Thursday Thoughts / Inktober Day 7 (Fan): Opinion Media

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Thursday Thoughts: Opinion Media

Was social media inevitable? If it didn’t make money…

Should we call it what it really is: Opinion Media?

Isn’t that what free speech is? Having a platform for expressing your opinion? Perhaps every post should have a watermark that says, “This is an opinion.” Unless it’s been fact-checked.

“Who’s going to do that? Isn’t that impossible?”
“Impossible? Yeah, I think you are right.”

So, who do we trust? News outlets?

News stations all have a social media presence. Why? Many people are not watching/reading traditional news platforms, so they had to in order to keep their market share. Surely, we can trust them.

Ummm…News channels choose what news to air, and that news is what will get them an audience. We hope that they fact-check. We hope.

Maybe we should call it Ego Media?

Likes and follows and re-tweets, oh my! It seems that many are in it for the attention and ego stroking.

“Look at me! Pay attention to me. How great am I?”

Bandwagon Media?

It didn’t take long for corporations, businesses, politicians, and celebrities to join the masses once the masses had joined.

[whispering] If you build it, they will come…

Maybe the more appropriate name is Shaming Media or Hide-Behind-the-Text Media.

It became easy to be a bully. Anyone could do it and reach a wider entourage without direct contact with the victim.

We hear that social media platforms are responsible for low self-esteem and skewed self-image in younger users. That used to be the arena of print, TV, and movies. But young people are not using those for the amount of time they are on digital devices. The amount of screen staring and the reliance on technology just us up for failure.

Am I anti-social media? I am when it is harmful, and harm comes in many different versions.

Join me on Twitter! @linesbyleon

Psst. You see more here on my blog.

Psst. I’m also on Instagram @lines_by_leon, but I only post my cartoons on Monday and Wednesday

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Thursday Thoughts: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – 30 September, 2021 | Writers'  Guild of Alberta

It’s been a long time coming. The treatment of Indigenous people in Canada has been in the news more often lately. Most recently, the discovery of unmarked graves at several residential schools thrust the news of mistreatment to the forefront, maybe to a whole generation that may not have known of the disgraceful Canada’s past.

Mistreatment in residential schools still haunt the survivors and their children. The 60s scoop saw children adopted away from their culture, some never knowing who they really were. The ramifications continue to be seen through several generations.

There are events being hosted by different groups across the country. If you want to know more:

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation

Are there more issues to deal with? Yes, there are.

-Leon

Tuesday Tirade: Newer is better?

New shoes never feel like the old ones. Cutting onions with a new knife takes getting used to. Two things that took me way too long to replace—now my bike helmet is next on the list.

But I digress. Wait. Did I really? Because I haven’t even started on the main topic.

Which is: Nail clippers

I broke the tiny file off my last pair. That’s OK, I can live without it. Then they started to not spring back very far, so I fixed them by jamming a dime between the two metal thingies (the technical term). Then I had to tape the dime so it wouldn’t fall out.

Time to get a new pair. Pair? What’s up with the plural? I’ll save that for another Tuesday.

So, there I was, staring at the wall of nail care items, thinking that there hasn’t been much advancement in nail clipper technology since…ever? These ones are longer, those ones have a bent lever, those other ones are 3 dollars.

Do I do what I usually do and buy the cheap ones or spring for the deluxe model for $6? Brand name vs. I don’t know that name. I fight my instinct and fork out the extra $3 and run ecstatically home to try them out (Ecstatically? Not really).

The first clip tells all. The ting of a shard propelled against the sink. The roughness of the edge of the nail just ready to snag on anything remotely fuzzy. After few more practice runs, the verdict is in: I’m glad I didn’t toss the old ones. Rough edges and a shard in the eye hazard. Time to take out the emery board, and I’ve had that one for a while…

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Monday Musing: 12 and 12

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We observed the Autumnal Equinox last week, so for the last few days, we have been enjoying a somewhat equal amount of day and night, thanks to…physics*?

The spin of the Earth, where the sun is, how we orbit around it all combine to give us this phenomenon**. It also will give us a whole lot of night in about 3 months, no thanks to Daylight Savings Time (DST) which Robinhoods an hour from the evening to make the morning brighter (technically, this doesn’t change the length of the evening, but when it gets dark at 4 PM, it sure feels like it).

Some places don’t do this, and the time is the time all though the year (Only in North America you say? Pity.). I never remember when this is supposed to happen—it was recently (a few years ago?) moved from/to…November?…to/from October? Or is it the other way around?***

Why? Something to do with farming or saving electricity or trucking****. It’s just something we have to live with. DST***** serves a purpose, even if it we don’t understand the reason behind it.

-Leon

*I am not an expert in physics.
**Facts may or may not be factual.
***See? What do I know?
****I suppose I could look it up, but what is the fun in that?
*****Also the name of a lesser-known K-Pop group.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Thursday Thoughts: Internet Gratification

[Beep. Hiss. Bleep. Shhht. Bloing]

Remember that?

No? Well, you are lucky because that meant you had to wait. For everything. For information, pictures, email, and videos (Hamster Dance took forever). Maybe not forever, but you had time to go make a sandwich.

We take not waiting for granted. Entertainment is on-demand, we can get in touch with each other whenever we want, and find out who that girl was who acted in that show. No matter where you are, there is a pretty good chance that you have access to all this.

