Saturday, April 30, 2022

Today's news: TGIF

As John Oliver says, just a few things to wrap up the week: 

First up, so to speak, wasn't it great that the Mets pitched a no-hitter today -- I loved this tweet about it:
Yes, indeed. I do love that Pfizer glow! 
Next, there was an interesting piece on Ask A Manager this week about people noticing a significant increase in hostile, grumpy and rude behaviour lately -- check out the jerks in downtown Ottawa, for example.  
Commenters were blaming the anxiety about Covid, disruptions to schools and workplaces and family gatherings and everybody's social life going down the tubes. Yes, I know what they mean, I haven't been a ray of fucking sunshine myself either. 
Here's some of the Ask A Manager comments:
 ...there is a really weird level of – I don’t know – grandiosity and entitlement and prickliness and lack of empathy – that is grinding a lot of us down
.....something about the Covid-19 calamity caused certain people to be rendered incapable of self-regulating and to become the absolute worst, most despicable and harmful version of themselves. These outraged individuals of course have found each other, and formed a coalition; from that point forward they have lived in an evil echo chamber where they’ve incubated a grossly inflated sense of entitlement and collectively demanded extreme consequences that are wildly disproportionate to the situation at hand.... 
 ...There has been a definite increase in what I’d call incoherent anger. People are just MAD. At me, at the system, at everything, and too often I just happen to be the last straw for their fraying nerves. A big part of it is that everything takes forever these days. Every process I can think of has slowed down dramatically, and that is hard to deal with, especially when you’re already living on the margins.... 
...I have colleagues at libraries nearby who have had to call the police because grown adults have had complete meltdowns around mask/distancing policy [and] the person began yelling, threatening, cursing at, and physically intimidating the librarians..I had one patron yell that the Library “should have never even closed down, because we are supposed to serve EVERYONE and NOT EVERYONE believes in the pandemic.” (Yes, really, he used those exact words).... 
...Controversial, angry, divisive posts generate the most clicks and page views, and so the algorithms push those to the top of the feeds. It is not a bug. It is a feature. There’s money to be made by painting everyone who’s not you as an “other”, and blaming all your problems on “them”. You’ll keep clicking to get that rush of being right and being better than “those people”. It’s a vicious cycle that corrodes civility and the social contract. Why be polite to those who obviously don’t deserve it? Someone called it “irritainment”. It’s more dangerous than that...
... people came out of lockdown “feral.” I’ve noticed a general rudeness/impatience/unhelpfulness everywhere I look whether it’s at work or at the supermarket.... Perhaps we are all just burnt-out from 2 years of pandemic related anxiety, 2 years of realizing some of our fellow humans don’t care who lives and who dies as long as they get to do what they want, on top of 6+ years of noxious political turmoil..
But I am hopeful that maybe soon we can get our equilibrium back.  
Here's one hopeful example that I noticed today:  remember how profoundly angry we all were at the FluTruxKlan jerks last winter? But now many of the tweets I'm reading about FluTruxKlan 2: The Rolling Blunder are more about being funny than about being mad, so maybe that's a good sign:
Moving to Ukraine, Markos notes tonight that Russia's defeat is now official US policy:’s slooooow going. Russia captured Izyum on April 1, and yet four weeks later, it has only managed to push out 30 kilometers (~19 miles). That’s about a kilometer a day. Only 5,000 more square miles to go!
...Ukraine, aside from some tactical pickups here and there, seems content to chip away at Russian forces with artillery, guerrilla ambushes, and drones, trading ground for blood when absolutely necessary, but mostly holding firm in their extensive prepared defenses along the entire Donbas front. They just need to hold out a couple more months, to allow all that sweet new Western gear to arrive — drones, armored, and artillery, of course, but also body armor and helmets that will allow reservists to join the fight, and medical supplies that will save many lives. Also, lots and lots of armor. 
The US has already committed to sending 170,000 155mm shells. That’s a lot of shipments from California and elsewhere. And now, with lend-lease authority granted by Congress, the US will keep supplying as many of these as Ukraine needs. The spigot is wide open to anything the Pentagon thinks will help push Russia entirely out of Ukraine. Russia’s defeat is official U.S. policy. 
This was a beautiful bit of news today:
The world is really questioning Putin's leadership: Back in Canada, PEI is changing the name of its 25-year-old Confederation Bridge and the crazies are not having it: I thought this was funny:

No comments: