Kirstjen Nielsen And Tom Cotton Are Liars

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I can’t get over that both Kirstjen Nielsen and Tom Cotton, otherwise presumably honorable people, are willing to lie to protect our shithead, scummy racist president. And no one seems to care. No one. I blows my mind. It’s mind boggling that this is the case.

The worse part of all of this is that “normal” people are slouching towards his slimy shitty level for white-knuckled political reasons. It’s really nuts. It’s completely bonkers. All this insane stuff is happening and political gravity continues to be suspended.

Donald Trump is a racist, and people like Kirstjen Nielsen and Tom Cotton are protecting him and it blows my mind. It is an outrage. But there doesn’t seem to be any consequence to it. Is America so fucked up that someone as slimy and ignorant as Donald Trump can cause hopefully honorable people are willing to cover for him.

It’s crazy. Insane. And there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it.

‘Vortex’ — #Lyrics To A Woke Pop Song

I love the word “Vortex” as a pop song title, so I keep coming back to it. I’ve written the lyrics to several songs using this concept, but given how totally insane the Trump Administration has come to be, it seems as though it’s appropriate to revisit this concept AGAIN. I am going to attempt, just off the top of my head, write a song that gives a breezy — and fastly sung — description of the shitstorm that Trump has brought about.

Vortex
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

it started with a bang
forcing immigrants to pack their bags
fast as they can
people went to the airport
to show their support
and that was just the first few days!

Trump is a vortex
a vortex of political storms
what are going to do
what are we going to do

it’s been a vortex
a vortex of crazy
please don’t call me lazy
if the facts of this vortex are hazy

what has happened since it began
leaves us with hat in hand
Bannon came and went
Trump has left us spent!
take a break for a few hours
come back and the world is in flames
Trump is back at it again!

Trump is a vortex
a vortex of political storms
what are going to do
what are we going to do

it’s been a vortex
a vortex of crazy
please don’t call me lazy
if the facts of this vortex are hazy

[bridge]
we’re going to have to confront
that the president’s nuts
unhinged as he can be
where, exactly, are we going to flee?

the president calls Africa a shithole (shithouse?)
just a few days ago
we were going down the hole of his sanity
now we’re completely ignoring
his hush money to a porn star
what the hell is happening!

Trump is a vortex
a vortex of political storms
what are going to do
what are we going to do

it’s been a vortex
a vortex of crazy
please don’t call me lazy
if the facts of this vortex are hazy

‘Waiting’ — #Lyrics To A Woke Pop Song

This would be a catchy pop song in the spirit of Katy Perry’s more popular recent stuff. But it would be more overtly “woke” than what she’s sung. Let me stress that this is just written really fast off the top of my head, but it is relaxing. This is about Hawaii residents having to wait 38 minutes before they found out that a ICBM wasn’t on its way to kill them. And I like to tell stories in verse, so you get this.

Waiting
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform
a missile is on its way

to end us all
so here we are
waiting, waiting, waiting

waiting for the end
wondering what comes next
should we be worried
should we fear life after death

38 minutes until we knew the truth
long enough to reflect on our lives
time enough to hope we’ve lived a good life
38 minutes of waiting, waiting, waiting

now what is what we said
looking around with fresh eyes
so this is how it all ends
with us waiting, waiting, waiting

38 minutes until we knew the truth
long enough to reflect on our lives
time enough to hope we’ve lived a good life
38 minutes of waiting, waiting, waiting

[bridge]
this is not how we expected it
we’re going to meet our maker
live a hell on heaven’s islands

38 minutes until we knew the truth\
long enough to reflect on our lives
time enough to hope we’ve lived a good life
38 minutes of waiting, waiting, waiting

waiting, waiting, waiting
waiting, waiting, waiting
waiting, waiting, waiting

‘Dicky Durbin’ — #Lyrics To A Woke Punk Rock Song

It continues to amaze me that it’s not bigger news that the President of the United States is not only demonstrably unhinged, but has the mentality of a middle-school bully. So, this song is about Trump’s latest nickname, Dicky Durbin and how it’s so bad, so childish that it is flabbergasting. Anyway, this is a punk song. At least the music to it would be punk.

