Social media: The slums of the Net

Welcome to your new reality America... Pennsylvania... Schuylkill County.

 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 people and injured 20 at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999...

They were called the 'trench coat mafia' in the media. With this newfound glory of fame that the killers reached, copycat threats reigned across the country from sea to shining sea. I was a senior that year. Thankfully my stay in the school world was coming to an end. But from April through June of 1999, Cardinal Brennan and North Schuylkill faced almost daily bomb threats, shooting threats, and evacuations as a result. It became so commonplace that year, when the siren in the school went off, people treated it as a second recess in the school day. since then have forced school shootings into the commonplace of American thought. We are at a point now where a body count ranging in more than a dozen makes new. Less? Maybe a byline in print. Maybe a snippet on the evening news. Media wants blood.. they want numbers. Their news vans will only travel when there is a massacre.. And the same old sort of events will happen, just about in this order.
  1. Shooting.
    1. Multiple gunmen reported.
    2. One gunmen killed/apprehended.
  2. Blame.
    1. Conspiracy theory!
      1. Paid actors!
      2. Crisis actors!
      3. Planned killing!
    2. Drugs
      1. Presciption
      2. Past counsleing
      3. Doctors who do not help or ignore problem
    3. Gun
      1. Taken from parents
      2. Purchased legally after background checks
  3. Aftermath
    1. Media
      1. Blame guns
      2. Blame medicine
      3. Blame video games
      4. Blame politicians
    2. Citizens
      1. Demand gun control
      2. Ask for teachers to  be armed
      3. Ask for a ban on certain medicines
  4. Social media
Bodies of the dead are being buried in Parkland Florida, but threats of horror are occurring all across the United States. In Pennsylvania, multiple districts have been closed multiple days. Close by, Berwick saw threats. York was closed for almost last week in its entirety.

 A student from Wormleysburg has been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats after saying he'd "shoot up" his school and kill anyone who told on him, Lower Allen Township police said.. Meanwhile in York, PA: Investigators are serving an unknown number of social media companies with warrants to gather information to whoever made threats of violence against students and staff.


 This week in my local district, there was a threat on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This weekend, a post was made on social media and spread abundantly about a newfound threat on Monday February 26... It was spread so far and wide that the North Schuylkill School District issued a statement to parents late Saturday that it was aware of the threat and working with law enforcement to determine its validity...

 This is where my son goes. Where lots of kids go. And undoubtedly if you are reading this is Washington State, Iowa, Ohio, or Maine, you are potentially seeing similar issues. School districts suddenly under attack not by actual events, but by social media and the viral spread that messages have. So perhaps the aging me harkens back to the happier past of the Internet because I long for it..

Back when AOL Instant Messenger competed with ICQ for the attention of the youth. Social media--the way we know it today--was not even in the twinkle of the eye of a young high schooler named Mark Zuckerberg/ Fast forward to the events of our modern age? It would seem that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the rest have become tools for the modern societal breakdown. The Internet is vast and amazing.

But the socials?

They seem like the plague of the net.. like the slums of a city. Like the eloquent example of the breakdown of the society at large.... These recent threats will come and go. And then there will be more. And then there will be another school shooting at some unknown location in the vast reaches of these 50 states, and we will do it all again.

 What caused all of this? I heard one theory that it is the long-term effect of NAFTA, lack of jobs, neighborhood breakdown, heroin epidemic, and then the eventual school shootings from an gun-enthused and unemployed by depressed populace. I don't know. At all. Do you? I cannot comment, or opine, on matters of insanity.

 This situation is so insane that I cannot even conjure any rational thoughts despite my attempts. ...I have said before and will say again, if nothing changed after 1st graders were gunned down in Sandy Hook, perhaps nothing even will.

 What in always conclude with is how horrid and sad that it must be for a parent to bury a child, for a child to attend the funeral  of a friend, and a teacher to lose a student in such depravity and violence. And even if someone wants to hear more, that's just about all I can say. No sense, at all, can be made of it. We are a human species.

Intelligent enough to reach vast empty spaces of our universe, and yet backwards enough to hate and kill. Can I make sense of that?

No.. And neither can you.


BLACK PANTHER unstoppable! Disney and Marvel Studios' Black Panther continues to set records at the U.S. box office where it is headed for $100 million-plus during its second week; one of the top second-weekend grosses in history! 

MORE: That's after scoring the best first week for any title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with $292 million through Thursday, besting The Avengers (2012) in its first week..

Black Panther earned $28.9 million on Friday from 4,020 theaters to jump the $300 million mark domestically. Estimates for this weekend range from $100 million-$105 million. If it comes in on the high end, it will score the third-best weekend of all time behind champ Star Wars: Force Awakens ($149.2 million) and Jurassic World ($106.6 million). The Avengers earned $103.1 million in its second outing.

