Month: May 2016

A Letter to Lenovo: Your Bloatware Brings My Piss to a Boil

(Note: before I get more complaints from sysadmins saying “WHY AREN’T YOU RE-IMAGING”, this is for a client, an imaging solution is on their roadmap, but for now they’re setting up their own laptops, so this is the hand I’m dealt.  Thanks for the advice, but I am aware.)

Dear Lenovo,

I understand why bloatware exists.  You get paid to put it on there more often than not, or you think you’re offering the consumer something useful while keeping the name Lenovo in front of their eyes.  In some rare cases it offers some level of value.  Your System Center application, when it doesn’t decide to crash or fail to connect to Lenovo servers, offers an easy portal to updating drivers and firmware on your laptops.  The Lenovo Power tray icon appears to be something some users think “looks nice.”  And I’m pretty sure I can easily blame poor performance on your “Lenovo Applications”, mainly because they are often the cause of said poor performance.

All these tricks are well and fun on consumer-level hardware.  The whole Superfish thing?  That’s a practically unforgivable affront to user privacy and security, but the good news is that you only did that on your consumer-level products.  The beloved Thinkpad line was left untouched, much to the relief of systems administrators everywhere.  You may have spewed bile and shit all over Average Joe Laptop User, but at least the business sector was spared your shoddy, ill-advised treatment.

Now, I happen to be a fan of your products, from a hardware quality perspective.  Lenovo laptops often have best-in-class keyboards and reasonably usable trackpads.  The docking stations have also proven to be reliable and simple.  Thinkpads, specifically, are sturdy and durable.

Your support experience, while not as good as Dell’s, is still light-years ahead of Hewlett-Packard, (though that’s not a terribly difficult hurdle to clear).  So there’s that.  Good-ish job.

Today, however, I question your practices.  While it concerns a seemingly innocuous action, it is representative of a larger disregard for your customers.  Specifically, your business customers.

I had been working on a seriously simple task: creating a domain-wide group policy to force a specific desktop wallpaper.  This is a very basic operation: create the policy, point the configuration to the image I want to set, deploy the policy where I want, wait for things to update and propagate.  This was supposed to be a 5-minute policy creation, then a check-up the next day to make sure it worked.

Your built-in software decided to override my policy.  After hearing reports that laptops weren’t receiving the wallpaper update, I had to verify other more likely possibilities (are they on the wireless network, have they received the group policy update, etc).

I had to drive on-site to assess the issue, as all my testing in the server farm had proven my policy worked.  What I witnessed was your software rubbing shit in my administration.  Upon login, the correct, policy-set wallpaper appeared, only to be changed to the annoying blue “Think” wallpaper about 10 seconds later.

To confirm, I disabled all of your bullshit software in startup, rebooted, and tested.  Oh, look, my system administration worked, now that your software had been disabled.  Thanks.

Now, this is wallpaper.  No big deal, right?  Well, you’re right.  It isn’t a big deal.  That’s why you should not fuck with it.  You should especially not fuck with it if I have made a domain-wide policy dictating what it should be, only to be overridden by who-the-hell-knows-whatever Lenovo Jerkoff Bloatware HD software that is only on the laptop because you put it there, because you think you’re smart.

You’re not smart.  This is an egregiously dumb thing to do, because now I question your integrity when it comes to business.  I now have to advise to every customer I have that getting a Lenovo laptop will require additional setup time, because I have to scrub your viruses in disguise from the hard drive.  I’ll tell them that it’s for their own good, because your built-in software cannot be trusted, and has a lengthy track record proving it.

It’s not a great idea to piss in an administrator’s cereal.  Mainly because we can (and should) tell our clients that they should just go get a fucking Dell instead.

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Understanding the State of the Union

Tumultuous times, indeed.  America’s political parties are both under a heavy state of duress, with non-establishment candidates shaping the narrative of this election cycle.  As of this writing almost eleven million people have voted for Donald J. Trump in the Republican primary, which has resulted in him being the presumptive nominee.  Bernie Sanders, while not appearing to be in a position to win, has created far more noise than anyone had anticipated.  As of this writing around nine million people have voted for him in the Democratic primary.

