Nightmare: Would Peter Thiel Buy Gawker & Put Steve Bannon In Charge Of It?

by Shelton Bumgarner

I was a huge fan of Gawker for much of its existence and was greatly sadden to see it die an untimely death. Though, I must note, it died in large part because of its own self-importance and arrogance. Had it been a little bit more humble when it was needed, it would probably still be in existence today. And in its later years the site had strangly lost its way. It was adrift and had been stripped of its charm to become just nasty for the sake of being nasty.

So, right now, two things are true. The guy who killed Gawker — Peter Thiel — is interested in buying its corpse so he can do God-only-knows what with it. Meanwhile, vile piece of shit Steve Bannon is out of a job. It seems like a perfect fit: Thiel buys the Gawker domain name and puts Bannon in charge of it. I would wince if this were to happen, but it would make a lot of sense.

It probably won’t happen. I hope it doesn’t happen. But who knows. Only time will tell.

‘Shithole’ — #Lyrics To A Pop-Rock Protest Song

The inspiration for the music that would go with this one in my imagination is the Cranberries “Zombie.” It doesn’t matter because it will never be produced, but whatever. It’s relaxing to write lyrics, at least for me.

Lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

the Southern strategy
is a dog whistle for the stupid
the base demands you say things
that we all know you mean
you should just shut up
you’re turning America into a

shithole, shithole, shithole
shithole, shithole, shithole

it doesn’t seem like there’s anything we can do
but believe me there is
we can fight for truth we can fight for justice
don’t Lady Liberty hang her head in shame
don’t let her live in a

shithole, shithole, shithole
shithole, shithole, shithole

we have to be honest with ourselves
the base loves The Donald
now what are we going to do
what are we going to do

the only way to get out of this shithole
that is in our mind is to impeach and convict
the dick in the White House
the dick in the White House
the dick in the White House

Of Usenet, IRC & A Proposed ‘Twitter Killer’

by Shelton Bumgarner

Only because this really bugs me do I keep writing about this. It just strikes me as odd that there are well-established design concepts that existed 20 years ago that we no longer have in public online discussion. I’m thinking specifically, of course, of Usenet and IRC. Usenet more than IRC for reasons that will become clear soon enough.

Compared to today’s online discussion systems, Usenet was both extremely difficult to use and surprisingly feature rich. The closest thing to Usenet today is Reddit, but I find Reddit useless and poor implementation of Usenet concepts. It seems pretty obvious to me that if Silicon Valley could stop drooling over AR and VR long enough to pay attention, they would see that an online discussion service that brought back the concepts of Usenet in conjunction with IRC would be both popular and profitable.

One of the things that killed Usenet 20 years ago was no one knew how to use it to make money because it was designed for discussion, not money. But if you learned from Facebook, it wouldn’t be too difficult to design something like Usenet that wasn’t so much like Reddit that people just shrugged and said meh. There was a lot going on with Usenet that we simply don’t have anymore. It’s really strange. Over the last 20 years, we too a quantum leap back in functionality when it comes to online discussion.

If you would somehow combine the concepts of Usenet and IRC in a big way, in a way that the masses could understand and enjoy, I think both popularity and profit would quickly come your way. Again, I have to note, I’m just a dreamer. I just daydream a lot and remember using Usenet 20 years ago and loving it and now in middle-age I miss it a lot. I long for the functionality of Usenet in an online service that aims to eat Twitter’s lunch. Twitter, unlike Facebook, seems really weak. In the past, I thought there was a chance to go head-to-head with this concept against Facebook, but after much thinking I realize it’s Twitter, not Facebook that a Usenet/IRC concept combo would be most effective.

Not only is it really weird that Usenet has vanished into the mists of time, but IRC has, too. Now, of course, in the enterprise, Slack exists. But 20 years ago AOL was making so much money from chat rooms they were able to buy Time-Warner. So, obviously, there is a use case for what I suggest. And it makes a lot of sense, at least to me, that the next step for the Twitter space would be live chat like what we found with IRC and AOL Chat Rooms 20 years ago. But there is a real chance that AR & VR is where all the money is going to and there’s no changing that.

And, yet, a little part of me can’t help but continue to daydream. I really did love Usenet 20 years ago and it would be so much fun to have that functionality available again. There is just so much you could do with the many features that Usenet had if you updated them to modern social media expectations. But, alas, I fear it’s going to remain just a daydream. Which, at least in my opinion, is too bad.

Yet More Idle Mulling Of A ‘Twitter Killer’

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have discussed this at great length, but it does seem to me that the time is ripe for a “Twitter Killer.” Twitter is a mess. It was never designed for discussion and pretty much it’s completely useless. It serves a cultural purpose and as such we force it to work, but in real terms it’s completely useless.

