy version of those scenes in old Three Stooges comedies where Moe bashes Larry upside the head from clear out of nowhere; Larry asks “hey, what’d you do that for?”, and Moe says “that’s for what you were thinking!”

I’ve chosen not to post the video of the actual STV segment here, as due to my nervousness about public speaking, my studio interview segment shows me saying “like” and “you know” in every other sentence, totally going against everything I was taught by my tenth-grade English teacher and my college Oral Interpretation teacher with regard to proper public diction and the avoidance of “vocal tics” (which is what “like” and “you know” are) in public speaking. STV actually portrayed me and my work in a very positive light as part of “the other America” in the Bush Era, but I was still terribly embarassed at what a bashful public speaker I am… like, you know…right?

Medium-res jpg image, 710k

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Cover Art, The Progressive, October 2002

By mike flugennockMonday - September 30th, 2002Categories: Bushit, Economy, Globalization, elections, media

progressive_oct02cvr550w

After the Washington Post feature and the Swedish Public TV interview, this pretty much capped off what I liked to call my “Elvis Year” — at least until ‘06, when I got to go on a couple of right-wing talk-radio interviews, where I had the pleasure of making the hosts crap their pants while asking me why I hated America as a result of my participation in the Holocaust Cartoon Competition.

Thankyuh, thankyuhvurymuch.

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