Welcome to my web blog, where random thoughts come to rest. Every month or so this page will get archived into sub-pages in order to keep this page short.

Posts are sorted in chronological order. The most recent posts are at the top, and the oldest are towards the bottom.

Sometimes I have a lot to say in one day! If I jump to a different topic, the blog post will have a horizontal line through it. You can still read it in chronological order.

I also got a Status Cafe for my shorter form thoughts.


Topic: Growing up in America

When I was little, I was always scared of growing up. It wasn't because I would have to be responsible for myself or work. A lot of my friends are a few years older than me, so I always had a snapshot of what was ahead of me. These days, it isn't pretty.

It isn't just my friends, but the online landscape around me, I think. It's getting harder to find a job since employers will just leave you on read or worse, keep closed positions open for application to give off the illusion of company growth. Entry level hardly seems to mean entry level, and it just seems difficult to enter the job market if you didn't already have a job.

Even when you find and get a job, there doesn't seem to be a guarantee you could live off of it. Like, I'm of the believe that people should be able afford a stable life with just one job, no matter how "low skill" it may be (mainly thinking of janitorial, retail, and "flipping burgers" work), but while minimum wage stays the same, the price of everything else seems to grow. Food is more expensive, housing is more expensive, everything you need to live is more expensive. What it means to be poor back then and being poor now is so much more different. You could get a degree, one might say, to increase the odds of getting a good job, but this really only works for those who can afford it. I'm one of those people, but even so I have the underlying feeling that once I'm done with my degree, I'll be struggling to find my way in the world, let alone find a job that will be able to support me as I navigate. And what of the people who can't get a degree?

At the heart of it all, I ask: whose stopping us from getting living wages? The answer is rich people and corporations. The 1% in America is probably worth more than the other 99% and for what? Would it hurt to apply a single tax to these fuckers? Who really needs that much money when just a fraction of it could support those struggling to make end's meet, or those living on the streets?

There's more to write. More that I have read that has put into words these issues more eloquently than I have. So, I'll just quote a poem I think about sometimes (from Night in the Woods)

"There's No Reception in Possum Springs"

No reception here

I wave my black phone

In the air like a flare

like a prayer

but no reception

I read on the Internet baby face boy billionaire

Phone app sold made more money in one day than my family over 100 generations

More than my whole world ever has

World where house-buying jobs became rent-paying jobs became living with family jobs

Boy billionaires

Money is access access to politicians waiting for us to die lead in our water alcohol and painkillers

Replace my job with an app replace my dreams of a house and a yard

With a couch in the basement

"The future is yours!"

Forced 24-7 entrepreneurs.

I just want a paycheck and my own life

I'm on the couch in the basement they're in the house and the yard

Some night I will catch a bus out to the west coast

And burn their silicon city to the ground


Topic: Happy (belated) birthday, pip-pepping!

If you pay attention to your PiPe lore, you would have noticed that pip-pepping's creation anniversary was 4 days ago. I couldn't muster anything to write back then because it kinda seemed odd to lump an anniversary post with a post about animal abuse, but we're here now.

Happy 2 years, pip-pepping! Of all things, I'm glad that maintaining this website seems to have sticked. Not like Twitter, Instagram, or some other social media efforts. Not much has changed since I hammered out the initial site layout, but I am proud that this place is uniquely mine. I'm very happy to see it grow out this much, to become somewhat of a substantial thing.

Maybe there's more I want to write... But I can't think of anything right now since the end of spring break is on the horizon and I need to shift back into work mode.


Topic: Subtle animal abuse online (and something else)

This thought came to me while I was browsing through Tumblr. I was looking at this video post of a mother cat coming out of a small circular hole in the side of a mound of dirt, followed by her kittens. Most of the footage focuses on the mother and her kits, but briefly, baby chicks and ducks could be seen in the hole as the cats exit. This brought forth a cascade of information I had tucked away in my head.

