So, we have a new President and a new, historic, Vice President in the form of Joe Biden and Kamla Harris. After four long years of Trump making a mess of things, this change is pretty wonderful. However, it is not the most wonderful thing to come out of this most recent election. No, that would be the endless memes of Bernie Sanders and his ever so practical knitted mittens sitting in a chair looking like he’d wish everyone would get this inauguration nonsense over with so he can get back to doing the people’s work. Bernie’s a no-nonsense kind of guy which is why all the nonsense that comes out of a simple picture of him is so amazing.
Take, for example, this one:
Here’s another good one:
Here’s a few more of my favorites:
Those mittens, by the way, were made and gifted to him by Vermont teacher Jen Ellis:
Personally, I was content to allow others to have all the fun with mixing Bernie into various situations and pop culture references, but then my buddy Greg hit me up on Messenger this morning.
Surely, I thought, someone must have done this already, but Google searches returned the rarely seen message: “It looks like there aren’t many great matches for your search.”
What? That’s such an obvious idea. How could no one have done this already? Why, there’s even a good caption to put on it to complete the meme. The more I thought of it the more it itched at the back of my brain.
Now, I am not the greatest image manipulator in the world. I barely now how to work the Paint.net application I use these days. I still have a copy of my all-time favorite editor, Photo Impact, but it’s old as dirt and barely runs under Windows 10 and I have never mastered, let alone could afford, Photoshop. Still, I sat down to see what I could manage to whip up and I’m quite pleased with the results.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Bernvros!
I would like to immediately apologize for putting this image into your heads, but I had to share the pain. Thanks, Greg.
I’ve gotten to be known for shit-posting memes constantly on my Facebook account. I know it’s hardly a vital public service, but it seems to amuse most folks who follow me over there and it weeds out the ones who don’t share my sense of humor. Plus, if I dump a crap load all at once I can go a day or two without posting anything and people will still see content from me. This is riskier than you might think, especially with my sense of humor, as some memes walk the line of being “Adult Content” and thus falling prey to Facebook’s “Community Standards Algorithm” which is apparently as dumb as a box of rocks.
Said algorithm is why this picture of Liv and Steven Tyler currently has me on a 7-day restriction:
Not that I need to explain the joke, but I’m going to. Steven Tyler is male and male nipples are allowed in pictures on Facebook whereas female nipples are, for some reason, not allowed. That is clearly Steven Tyler and he is clearly a male despite him having a decently feminine looking breast and hairstyle hence the humor in the caption. Apparently, it’s enough to fool FB’s artificial intelligence into thinking I’ve dared to try to share a woman’s naked breast.
The amusing part is, I’ve posted memes that had actual female nipples in them — albeit in painterly form — that had way more sexually suggestive captions on them and FB didn’t so much as blink an eye because “art”, apparently. I’ve also posted plenty of text-only memes that were incredibly vulgar in comparison to this that also didn’t raise the ire of FB’s Community Standards.
I also got a warning for this meme and this one I can at least kind of understand:
Again, though, no actual female nipples are exposed in this picture which means it is actually in-line with Facebook’s community standards. I can only assume the words “nipples” and “pierced” were enough to trigger the “algorithm” into clutching its peals.
Both of these were within moments of each other and it was only a couple minutes later before the ban hammer was dropped on both posts. I suspected two in a row so rapidly is why it’s a 7-day restriction. I’ve disputed both of them and perhaps that’ll bring them in front of an actual human with more intelligence than a broken clock who can reverse the ban, but if it doesn’t it’s not like a 7-day vacation from FB is a bad thing.
I post this less as a rant and more of yet another example of why relying on “artificial intelligence” to make decisions about things like community standards is stupid. That said, people are expensive and the emotional toll of making them look at the horrible shit other people try to share on Facebook is huge. Compared to some of those folks, my shitty little memes seem pretty tame. So, if I’m doomed to complete my 7 days of not being able to like, comment, or share so that someone doesn’t have to review a snuff film because the “AI” caught it first, well, that’s a small price to pay.
Came across this meme on Facebook today and it made me a little ranty. It’s one of the big reasons I ended up cutting the cord years ago and switching to streaming only. It’s largely accurate except for Bravo.
I was a teenager in the 1980s when Cable TV started showing up everywhere. I can recall clearly hearing the news that it was coming to my hometown of Pontiac, MI and how excited everyone was for it. I can also remember the launch of several of these channels.
