Dear White Men – please stop … just stop…

Dear White Men, I’m one of you, I’m a white man. An American, born and raised. I’m a vet. I’m heterosexual. I’ve hunted animals with guns. I’ve driven drunk, paid for it, and learned my lesson. Seriously, I”m one of you. I played football in school. I’ve owned a pickup truck. I’ve owned guns – … Continue reading “Dear White Men – please stop … just stop…”

Dear White Men,

I’m one of you, I’m a white man. An American, born and raised. I’m a vet. I’m heterosexual. I’ve hunted animals with guns. I’ve driven drunk, paid for it, and learned my lesson. Seriously, I”m one of you. I played football in school. I’ve owned a pickup truck. I’ve owned guns – all kinds of guns. I can go on, but do I need to? Have I got white guy cred yet? Will you listen?

Please stop. All of it. Just stop it.

You know what I’m talking about. Yes, I’m talking about the murder of innocent people – defenseless people. Kids in elemntary schools, people at the movies, people in church, people at concerts, people playing sports, in general – people just trying to live, trying to get by, trying to figure out why they are here and why life is so fucking confusing, people just being people.

Stop killing people. Just quit it.

I know you are mad and looking for someone to blame. The world isn’t what you were told it would be. You didn’t get what you wanted. None of us did. We all have to deal with it. You’re making it worse though.

It’s not just the killing though. The whole bro-culture thing, the macho date raper and sexual asault things, the gay bashing, the racism, the road rage, the internet trolling, the calling of people snowflakes or libtards, the rest of it. All of that stuff…it’s disgusting and it’s fucking up everything. You are making things worse for yourselves and for other white men. You are creating a world where being a white man is an ugly thing. You are doing it. Stop it. Just stop.

Look, I’m a white man and you are making me hate white men. Imagine how you are making people who aren’t white men feel? Do you think they are appreciating white men more because of you? Do you think they are attracted to white men more because of you? I can promise you, that you are not making the world a better place for anyone. You are making the world a scary, ugly, awful place and you are making it awful for everyone – including yourself and other white men.

Please stop it. Please.

Sincerely,

Christopher Damitio

Getting Left Behind – A Technological Cautionary Tale

I was riding high in 2011 and 2012. I was living in Africa and traveling the world with an office in Istanbul, an office in Morocco, and a fake office in Hawaii – just because it was the only way to stay connected to my home. I was publishing an online magazine and employed a dozen award winning writers, photographers, and social media experts. I had two virtual assistants and my website was routinely fighting for the top tier of travel sites and blogs. I was earning close to $10k per month and life was really really good. My ego was blown up like a three week dead donkey’s bloated stomach. I was going all over Europe on press trips and to travel conferences. I bragged to a friend that I was being smart about my good fortune by investing it all back in the business that was most profitable for me – travel websites of any quality on which I could sell advertising. I remember his words of caution when I said “There are only so many good domains for websites so at some point, the big travel companies are going to have to buy mine. It’s like investing in real estate.” As a real estate investor, he knew better. I didn’t

And then, in the seeming blink of an eye, shit changed. It was a process that stretched over about two years – but looking back, I can see that it happened pretty quickly.

My business was based on gaming search engine results, most notably Google. I pushed my own sites higher and higher while using those metrics to sell links which pushed other sites higher and higher. At my highest point I had close to two hundred travel websites and then – while waiting for the next page rank update – something awful happened.

First of all – Google suspended my adsense account and cut me off from everything I had earned since the last payment – several thousand dollars. It pissed me off and I appealed the decision, but Google answers to no one. I still can’t use adsense. It wasn’t my biggest revenue source so it wasn’t that big a deal but it was the harbinger of more to come.

Next, a whole shitload of new social media jumped on the scene. Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumbler, Snapchat, Vine, and a thousand or so that didn’t work or last long. I was trying to stay on top of them all, trying to maintain my pole postion, and trying to keep my sites relevant. It was full time and more changes followed quickly. The first was a sort of non-event. Google simply stopped updating pagerank – they gave one last PR update which penalized my sites for some low quality links I’d allowed through – finance and gambling thinly disguised as travel. My PR5 site was stuck at a PR3. That brough all my other sites down as well…a huge number of my sites dropped to PR0.