While the popular vote totals are rarely referenced or brought up in America (since they technically don’t count; that’s another conversation for another time), I feel they are very important in order to provide some context to what is happening in this country right now.

Obviously, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are extremely dissimilar candidates, philosophically.  Sanders self-identifies as a democratic socialist, while Trump is a wild card that appears to be aligning with most traditional Republican positions.  However, one common thread they share, as I’ve discussed here before, is that they’re both anti-establishment.  Their existence and success is based completely on the fact that large portions of their respective parties have had enough of the status quo, for varying reasons.

Now, it’s real easy for people on any side to belittle supporters of either candidate.  In Trump’s case, his nativist slant and acerbic, acidic discourse doesn’t bode well for someone who’s supposed to be considered the Leader of the Free World.  Regarding Sanders, it’s easy to point out that a number of his stated goals are extremely unlikely to occur in an American governmental system that is engineered to resist drastic change, by design.

For supporters of both, there’s a large backlash that is trying to tell them they’re crazy, that they’re supporting a candidate that can’t deliver what they’re promising.  They’re being told that they’re not seeing the bigger picture, that they’re not considering all the issues, that they’re not understanding why they’re wrong.

The point I think we need to understand is this: more than twenty million people have case a primary ballot for a non-establishment candidate, and we’re not finished.  That is a significant number of people; it’s more than 40% of people who cast a primary vote among both parties.

Whether anyone likes it or not, at least twenty million people are fed the fuck up with something.  Whether it’s immigrants, corporate welfare, regressive trade policies, or punitive tuition cost, people are pissed.  More people are pissed than there has been in quite a long time.

All this anger and resentment didn’t come out of nowhere.  There’s a great number of reasons for it, mainly because there are a great number of reasons for the anger and resentment.  Corporate hegemony, an inconsistent and weak economy, the continuing regression of the middle class caused by middling wages and rising costs of living, the overall corruption of our government (and how obvious it is at this point).  Lots of these causes have simmered and boiled over the last few decades, and now we’re at a point where shit happens.

This is the bed we made.  This is the country we live in.  This should not be surprising.

If your national media is allowed to focus its efforts on what’s good for money instead on what’s good for news, what you get is a national media that doesn’t inform the public sufficiently, or at worst misinforms the public with outright lies or out-of-context facts that are meaningless.  We could have cared, but we didn’t.  We ate it up and asked for more.

If we don’t speak up when the banks are allowed to buy each other and become too big to fail, then we run the risk of those banks making bad deals and needing a bailout.  We could have cared, but we didn’t.  We gave them that money and hoped they won’t do it again.

If we thought it was wrong for our government to lie to us so they could rationalize a war, we could have said something, demanded an impeachment, demanded to hold those responsible culpable.  We could have cared, but we didn’t.  We sent our sons and daughters and hoped it would be worth it.

If we thought that politicians and government officials were corrupt, we could have said something.  We could demand term limits, we could disallow corporate donations to campaigns.  We could have cared, but we didn’t.  We watched our government become bought, and hoped it would work out.

Now, we’re caring.  All this fire and anger is good for us.  There’s arguments about whether the outcome of all this is going to be positive, but I have some faith.  And I don’t have faith in much.

The good news is that throughout history, when people finally get pissed and passionate about politics, things change.  Either we get so angry that we revolt, or the systems will change to serve the new demands.  One thing is certain: something will change.  It’s usually for the better, in the end.

I feel like I need to make a note and underline it here: I am not supporting Trump as President.  My primary vote went to Bernie Sanders, and my general election vote will likely go to Hillary Clinton.  In a lot of contexts though, it won’t matter who’s President.  The principal issues with our country and our economy are beyond the President’s power anyways.  The Senate and the House, however, will react, and whoever the President is will too.  They’ll have to.

The long-standing pillars of our democracy, the Democrat and Republican parties, will change.  To resist it is to invite death; that is a universal truth that cannot be avoided.  People have spoken, they will continue to speak until they are made whole.

As crazy and weird as it looks right now, this is democracy in action.