MTV was a channel I spent a lot of time on and is the major reason I can recognize musical groups from that era when I see pictures of them. Hours were spent watching videos and when we moved out to Orion Township in 1984, which didn’t have cable TV yet, my mother felt so bad that she bought a couple of MTV compilation VHS tapes to make up for it. I think I still have them around here someplace.
Some folks know that TLC stood for The Learning Channel and started off with a lot of educational programming and documentaries, but what a lot of them don’t know is that it’s one of the oldest cable channels. Founded in 1972 by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and NASA as the Appalachian Community Service Network its focus was on education through TV and was distributed for free by NASA satellite. It was privatized in 1980 and became The Learning Channel and its main competitor was The Discovery Channel, which aired similar content. TLC was considered the better channel for shows about nature, science, history, current events, medicine, technology, cooking, and home improvement. So, of course, the folks behind The Discovery Channel ended up eventually buying them out and then slowly moved the content to the trash that it is today for the sake of ratings. Then in 2006 to 2008 they tried to shift their focus back to actual educational programming even using “The Learning Channel” in some promotions. That didn’t last long at all.
Of all the channels above, TLC is the one I’m most upset about because it in the early days I really enjoyed it. The HISTORY Channel falls into the same category. I struggled with history in school, but I enjoyed the hell out of the programming on The HISTORY Channel back when it actually had shows about history on it. Arts & Entertainment (A&E, natch) was also really good in the early days even if I didn’t watch it all that much because I have no artistic sensibility. BRAVO I didn’t watch much of because I recall it had a lot of operas and “serious theater” on it which didn’t have enough explosions to keep my ADHD addled attention. Not sure why the meme lists BRAVO as makeovers and weddings as that’s the crap it turned into before it went full reality TV programming.
The Discovery Channel was another early favorite because I was big into science stuff and so were they. My favorite program was out of Australia called “BEYOND 2000” which was all about the cool shit we’d be using in the future. I first heard about Dental Implants on that show and now they’re actually a thing here in the future. At the end of my time as a cable TV subscriber the only shows I could stand to watch on the channel was The MythBusters and occasionally How It’s Made.
The joke of the meme is the WEATHER channel, which covered the weather back then and still largely does so today, but it hasn’t escaped from the reality TV trend entirely. With shows like Fat Guys in the Woods and So You Think You Would Survive, they’ve got their toes in the water. Hell, not even the major cable news networks have managed to avoid the trend.
The promise of cable TV back in the day was that it had enough room for networks devoted to knowledge to exist alongside the standard TV fare and for a while it lived up to that promise. Alas, ratings mean money and when the first reality TV show showed you could get massive ratings for extraordinarily little expenditure the fate of these channels was sealed. Why show an informative documentary on how paper clips are made when you can air a show about the hardships of a family of little people and make four times the cash from it?
The same sort of thing happened to parts of the Internet. I first ventured onto the net before the World Wide Web was a thing, so it was a text-based experience. USENET News Groups were the main draw back then functioning much like web-based message forums of today or the Bulletin Board Systems we ran before the Internet was widely available. There were groups devoted to all sorts of topics and they put you in contact with knowledgeable people around the world. Alt.Sex was an amazing forum for getting information from experts about that topic right up until around 1996 when the boom in Internet Service Providers (ISPs) happened and suddenly the Internet became a lot more crowded. Groups like Alt.Sex went from being a place with useful info to nothing but porn ads almost overnight.
It’s almost like any form of educational thing gets ruined the minute you give it to the masses. Early cable TV was highly informative as was the early Internet. Once it reached the mass public both kinda soured. There are still areas of both that hold worthwhile content, but content aimed at the lowest common denominator reigns king and you must step around a lot of dog shit to get to it. It’s a shame. I miss those early days, but that’s probably me being a grumpy old man looking at the past through rose tinted glasses.
Browsing through Facebook this morning as I am often wont to do, I came across this meme that left me so outraged that I had to blog about it. The shoddiness of the research is mind blowing and I could not allow this injustice to stand.
Dick is the best they could come up with? I mean, come on, Dick is a literal ghost town. A former lumber settlement that had a postal stop and a railway station and not much of anything else. The post office closed in 1906 and the place has been dead ever since.
