SYSBYRT

I read this in a book called Football, which talks about various aspects of soccer in our culture. This quote perfectly sums up what I think you need to be good at something:

reckless

They're the ones with something to lose, which means I've got the reckless confidence you need to be good.

Samantha Bee is one of the funniest people out there today. You may not agree with her political views, but her book is filled with some great lines:

Who among us didn’t enjoy unwinding with liquor and smokes in the company of unsupervised children?


They were about to explain the fundamentals of lesbian sex to two impressionable nine-year-olds, and they had to do it in such a way that minimal information would be supplied but no further questions would arise.


Hitting puberty excavated a wellspring of evil energy in me that led me to the discovery that my parents were vulnerable and had made mistakes that could be exploited in an interesting way.


Sadness wafted everywhere you turned.


The fastidious gay man I worked with went limp with “the vapors.” When he recovered his senses, his disgust was electrifying.

As the self-proclaimed Drama King, this meme is accurate:

dramaking

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I'm fascinated by trolls, mainly because a former friend became one. It's interesting to read about the darkness that resides within these people.

Troll with it:

...the data exposed a quite different reality: internet tossers are just tossers, whether online or in real life.

In other words: the internet isn’t making people rotten, it’s just handing the rotten people a bigger microphone.


Taken together, these studies sketch out a revised model of what online culture does to our discourse. The internet offers toxic people a new outlet for their bile; that bile attracts other toxic people, who amplify it.

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From Mastermind, a James Bond villain-level hacker had the following exchange at his trial:

Q. And, for example, you ordered the murder of a Filipino customs agent, correct?

A. That’s not correct.

Q. What is not correct about it?

A. The individual wasn’t a customs agent.

From the book Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic: Reggie, Rollie, Catfish, and Charlie Finley's Swingin' A's, this great story about outfielder Billy North:

In a May 18 game against the Royals at the Coliseum, however, he let slip his bat on a swing against reliever Doug Bird, the lumber sailing harmlessly between the mound and third base. While going to retrieve it, however, North took an unexpected right turn and pounced upon the unsuspecting pitcher, peppering him with as many punches as he could before being tackled away by players from both teams. The only guy in the building who wasn't confused as hell was the guy swinging his fists.

The feud dated back to 1970, when North played for the Quincy (Illinois) Cubs of the Single-A Midwest League. Bird, pitching for Waterloo (Iowa), had given up homers to the two players preceding North in the lineup, and responded (in North's opinion) by brushing the hitter back. "Hey, man, I didn't hit those homers," he snapped at the catcher before settling back into the box. The next pitch, a fastball, hit him in the head with such velocity that North required hospitalization.

He'd been keenly waiting for revenge ever since, paying close attention to the transaction wire for the moment Bird was called up from the minors. The fight occurred during the pitcher's fourth major league appearance. "I don't think I could live with myself and not challenge that dude," North said afterward.

Such certainty did not grip his teammates. "We were all looking at each other going, "What the hell is happening"" said [Joe] Rudi. Added [Ray] Fosse, "We're trying to win a championship, and when we found out this guy's doing something to redress a problem from the minor leagues, we couldn't believe it." Joe Cronin suspended North three games and fined him $100.

who's on judge mathis today? #194:

greg dusts off his perry mason costume to say, “aha! that means you believed him, which means he isn’t lying and you’re here on behalf of a thief!” what was that sound? oh yeah, that was my bottom jaw s h a t t e r i n g against the floor. what a thrilling and hilarious trap!!!!! i really do be forgetting sometimes that greg is a real live trained lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love Samantha Irby's recaps of Judge Mathis.

I usually read Drew Magary for his humor, but this letter from a veteran named Brett really struck a chord for me:

I’m from central Pennsylvania. My parents live just outside of Hershey, and I go home every third weekend in October when the leaves are at their most beautiful. My closest friend still lives there and when I go home, we watch the Philadelphia Eagles, we talk about the Philadelphia Eagles, and we smoke meats and cigarettes. Every time I go home, we eat out once so that I can get what I truly believe are the two delicacies of our home: Stromboli that has mustard in its innards along with marinara, and truly fantastic wings. A dry rub BBQ wing with a side dipping sauce of mango habanero is a great way to marry flavors and decide how much hell you want in each bite. It’s glorious, it’s sometimes masochistic, and it’s my home.