The ironic thing is, 20 years ago, people had online tools that were significantly better than Twitter. I speak, of course, of Usenet and IRC. Now, some of the functionality of Usenet exists with Reddit, but it’s so poorly implemented as to be useless at least for me. I have heard rumblings that they’re going to revamp their interface, so maybe some of my complaints will be addressed by Reddit sooner rather than later. Time will tell, I guess.

But 20 years ago, Usenet was a public discussion system that, at its height in about 1996, was a large-scale discussion system that was feature rich and allowed for any number of different use-cases that simply aren’t found with Twitter. You had full-page posts. You had robust threading. You had subdivision of topics. Meanwhile, with IRC — or AOL Chatrooms, for that matter — you had massive live chat taking place. Now, the only place you can find IRC-type functionality is with enterprise Slack.

Anyway, the point is, I feel that while Silicon Valley is mentally masturbating about bitcoin and VR & AR that someone, somewhere should design a service for the masses that draws directly from Usenet and IRC. Maybe not a direct copy, but something similar that is easy to use and yet has the functionality of those two services in the same place. I have gone into great detail about my vision for this on my Instagram account, but I have no money, can’t code and don’t want to learn, so it’s highly unlikely I would be involved with anything should it ever happen.

I feel as though this is ever-more-urgent now that Trump is president and he is a creature of Twitter. Maybe if we killed Twitter, replaced it with something a bit more feature rich, then the service in itself would in some way mitigate Trump as a media animal. Maybe I’m being delusional, maybe I’m not.

I have given this a lot of thought, and to me, what you do is you give Verified Account holders a little bit more power than the average user. Maybe they, alone, could create topic subdivisions, which I call “Groups.” Within Groups would be “Discussions.” Discussions, depending on my mood, would be something like live chat that had a feature rich option to use video and entire page posts. Or something. Something where you had the best of both IRC and Usenet with a dash of video thrown in for good measure.

Regardless, I just really like talking about this because Trump worries me and anything that might take a bite out of his media ability is something that would make all of us safer. But, like I said, I don’t have any hope. Unless I fall into a huge amount of money and can do this my self, nothing will come of it. Oh well.

TrumpRussia, Iran-Contra And How We’re All Doomed

by Shelton Bumgarner

It’s growing ever more obvious that we’re doomed. The rabid efforts on the part of the Republicans to discredit the investigation of Robert Mueller into TrumpRussia are largely successful and there’s nothing we can do about it. Even if the “Blue Wave” happens in 2018, things will be so muddled that in real terms it won’t matter. Trump will evade impeachment and or impeachment and conviction and we’re stuck with him until at least 2021, if not longer.

I say longer because there’s a real chance that for various quirky reasons Trump will win re-election and will serve out a full eight years. The question, of course, is what kind of nation will he leave behind him once he finally leaves office.

But having said all that, the closest historical analogy I can find to what I think will happen with TrumpRussia is Iran-Contra. The only reason why I suggest that to dramatically different scandals may endup the same is that in the end, well, nothing really happened. Though Reagan got out of his jam by saying he was sorry, Trump will get out of his jam by muddying the waters to such an extent that even if he’s caught red handed there won’t be any national consensus as to what to do. But the end result of the two scandals will be the same: nothing. Even though Reagan should have been forced out of office, he wasn’t. And, too, Trump should been forced out of office, but he won’t.

We’re doomed. We’re completely doomed and Trump and his MAGA people will ruin the country once and for all. Add to this the implacable dumb beat for a Constitutional Convention and it really does seem that all is lost. I hope this isn’t the case, but as of right now, that seems to be exactly where we are.

That’s why someone like Oprah is such an appealing candidate for me. She inspires hope. She is everything Trump isn’t and yet shares many of his skillset. History is very strange — especially in this era — and maybe, just maybe some sort of hopeful event might pop up when I least expect it.

‘The Lowest White Man’ — #Lyrics To A #Pop-#Rock #Ballad

This would have a Elton John vibe to it. At least, it’s supposed to be structured like a Bernie Taupin song. But I don’t take any lyrics I write too seriously. Just relaxing. Being creative. Better than sleeping.

The Lowest White Man
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

Trump is the lowest of the low
gives lady liberty a body blow every morning
when he tweets his consciousness
he lives in the muck I’m afraid
trying to put fear into the hearts of his foes
but all he does his put them in repose

he’s the lowest white man
he’s in control of the world
has the codes in his small little hands
he’s the lowest white man

his toadies like on the TV screen
empty their spleens as hard as they can
telling us lies as obvious as can be
tell us the moon is made of cheese
and the emperor is fully clothed
but we know he’s the lowest white man
we know he’s the lowest white man

but one day all this will be over
I have to give myself the hope that this is true
otherwise what can I do
maybe one day one day soon
we won’t have the lowest white man in power
he’ll be removed from office by the people
the lowest white man will be gone
the lowest white man will be gone
the lowest white man will be gone

‘Nothingburger’ –#Lyrics To An #EDM-#Pop Fusion Song

I am well aware that not only I’m not that great a lyricist but that EDM songs usually are produce with the beats first then lyrics. But I like EDM and it seems to fit the mood I want for these lyrics, so there. These lyrics would go to something like a Basement Jaxx song.