Running Diary – Trying Topre Again

So I got a CoolerMaster Novatouch  TKL again; I procured one a while back, but only kept it for a couple days.  It didn’t impress me much then, so I returned it and tried other boards until I decided on a Leopold FC750R w/MX blue switches.

Blues have been my favorites thus far, with Clears being intriguing and Zealios (62g is all I’ve tried) seeming nice (my experience limited to a poorly/partially assembled Clueboard that I’ll finish up someday, maybe).  But the Topre thing still sat in the back of my mind, especially considering that I kept reading things like “you have to give it a couple weeks.”

So, I’m giving it a couple weeks.  This will be a two-week running diary as I try Topre again.  This won’t be posted until I’ve made some sort of verdict.  That might be two days, two weeks, or two months.  We’ll see.

Here’s the board, along with my workspace:

IMG_20160504_154439

Some notes on my situation:

  • That’s a Cooler Master Novatouch TKL, purchased from a Redditor on /r/mechmarket.  The keycaps are a bi-color Vortex PBT set.
  • That numpad is a Leopold FC210TP with Cherry MX Blue switches.
  • That mouse is a Logitech MX Anywhere 2.
  • This is being used at work, where I am an IT consultant.  I do a large amount of typing as I am in an account management role, alongside being a systems engineer.
  • I still have the Leopold FC750R at home, which will still provide a contrast (it has the same keycaps on it as well, so that won’t be a factor).  Whenever I refer to “the Leopold,” it’s to that.  It has Cherry MX Blues, and it’s wonderful.
  • I also have had a Pok3r (that I’m selling very soon!), it’s also Cherry MX Blues.  So if I refer to a Pok3r, that’s what that is.
  • My strategy is this: with having different boards in different spots, eventually I will prefer one, and I’ll know because I’ll look forward to typing on the one I prefer.

So, here we go:

Day 1 (5/3/2016)

  • Got it around 11am.  Notified the seller that it arrived, checked it all out; everything looks great.
  • It feels like I remember it; a bit mushier than what I’m used to with the Cherry Blues, but not necessarily bad.
  • Man, including a braided USB cable is super cool, but giving it that 90-degree on the micro-USB end is super not cool.
  • I think a key reason I like Cherry Blues, specifically on that Leopold, is the sound.  All the snapping and popping.  Additionally, the hard plastic case of the Leopold gives it just a bit of a hollow reverb to all the clacking that’s delicious to my ear.
  • The Novatouch isn’t near as noisy, and I’m not sure I actually enjoy the “thock” of Topre.  Not sure if I’m just not used to it, or if it’s an actual preference.
  • One of my best friends who thinks I’m crazy with this keyboard thing tried out the Novatouch for a minute and almost felt in love.  He has a SteelSeries 6GV2 for gaming use (Cherry Reds) and that’s it; I think I just sold him a Novatouch without trying to.

Day 2

  • Banged out a lot of documentation today; I can absolutely say that Topre is better for long typing sessions.  I never experienced much fatigue on my Leopold or Pok3r, but there would be some on some of my longer sessions, because I bottom out like crazy.  I’ve been banging away on this thing all day and my fingers feel fine.  Great, even.
  • I don’t dislike the sound of Topre, I think I just really love the sound of plastic-cased Cherry Blues (and to a further extent, buckling springs).  However, once the headphones are in and I can’t hear it anyways, the Topre feels are starting to grow on me.
  • I typed some on my Leopold at home tonight; still nice.

Day 3

  • I looked forward to the Novatouch today.  Not sure if it’s because of newness or legitimate preference yet, but it is what it is.
  • There’s very small moments where I like the sound, even knowing that it’s a bit noisy with a Novatouch (when compared to the “finer” Topre boards).
  • Typed at night on the Leopold; one thing is for sure, I don’t think I’ll stop liking Cherry MX Blues.

Day 4

  • Switched DSA caps onto the Novatouch.  I think I like it more now.  I didn’t care for DSA caps on the Pok3r or Leopold, but strangely they feel much better on the Novatouch.  Not entirely sure why.  Might be some strange sort of confirmation bias or something, but I do like them.
  • Banged out more documentation and correspondence today.  No fatigue.  No perceived dip in typing speed (I might even be faster).  Comfortable.  This could be bad.

