Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Don't Speak N00b...

"If you don't know what it is, don't put it in your mouth," reads a mural in Rochester Institute of Technology's tunnel system. It is a sentiment echoed by parents to keep their younger children from eating strange (and possibly poisonous) items, and to keep the older from messing with things they're not entirely sure about (like car engines and electrical sockets), lest they get injured or killed. Colleges remind students of these words to keep them from taking unfamiliar drugs... or, occasionally, to keep them from talking BS about things they don't understand.

Perhaps Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) should have listened to his mother.

It seems that everything we thought about the internet is wrong. It is not a massive network of computers spanning the entire globe via wired and wireless connections. It is a series of tubes. And if those tubes get clogged up with people watching movies, we might not receive some of the internets we are sent. At least, that's what Senator Stevens told the US Senate Commerce Committee late last month to argue why net neutrality was a bad idea.

Now, Senator Stevens, I don't come to your house to fix your car. I know about as much about cars as you know about the internet, probably more, and I certainly don't consider myself qualified to even change your oil. But see, changing your oil is not my job. My job is to write code, ficiton, and blog posts, which I do quite well. Your job, as a member of the Commerce Committee presenting information about the Net Neutrality bill, is to KNOW ABOUT THE INTERNET. Do some research, man! Figure out what the hell you're talking about! Seriously: "I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially." Your staff sent you a whole internet? Holy crap, I didn't think that was possible! Trillions of terabytes of data, all sent to your computer? WOW! No wonder it took so long.

Quite honestly, I don't want someone who doesn't even know the term 'email' serving on any governing or decision-making committee, let alone one that's going to decide whether ISPs can limit what kind of content I can download via their servers. And I think that's something people shoud consider when they're voting for their congressman, not their looks or their charm or their position on gay marriage, but rather if they know a thing or two about what's going on in the world. I sincerely hope I will never again have to reprimand a senator, having BSed his way through a report to a committe, and ask him what Church once asked Tucker in an early episode of Red vs. Blue: "What the FUCK are you babbling about?"


Thursday, July 06, 2006

How Fear Can Help You!

Hi, I'm Aux, and I'm here today to give you a few tips about harnessing a power used for centuries to earn power, wealth, and women.

There is only one true way to "rule" a country, and that's by fear. Now, I'm not saying it's the right way, but it's the most efficient way. Fear is one of the basic emotions and it rouses something instinctual in us, something basic and animalistic. One of the best ways to take advantage of this natural phenomenon is to remind someone of their mortality.

If you've got a small group of people in isolation, line 'em up. Pace before them as though deciding something, build the suspense. Then turn on your heel and shoot one of them in the face. When the womens' screams begin to fade, you've got them like putty in your hands. Keep in mind that if you let them sit and calm down they might regain control of their brains, so remember to remind them of their fears often. Kick them, whip them, make somebody work in the coal mine for a day, shoot out some kneecaps if you get desperate. The number one rule is to establish and maintain fear.

Now, maybe you're not the director of a prison camp or small group of civillians. Perhaps you're the dictator of a whole nation. How do you keep millions under your control? How do you keep them from rising against you? The same principles apply to this situation. Act quick, act randomly. It helps if you're a loon, or can at least pass for one. Your people won't know what to expect, won't know what words or actions will be considered libel against you and your government. So they won't talk or do anything but what you tell them, to protect themselves and their families. Always remember to keep them oppressed and scared- the minute somebody thinks, you're done for. Take out all the scolars and intellectuals as a precaution, then kill some random people for good measure. Make sure the killings hit home, make sure people realise that with one word they too could be lying in that mass grave. Constantly remind them. I cannot stress how important this is; many leaders have lapsed and considered themselves secure, only to wake up one morning to find a revolution on their hands.

Not all of you world leaders are so lucky as to have a base of chaos to work from. Some of you come to power in lands where freedoms are treasured, where tyranny and oppression are what your people strive to eradicate. Well, you're in luck! You too can get in on this hot fear-building action. Simply convince your people that a certain group or nation is opposed to your nation and its freedom. This works well if such a group already exists, but Hitler proved that such a precondition is not always necessary. In fact, this form of rule may seem like the most difficult, but in fact takes the least effort to implement. Just convince your preferred news agency that *fill in nation/group here* is a threat to everything their viewing audience holds dear. They'll broadcast such dire warnings and the people will lap it up as they do best. Crisis broadcasts always score higher in the ratings and if the 'free' press says it's true, it must be! Make sure the news agency has a graphic and a scary name for everything, it keeps the fear up. Make sure they know that your national security depends on then keeping the public fully aware of just how many people in the world want all of your nation's people dead. This works especially well if the enemy has proven their desire to harm your nation by demonstrating it, and in that case make sure your news agencies have cause to bring it up again and again for as long as they can.

The people will now look to you, their leader, for protection, and now you're in a bargaining position. Instead of you always looking for their approval on each action you have something to bargain against: their lives. It's not as direct an approach as the previous situations, but it works better because most of the people are too blinded by their concern to realise that in their fear you are just as powerful as a dictator, and yet retain your image as a free nation. You can freely make suggestions and ask for things ordinarily taboo. "May I tap all of your phone lines and listen to your conversations?" you ask politely. The people collectively shift uncomfortably, but all you need to do is remind them that without this action, you cannot protect them as they've asked you to. "We can't catch the people who want to kill your children unless we have this information, but we can't tell who's plotting against us until we see their phone records." Mention their children's safety a lot, too, many people have more concern for them than for themselves. Smile a lot and act innocent, like you're truly trying to help them, and they're all yours.

Make sure the media pumps out the fear to them and you can use this tactic again and again to increase your power even further. Someday your people will wise up but hopefully by that time you'll have died a rich dictator, your successor left to deal with the revolution that will undoubtedly ensue. You've lived a lavish life, duping your fellow man for your own benefit. What have you got to worry about?

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Some call me Alex. Others, Mari. But here, here in the Blogosphere, I am Aux. And I, unlike many of my blogging brethren, do not consider myself "strongly opinionated". I won't use this space to push my agenda on anybody else, because quite frankly I think that's asshattish at best. Your blog shouldn't prove you're a fucking idiot without a clue, and that's exactly what I'm trying to get away from here.

"But what will your blog contain, Aux," you ask tenderly, "if not your opinions? I thought that's what a blog was. Oh God," you add, revulsion written in every line on your face, "this isn't going to be one of those dumb here's-everything-I-did-today-even-if-you-don't-give-a-damn blogs, is it?"


"But then... what other kind of blog is there? Is this a repost-every-Slashdot-article blog?"

Not that either.

"Please tell me this isn't a here's-my-lame-emo-poetry and why-I-have-to-cut-myself-to-stay-alive blogs."

No, that's what Myspace is for.

"Well, then, what are you going to put here? You've got to write something for it to be a blog, after all..." you trail, puzzled.

I'm going to post my opinions.

"Aha!" you exclaim, an accusing finger wagging at the computer screen. "I knew you were lying! You said no opinions! This is going to be one of those I'm-a-fucking-political-idiot-who-shouldn't-be-allowed-to-vote" blogs."

I didn't say no opinions. I said I wouldn't force my agenda on everybody, like this. I'm just going to comment on stuff I feel is worth commenting on. Sort of like a newspaper columnist. In fact, very much like a newspaper columnist. Or, for those of you who've forgotten what a newspaper is or never picked one up in the first place, kind of like Bill O'Reilly. Except more factual and less splotchy.