Dicky Durbin
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

things don’t seem like they could get worse
make me want to hiss
when I see you on my screen
you come up with stupid names
for respectable people
at least from what I can glean
your latest is Dicky Durbin

Dicky Durbin
is that all you got, bruh
Dicky Durbin
is that all you got, bruh
you’re losing your touch
losing your touch

what is going to happen
I just don’t know
I just don’t know
what’s going to happen
boy, do I care

the president slings his shit
at senators and their ilk
what are we going to do
with this shithead
in the Oval Office?

Dicky Durbin
is that all you got, bruh
Dicky Durbin
is that all you got, bruh
you’re losing your touch
losing your touch

[bridge]
we’ve got to fight
the good fight
if Trump is going to sling the mud
we’ve got to sling the love

I believe we’re going to win
just got to vote when we get our chance
that chance will come soon enough
we’re going to win
we’re going to win
we’re going to win

Idle Mulling ‘The Mule’ Portion of ‘Foundation’ As A Movie Allegory About Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I’ve talked about this before and, as usual, no one paid me any attention. But I write this more for my own benefit than anyone else’s. There is a movie to be made about Trump in the most unlikely of places: the long forgotten Foundation saga of books by Isaac Asimov. The books heavily influenced Star Wars, so such an extent that adapting them might be nearly impossible. People would take one look at any such movie and scoff, saying it was a “rip off” of Star Wars when, in fact, the opposite is the truth.

And as far as I know, Foundation is in “development hell” somewhere in the bowels of HBO.

Having said all that, it is interesting that if you look at The Mule portion of the saga, you could probably produce a pretty epic movie. Like, under the right stewardship, you could not only produce a biting allegory of the Trump era, but use it as a jump start of a movie adaptation of the entire great Foundation Universe. It would be really, really cool. A huge amount of money is to be made if someone would just get their head out of their butt and do something with it.

I say all of this because of what happens with The Mule. In the series, The Mule is described as this annoying, comical character who everyone assumes is a fool until the very end when we discover he’s been slowly taking over the galaxy using his super special mental abilities. He’s call The Mule, because, duh, he can’t have children. But there are some pretty great scenes I can imagine in my head.

The whole thing would be amazingly great. You see, as I recall, you have four people zooming around the galaxy looking for information on The Mule, or somesuch. You have an older professor type, two young people and this weird annoying guy (who of course we learn is The Mule.) So, in my fevered imagination, you get a really great director with a very unique world view, an auteur, if you will, to create this universe. I suggest this only because if you get just a generic hack to make this movie, they’re probably just going to copy Star Wars and the whole thing will be moot.

But if you got a well known auteur, like Ridley Scott or even, say, Wes Anderson or Spike Jonze or Quentin Tarantino, to direct this movie something magical could happen. For the professor, who I just remember for saying “Great Galaxies!” a lot, I would get a well known older actor. Maybe Gary Oldman? For the two young people, I would suggest Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown. Casting The Mule is tougher. You need someone who could be the comic relief for most of the film, only to turn on a dime to a dark, sinister character who would become iconic.

There are a few people I could think of. Jack Black, maybe? Someone like him. Even Dave Chappelle might do the trick. But with the right writer and director, the character of The Mule could be quite meaty. Character defining. Add to this what a devastating indictment of Trump this movie could be, it would be one of the best movies of the decade if you did it right.

It seems obvious that the key to making a successful Foundation movie is it has to be different than Star Wars. It needs to be more adult. It wouldn’t be about selling toys to little kids, it would be about making adults think about the world they live in. Anyway, all of this is just me mulling an interesting concept. It’s not like I have a script of even the rights to the Foundation series. I guess this has to do more with my frustration with this storytelling goldmine just sitting there in plain sight and no one doing anything with it.

