an old protest poem about Net Neutrality

it’s like every couple of months

Congress tries to break the Internet

no joke

 

it’s not broke, but

because of the inherent newness and untamed

nature of this borderless digital network

 

you’ve heard the Internet is like the wild west, yes

 

Congress but really, corporations, can’t help themselves

they poke, prod, speculate and nod, entertain scheming big business

lobbyists in expensive shoes and fat wallets

who want even bigger pockets

 

Think of the profits!!! undiscovered gold mines

except the gold mined

is fines and fees imposed on the masses

 

so yes, every time Congress tries to break the Internet,

large corporations have nudged them to it

this time, all the buzzing around Net Neutrality is no different

what is at stake is that noble principle

of all data as equal

the headlines are not hyperbole

the Internet that has existed since its creation can be destroyed

with legislation

the way we live online now is aggressively under attack

let me tell you

 

but first, acknowledge how horrible the phrase Net Neutrality is

Net Neutrality is not about a neutral Net refusing to take sides

as if there is a bad Net and a good Net,

the Web is not Switzerland in World War II okay

Swiss Miss is not crossing her arms and refusing to participate

in a grand debate over morals and intentions

 

there is just the genderless Net,

a grid of neon spider lines whose glow encompasses the globe

URLs and IPs, servers in their farms, cables and tubes

underground and under the sea

no where and every where

 

the Net is a soulless ephemeral

yet also physical

object beyond Good and Evil

 

and if we must use the term, we are actually living in the Good Net

right now: fair and open to all

 

but should Net Neutrality fall

we would descend into a dark lair where

the lowest income bracket could no longer afford

the knowledge of the world

streaming packets in their small pockets

eternal class warfare

 

Net Neutrality prevents mega-corporations from dictating

what you see and when you see it

freedom for the thinking man

in the access to your favorite web address

 

Net Neutrality lets you go where you choose, and everyone goes

the same speed

there’s no win or lose

no toll to pay to Verizon and Comcast

to board the fast lane

 

Call your congressman today, leave a message after the beep,

and let them know the FCC’s plan to abandon Net Neutrality

does not serve the interests of the American people

 

proposing to restrict and gate the cyber realm

ignores the past and denies all mankind

the greatest tool since fire, the wheel and sliced bread

combined

 

a version of this poem originally appeared in 2014 on NewHive for LadyBits. I’ve uploaded it here with some tweaks in honor of today’s Net Neutrality protest   


The Reddit Button finally ended, and nothing happened

This article appeared on the TouchVision website June 5th, 2015. I am reuploading it today because I am about to publish an article on Forbes where I reference this material.

The social experiment known as the Button has ended, and people still don’t know what it was really about. And maybe that is the point.  

On April Fool’s Day, Reddit announced a new site feature, a button with a 60-second timer that you could only press once. Pressing the Button reset the timer, keeping everyone guessing when and if it would ever run down to zero. Pressers received a color badge to represent what time they pressed. It was all very mysterious and vague, and the Reddit community proceeded to treat it like a role-playing game, concocting elaborate stories, religions and color-based factions about what the Button was, figuratively, and what would happen when the timer ran out. Art, data visualizations and applications, thoughtful discussions and flame wars flourished.

Read the rest of this entry »


What does the Reddit Button say about you?

This article appeared on the TouchVision website May 8th, 2015. I am reuploading it today because I am about to publish an article on Forbes where I reference this material. This particular post was also picked up by PBS Digital, and mentioned in their video about the subject

What can a meaningless Button on the Internet tell us about society? A lot, actually.

Since April 1, denizens of the online community Reddit have been embroiled in a heated debate over a game involving a simple Button with a timer next to it. The one rule in this game? You can push the Button only once, and only if you created your account before April 1.

To push, when to push or not to ever push the Button is the question, and it turns out, people have very strong opinions on the matter. Over the past month, the mysterious Button has inspired distinctive factions based on colors, philosophies and religions, as well as data tools, art, poetry, comics, merchandise and even graduate school theses. One user named Psychotic Whispers said in an interview the Button is God. It’s become a long-running, role-playing exercise to many. To others, it’s a discussion on the meaning of life. Whatever it is, more than 800,000 people have pushed the Button to date.

Originally launched on April Fool’s Day as a social experiment via a brief blog post, Reddit proper hasn’t commented on its invention since. Reddit Director of Outreach Ashley Dawkins explained in an email they are not commenting on purpose so as to not interfere with the experiment.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Google should delist 8chan

The post originally appeared on the TouchVision website in August of 2015 until January 2016 when the company closed down. Given the recent 8chan controversy over archiving and child porn, I thought I would upload it here.