Suddenly PR wasn’t the metric that the SEO agencies were using to determine ad rates. They were using a whole bunch of metrics that I didn’t really understand and that I ranked pretty badly in. I’d taken a whole bunch of shortcuts and it was showing. I rode a bubble and it popped. Google updated their search algorithms and I dropped hard in the rankings. My traffic dropped from 10,000 per day to 1,000 and by 2013, despite my frantic efforts to harness the new social media and new SEO, I was outpaced and left behind. My traffic dropped to 400 visits per day. Nobody wanted to pay for that.

GooglePlus seemed like the answer. Google was taking on Facebook and me and nearly everyone else thought GooglePlus was going to dominate – but of course, that didn’t happen. I went all in for Google Plus. I began ignoring Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram and everything else to focus on G-Plus. I fucked myself with Google that time. They simply gave up on it when they realized that they were going to get hit with a whole shitload of privacy invasion lawsuits.

In early 2013, we moved to the United States. Video and streaming technologies got seriously cheaper and better. Youtube became the most important platform. I had nothing there. I tried to keep things going but advertising and revenue dried up. I let writers and photographers go, I stopped updating, and I deleted hard won sites and media from social networks. I got bitter and angry and I started to become paranoid about the level of privacy intrusion the internet was reaching. I moved backwards in time and began selling antiques.

As I’ve written before, Blogging, like I’m doing now, is pretty much irrelevant. The big travel companies learned to bypass the small media. In 2017, I earned $1000 blogging. Residual from my work in 2012, but that has dried up. Next year, unless something seriously changes, there will be even less. My social media accounts are irrelevant at best. Facebook realized it was foolish to share everything users shared when it could charge users for the same sharing. My other accounts don’t amount to much. Maybe 50k followers total and who knows how many of them are actually real people or still active.

I find myself today, left behind. I was an innovator at one point – but I couldn’t keep up. I tried to go in every direction and then I went all in on the wrong platform. In hindsight, I should have made a good Youtube channel and focused on it, but the truth is – my whole approach was flawed from the get go. I wrote books that help people without money to live better and none of my interests tend to be really commercial or marketable…I don’t write about new phones or makeup or things that can be unboxed or airline points or how to make money on the web.

I point out the shortcomings of our fucked up human civilization and the imminent demise of it. I’m not telling people to buy gold or build a bug-out shelter. My goal is to get people to think about how fucked up we are as a species and to stop being consumers, to stop being ruled by capitalists, and to stop being assholes. There isn’t really any money in that. I’m willing but haven’t found the right product yet. Or maybe I should say that the right product hasn’t found me yet.

Most likely, our civilization is going to keep moving forward and the pace of people getting left behind, like me, is going to accelerate as artificial intelligence, big data surveillance, and normal capitalist fuck-youism contineus as usual. So, what’s the moral of my tale? What’s the lesson?

I suppose it comes down to this – shit is changing faster all the time. Look both ways before you cross the internet or a self driving truck is going to leave donuts all over your fucking lawn.

Cocoo the Coconut – A Tropical Children’s Story

I’ve written a nice children’s story. It doesn’t have any of the dark themes that I usually write about in it. It’s simple, lyrical, and nice. You can have a listen to it here

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2147418989/cocoo-the-coconut-a-tropical-childrens-story

And, if you are interested in seeing it in print – you can help by claiming some of the fun rewards I’ve put together on my Kickstarter page. I’ve found a wonderful illustrator and I’m trying to get enough money together to pay her to illustrate the rest of the story. I only had enough to pay her for one watercolor painting so far, but I’d like to have each stanza illustrated.

Thank you for your support! Even if you can’t support it financially – any help you can give in sharing on social media or websites or personal contacts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Cocoo the Coconut

Eclipse of the Misogynist

All these white men being called out and ousted for sexual harrassment have no one to blame except Donald Trump. Trump’s blatant mysogeny and sexual abuse of women has empowered American women to stand up and tell it like it is (and like it always has been). This may be the only good thing to come from the Trump administration.

There is a whole lot more coming. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Sexual assault, sexual harrassment, and sexual abuse has been a male way of life in America for a long long time…

Every guy in America is waiting to get called out for something…and we all deserve it. I’m not innocent and neither is any other man I know – we’ve all crossed the line with women at some point in our lives. I’m aware of some of the times I have (and probably unaware of other times I’ve done so on autopilot). I was wrong and for what it may be worth – I wish I’d been more respectful, more aware, more conscious and less consumed with fulfilling a bullshit male requirement. I’m not making excuses for myself or for anyone else here – the truth is though – I was taught this macho bullshit. It was encouraged, expected, rewarded, and condoned. I shudder at the stories I laughed at and the disrespectful behaviour I engaged in, observed, and condoned.