Day 5

  • Took it home for the weekend; haven’t typed on it much, but it immediately replaced the Leopold as the keyboard in front of my main desktop PC.
  • DSA still seeming really nice.  I was planning on selling some of the DSA caps I have, but that might change.  We’ll see.
  • Current picture below.  Pardon the mix-and-match caps; the DSA caps I have were purchased for the Pok3r, so I don’t have enough of either of the color schemes I have to fill out a TKL properly.  Also, pardon the poor light in my “office.”

IMG_20160507_190955

  • FYI, the DSA sets I have are: 60% base set in blue (BDJ, pictured above), standard modifiers set of Think Different (also pictured above), 60% base set in white (WAN, blanks), a 60% modifiers set in black (NEM, blanks), and a Numpad set in black (NEM, blanks).

Day 6

  • Banged out a blog entry.  I think it’s equally shocking that I’m liking Topre, and that I’ve come around on DSA profile keycaps.  This is a good thing; I love the way DSA looks and feels, but when I tried it before I just felt that the caps being lower made typing just a tiny bit more difficult.  It just feels…less so with the Novatouch.  Weird.

Day 7

  • Another day at work where typing up proposals and emails was phenomenal.  I figured out a better layout using the DSA caps that I had:

IMG_20160510_125326

 

  • Now I’m at home typing things up on the Leopold, and I realized that since I brought the Novatouch home over the weekend, this is the first I’ve typed on it in a while.  I still like MX Blues.  I don’t know which I like better.  This feels like a great problem to have.
  • One thing I dislike about the Novatouch: lack of LED indicators.  Would be real nice if there were indicators for CapsLock, the WindowsLock feature, and I guess ScrollLock.  Not a huge deal, but it’s one thing I definitely miss.
  • Another thing I dislike about the Novatouch: the case has this smoothish coating on the plastic that makes it a fingerprint magnet, which will annoy me to no end.  If I end up keeping this Novatouch, in addition to the silencing mod I’ll be painting or wrapping the case.
  • Full disclosure: I absolutely looked at other Topre boards on online stores today.  Oi.

Day 8

  • I can’t get over the fact that I like both of these typing experiences even though they’re completely different.
  • One random bonus: for whatever reason, it sounds like I type superhumanly fast to people over the phone; I think the lower pitch and chatter of the Novatouch (which I would eliminate with the silencing mod if I keep this board) contributes.  Still cool to hear “whoa, is that you typing?  yeesh” over the phone.

Day 9

  • I almost decided to work from home today.  Then I thought that I wouldn’t be able to type on the Novatouch if I did that.  I’m not saying it was the reason I ended up at the office, but I will certainly concede that it was reason.
  • I probably need some sort of psychiatric help at this point.
  • I might be planning a RealForce purchase.
  • I am sick.

Day 10

  • More of the same wonderful-ness at work today.
  • I did a substantial amount of typing at home with the Leopold, and my taste for MX Blues hasn’t changed; I still like them a lot.
  • While my heart may be desiring other Topre boards now, I don’t think it’s “sell all the MX boards” time either.  Maybe I just like everything.
  • OK, so I will have to sell something.  I can’t just keep buying keyboards.
  • Wait, maybe I can.
  • Oh boy.

Day 11

  • Because I’m indecisive and silly, I changed keycaps again.  Pardon the dustiness:

IMG_20160513_104353

  • Those are the stock PBT keycaps from my Leopold FC750R.  They’re beauts, and they feel great with the Topre feels.
  • I think everything might feel great with Topre.
  • I think Topre might be great.
  • RIP wallet.

Day 12 & 13

  • Didn’t do much typing these two days; just had lots of life stuff that didn’t involve typing.

