You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Memo to app-based culture warriors and Mary Elizabeth Williams: IT'S YOUR TURN.
I'm not gonna make it. I'm not even gonna come close. But I must keep trying to dig out the research pile this week. My new goal is to get halfway through December (with two notable exceptions that I'm saving for good reason). And in service of that, here's two more half-columns.
As of the last official count, Apple's App Store had at least 100,000 more apps than anyone will ever fucking need. Which is why it cracks me up every time an app, or the removal of an app, pisses off one political interest group or the other. Leave it alone. It'll wallow in obscurity amongst the farters, the exercise apps, and the knockoff games with names like Mangry Nerds and Fangry Turds.
Or you could call attention to them, like a few weeks ago, when pro-gay groups got Apple to pull the Manhattan Declaration app. The Manhattan Declaration app, which I had never heard of, encourages users to sign a petition in support of the Manhattan Declaration, which I had never heard of, which turns out to be a bunch of dickheads saying that the gay marriage is the immoralest thing that ever shambled across the earth and that Christians have to stop it.
You know what's coming next, of course. The instant the app was pulled for being anti-gay, the Christians went to the Apple Store, bought a huge cross with an LCD front and a chrome back, and used the Martyr Fartyr app to nail themselves to it. And they made a huge ruckus, and that huge ruckus made it to my RSS feed, and that's how I found out about all this shit I never would have heard about and got to read sanctimonious quotes like this from fuckwits like this. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct." - a Manhattan Declaration press release and the single worst way of saying "live and let live" I've ever read.
Please, before you consider mounting a campaign to get a major corporation to enforce its Terms of Service, think about the actual reach of the content, versus what the reach of the content will be once its removal becomes "news". Also, don't make shitty apps for things your shitty website can do just as well, if not better. We could all get along if you would all stop being so damn stupid where I can hear you.
And speaking of being stupid where I can hear you, Mary Elizabeth Williams writes for Salon. I don't mark a lot of articles from Salon for mockery, and don't use them often when I do, but now that Camille Paglia has stopped contributing, every time I do, it's some shit from Mary Elizabeth Williams.
Her schtick is a love of bland, suburban, non-confrontational civility that borders on the passive-aggressive, and is the all-too-common fetish of mellowed middle-aged liberals who have been too goddamned comfortable for too goddamned long.
Her most recent piece that caught my eye is "Why Facebook's 'like' button feels so good", and if you're anything "like" me, you're furiously wishing Facebook had a "Vomit" button so that you could join Facebook just to press it. Using technology to express mild approval of nonthreatening things? No wonder she's creaming herself. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"But while the notion that 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all' doesn't apply in all situations, it's still often a bang-up idea, one that rarely gets its due on the Internet. And while I still maintain that emoticons are the quintessence of lame, there's something warm and welcoming about the affirmation that comes with every 'like.' It says, I've paid attention to the big and small news you've chosen to share today, and I care about it. How rarely in the day-to-day of real life does one have the chance to say, 'Good for you'? Or when granted it, does one take it? Sure, it's a minuscule act of kindness, but even a few karmic pennies are better dispensed than hoarded. When I can let a friend know how I feel, or when he or she 'likes' what I have to say, it makes my day."
PUNCHABLE PHRASE LIGHTNING ROUND!
Somebody please get Williams a Selectric and a time machine. I'm positive that somewhere, in 1972, Reader's Digest is hiring.