It’s time for the culture of mysogeny to stop. The chips are going to fall. Let’s let them. It’s going to be painful for men – for all of us. It’s been painful for women for a long time. This needs to happen. And it needs to happen in a much bigger way than it already is.

It’s Probably Too Late – We’ve already fucked ourselves.

I was that ten year old kid in the early 1980s with a subscription to OMNI. I’ve been fascinated with the topics that magazine covered ever since. I’ve been following the rise of machine intelligence and the human quest to live forever (even if within a machine’s databanks)for most of my life. I probably should have focused my career on those things – but frankly – I was too busy cramming as much experience into every moment as I could in my teens and twenties – and, again frankly – I got sidetracked by the very tricky and deceptive path of drugs and alcohol. I didn’t destroy myself with them, thankfully, but I lost some very good years to them. People are often amazed at the number of things I’ve done in my life – and the reason is because from very early on I’ve been aware of the fact that I’m going to die and no moment is guaranteed. So, I’ve been cramming life ever since – the Marines, a dozen careers, travel all over the world, extreme experiences, and much to my regret – a lot of drunkenness and stupidness as a result. If I could give one piece of advice to any young person it would simply be “Don’t drink alchohol.” I loved all the wild experiences of my drunken heroes, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway – but the experiences weren’t enhanced by their drinking – I found out too late, they were dimmed by it. Oh well, if a young person is reading this – take heed…

In any event, a life that could have been spent studying artificial intelligence or economics or genetics – instead has been spent in a pretty enjoyable fashion. And here I am – a hobbyist in all these topics – which probably takes me beyond the layman but not to the level of expert – but then, maybe I’m being modest. I understand these concepts and I understand the long term ramifications of them. And – I think we are all fucked and it’s too late now. I don’t think the machines are going to march on us with guns or blow us up with weapons. I think they are going to use our psychology to make us to whatever the machines ultimately decide is best for us. I think we have taken our autonomy and given it away.

The Christian religion – and most of the others – say that God gave us free will. It was the greatest gift of all. And we’ve given it away. We may think we have free will – but it is already much reduced from even what it was when I was a child. No wonder people are doping themselves to death – it may be the only choice they have left. They didn’t really have the choice not to start – most of them were prescribed or peer pressured or led to it somehow. The Facebook and Google and Amazon algorhythms are telling us what to think, what to buy, what to click, what to feel, what to do…my friends on Tinder or other dating apps are being told who to fuck – though they might argue that point.

This person is interested in you – and they are perfect for you. Meet them and fuck them!

I think that’s how it works. We are being told what to eat, how to eat it, what to drive, what to wear, where to go, what to do, and more. I really think it’s probably too late. We’ve already fucked ourselves.

This person is interested in you – they are perfect for you. Meet them and fuck them! Hey, it’s you meeting yourself. Fuck yourself!

Trick or Treating is Almost Dead

Trick or Treating is almost dead. The truth is, I don’t even want my child going to strangers houses at all – let alone going there and taking candy. It was a fine idea in small towns where everyone knew one another – and maybe it still is – in towns like that. I mean, in Reedsport, it was fine – but then, we usually only went to the houses of people we knew. Mostly, the trick or treating was the big trunk-or-treat event put on by the church and then there was the town trick or treat with all the shops. I think that’s where it needs to go. You know? People you know, church groups (and other civic groups), and local busineses.

This year, here in Honolulu – we just completely skipped the door to door stuff. We went to the mall and there it was all the little businesses that were handing out candy to the kids – the big multi-billion dollar Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and other rich name brand shops just gave out nothing…except for the Rolex store which gave out candy in the doorway. I’ve always liked Rolex.

In any event, the candy thing is terrible anyway. It’s not healthy. It’s expensive. And it would be way to easy for some creep to do something terrible to the candy anyway. We had fun this year picking out pumpkins and taking a hay ride and going to our daughters school parade and school Halloween dance. Halloween is still fun – but trick or treating – fuck it. It’s time to close that door anyway – maybe all those luxury brands are on to something. Nah, fuck them too. If anyone should be giving away treats – they should.