Day 14

  • Final verdict on the Novatouch, as a board: it’s above-average build quality is acceptable for the price point.  Obviously the MX sliders on Topre switches are the main attraction, but it’s not the greatest specimen of keyboard engineering.  But it’s also not terrible.
    • Letter grade on overall quality that’s probably arbitrary and silly: C+
    • Negatives: finger-print-magnet case, moderate rattle with case and larger keys, strangely right-angled USB cable, lack of any status LEDs (CapsLock, etc)
    • Positives: braided cable, wire keypuller, great typing experience, lack of visible branding, sturdy despite rattle, ability to customize keys with Topre
  • As for a review of Topre, my two weeks is up and I think I’ve made a clear decision: while I absolutely enjoy Cherry MX Blues, I think Topre is right there as something I enjoy.  Specifically, I think I always want a Topre board for work, as extended typing sessions are pointedly more pleasant.
  • I am planning a RealForce purchase, though a FC660C might sway me.  No HHKB for me; the form factor just isn’t compatible with my needs.
  • I am keeping this NovaTouch, at least for now.  I need a good DSA set for it though.
  • My wallet, as always, weeps gently.

The American Brain

I try not to go on internet search-term rabbit holes anymore.  They typically lead me to finding out things I sometimes wish I didn’t know.  The general attitudes and ensuing voting habits of Americans are among these things.

Spend only a few intimate moments with Google and you’ll find that in most poll questions, a majority of Americans support things that our politicians don’t even consider.  The bold truth is that a majority of America is less capitalist than anyone chooses to think.

President Obama took the public option for national healthcare off the table immediately in forming the ACA, despite the fact that greater than 60% of Americans wanted it.  Significant majorities like that follow suit across a variety of issues; $15 minimum wage, heavy bank and financial regulation, increase in social programs (social security, medicaid, etc), increase in taxes on the rich (the rich being >$250,000/yr), closing corporate tax loopholes.

This might sound like a blog about Bernie Sanders.  It isn’t, though he certainly champions all those things.  What this is about is trying to understand how so many Americans vote not just against their interests, but how they’re voting against their own opinions.

The success of Sanders and Trump shouldn’t be surprising if you read history books.  When people lose faith in governmental establishments, populist candidates of all kinds can gain ground in elections.  Go look up Barry Goldwater and George McGovern if you don’t believe me.  No matter what you may think of this, it’s a simple eventuality in any reasonably democratic system.

With any examination, it’s never a single factor that causes a complex issue.  And I absolutely will not find every factor, as I am just an IT guy with spare time.

But here’s a stab at some reasons:

  • Single-issue voters; some people are just so passionate about a single issue that they will only vote for a candidate who reflects their view, all other issues be damned.  Not necessarily the smartest of approaches, but it’s still a common approach regardless..
  • A collective cognitive dissonance in regards to many political keywords, such as “socialist,” “poor,” “rich,” and “middle class.”
    • The s-word is still a bad word decades after the Red Scare and the peak of the Cold War, despite the fact that socialism doesn’t necessarily mean anything close to Communism.
    • “Poor” can mean much more than most people think; most probably feel that “Poor” is “making less than I do.”
    • “Rich” to some people means $100,000/year, when in reality the definition is $250,000/yr, an amount relatively few people make (slightly less than 3%).
    • “Middle Class” has taken on a ton of meanings.  It could mean the median household income (around $53,000/year).  It could mean the “middle quintile” of households (around $40k-$65k/year).  We could use President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s definition (less than $250k/year, which is absurd).  Or, we could use the United State Government’s definition (of which there is none, so nevermind).
  • While social media has certainly made enormous strides in connecting individuals with each other (and has created a net positive effect on society in my eyes, despite some disadvantages), this isn’t being used to boost debate in a positive way.  While it’s now easier to find opinions and philosophies divergent to your own, most people don’t seek that out; most seek out people who agree with them, and what ensues is an echo chamber of back-patting, and the galvanization of beliefs.  Even if you’re actually “right,” it doesn’t matter because that sort of thinking is antithetical to critical thought.  The first step towards society is thinking about people who aren’t you and who disagree with you.
  • American mainstream news appears to be rather corrupt.  I plan on performing an experiment to verify this (more on that someday), but it really seems like American news is purposefully baseless, disingenuous, and lacks needed context when reporting important things.

That’s just a few things off the top of my head, but I think those things carry a lot of blame.

Hopefully we can wake the fuck up and start thinking like smart people again someday.

I’m not holding my breath.