True horror in Syria: '400,000 People ... Live In Hell On Earth': Bombing Of Syrian Suburbs Kills Hundreds

Reporting from NPR:

In the eastern suburbs of Damascus, a region called Eastern Ghouta, nearly 500 people have been killed in a deadly escalation by the Syrian government that began Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told The Associated Press. More than 120 of the dead are children, the group says.
"Airstrikes, artillery shells and barrels filled with TNT are being dropped on neighborhoods that are heavily populated by civilians who have no way to escape," NPR's Lama Al-Arian reports. "They're being forced into bunkers, and many of them can't even find the time to bury their dead."


"I am deeply saddened by the terrible suffering of the civilian population in Eastern Ghouta — 400,000 people that live in hell on earth," he said to the U.N. Security Council. "I don't think we can let things go on happening in this horrendous way. "
Syrian state media said rebel factions had fired shells at the Old City of Damascus on Saturday, Reuters reported.


Not even Ivanka Trump could save the NBC Olympics ratings disaster

Ivanka Trump arrived in South Korea on Friday as she takes on diplomatic duties at the Winter Olympics...
But .. not even she could help a struggling network retain viewers for its shrinking Olympics..

It ain't 1994 anymore..

For the last Friday of the often-struggling PyeongChang Games, NBC and NBCSN’s combined primetime coverage grabbed a 9.2/16 in metered market results


That is an all-time low for an Olympics that is on track to be the lowest ever.
Down 11% in the early numbers from the previous ratings bottoming out of the 2018 Games on February 17, last night’s alpine skiing, snowboarding speed skating and bobsledding filled coverage is also down 2% from the last Friday of the Sochi Games in 2014. Unlike last night’s primetime, the coverage out of Russia on February 21, 2014 was tape-delayed and only on NBC itself. Like last night’s primetime, the final Friday of the XXII Winter Games proved to be a ratings low at the time too.
When the final viewership numbers were in, the final Friday of Sochi 2014 drew an audience of 14.9 million. To go a bit bigger picture, that was down from comparable nights of Vancouver 2010 and Torino 2006. Which, as we await final numbers for last night and based on the metered market results, paints a chilly portrait of the Winter Games out PyeongChang going for a new low.
Even with Team USA currently in fourth place overall in the XXIII Winter Games, there are a lot of double-digit drops once you drill into the numbers.

And remember: In 2011, NBC paid a total of $4.38 billion for the rights to the next four Olympics. Three years later it bought another six for $7.7 billion. At the time, the deals looked to many like a sure thing.

 Could it be? Are we done with the Olympics?

Just as the net news cycle completely decimated the NETWORKS (until Trump along) could the internet also have killed the way we follow the Olympics? Is the attention span of the world at large so short that we cannot even stomach a brief 1 hour of our time to take us away from the slums of social networks?
And with that said, it would also appear that NBC's notion it could score high joy with a big purchase like they made in '11 look not only like a bad risk but a huge albatross that will be around their Peacock neck for the next several Olympics to come...

.....unless another Kerrigan/Harding scandal rears its figure skating head, the winter and summer games mania could very well be a thing of the past... things change.


LOGAN director James Mandgold speaks about PG related violence in movies.. “I have a lot of misgivings about violence and PG ratings. A PG film might show hundreds of people dying, falling off buildings, getting mowed down by rapid-fire guns, but you don’t feel the deaths because the ratings system dictates the amount of agony being played by the actor. In a weird way, that makes violence more palatable because when we excise the upsetting bits, we de-sensitize ourselves to death to the point where it’s almost like shooting ducks at a carnival.”..

 BATGIRL may still happen: Michelle Wells, an executive VP at Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertain, has reached out to “Black Panther: World of Wakanda” comics writer Roxanne Gay following Gay’s expression of interest in writing the live-action “Batgirl” film on social media. Gay sent out the tweet: “Hey @DCComics I can write your Batgirl movie, no prob” to which Wells replied: “If you’re serious…contact me.”..

Billy Graham dead at 99

The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home. He was 99.

His death was confirmed by Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.


Being featured at the New York Toy Fair this past weekend, three figures: Will, Mike, and the punk version of Eleven. Based on likenesses of actors Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobby Brown, each figure is designed with more than 12 points of articulation to allow for dynamic posing.

The toys come with retro-themed packaging and a Stranger Things-branded display case. They also have some miniature props: Mike and Will each have a removable backpack, while Eleven comes with an alternate hand and a mask. Her design is based off the controversial seventh episode of Stranger Things season 2, which followed Eleven as she briefly left Hawkins to join a punk gang led by her estranged “sister” Kali (Linnea Berthelsen).

Jamie Lee Curtis says you'll be happy and scared of the newest HALLOWEEN

And that’s a wrap. Darlene Vega painted this portrait of Michael Myers. A fitting last tableau while shooting @halloweenmovie #halloweenmovieEverybody who made the movie did so because of their passion for John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s original vision. I think you will all be very happy and VERY scared. See you 10/19/18