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

the Russians are rushing towards your HQ
want are you going to do, going to do
some people would say maybe you need to call the police
but you let them in and give them din-din
you talk treason, as Bannon would say
you eye the cute lawyer wonder if you’ll get laid

when the press asks you what happened
you just shrug and say
just shrug and exclaim
it’s a nothingburger, nothingburger, nothingburger

but we all know the truth
at least those of who see
those of us who look with our eyes
something’s up between those Russian sighs
this is a big deal I’m afraid

how this is all going to go down
nobody knows, nobody knows
will the Russian bear come to stay another day
or will we kick him to the curb and start a new

when the press asks you what happened
you just shrug and say
just shrug and exclaim
it’s a nothingburger, nothingburger, nothingburger

but this is just what you need right now
a distraction from the truth
a distraction from your looting of the nation
what you need is a nothingburger

nothing will be the same
once your crimes are found out
once we all get to cry and shout
all about the truth
that this nothingburger is anything but

nothingburger, nothingburger, nothingburger
nothingburger, nothingburger, nothingburger
nothingburger, nothingburger, nothingburger

‘The Ballad Of Jeff Sessions’ — #Lyrics To A #Folk #Rock Song

This would be an angry folk rock song like Neil Young’s Southern Man. At least, that’s my imagination on the subject. Again, I only write song lyrics because it’s relaxing, not because I expect them to be produced.

The Ballad Of Jeff Sessions
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

Jeff Sessions you want to crack down on us all
think you can have the gaul to chain us to the wall
but I got something to tell you
you’re nothing but a fool
a racist old fool and we’ll soon be done with you

he’s coming for us all in the end
wants to take away our dank
throw us in the tank
Jeff Sessions is nothing but an evil old elf

he’s racist as they come
he leaves no white hood behind
wants to break the back of black folks
throw them back to the past

Jeff Sessions can’t handle a joke
doesn’t laugh
not one bit
he tongue is split like a snake
a Russian snake he can’t remember
not even one he spoke to over dinner

but we know the truth
the facts speak for themselves
in the end we shall over run his hate
bring peace back to the land
our need for justice will be slaked

‘I Started The Media Men List’ — #Lyrics To A Rock Song

I just enjoy telling stories in verse. I don’t expect this to ever be produced. Just find writing song lyrics on the fly to be relaxing. So, take all of this in context. I see the music to this to be sad and slow like Radiohead’s “How I Made My Millions.” But, whatever. Just having fun.

I Started the Media Men List
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

time has come to change the world
time has come to make a difference
we have to stop standing still
mine is the power to make a change
here is what I did

I started the media men list
I started the media men list
I started the media men list

the winds of change are blowing
making people take notice
but will they hear what I have to say
or will they push it back another day

I am using my voice
to give notice to those in power
that what has been done can be no more
we have to fight the good fight
end men’s ability to take delight by force

I started the media men list
I started the media men list
I started the media men list

when change happens at last
this car won’t run out of gas
been too long
it’s too late
we must continue even at this late date

I started the media men list
I started the media men list
I started the media men list

‘Very Stable Genius’ — #Lyrics to a Pop-Rock Song

I only write song lyrics because it’s relaxing. That’s it. And I like to tell stories in verse. In my imagination, the music to this would be something post-punk like the Psychedelic Furs.

Very Stable Genius
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
please give credit if you produce or perform

Trump is one of those guys
weak man’s take on a strong man
dumb man’s take on a smart man
he think’s got it under control
but we all know it’s all fake

he think’s he’s a very stable genius
thinks he’s a very stable genius
think’s he’s a very stable genius

things could be worse
his cheeseburger could be cold
and Kim Jun Un on hold
but he’s the type of guy
who does everything on the sly

Trump is ruler of the world
wants to bring down ruin on us
it seems as such
but only we can change this
by voting in the fall
resist, resist, resist

he think’s he’s a very stable genius
thinks he’s a very stable genius
think’s he’s a very stable genius

we have to be ready to answer the call
things are dire it’s obvious to me
that the end may come
if we don’t ring the bell of liberty

we have one last chance
one last chance to defeat Trump and his goons
but let’s not lose sight of the fact that
Trump thinks he’s a
very stable genius
very stable genius
very stable genius