That LA Times Piece Has Me Ready To Burn Some Mother Fuckers To The Ground

So, here’s this: http://static.latimes.com/oxycontin-part1/

That report catalogs a long-running con on the American public by Purdue Pharma, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the “Big Pharma” industry as a whole.  It is a master-class in discovering how fucked up our healthcare system and our government are.  I can’t think of a single reason for any individual person to not be angry and upset about this, unless you’re one of the people directly benefiting from this dishonesty on a grand scale.

I won’t rehash the whole thing; I really want everyone to read it and fully digest its ramifications.  There were multiple levels of corruption, deceit, and flat-out fucking evil that played out over the course of decades.  There is no acceptable argument, to me, to excuse this.  This was a large corporation taking advantage of people’s pain and misery, using their money (re: power) to make sure any government red tape was ignored or broken, and then doing anything they can to keep the drug relevant, despite it’s shortcomings and obvious deleterious effect upon society.

This story is about OxyContin, an opioid pain killer that has long been associated with the scourge of pain-killer addiction in America.  This story was preventable at multiple levels, and all of these levels failed spectacularly.  Let’s recap that, just for clarity:

Every Level of Fuckup That Occurred To Allow OxyContin’s Perpetuation

  • There was some evil fuck (or collection of evil fucks) that thought this up in the first place.
  • The collection of evil fucks who continued this bald-faced lie.
  • The many people (if we’re going to qualify them as people still, and not ice-hearted shitstains) who administered the initial clinical trials who fucking knew the shortcomings and dangers of this dangerous narcotic substance.
  • The unfeeling, disgusting, black-souled shiteater at the FDA who approved this drug, who then months later became an employee of Purdue Pharma.
  • The large swath of assholes who have and continue to perpetuate the allowance of money in politics that created this climate in the first place.
  • The large swath of assholes who have and continue to perpetuate a crippling lack of regulation of corporations that created this climate in the first place.
  • Whoever is responsible at Purdue Pharma for advising doctors to increase the dosage instead of frequency when the drug failed to meet expectations.
  • All of us, everyone.  For continuing to not give enough of a shit, thus disincentivising change.

I don’t think I have too many more words.  I’m not a violent person, and I don’t normally wish violence or death on anyone.  But the fact that we haven’t, collectively, gone to the offices of Purdue Pharma and dragged all those suits into the street and beaten them with tire irons sort of baffles me.

Most of all, it saddens me.

It’s everyone’s fault.

I’ve thought and written about the regressing, reductive nature of American social and political conversation a lot.  I think it’s one of the central problems with the country; not only are there many people who don’t vote at all, but there’s a huge lack of research and a large surplus of misinformation.  It’s too easy to get a framed talking point embedded in your brain, to be oblivious to either it’s insignificance in the grand scheme of things or to be straight-up lied to.  It’s a sound-bite society, and when it comes to the important shit, that’s real dangerous.

The recent developments of the Republican party (or what’s left of it) have highlighted this problem.  There have now been enough people who have actually cast votes for Donald Trump where he is the presumptive nominee for the GOP in this upcoming election.  But there’s so much more wrong with this, and it has little to do with Trump himself, in my eyes.

Trump’s not a unique snowflake.  There have been candidates like him before; full of bluster, positioning themselves as the “outsider,” keeping their message basic and easily digestable.  Most of the time, primary voters (who tend to be slightly more discerning than general election voters) will weed these types out long before they start winning states and delegates.  For better or worse, the system is set up that way for that reason; any political party will want guys they like as the main choices, and tenets such as tradition will keep many voters from straying too far off of the reservation.

What has made Trump different is the specific manner in which he is presenting his issues, and the issues he’s presenting in the first place.  He has fostered a political climate that is friendly to xenophobia and nativism.  He has taken the Overton Window and ripped open the side of it.  This has tapped into an anger and resentment that a portion of the GOP has hidden or obfuscated for a long time.  That, coupled with frustration with a black president and the ineffectual status quo of the GOP candidate pool, has allowed this orange monster to manifest itself.

It’s fun to say the GOP made this bed and now has to lie in it, but that’s too easy, and a pretty lazy argument.

It doesn’t take a long look at the other side of party lines to see practically the same thing happening.  There’s a few key differences which will likely make the outcome different, but it’s similarities are striking.