Sometime on Aug. 12, Google took a rather monumental step by delisting 8chan, an imageboard largely known as the central hive for pro-GamerGate supporters. But then a few days later, it seems Google changed its mind, as the site began appearing again in search listings, some links with a warning.

Google did not respond to a request for comment about this flip-flopping, but that’s not the real issue, here. It’s clear, now, years after its debut, that 8chan should remain delisted, aka not show up in search results, permanently. By delisting 8chan, Google would set a major precedent for how to quell harassment, especially of women, on the web, as we wait for laws and legislation to catch up with technology — after all, most of the high profile cases, especially in GamerGate, have stemmed from 8chan.  

Besides being the central hub for GamerGate, that vitriolic movement of busybodies who crusade to eradicate progressive values in video gaming and related journalism (mainly by harassing women), 8chan is also known for its robust pedophilia community. Child abuse in the form of sexualized images of children is apparently why Google delisted 8chan in the first place. Or that was the reason given in (the lack of) search results, anyway. The warning now shows up in search  — “suspected child abuse content” — for certain 8chan listings.   Read the rest of this entry »


How the Internet empowered women in porn

joanna angel

This article originally appeared on the TouchVision TV website before it shut down. Reuploading here because it deserves to live somewhere on the internet forever – 

One night during her senior year at Rutgers University, Joanna Angel was up late with her roommate, talking about what they were going to do once they graduated. He flippantly suggested they start a porn site together, and after laughing about it for a minute, she agreed.

The site, named Burning Angel (NSFW) after Angel’s tattoo of an angel and a devil on her back, was launched less than a year later, from the duo’s post-college apartment in Brooklyn. Angel was barely 21 years old at the time, and she quickly went from being a film and English student at Rutgers waiting tables to becoming one of the most well-known names in the porn world for her work as an alternative, award-winning tattooed performer, producer and writer.

“I couldn’t have existed without the Internet,” Angel said. “I didn’t want a boring job and I didn’t want to become part of the corporate world, I wanted to start something myself.”

Angel’s story of independence and entrepreneurship as a young woman in the adult entertainment industry is common, and quickly becoming the norm. She is just one of a myriad of porn performers who started online and now run their own shows, call the shots and make the money with little intervention from middle men. But instead of hearing these stories, we get ones like the much-talked-about Hot Girls Wanted, the Rashida Jones-backed Netflix documentary following the rise of amateur porn production in Miami. It’s just the latest example of what some performers call “docu-tragedies” or “pornsploitation” that zero in on classic tropes of the naive girl from Kansas getting off the bus only to be led astray and ravaged both mentally and physically by evil men.

While one can’t deny that exploitation does still exist in the porn industry, overlooking the rise of the role women play in the production and distribution of it is extremely problematic for a number of reasons. Choosing to ignore the progress women have made in the industry marginalizes performers and further stigmatizes them (and all sex workers, really), all while hindering progress of their labor rights. The Internet has provided a very important platform for women in porn to take near-complete control over the production and distribution of their work, not to mention to their livelihood, in a way we haven’t seen before. And yet, we barely hear about any of this.  Read the rest of this entry »


Oh god, not another TMI post Fruzs!

TMI because fuck patriarchy… 

I just got off the phone with a debt collector, calling on behalf of Northwestern, and my anger is swelling in my throat and I don’t know if I will be able to swallow it in a timely manner. So hello, here is another TMI update on the health and money woes in my life. Yes yes, for people who have been following this blog for years (um, why?), I still have issues walking, sitting, eating. While that is more than enough reasons for me to angry — all the time, actually, so that my normal includes trying not to glare at the ease at which my co-workers walk around the office– this anger is quite different. Also, I cheat with my food now more often — for example, last night I ate some pizza and my raging heartburn, choking on my phlegm bullshit went away around 3am, so hey, not as bad as last year.

But wait, why would I do this? I needed some comfort, and it’s motherfucking PIZZA okay,  it is even more delicious now that it is forbidden. Also, sometimes I can eat it no problem. I digress.      

I currently owe roughly $600 for a 30 minute doctor’s visit with a specialist who did absolutely nothing except humiliate me.  It’s been more than six months now and I can still see the look of disgust in her face — I am tearing up right now as I type this, calling forth the memory. If I had insurance at the time, perhaps the price wouldn’t sting as much. (Last year BCBS canceled my insurance because they didn’t believe I was an American citizen, this year, because they stopped offering that plan through ObamaCare. Thanks for nothing, assholes!)