What about Climax, Michigan? Now that’s a lewd name. I remember that I was driving along I-96 from Lansing to Detroit to pick up my paycheck — it’s a long story I won’t go into now — and I passed a sign that said, “CLIMAX 1¼ MILES” and all I could think was that at 70 MPH that just wasn’t enough time.
At least Climax is still kicking with a population of around 783 (est.) as of last year. Then there’s Butman, MI, population 1,967. That’s a classic right there.
Ironwood, pop. 4,936, sounds fairly lewd.
Here’s a few more for your consideration: Frankenlust, pop 3,514, sounds like a Mary Shelly porn novel.
Beaver Township, pop. 2,801, BEAVER FREAKIN’ TOWNSHIP! NEED I SAY MORE?
Mount Haley, pop. 1,650, not exactly lewd until you think about it.
Clam Union, pop. 893, CLAM UNION? WHY NOT JUST NAME IT SCISSORS AND BE DONE WITH IT??
None of them, however, can top Felch, Michigan. Population 734. Dick simply cannot compete with Felch for title of most lewd city name in Michigan. You may need to use Google to find out why Felch is such a lewd name, but you may regret doing so. Proceed at your own discretion.
Perhaps the meme maker skipped this obvious choice because they had already included Felchville for the state of Massachusetts, but I still say this is a far better choice than Dick. Dick is so pedestrian and overused that I don’t think it even qualifies as lewd anymore.
Bonus lewd non-city name: One of my favorite highway signs in Michigan is the exit from I-75 to Troy, MI, one of the suburbs of Detroit. I know I’ve mentioned this before on SEB, but this is so perfect that it cannot have been by accident. This had to be planned.
I keep seeing this meme pop up on my Facebook wall:
I’ve already been blocked by one die hard Conservative for daring to reply to it when they posted it and I’ll probably be blocked by a few more before I’m done.
Yes, this is technically true. Republicans didn’t riot when Obama won in 2008. They did rush out and buy a shitload of guns because they were scared shitless that Obama was going to try take away their second amendment rights — something he never even so much as tried to do in all of his time in office — but they didn’t technically riot. They did the same thing again when he was re-elected in 2012 driving gun sales to record levels in the process.
However, this meme ignores an important distinction: Obama’s wins in no way threatened the well being of white people. Unlike President-elect Trump, Obama never threatened to deport white people or ban Christians from entering the country or take away white people’s right to marry. Obama didn’t insult and denigrate his opponents constantly or talk about how he would like to punch a heckler in the mouth. He didn’t talk about imprisoning his political rivals despite the fact that a good case could have been made that George W. Bush was guilty of war crimes. In fact, he made a point of saying he wasn’t even going to look into the idea of prosecuting anyone involved in the disastrous Iraq war. He ran a campaign not based on fear, but on hope and change for the better. Whether Conservatives want to believe it or not, they faced no real threat from Obama winning other than having to live with some policies they didn’t agree with. So why would they protest in the streets?
Which isn’t to say they didn’t protest. How many years did we have to put up with Conservatives whining about how Obama wasn’t born in America so he shouldn’t be eligible to be President? Hell, there were books written on the topic and even Trump himself kept questioning Obama’s status as a citizen right up until he started campaigning. The fuckers are still screaming he’s a socialist/Muslim/dicktator/fascist/traitor every chance they get.
On social media Republicans are crying about folks using the #NotMyPresident hashtag ignoring the fact that many of them were saying the same damned thing about Obama for the past eight years. Suddenly the act of declaring Trump as “not their President” is offensive to Republican sensibilities.
Then there’s this:
WE’LL TAKE TO THE STREETS IF TRUMP DOESN’T WIN!
And then this:
Why I do declare, I don’t understand why people are taking to the streets in protest! We Republicans would NEVER do such a thing.
There was no shortage of Conservatives threatening armed revolt if Clinton won the election. We’ll never know what would’ve happened had Clinton won, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were Republicans in the streets crying “Not My President” because the irrational hatred of Clinton among those folks is deep after 20 years of demonization by the Republican party. For fuck’s sake, you shiftless bastards were talking about impeaching her as soon as she took office before the election was even decided.