Animal abuse... is bad, but when we think of it, I think most people imagine kicking puppies or throwing a cat off a balcony — this is an exaggeration, but referring to overt displays of abuse, basically. But, what is just as nefarious is the subtler forms of abuse which don't get picked up, and are instead praised for cuteness or heroicness.

To ease into how I feel all of this, I bring up a simpler example: turtle shell barnacle removal videos. It's about what it says on the tin, people find turtles with barnacles on their shells, and they remove them. This good deed is not as it seems, and if you want to learn more about this from someone more passionate about turtles then I am, check out this video by DanTheTurtleMan on Youtube. The basics on why these barnacle removal videos count as abuse is as follows:

  1. Turtles have nerve endings in their shell which makes the removal process uncomfortable and damaging, especially for turtles with soft shells.

  2. These turtles aren't actually "found" with barnacles on their shells. Some of the turtles on display are freshwater turtles, so they wouldn't have barnacles on their shells to begin with. This would suggest that the video uploader or some other party attached the barnacles to these turtles themselves.

  3. Because some of the turtles in the videos are freshwater species, the setting in which the video is filmed is also problematic. Some creators have their videos set by the ocean, so by releasing a freshwater species into saltwater, you'd be doing it an active disservice.

There's probably more to this that I'm forgetting, but you'd think that in knowing this these kinds of videos wouldn't still be on Youtube, but they are. When I first heard about this it inspired a newly born vitriol against creators of this caliber because I know these turtles are being harmed while consumers of these videos are none the wiser. This kind of feeling is common to a couple of animal videos I've seen sometimes, including the example brought up at the beginning of this post. Just an occassional cycle of knowing something other viewers of the video probably don't.

To go back to that first example, the reason why it ticked me off is mainly because its cats with birds (though any small creature would have ticked me off too). If you don't know, cats' (and dogs') saliva contain a bacteria called pasteurella. The most you need to know is that this bacteria is very dangerous to birds. It is most often trasmitted through bites and scratches, but even if a cat doesn't bite a bird, contact with the saliva can still be lethal. Not only that, but it seemed like the baby chicks and ducks in the video were unattended by their mothers, which bring up questions I can't quite articulate right now (it is nearly 3 AM as I write this). Knowing this, I checked the Tumblr notes for some comfort, hoping someone else also picked up on the fact that leaving multiple cats with these vulnerable baby animals was irresponsible, but to no luck. It looked to be praise and fawning all the way down (or at least as far down as I looked).

Had it been 4 years before COVID and growing up sucked out my combative spirit, I maybe would have left an angry comment, but frankly, fighting videos like this in this way seems exhausting. Ineffective, even. This follows from a theory I have about why some people are so adamant on letting their cats roam instead of keeping them indoors, even though a lot of the evidence seems to point to it being more beneficial to keep them in — it's the tone of the whole argument. Putting myself into the shoes of people who want to let their cats roam, having these people come at you for a choice that seems to work fine for your cat can inspire a combative mood, even if it doesn't seem logical (to me, at least...) in the grand scheme of things. Hearing these people come at you, it feels preachy, which only inspires the opposite behavior of what indoor cat advocates would want. I'm applying a similar logic to why I just don't comment in general. I'd probably come off as a killjoy (not like it really matters to me, but it factors into persuasion), and I also don't have much of a taste for arguing with people on the internet anymore. So, I just do the next best thing and block the account that posted the content. It doesn't do anything to stop its spead, but it does the second best thing of not bothering me with it...

On another, unrelated note: Heyoo, it's been 2 years since I updated my web blog! The previous contents of this page were moved to an archive page, and we're beginning anew, in 2024. I don't know if I'll continue writing semi-regularly, but at the least I've lately been having thoughts that are too long for a status.cafe message and too... Pleh to really go into a friend Discord server. Sometimes there's nothing like screaming into the void (and also any onlookers from Neocities, hi).