Musk is not a perfect saint by any means. But I am starting to get a Ron Paul/Bernie Sanders vibe every time i see him in the news. These people are not perfect but the massive shilling and hit pieces against them are glaring in their biases. I'm not a Ron Paul fan -sorry guys but he is a religious nut with a few good ideas once in a while- but the media rail road of him was embarrassing. Now the same thing is going on with Sanders: the media narrative is that he is unelectable while reporting on large crowds at his events, sort of like how Howard Dean was treated for those of us Deaniacs who remember ancient history. And with Rand Paul standing alone against the Republican Establishment, watch the tone of reporting on him shift here over the next months.
The guy who wrote the Tesla hit piece, Jerry Hirsch, has a history of not liking Telsas and Musk. That is fine and should not be a negative... biased news still serves a point as long as we all know that source has a bias (Fox vs MSNBC VS Breitbart VS HuffPo for example). He wrote a FUD article last year on driverless cars and how they are going to impact US automakers and seems to love SUVs. After his hit piece earlier where he spun Tesla's Q1 earnings as doom and gloom, I looked at his history and now put him in the 'Tesla Counter-point' file. When people start glowing about Tesla, I'll find this guy to read the counterpoints.
If the last year has taught me anything, it is that media is broken. From top to bottom the media, news, press is damaged, broken and failed. Reality means nothing, facts are opinions, opinions and feelings are all that are important. When there is a narrative to push, PUSH hard. Sob stories everywhere, e-begging for clicks, reblogs and Patreon donations. Can we make this boring story of slight importance about race or gender so we don't have to think hard about it? Sure we can! And we can ride the outrage express to increase our advertising footprint! Newspapers and TV are nothing but glorified blogs with bigger budgets. Bloggers are looking for a payday and there are many that will say anything to stir up nonsense to get clicks. Youtubers are now disclosing conflicts of interest in reviews, but not in news segments; not even they are immune and can't really be trusted.
Get some news from multiple sources. If news makes you angry, that news is pushing something, either outrage baiting for clicks, or to glue your eyeballs for ads. Find a news source that is 100% your political opposite and read it at least weekly so that you have some perspective on how to argue and defend your ideas. If something looks like a hit piece, look at who pays the author. If something looks like a fluff piece, LOOK WHO PAYS THE AUTHOR.
One of the absolute best things noticeable in people much younger than myself is how they are all a bunch of cynical bastards when someone in 'authority' makes a claim. I love it. I've given talks at the local libraries only to have a group of 14-16 year olds walk over to me demanding that I explain why this website is right or wrong, and make me defend myself. They give me an opportunity to talk about what science is and how to ask questions and detect bullshit. And those are skills we all need to hone.
Take all your previous posts about how fucked Rural America is. Throw in your hate of the coal country idiots. Add in a few fanatic religious sects. Then give all those people a coalition and the keys to the state government. The whole platform is fuck poor people and do everything you can to fuck over the two Blue-Voting Cities (The same two cities that are 2/3 the state economy).
Kentucky is everything wrong with what is going on at a national level, only with the crazy cranked up to RONPAUL2008 levels. Only the crazy here wins because everything is shit, everything is terrible and the only option left is to fuck it up for everyone else while you laugh as it all burns down.
I sat and though about this for a few while working. I'm not angry, not really. I'm pissed off at a lot of things: the direction of my country, the regression of politics, internet cultures, education, etc. But being pissed off is not the same as angry.
When and where I grew up, men did not display emotion. We were supposed to be Stoic rocks around which we build friendships and families. Emotions were for women and children. If you cried as a man there better someone in a casket, and once the box was in the ground you better stop that shit. If you got overly emotional you better be drunk, and we are all going to make fun of you in the morning.
This of course leads to the inevitable conversation:
Adult: Well, Billy, it is a great mystery, isn't it.
I got lucky. About the time my friends started on the path to having this shit eat them alive I discovered the online world and anonymity. With an anon account I could be angry, sad, etc and not have to deal with parents and family telling me to snap back into shape. Some people I grew up with were not so lucky. So I come off as an angry bitter cunt online sometimes (most times?) but that is not really what I am for the most part. 25ish years ago I was living in the void asking, legitimately, why bother keeping on. Then, yes I was angry. At the world, but mostly myself. Now I have a job I love with people I enjoy working with. I have a seven-figure net worth (at least on paper), a house I love living in, a car, money to do fun shit once in a while. I have a hobby that brings me joy with people who appreciate my contributions. I even use my hobby to better the community I live in and can say I'm doing my part to make the place suck just a bit less than when I found it.
I can honestly say that right now, I am content. But that is not really the word I am looking for. The word is Happy. I Am Happy. It's weird typing that out as there have not been many times in my life I could say that and mean it. But yes, now is one of those times. It takes getting used to somedays because I still have that Stoic anti-emotional mindset and appearance that was beaten into me from childhood. But, yea, happy.
200 hours of outreach work this year, not counting setup and tear-down. About 300 hours total over 55 events since January. Write that shit down, document every-fucking-thing and submit paperwork. Wait two weeks or so. And in the end you get these pretty little pins showing that you have done something that only 800 some-odd people have done. I'm tired, I'm a bit stressed from work and life, and the health situation is not in a good place. But these two awards have hit me a bit harder than I thought they would. The awards are numbered, and I honestly believed that there had been thousands of the awards given out. I know other people are doing astronomy outreach, they must not be paying membership dues and doing paperwork. With these two small bits of metal and ceramic and enamel, I have tangible proof that 2017 did not entirely suck a bag of erect cocks.
If the motto of our small community is "pushing back against the darkness" then I can say, with no hesitations, that I am doing my part.