When things take too long, it’s easy to get frustrated. But wait. Yes, wait. Relax there, buckaroo. Sip that coffee. Sit back. Make a sandwich.

I’m currently experiencing slow connection. Not 5G, or 4G. More like…it’s… kinda nice. It’s quiet out there, there are no neighbours for miles, the sun is rising over the lake, and I have nowhere to go.

Another coffee? Don’t mind if I do.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Tuesday Tirade: Fruit Flies (and bonus mini-rant)

First there’s one, then another, then you lift a banana out of the fruit bowl and “POOF!” a cloud of them emerges.

No sir, I don’t like ‘em.

I don’t have any table scraps lying around or in the garbage for that matter. I don’t have the means to compost outside, so I take all my vegetable scraps and put them into the freezer until I can bring them to a friend’s place.

Problem solved? You would think, but Nooooo.

The solution given to me was to put cider vinegar into a container, cover it with plastic wrap, and poke small holes in it with a toothpick.

Problem solved? You would think, but Nooooo.

Oh, I got a few. I saw the pickled flies floating around in the brine (I know it’s not brine), but I believe that the others saw them too, and being smart as crows, never ventured near the jar o’ death.

I’ve been able to clap a few into oblivion.

At least it’s not cockroaches…

-Leon

Bonus Mini-rant

Election News: Canada’s parliament looks…well, pretty much the same as it did a month ago before the Prime Minister called an early election in a bid to win majority control of the government.

Thank you Justin Trudeau for spending 600 million dollars of taxpayers money when you still had two years left in your term.

[Slow clap]


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Thursday Thoughts: These Dreams.

I haven’t had a flying dream for quite a while.

I remember the first one (that I remember). I was walking along the gravel driveway of our house. I felt my feet leave the ground and I flew/floated over the tree-lined drive.

I had more, but I can mostly remember the feeling, not the setting or the circumstance. The sensation of floating and thinking “I’m not supposed to be able to do this” and being on the verge of falling, yet still having some control was…exhilarating? nerve-wracking?

Maybe I have been flying but just don’t recall.

I went through a phase of writing down my dreams as soon as I awoke. I don’t anymore, and I don’t know why. Sometimes, a dream will come back to me in a flash and I’ll remember the whole segment, other times, just one snippet.

I don’t read into the meaning of dreams as some do, but sometimes they are fun to remember. Some leave you with a good feeling, some are heart-pounding adventures, some are just bizarre, and a few are just scary*.

Hey. Kind of like life, don’t ya think?

-Leon

*Ever watch your pet dream? It’s pretty funny went their legs twitch and they make little noises. You know they’re chasing something.

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Tuesday Tirade: Trash Talk

Garbage, we have to talk. It’s not you; it’s…them.

Them? The people who are incapable of carrying you home or for those few extra blocks to find a trash can. The people who carelessly release you into a world you don’t belong. The people who just open their car window and toss you into the ditch.

You? You’re not at fault. You were once important to someone. You held their drink. You kept the germs out of their lungs. You wiped the mustard from hungry lips. Then they callously let you go, and your identity changed.

You are now garbage, and I don’t say that in a malicious way because it wasn’t your choice.

I’m sorry that you have been abandoned on the ground. I’m glad you don’t know that you are missing the party going on in the can over there. Sometimes, I’ve picked you up, but I can’t do it all the time; there’s just too much. I’m sorry.

Maybe the hand that let you go needs a swift kick in the…well, the hand.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Thursday Thoughts: Animal Thoughts

Ever wonder what animals are thinking?

Reasoning?

  • Some animals can figure out puzzles or get themselves out of a jam.

Cause and effect?

  • Most animal learn to recognize words or signals and the actions or results of those. They know went they have to go to the bathroom or when they are hungry.

What about the passage of time? If you leave pet, do they know if you have been gone for a short or long time?

  • I know that most cats don’t care regardless, but dogs are pretty happy when you return and there is not much difference in excitement level between five minutes and five hours.

What causes a pet to get up and play with one of its toys?

  • I’ve seen a dog root through a pile of toys, obviously searching for a specific one.

No answers here. Just more questions.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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Tuesday Tirade: Kinda…

I hadn’t had anything planned to post in the morning until the fire alarm went off in the building. I grabbed my wallet, keys, laptop, and hard drive—essentially my bug out kit.

Now, it’s nine thirty and the apartment below me is billowing smoke. Some guy ran out with a fire extinguisher and yelled “I got it out! It was on the stove.”

So, a grease fire you say…

It happens. That’s what fire alarms are for, right?

The fire department arrived, did their checks and set up fans to clear the smoke. At least it’s not cold outside. I have insurance and everyone is safe. I bet my place smells like smoke—and I just finished a big load of laundry.

There’s no reason to rant, I just hope that the people below me have learned a cooking lesson.

Hey! My wi-fi works all the way out here across the parking lot. Good thing I have a 40 character encryption key…

They let us back in and I walked up the 3 flights of stairs, smelling the acrid remnants of the night’s events. The firefighters turned on my oven vent—that’s not going to help, and my bathroom vent. Since the fire was below me, if I open the windows, I can still smell it. If I close the windows…

So, the windows are open and the fans are on. Now I have a post for the morning.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.
www.linesbyleon.com

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