Welcome to the Wednesday Walk Around the Web, where we weave & wind through weblinks weekly. Hopefully you will find the links on offer amusing, interesting, or, occasionally, profound. Views expressed in the Wednesday Walk do not necessarily reflect those of anyone but the writer.
- This Week in Musical Manipulation: Never Gonna Give You Up slowed down to 33rpm isn’t the transcendental experience that Jolene is, but it does bring to mind a middle-school dance, which I find vaguely disturbing considering I assiduously avoided all such things.
- Fighting in the Age of Loneliness is the MMA documentary I never knew I needed in my life. Start here and go forth.
- This Week in Giving Opportunities: It’s relatively affordable to give full immunization to a child overseas.
- RIP Harry Leslie Smith. (Autoplay video)
- RIP Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, murdered by ICE.
- So, George Bush the Elder died. Like any US president, he’s not really worth mourning — he racked up a shameful record while living a long, comfortable life. Not everyone gets to their nineties. I can’t possibly provide a full accounting, but to pick a couple of examples, he had a record on AIDS that consisted of doing as little as he could get away with while mouthing obscene religious talking points about LGBTQ+ people, and when the Americans with Disabilities Act passed through congress with large majorities, he slow-walked implementation and enforcement in a way that’s hampered disabled access ever since. He also pardoned a gaggle of Iran-Contra co-conspirators, preventing Caspar Weinberger’s trial from taking place and effectively ending the whole investigation, in a move that provides an obvious throughline from the Watergate coverup to our current Republican malfeasance. Ultimately I can say for him what I say for so many dead politicians and religious figures and others: in a better world he would’ve understood the harm he did and worked to make amends in his final years. The next best thing is that he can’t hurt anyone else any more.
- This Week in Social Media: Tumblr’s app was recently removed from the Apple store when someone found child porn on the site. As a result, instead of aggressively removing child porn from their site, Tumblr is axing all “adult content” altogether. Considering how many people have used Tumblr to pursue non-mainstream sexualities, lumping them all in with child porn is disingenuous in the extreme. Of course, given how seamlessly Tumblr implements layers of tagging, there are bound to be some bumps along the way. You just can’t get your rocks off any more.
- Before anyone starts feeling good about any other social media site, they’re still coddling Nazis.
- Anyway, back on porn, sometimes it really does serve an important social purpose.
- This Week in Podcasts: I recently started listening to The History in the Bible, which is an interesting look at how the Bible was composed & compiled, as well as what archaeology can tell us about the time periods in question — not much, usually, but there are fascinating hints about ancient Canaanite gods that echo with the remnants of old-world polytheism present in the Hebrew Bible. But my favorite bit of Biblical scholarship is how obvious it is, once you have the framework to see it, that the folks writing the different sections were working out contemporary power struggles. Look at the stories of Jacob’s sons and you can tell which tribes the author didn’t happen to like.
- This Week in The Great British Bake Off: Well, someone doesn’t like Paul’s handshakes very much.
- It’s December now, which means of course that it’s time for everyone to share their edgy theories about wintertime fairytale characters. You do you, Frosty.
- Let’s check in on Bitcoin for a sec. Thoughts and prayers for the woman whose boyfriend spent an hour trying to pay for lunch before accidentally paying with some spooky, dreaded fiat currency.