Discover more from bad cattitude
a story from the past
i get asked 2 questions quite a bit:
“how did you recognize what was happening over the last couple years so quickly?”
“so why do you write all this stuff?”
interestingly enough, the answer to those two questions is pretty much the same:
because this is much easier to see once you know the trick and have already been thinking about it.
it’s a sort of penn and teller situation where once you know what to look for, the magic disappears and you simply see the mechanics underneath. you’re not watching cards appear and disappear in wonder, you’re seeing a deft palming here, a mirror there. it stops fooling you.
those of us who had already been thinking about ideas like this had a head start, an angle from which to look at see the trickery and treachery. a lot of it is mindset.
and this is also why i write these things. because i’d like to see others change their mindsets and see the trick too. this is how we all stop being fooled. you have to know what the game is and it takes explanation, examination, and practice to get into this mode of perception that sees manipulation for what it is and not the wowie zowie impact of box flooding and perception framing that it’s supposed to come off as.
it lets you discern reality from the way others try to distort it.
to that end, i’d like to share an old story i just re-discovered. it’s something i wrote back in 2013 (give or take) just for fun. it was a sort of sketch of a character and a milieu. no, i never wrote the rest of it. no, i probably never will. it was kind of a new and overton stretching idea then. it seems prosaic, even historical now and i never really found a good plot curve for it (and the one i most liked (which had to do with cryptocurrency) basically really happened already) so…
but anyway, it’s a fun picture into past thought patterns and i always find that sort of thing refreshing and useful as a way to keep track of oneself. (the korea thing is a true story btw)
so here is a little sketch i called “idea farm.” (el gato malo 2013 all rights reserved)
i just got finished with 9 grueling hours of trolling a pre-teen girl chat board. this activity, blessing and bane of my existence, creates a brain numbing exhaustion unlike anything i have ever experienced. chatting, LOLing and commiserating with "brittini", who i know dots her i's with hearts IRL, and her pals while using about a half a dozen of my own aliases ( if your daughter ever starts talking with "starpony97" get her off the net. seriously. i'm trying to do you a favor here) and trying to reach into their little occipital lobes leaves me more hollowed out than 3 days at burning man. at least there you know it's the drugs and the heat. seriously, pre-teen girls are the worst. they are also the most useful. before you go getting any funny ideas about my being some sort of predator, let me assure you: that is not what this is about.
i spent the last 9 hours shaping opinion.
i am an idea farmer.
that's what i do.
you may not know this, but trade policy around US beef in korea was determined by pre-teen girls. they got organized on the website of a boyband that had no political views or aspirations of its own beyond being "the cute one or "the rebel". the girls talked among themselves and worked up a righteous fervor that evolved into weeks and weeks of candlelight vigils and protests. it eviscerated a government. it shifted billions in commerce.
we know this.
we know this because we caused it. i caused it. it was some of my best work. it also got me consigned to the "little girl beat" which was not at all how i had imagined my life. but, for all their aggravating, insipid characteristics, NO ONE is easier to whip up into a righteous frenzy or can have such fierce and irrational brand loyalties implanted, god bless the little darlins.
but why would anyone want to do that? ahh, my little ones, it's an answer as simple as commerce itself: we got paid a fat pile of dough to do it. remember mad cow? remember the bans on US beef? korea was our third largest export market. that's a lot of moo meat. we got banned, but the koreans still wanted beef. others were happy to oblige (and take the higher prices). so what do you do when you're an aussie rancher who has gotten used to the new situation and suddenly, there's president lee on TV lifting the import ban? you call us.
lobbyists are too blatant, and the other side has them too and you just can't bribe asian politicians like you used to be able to. the numbers are too big. getting a customs official to let a half a billion dollars rot on the dock is not as easy as it sounds, especially once "big beef" wakes up. but little girls? angelic little korean girls with their bob haircuts, strange stuffed animals, and burning boy-band obsessions? they're above suspicion. that's why you sneak in there like a fluffy pink cyber ninja and wreak your mischief. well, that and the fact that pre teens interact online using such obscure lingo that the fractured speech from my babblefish translations seems hip. try that on a politics site and you get nowhere. they think you’re an epsilon minus semi-moron. tween girls think semi-morons are hip. that's really why i started with tweeniboppers. better to be lucky than smart.
a girl on a boyband homepage actually blogging is already in a state of near rapture. seriously. you ever see one of these concerts? girl with keyboard is not far off. they are so riled up that guiding them is a challenge. there's plenty of energy, but it's like trying to steer an avalanche. the brilliant stroke was to find a picture of the singer eating a burger and express fear he would die of mad cow now that the evil US moo cows were allowed back. in mexico, that was when the sports announcer would have bellowed
come my pretties, foment rebellion.
suddenly, a million girls go downstairs and tell their parents about the beef. if you think pre teen girls do not affect eating habits in a house, then you've never had one. (the girl. i don't care about your house.) then, you just let the "more righteous than thou" feedback loop start. "i'm really concerned." "I am REALLY concerned." "CONCERNED!?! I'M HYSTERICAL!". "HYSTERICAL!?! WATCH THIS..." and boom, it's on.
i was just looking to shape preferences. i was used to dealing with 20 something males and what kind of beer to make them drink. this wholesome indignant fury was something entirely new. i thought i was putting a mento into a bottle of sprite. instead i was putting nitro into glycerin. 2 weeks later, they were still in the streets. hundreds of thousands. daughters, moms, dads, it was the first big family friendly protest ever. lee's popularity dropped from 75% to 20%. when there are little girls in the streets protesting you, you look like a bozo; there are just no two ways around it.
then, bozo did something no one would have predicted. he sent in the riot cops weaned on the molotov throwing korean college students who go apeshit every spring and clash against plastic shields and kendo mad cops with rattan katanas as some sort of weird national pastime/pressure value for the hideously repressed . he turned them loose on little girls with candles. sorry girls. did not see that one coming.
that caused massive international condemnation. the whole cabinet was fired. lee was dead. so was US beef. i got a nice bonus and i still get a box of steaks every christmas from a grateful australia.
why would i do this? well, nosey parker, why do you do your job? i'm good at it, and people pay me for it. sometimes it's fun. but you never get to talk about what you did. yeah i know i'm doing that now, but ask yourself: "how good could a guy who started huge protests in korea by manipulating little girls on a boyband website possibly be at following rules?"
it's always a little tricky managing a fleet of mavericks, rebels, and visionary lunatics. the CIA can just put a bullet behind your ear when you go too far. these guys are going to have a harder time with me. besides, i have time bombs set all over the net to blow this idea farming thing wide open if i'm not around to hit the snooze button. that likely keeps me safe. knowing that my peers have them as well makes me want to see that they are similarly well cared for. it affects my livelihood. mutual dependence, mutually assured destruction, and the fun knowledge that you are putting one over on the world. yup, we've got esprit de corps coming out our eyeballs here at idea farmers inc…