What is amusing is there are plenty of people who grew up reading the Foundation books who would love to see a Foundation movie. You’d tap into an unexpected fan base, I guess is what I’m saying. But no one listens to me. But it is definitely fun to write about.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va.

‘Shithole’ Nation: Sen. Cotton, Have You No Sense Of Shame?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I am completely embarrassed by not only Sen. Cotton, but the entire Republican Party. The Republicans are willing to sell their souls to Donald J. Trump because, what? They don’t want to admit that Trump is a racist piece of shit?

This whole controversy over Trump’s “shithole country” statement is mindboggling. We are now debating words and intentions in a way not seen since we were talking about what the meaning of “is is.” There is one answer and one answer only that makes sense: Trump is a racist. He said what people in the room first said he said and people like Sen. Tom Cotton are full of shit.

In an earlier day, someone would beat the shit out of someone on the floor of the Senate at some point given what’s going on. Thankfully, we haven’t gotten to that point, yet. I guess this makes me so angry because this is the first time when the Republicans have broken the rules of public debate. They’re not playing fair anymore. They are not just complicit, they’re willfully lying to protect Trump.

This is not cool.

This makes me very angry. It means we’ve lurched towards a dangerous new stage in Trumplandia. We can’t agree on the facts because one side is so insanely partisan that they’re out-and-out lying to protect a corrupt, racist president.

I don’t know where this ends. It doesn’t end well. We’re in sort of a slow-motion Civil Cold War. The only question is, will it ever turn hot and why? I think the next dangerous moment will be whenever Robert Mueller gives his report to Congress. Things could be so muddled by that point that the Republicans may simply ignore whatever his conclusion are and try to get us to move on to the next shiny object.

Only time will tell, I guess.

The Specifics Of Integrating IRC & Usenet Concepts In A New Social Media Service

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, I am well aware that social media now has zero buzz in Silicon Valley. All this writing I’m doing about this subject is pointless and no one is listening. But for me, personally, it’s relaxing and I enjoy exploring the topic for myself if no one else.

So, how exactly would you integrate two really addictive 20 year concepts — IRC and Usenet — in a seamless manner that would not only keep people coming back, but make a lot of money?

Well, I have given it a lot of thought and I think the best way to do it is like this: you’d have an IRC channel devoted to a Group and an IRC channel devoted to a thread. This is how you do it — on the quarter or so of your screen would be an IRC like channel devoted to the Group’s topic, while once the owner of the group — a verified account holder — started a thread, on about a quarter of the right of the screen would be a live stream of text devoted to that particular thread.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense that a thread could only be started by a verified account holder. That fixes a lot of problems when it comes to newbies and morons posting stupid shit to a group. It would be a way to manage who posts what to a group in a somewhat subtle manner. There might be some bitching about this at first, but I think people would get used to it.

I really like the concept, if nothing else.

Of course, there is the issue of how these two IRC-like channels would be displayed across the service. That is an interesting problem that I doubt is too difficult to overcome. It’s stuff like that which is fun to mull over when you’re a boring job for a few hours.

‘The Ballad Of Old Man Cotton’ — #Lyrics To An Angry Pop-Rock-Folk Song

Sen. Tom Cotton has proven himself to be a liar and I can’t stand it. It’s outrageous that he is willing to sell his soul and honor to protect our piece of shit president. Hence, this song.

The Ballad Of Old Man Cotton
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

old man Cotton
you are a national shame
we will vote you out
given a chance

old man Cotton

I see you on TV
you lie so fast
you are not a man of honor
you should just shut up
we know what happened
when will you tell the truth, truth, truth

old man Cotton
you are a national shame
we will vote you out
given a chance

old man Cotton

you don’t know the truth
even if it was a stick to the head
you’re going to feel the power of fact
one day, one day, one day
the voting booth still exists

old man Cotton
you are a national shame
we will vote you out
given a chance

old man Cotton

How To Found A ‘Twitter Killer’ Based On Usenet & IRC Concepts

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is pretty obvious that Twitter is a right-time-right-place kind of service. Modern life needs something like Twitter, so, for the time being, it’s a “success,” if, by “success” you mean a service pretty much everyone hates but only uses because there’s no option other than the insane Gab.