And don’t cry to me about how some of the protestors are rioting when this sort of shit is coming from your side of the divide:
I could go on and on, but you get the point. So, yes, technically the meme I posted at the top of this entry is correct. Republicans didn’t take to the streets to protest Obama’s election wins. That doesn’t mean the folks protesting Trump’s win don’t have good reasons to do so. If you honestly can’t understand why folks, particularly minorities, are upset about Trump winning then either you haven’t been paying attention or you’re just a heartless bastard.
And before you even suggest it, no, I’m not saying they should be rioting and committing crimes, but by and large most of the protests have been peaceful. Yes, some have turned violent. That happens sometimes when a lot of emotional people are gathered in public. We can’t seem to get through a national sports championship without some idiots setting shit on fire, which is an infinitely stupider reason to riot than what is motivating these folks.
At the very least, if you’re going to bitch about it then try not to be such hypocritical fucks while doing so.
The song wasn’t particularly popular back when it was released in 1976, but it eventually found fame on the Internet nearly 40 years later and now the man who sang it has passed on:
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Eduard Khil was a beloved Soviet crooner who only won sudden international stardom two years ago when a 1976 video of him singing “trololo” instead of the songs censored words became a global Internet hit.
Khil, best known as Mr. Trololo, died Monday at age 77.
He had been hospitalized in St. Petersburg since a stroke in early April that left him with severe brain damage. The stroke was the cause of his death, said Tatyana Mamedova of Petersburg-Kontsert, which organized Khils concerts.
Contrary to the claim in the article, the lyrics weren’t censored. They just didn’t really have any according to Mr. Khil himself. The had a lyric or two, but thought they were pretty bad so he just made up some vocalizations and winged it resulting in eventual Internet fame.
If you’ve never heard his rendition of “I Am Glad, ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home”, and if you’ve been on the Internet for any amount of time it’s hard to imagine how you haven’t, then here it is in all its glory:
It takes a lot to surprise me these days and this video surprised the shit out of me. The song itself is not particularly interesting, but the music video will have you wondering just what particular brand of drugs they were taking when they made it.
NOTE: This is probably Not Safe For Work because it technically has depictions of nudity and sex acts in it. Technically. Kinda. You’ll have to watch it to understand it, but remember: WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN CANNOT BE UNSEEN!
Now here’s the really weird part: This video has inspired a new photo meme similar to planking. Naturally, it’s called Big Bad Wolfing. Being fad conscious people I’m sure you’ll all want to get in on it.
I got a refreshing change in the SEB Mailbag the other day. In place of the usual poorly worded, barely coherent ranting I usually find there was a bit of fan mail that contained a Question of Utmost Importance! This is such an unusual occurrence that I thought I should go ahead and answer it here.
So here it is:
Hi SEB, I’m here to be a pointless distraction.
I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while, as I’ve always enjoyed the well-worded approach of telling people to go fuck themselves. I’m not just sending this to shower you with praise, however.
Being a person of reasonable knowledge of things happening on the internet, you’re probably aware of the sudden and unexpected fanbase of the newest “My Little Pony” show. This being sort of an interesting topic nowadays, and because I’ve got nothing better to do, I thought I’d ask you what your opinion was on the whole thing. I noticed you didn’t mention it on your blog, so you probably don’t feel too strongly about it, but I figured I’d ask anyways. That is all.
– Your pointlessly inquisitive reader,
Hiya Kripto! I’m always happy to be showered with praise as I was a middle child growing up and was starved of attention. Which probably explains why I’ve been blogging for so long. If someone gives me the slightest bit of attention I can’t help but soak it up as much as I can.
Anyway, yes! I am very aware of the huge fan base the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show has garnered outside of its target demographic of young girls and tweens. I am also completely baffled by it.
You see, I’m old enough to remember when the original MLP toys were introduced some 30 years ago in 1981 when I was a mere 14-years-old. Like most toy companies back then, the first thing Hasbro did was hire someone to turn it into a 30 minute advertisement cartoon series. Well, that’s not entirely true. They started with prime-time specials in ’84 and ’85, had a feature length film in ’86 (voiced by relatively big name stars like Danny DeVito no less!), and that was followed by the 30 minute ads TV series that same year. As I recall, the toy line was a huge success for Hasbro and the commercials were near impossible to escape if you were watching anything remotely kid-oriented.