As a guy who served on the Afghan-Pakistani border in 2003-2004, over the last three weeks I’ve been contacted by a lot of people. People I’ve not talked to in decades. People I talk to most every day. They ask me, “How are you doing? I’m thinking of you,” and, “With everything that is going on I want to let you know that I’m here to talk if you want to.” These messages feel like unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that have been waived off. At the same time, on every social media channel I see numbers telling me to call them if I’m suicidal. I’m barely suicidal and I hope these messages reach the veterans who are actually so. But man, do they feel to me like a suggestion and not an answer. There has to be a better, more nuanced message for us. It’s not ‘ghost pepper’ or ‘mild’. It’s not suicide wings or life. We must, as a society, bring better messages to those who served that are not so stark.

This end of the war has been a singular moment in my life. I have not done well over the past few weeks. Initially I described this as a nightmare 18 years deferred. If you’ve ever done cocaine—really done a night full of cocaine—you know how it feels to defer the dawn until the dawn is literally shining through your window. For me, what has happened in Afghanistan these past weeks is Sunday Morning Coming Down. It’s a Come to Jesus moment for a kid who just trusted that his time in the military would pan out. I came from a conservative household that followed the gentle fist of Ronald Reagan. My sister served. I served. We killed, either directly or indirectly. Some of our friends died, all directly. And some of our friends lived: maimed, injured, ill, distraught.

Through these moments there’s been one central theme that has coalesced in my gut and I’d like to share it with you: You are to blame. We fucking went out there and did what we could and tried our fucking hardest every single day. When you join the military, you buy into the government. And in a glorious Democracy such as ours, YOU are the government. You never did jack shit to ensure we were being used correctly, used judiciously, and called back when we should have been long ago. If you feel horror right now, good. But you should have felt that horror long ago. Twenty years. Twenty years. You let this go for twenty years and thousands of soldiers died. And tens of thousands are fucking shells of who they were before. If you really, really, give a fuck, do better next time. We lost this one. I hope we can do better for the next generation of servicemembers.

As you think about the end of the war, please know that the only way this ever gets better is if we all realize what we’ve done as a society. And so I come back to those mango habanero wings. The entire time I served over there they were all I wanted. All I wanted was to come back and know that taste again and simply survive. But the longer I’ve been back, all I want is for more mouths to fucking burn and feel the pain. Not insane pain, but enough pain to appreciate the flavor and make a measured decision about what you want in terms of what you send your countrymen and women to do overseas. It’s not simple, but if you can handle the complexity of a dry BBQ rub with a side dipping sauce, I think you can handle some nuanced thought about who we elect and what they believe in.

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This story is about UPS workers who defied their supervisor and walked off the job during the 9/11 attacks. The article also talks about how workers can take their power back in the early days of COVID-19. Hint: they had a union.

In the days after 9/11, I felt more pity than anger toward Billy. Faced with a quick decision, he humiliated himself by revealing a middle manager’s instinct to put the interests of a corporation that didn’t know his name before his own life. But I felt that way because there was no third plane that day, and the only consequence of his bureaucratic bumbling was the loss of his own dignity.

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I couldn't pick just one or two of the points in this post, so I'm going to repost it.

  • Stay calm. Remember, you can’t become worse off than when you started.

  • Cultivate a professional mindset. You are above the company, descending to help them. Do the work required, do honest work, help them achieve their goals, but don’t become mentally trapped.

  • Negotiate. Books can help with this. There are thousands of good books to help develop “soft skills”, read them and use them.

  • It’s my moral obligation to update my resume and get it out there at the first signs of trouble. Don’t stew over bad or unfair situations, improve my situation, find better work.

  • Keep private life private.

  • Don’t think adversarially. Be professional.

  • Remember the feelings of others. See from their perspective.

