C. J. Hopkins on yellow vests

Have been enjoying C.J. Hopkins' writing, in particular, this essay ridiculing a Counterpunch-originated coinage, "Trumpenleft." (A variation on the insult that if you don't care for the Clintons and think the Russiagate narrative is a crock you must be "for" Trump.) Hopkins got his start at Counterpunch but was cold-shouldered a few months ago for not being a pure enough leftist, apparently. With Alexander Cockburn dead it's been disappointing to see Counterpunch becoming more doctrinaire, right up to embracing the Clintons' blame-Russia talking points. As Hopkins has noted, you can't be a "red" and also a fascist, but that's the notion the Democratic party is selling us.

Yesterday Hopkins described the process by established media of fitting France's yellow vest protests into the red-brown terror axis:

The English-language corporate media, after doing their best not to cover these protests (and, instead, to keep the American and British publics focused on imaginary Russians), have been forced to now begin the delicate process of delegitimizing the gilets jaunes without infuriating the the entire population of France and inciting the British and American proletariats to go out and start setting cars on fire. They got off to a bit of an awkward start.

For example, this piece by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian‘s Paris Bureau Chief, and her Twitter feed from the protests last Saturday. Somehow (probably a cock-up at headquarters), The Guardian honchos allowed Chrisafis to do some actual propaganda-free reporting (and some interviews with actual protesters) before they caught themselves and replaced her with Kim Willsher, who resumed The Guardian‘s usual neoliberal establishment-friendly narrative, which, in this case, entailed dividing the protesters into “real” gilets jaunes and “fake” gilet jaunes, and referring to the latter fictional group as “thuggish, extremist political agitators.”

By Sunday, the corporate media were insinuating that diabolical Russian Facebook bots had brainwashed the French into running amok, because who else could possibly be responsible? Certainly not the French people themselves!

peek a boo scrolling

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Good breakdown from fanfare on the obnoxious trend of peekaboo scrolling on web pages (notably the search results page from Eric Schmidt's company).

A terrible trend on the Internet is the peek-a-boo effect. It can come at you through a variety of ways.

One common way is when a website tries to preserve the visibility of the header when you scroll down, through the use of a transition or an animated effect. I assume the logic is that once you've scrolled all the way down a page, the header is out of sight, and getting back to it would require the brutal task of scrolling up (or in the case of a touch screen, swiping up) and that's way too much work. So to make things easier, websites try and keep the header fixed at the top, all the time. Okay - that seems like a decent solution to a problem. So why not just use position:fixed any be done with it? Why use a 'seamless' transition --using animation--, which by definition won't look seamless, because an animated effect on an otherwise static page is an attention-seeker, and therefore a distraction! It's calling attention to the most unnecessary part of a web browsing experience.

An even more infuriating example in this variety of header peek-a-boo effects are websites that wait until you've scroll down a bit on the page, then trigger the re-emergence of the header, once you've scrolled up, even by a hair. It's absolutely jarring, especially if you use the scroll wheel a lot, and move an article up an down a bit just out of habit.

Another example is the jack in the box peek-a-boo effect, in which a div is hidden off-screen then POPS out once you've hit a certain point on the page. I assume this is meant to be less of a surprise than a sudden popup modal that pops up on the page without warning like a screamer (e.g. SIGN UP FOR OUR MAILING LIST), but the effect is just as bad, if not worse.

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More examples

social media believer of the day

Online art zine Hyperallergic reports on a tragic figure: a "curator and art historian" who trusted Facebook! Here's the lead sentence:

Curator and art historian Ruben Cordova thought that Facebook was the perfect platform to archive the photographic materials equivalent to almost a decade’s worth of his research.

What was he thinking? After the inevitable happened -- Facebook censors shut him down for posting a nude sculpture image he downloaded from the Met -- he learned his lesson and moved all his research to his self-hosted site. Actually, no, he didn't do that. He wants to get back on Facebook really badly! Hence, his appeals to Hyperallergic, a long-time promoter of Facebook. Maybe they can help him to get reinstated by writing about this mishap! The article continues:

And if Facebook reverses its decision, will Cordova return to the platform? “Yes, I absolutely want to stay,” he tells Hyperallergic. “I want my account back, and I want to continue posting. I have made numerous excellent contacts through Facebook. Many people respond to Facebook messages, but not to emails! Right now, I am unable to contact most of the people I know personally because their phones or email addresses have changed.”