Here’s an example from 1986:
I almost went into diabetic shock watching that clip. Also, why the hell are there so many people uploading vintage 1980 toy commercials to YouTube? This was just one of a ridiculous number of 80’s toy ads I was able to find, many of which were for My Little Pony.
Anyway, the original cartoon series wasn’t quite as successful as the toys and was canceled in 1987 after two seasons. There was an attempt to revive the series in 1992 with My Little Pony Tales, but it didn’t catch on and died a mercifully quick death. Sometime in the 2000’s they revived the toy line and did a number of direct-to-video animated shows that I have no idea how successful they were. You can read all about the original series and the toys over at TV Tropes if you really want to know more about it. I’ve managed to remain blissfully unaware of most of MLP’s history since the 80’s faded from view, but apparently someone couldn’t let sleeping dogs stay dead (or however the hell the expression goes) and decided it was time to revive its rotting corpse once more in October of 2010.
According to the folks at TV Tropes, it was Lauren Faust who took on the challenge of bringing it back. In the past she’s worked on other cartoon series such as The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. This probably goes a long way to explaining why the show has attracted fans outside of its target audience as both of those shows tended to do the same. It probably doesn’t hurt that the show’s creators interact with fans on the Internet and often make references to things the fan base has come up with in the show itself.
I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point after the debut of Cartoon Network there was a trend toward making cartoons that adults could watch with their kids without feeling like they were losing IQ points in the process. Many of which were good enough that some adults watched them regardless of whether their kids were fans. I know a lot of adults who are huge fans of Spongebob Squarepants and the aforementioned The Powerpuff Girls. I have been quite fond of shows such as Courage the Cowardly Dog and Invader Zim in the past and today I’m a huge fan of Adventure Time and The Amazing Adventures of Gumball. It seems that the folks behind MLP:FiM have taken that same approach with the revival.
The first season was helmed by Lauren Faust, a highly accomplished, Emmy Award-nominated animator — for example, she was the writer and director of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. Friendship is Magic is her attempt to rescue the genre of girls’ cartoons by presenting a clever show with a strong and diverse cast of female characters who aren’t pre-occupied with fashion and boys. Her goal was to create an intelligent show for girls that boys and grown-ups could also watch without wanting to shoot themselves. By all accounts, she has done an admirable job of reaching that goal. Following the end of the first season, Faust stepped down as the show’s executive producer, but she will continue to work with the show as a consulting producer through production of the second season.
The show proved an overnight sensation on the internet, and even before the first season was over, it had spawned image macros and countless forum threads full of speculation and discussion; it also led to lots of males having existential crises about enjoying a “girl’s cartoon” so much. It also provides one of the best examples of Troper Critical Mass in action: one season of a show ostensibly for little girls contains hundreds upon hundreds of tropes, a Characters page, fanfics, and legitimate fanbases for every character under the sun.
So, after all of that, let’s get to your question of what I think about all of this: Personally, I’m deeply amused by it.
OK, I am a fan of at least this one pony.
I’ve not watched the new show myself for two reasons. First, I’m still deeply scarred by the endless 80’s commercials and the horrible original show. I don’t recall why I ever saw the original show, but somewhere along the way I was exposed to it and it’s probably a huge factor in why I’m so cynical today. It was exactly the kind of mindless pablum put together by a committee that had no other goal than to maximize toy sales without spawning any kind of controversy that might negatively impact the brand that I think is partially responsible for most of the FOX News fans of today. To be fair, shows like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Transformers were pretty much the same except aimed at boys.
The second reason is because I don’t want to risk becoming a fan. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that someone took one of the worst shows aimed at young girls in the 80’s and turned it into something that’s not only intelligent, but has garnered a following well beyond the group it was created for. Nor is it a concern over it being a challenge to my masculinity — I’ve been known to paint my toenails on occasion. I’m just worried my head would explode from trying to reconcile my deep cynicism over the original show with how good the new one is.
However, the fact that it’s blown up into a huge meme is what I’m deeply amused by. There’s a certain amount of incongruity with, say, seeing a MLP image macro applied to a discussion thread on Fark or some other forum that I find funny. The fact that it’s gotten big enough to get a shout out from no less than Stephen Colbert is also highly amusing. Overall I’m supportive of the meme for no reason other than I appreciate the non-conformity of it and the general weirdness it promotes. Plus it has generated a lot of fun sub-memes such as the unofficial character known as “Derpy Hooves”.