But on to the horrible healthcare professional part…Earlier this summer I went to visit a specialist downtown, as recommended by my doctor. The one I was originally referred to, the receptionist on the phone told me, only dealt with upper GI so she recommended I see a different doctor who also dealt with lower GI issues, which fit with my symptoms. What a mistake. I had to wait more than a month, and when the day arrived, waited again in her office for some more time.

The visit started normal enough. I told her of my symptoms, and mentioned sometimes it really hurts during sex, and to sit, and how the pain that sometimes goes down my right leg becomes numbness and weakness, coinciding with the pain in my ass/hip/lower back. I also told her how a year ago, when I took prednisone for a week, it was one of the best weeks of my life — I still think of that week and how little pain I had. She felt around on my stomach and uh huh-ed a bunch as if she was listening. When I finished, she said I probably have some mild IBS (I wish!), advised I continue taking PPI pills, and then, “And you should probably go see a gynecologist about…. that.” Her forehead wrinkled up in disgust when she said this, her “that” all flat as if she was judging me for something I did. “Make sure everything is okay down there.”

It’s hard enough to talk about some of my symptoms because they are already embarrassing enough, but that look of hers? Totally unnecessary. I remember getting immediately ashamed but still nodded affirmative. The problem is my ass not my vagina, I screamed in my head.

So off to the gynecologist I went, to Planned Parenthood, of course, the only affordable outfit out there that won’t charge me exorbitant fees for basic services. It took me a few weeks to get an appointment. The gynecologist there was a kind old lady that chatted with me while prodding deep into my pussy like it was no big deal. She found nothing to be alarmed about up there — it was all “perfect” and working and “many women would kill to have that pH.”

My urine sample, however, revealed I could be very dehydrated, as I had a large amount of ketones and blood in my urine. (I sometimes have blood in my poop, so hey, why not in my urine too amiright?) She prescribed some antibiotics and UTI meds which relieved some of my symptoms days later, and I donated a small amount to Planned Parenthood on the way out. Everyone there was professional and kind and took my concerns seriously and didn’t make me feel like I was gross subhuman.

But $600 for that horrible experience at Northwestern? I will never forget it. Further, I will be reminded of it for months to come now that I set up a payment plan to finally pay it all off. I am also never going back to Northwestern, as long as I can help it.

 

Epilogue of sorts:

I am hoping the next entry in this TMI series will be a definitive diagnosis. Before my insurance was canceled my primary healthcare physician referred me to a neurologist to investigate whether I have nerve damage in my leg related to that time I was hit by a car while on my bike many years ago.

I have insurance through work, now so come January 1st I will finally go to a neurologist NOT at Northwestern, as well as demand my doctor schedule me for an MRI or EMG. I still haven’t gotten one all this time. (X-rays years ago revealed sclerosis on my hips, both sides.) I really doubt I have nerve damage in my leg + depression + serious case of GERD + asthma at this point. I’ve been taking the Wellbutrin for more than a year now and I love it, but the extent of my tiredness doesn’t fit into depression. The constantly feeling like I am in a fog bit, ok that fits, but others, no.  I get out of breath way too easily, am constantly dizzy or nauseous, pass out on the couch immediately after any vaguely vigorous exercise that gets my heart rate up, have muscle spasms that are no longer just confined to my right leg, etc. I have mentally prepared myself for all sorts of possibilities like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, some bullshit cancer or tumor, and even diabetes… sometimes I get into moods where I feel like I am running out of time, but maybe, oh please maybe, this is all in my head somehow.

Despite all this, I’ve been working on my moonwalk…and it’s not half bad.


can we remember Shanley

for when she got it right?

Because sure she was the PUSSY RIOT of silicon

Valley SJWs but no tits so GTFO

no really, where are the boobs–

but then also, Model View Culture.

new voices to renew, grow and subdue

men feartrembled in the spotlight

when she pointed her finger

INCOMING

so many expletives JESUS

the bombs and tears, wrung hair in hand

urge to pet her head chill sweetie,

empress grace rewound like cassette tape

into a yapping chihuahua

Go home you drunk

shock and awe reverb effect

but come on let’s be real,

the performance is taxing, it would make anyone crack

what do you think dating weev would do?

NOT inspire your inner extremest?

not every woman can be

your super poised princess

on the verge of being

a great warrior Queen,

feminist supreme