(Disclaimer: I am not comparing Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump; the only two things they have in common are that they’re not establishment candidates and they both share disdain for international trade agreements.  Past that, they’re almost completely opposite.)

Bernard Sanders is a similar anti-establishment candidate, but his campaign has been much more “standard” than Trump’s.  Sanders’ path to victory involved reshaping the Democratic party into one that will accept him.  Trump’s path to victory just involved smashing bugs until there were none left.

The primary difference in the outcomes of their prospective campaigns is Hillary Clinton.  Sanders will not likely win the nomination simply because his opponent is a far more accomplished, experienced, and prepared candidate than anyone Trump had to face.  If there were a long-time Republican stalwart running against Trump, his outcome would likely be far different; instead, he got to slice through a relatively cream-puff schedule of first-timers, has-beens, zealots, and John Kasich.  None of them come close to the name recognition, experience, or party loyalty than HRC.

There’s thousands of words to go around here regarding the possibilities of these races (at least of what’s left of them), but the important factor to take from it all is this: shit’s changing.  Shit’s changing a lot.  Both parties have had enough unrest that establishment-unfriendly candidates went very, very far in these primaries.  One looks like he’ll win, the other has come far closer than anyone would have ever guessed.

People are fucking angry, is what I’m trying to say.  They’re angry enough to leave the cocoons of party politics and find candidates that invigorate them.  They’re angry enough to refuse to look inside the box, because inside the box hasn’t worked for them well enough.  In some cases (the death of the middle class, trade agreements that are good for business/bad for people, questionable foreign policy decisions) these angry masses have a point.  In some cases (xenophobia, nativism) they don’t.  But none of it matters if they remain angry.

If they remain angry and impassioned, shit will change.  It simply has to.  There is nothing more terrifying to a government than a mobilization of angry masses, mainly because that’s what gets them killed/removed from power/otherwise marginalized.  This isn’t conjecture, this is history that has repeated itself forever.

And we can’t just point at the GOP and go “WOW THEY FUCKED THIS UP.”  This became fucked up.  Everyone is involved, everyone is responsible.  Anyone can say what they want about Trump’s racists or Sanders’ comrades, they are people who believe in their action and support for their candidate.  They didn’t wake up and go “fuck the police.”  They feel cheated, they feel abandoned, they feel unrepresented.

Yeah, I gave that word the italics, the bold, and the underline treatment.  That word should evoke the last time people in America felt unrepresented.  We threw a bunch of tea into the ocean, then there was a big war that created our country.

It’s Easy Until It’s You

I’m one of those people who can easily be talked into the redefinition of, well, anything.  This is mainly born out of the logic that everything changes, so everything should change to accommodate, y’know, reality.

This is a really easy thing to do until it’s something that concerns you.

Example: the Constitution of the United States of America.  Many people cling to this document as if it were handed down by the gods, never to be touched or changed, to be upheld verbatim for all time.  People forget that this document was written:

  • By people who:
    • thought black people didn’t count as people in their society
    • thought women didn’t deserve a vote
    • owned slaves
    • routinely broke the law and got away with it
  • In a time when:
    • Nobody bathed regularly
    • Toilets (or plumbing of any kind) didn’t exist
    • Mass communication of any kind didn’t exist
    • there were people who thought vampires were real
    • basic medicine and dentistry were functionally barbaric practices
    • most of the country as we know it today wasn’t discovered yet

The suggestion of rewriting the constitution brings some people to violence, yet it’s probably a good idea if only because shit changes, yo.

That all sounds pretty logical to me, and I’m willing to accept that.

Right now, as a country, we’re trying to accept what the definition of a man or woman is.  This starts a litany of other conversations; some worthwhile, some not, all difficult.  To some the outcome is obvious, that we need to be tolerant of everyone’s thoughts and feelings.  To others the outcome is opposite but similarly obvious, that we need to preserve our moral and social fiber, and resist progressive change for the sake of change.  The answer, as always, is subjective and likely somewhere in the middle.

These discussions are even harder for the people directly affected.  It’s really easy to forget that when trying to break something down logically.

This all makes sense to me.

Change is hard.