So, as a thought experiment, how might found a service with potentially explosive growth that would crush Twitter — and to a limited extent Reddit. Reddit, in my belief, is kinda sorta Usenet but not nearly as much fun as Usenet was and I think it’s UX it’s a complete mess. Though I’ve heard they’re going to revamp it, so maybe much of what I’m griping about will become moot sooner rather than later.

Having said all that, let’s begin.

What I would do is, study what made IRC and Usenet popular 20 years ago and then, from the ground up, work to not only fix the problems with Twitter but also make the service as accommodating to advertising as possible. Usenet died, in large part because no one could figure out how to use to advertise goods and services without it being spam.

Anyway, after I spent a little time doing that, I would establish a very small limited-invite service that would be used to get the kinks out. The service would, in large part, be a Web implementation of any number of great Usenet clients that used to exist. Of course, it would be on just one Website so you wouldn’t have the problem of distributed computing that Usenet had. (There was lag in distributing posts which no one would accept in today’s fast-paced world.)

After I had done that, I would a small group of thought leaders and celebrities on Twitter and give them invites. I would give them some time to get used to the service’s new UX and then explain to them that since they were verified account holders, they would have the exclusive ability to create new Groups that would within them have Discussions. After giving them some more time to figure out exactly what that meant, I would then give them a limited number of invites that they could give friends. I would think slowly grow out the service in such a way that I think it would have explosive growth. Huge growth in a very quick amount of time. Like, early Facebook growth.

Now, of course, once the service got the buzz I would expect it to get, the major online players would either want to co-op it or buy it. I would politely decline because, well, they suck. 🙂 I just can’t see Twitter getting its act together to co-op the features of this proposed service. Facebook has a completely different vision and the one service that would probably be the direct competitor — Reddit — has an established user-based that would not take kindly to too dramatic a shake up in the UX.

You wouldn’t even need that much money to begin with, I don’t think. You could probably accomplish a lot with crowdfunding. But no one likes me and I can’t code and don’t want to learn so this is just a daydream. It’s a very compelling daydream, but a daydream nonetheless.

Of Thought Leaders, Content Providers & A Service Based On Usenet Concepts

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Some basic problems exist online that a new discussion service devoted to updating the concepts of Usenet and IRC could fix. The first major problem is content providers continue to struggle to make money online. I believe if you designed a service based on the concepts of Usenet you might not be able to fix the problem but you could definitely ameliorate it.

I say this because what if you came to an profit sharing agreement with major online content providers so they could shoot out their content into this new service with all their ads intact. People would be able to inline edit the content, pick it apart in discussion and still be exposed to all the ads from the original content provider. This is pretty powerful I think. If, say, there was breaking news and the Washington Post or New York Times shot the story in its entirety into this discussion service, all the ads associated with the story would be seen as people were engaging actively with the content. This, in a sense, would take blogging to the next level.

I think that’s pretty cool.

Meanwhile, there is another problem: thought leaders are really growing tired of Twitter. It seems pretty obvious that if you gave them a better option they would bolt Twitter and bring their community and its collected fans along with them. If you told celebrities and other thought leaders that you gave them a service that gave them exclusive administrative goodies they probably would be extremely pleased. Giving verified account holders the exclusive ability create and manage newsgroups (or whatever they’re called in the service) would attract them in droves and be the basis of the new service’s initial success.

There are seemingly an endless different ways you could use this service when it comes to thought leaders. Imagine a major musician dropping a track into the service in such a way that people could discuss it between themselves with significantly more engagement than the typical tweet. Or, hell, for that matter, you could put an entire podcast into the service and people could debate the podcast with great gusto. I really like that one.

Anyway, as I keep saying, I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn. It’s just fun to write about this. Though, if you want to see me talk about this at great length, look at my Instagram account.