  • When leaving a company, others will feel slightly resentful toward you, and you will feel excited because of new opportunities. Do not be too jovial in leaving or it will damage the memories others have of you. Empathize with them, tell them they will be missed, show concern for them and let them see you working hard on their behalf one last time.

  • Don’t half-work just to put in the hours. It’s better to give full effort half the day and then be done. Cultivating an ass-in-seat mentality is harmful to myself. When needed, give full effort all day, exceed expectations and demand compensation.

  • Consider doing personal projects early, before work. Give my best self to myself, to my own projects.

  • Do the bullshit. It may not make sense, it may not be right, but the resulting respect and power may be worth it. Do the silly certifications, compete for silly rewards, participate, have a good attitude.

  • Communicate with my adversaries. Help them, help them on their turf. If a contest arises, best them on their turf. They don’t care if I best them on my own turf.

  • None are above me, all are coworkers towards the company goals. It is not my place to decide all things, it is not my place to decide what I work on, or where I would be most valuable.

  • Don’t seek personal satisfaction through company projects. This leads to frustration. Be professional, take satisfaction in helping the company achieve its own goals, not my own. Personal projects are for personal satisfaction.

  • Do not complain at lunch with coworkers. Do not speak about your boss as though they are an adversary. Help your boss, they have struggles too, they need your help. Communicate with them, ask them how to help.

  • Thinking is work. (also)

  • Never burn a bridge just for personal satisfaction. Avoid burning bridges, but don’t let fear of burning bridges stop you from doing the right thing. Especially as you get older, you only have to maintain a good reputation until retirement age, not forever.

  • It’s your moral right to push for high compensation. Maybe even your moral obligation. Negotiating for a high wage will help others do the same. Keep your resume up to date.

  • All problems should be viewed through the lens of “How does this hinder the companies goals?” With this view, people will want to hear your problems, but they may not choose to solve the problem the same way you would. Management wants to know the code sucks, but they might not choose to rewrite everything. That’s their choice.

  • Just because people don’t think of things in the most abstract, general, or elegant way possible doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Sometimes you need to give people something that matches their way of thinking.

  • Don’t sneak out at the end of the day and hope nobody asks you about hours worked. Focus, do good work quickly, sell your work, make sure people know your important contributions, and then face the “hours worked” conversation with courage and good negotiating skills. Leave no doubt that you’re a valuable memeber of the team.

  • If you believe something may lead to problems, but nobody wants to change, watch for the problems to occur and when they do you can propose the change again. If no problems occur, then maybe it wasn’t really a problem.

  • The purpose and objective of work is to collect a paycheck by doing honest but comfortable work, enjoy the time and effort spent with your team, and not work too much overtime.

Warren G's song "Regulate" has inspired a couple of epic summaries.

First, this is from Wikipedia:

Warren G is driving alone through Eastside, Long Beach, California at night, looking for women. He finds a group of men playing dice and tries to join them, but they pull out their guns and rob him instead. Thinking he's about to die, Warren G sings out, "if I had wings I would fly"; one critic describes this moment as "the hook" of the song.

Meanwhile, Nate Dogg is looking for Warren G. He passes a car full of women, who are so fixated on him that they crash their car. He finds Warren G and shoots at the robbers, dispersing them. The two friends then return to the women and ride away with them, with the intent of taking them to the "Eastside motel".

In the third verse, Warren and Nate explain their G-funk musical style; the song "constructs itself as inaugurating a new era"


Next, Sean Keane wrote my favorite rap synopsis ever:

The toughness and unstoppability of 213 also appears to be purely a function of Nate Dogg's badness and/or motherfuckerness. Saying that 213 is difficult to step to is sort of like saying that Barry Bonds and Benito Santiago combined to hit 62 home runs last year: it's true, but somewhat deceptive. Both Dogg and Bonds would be intimidating regardless of their partners. Dogg may as well say "Nate Dogg and Sean Keane have to regulate;" at least I've still got my watch.

RIP Michael K. Williams.

omar

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I sent this to my guys' group chat when there was talk of a couple of them sleeping with the same woman. I was the one who initiated that talk.

marilyn

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I made this meme and enjoy sending it frequently:

hammer

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