Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Banned From Social Media!

 Aaaaaaaahhhh ... the old blog post, where I've ruminated, sarcastigated and blathered about many things under the big yellow sun. And then some.

And what better time than being banned from Facebook to resurrect a posting.

"Waitaminnit ... WHAT? You were BANNED from Facebook?!?"

Yep, sure was. Well ... not exactly banned but I might as well have been. The technical term was I was "restricted" from use; I couldn't post, comment or "like" anything on the site for a 24 hour period, ending around noon today. Here's the official notification received when I tried posting a comment on one of the groups I'm in:

At first, I thought I'd been cut off in that particular group. I shot a note to one of the administrator asking what the deal was and he informed me there was nothing he could determine as a reason for my restriction. That's when I did a little exploring and stumbled on the notification above.

Looking into the situation further, there are a whole slew of hoops you have to jump through to put in a request for appeal. But the kicker is Facebook doesn't tell you what, exactly, the infringing item was that got me sent on a time out. And, thinking about it, that makes sense. If they had to inform every single person they restict of what put them in the situation, that would take up gads of time and effort. I can only surmise Facebook figures if someone gets slapped with a violation the person being slapped should know what they're being disciplined for.

Except ... I don't.

So the next logical step was to retrace my steps ... and I figured my most recent steps were a good place to start.

Early yesterday morning I posted the 20th prompt of my month-long "Inktober" challenge where I draw and post a picture everyday in the month of October along with thousands of like-minded artists. The prompt was "Coral" and I decided to do something outside the obvious sea coral or color coral - I created and submitted an open-shelled scallop with its roe intact:

Now, for those not in the know, scallop roe is the bivalve's reproductive organs, colorful and completely edible. I choose this as part of my drawing. Was the posting of such the cause of my Facebook jail time? I mean ... flaunting female reproductive organs is pretty dicey, not exactly the thing upstanding members of the community do as a general rule. (At least none of the community that I choose to associate myself with, to be clear.)

That's what did it. That's what got me a 24-hour heave-ho. Right?

Well ... maybe not.

Later in the day I posted this picture on my friend Douglas Arthur's wall with the title "Well ... hello, Chewsday!" Maybe that's what did the trick:

I mean ... there's Godzilla, king of the monsters, casually chomping on a couple train passenger cars, most likely picked freely from some train yard and probably containing people inside. Men, women, children, grandparents, etc. By posting such an image, does this mean I advocate the destruction of private property not to menting the wanton and reckless killing of dozens of innocent lives? How callous of me! What an asshole I am! Surely THAT was the reason I was ousted for a day!

Except ... I don't think so. I've seen dozens of similar images posted out there (and not just of Godzilla) performing even more heinous acts. And you don't see THOSE people condemned for such.

And then I thought some more and wondered: What else could have caused me to be labeled such a cad, such a ne'er-do-well?  And the answer that came up as: I haven't the faintest damned clue.

I've been an upstanding member of the Facebook community for 11 years and never once previously have I been restricted from accessing my account and contributing questions and comments to my fellow socialites.

And you know what? Going through the motions to try and determine what led to that condition in the first place simply isn't worth the time and effort.

So I'll just go merrily along my way and do my best to keep my shoes tied and my nose clean.

But I'll make certain to add to my information biography on the site that I was indeed and in fact banned on October 20th / 21st for a 24-hour period. Because really ... I am an asshole.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Really ... Aren't They All Songs Of Ill Intent?

My friend Renee - one of the few I have left on Facebook, as many seem to be dropping like flies for one reason or another - noted her frustration with people in general when it comes to Christmas tunes by posting something someone wrote somewhere. (Was that vague enough for you?)

But I'll back up a bit to where it all started, with the holiday classic "Baby, It's Cold Outside." A little history on the tune, originally written in 1944:

"During the 1940s, when Hollywood celebrities attended parties, they were expected to perform. In 1944, Frank Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for his wife, Lynn Garland, and himself to sing at a housewarming party in New York City at the Navarro Hotel. They sang the song to indicate to guests that it was time to leave.

"Garland wrote that after the first performance, "We become instant parlor room stars. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of 'Baby.' It was our ticket to caviar and truffles. Parties were built around our being the closing act." In 1948, after years of performing the song, Loesser sold it to MGM for the 1949 romantic comedy Neptune's Daughter. Garland was furious, and wrote, "I felt as betrayed as if I'd caught him in bed with another woman."

"In the film, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was sung by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán, then by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, who reversed the roles. The song won the Academy Award."

So ... was it a song originally written with ill intentions (read: rape) in mind? No, no it wasn't. Our monkey business society of do-gooders and political correctors has riled the masses into a froth about the songs "true" meaning, throwing its original lyrics (not to mention the societal norms of the time, the 1940s) by the wayside for their own purposes, mainly in order to cry wolf.

Last month, Cleveland, Ohio radio station WDOK announced it pulled "Baby, It's Cold Outside" citing listener concerns over the song's content. On December 4, 2018, the Canadian radio broadcasters Bell Media, CBC Radio, and Rogers Media followed suit. Hey, listener demand can be powerful ... I guess.

And that is the lead in for the post Renee offered below. I don't know who the original author of the following was and it is of no concern. It just so happens I agree with her/him. Because it's all about context and the timing of when the writers wrote the songs.

But those who'd rather whip up inflammatory, alternate meanings, well ... they're going to do what they're going to do.

Welcome to the 2018 holiday season.

Here's what Renee posted ...

"Just a little reminder how ridiculous society has become ...

"Since some radio stations decided to pull 'Baby It’s Cold Outside' from its playlist because someone was offended, shouldn’t these songs be pulled as well????

1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Subjecting minors to softcore porn

2. The Christmas Song: Open fire? Pollution. Folks dressed up like Eskimos? Cultural appropriation

3. Holly Jolly Christmas: Kiss her once for me? Unwanted advances

4. White Christmas? Racist

5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake? Peeping Tom stalker

6. It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Everyone telling you be of good cheer? Forced to hide depression

7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Bullying

8. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts, dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols (GUNS!) for Barney and Ben

9. Santa Baby: Gold digger, blackmail

10. Frosty The Snowman: Sexist; not a snow woman

11. Do You Hear What I Hear: blatant disregard for the hearing impaired

12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Make the yuletide GAY? Wow, just wow

13. Jingle Bell Rock: Giddy up jingle horse, pick up your feet: animal abuse

14. Mistletoe and Holly: Overeating, folks stealing a kiss or two? How did this song ever see the light of day?

15. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown demanding they get married … forced partnership.

16. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer: Woman attacked & Grandpa gambling."

Now ... I don't claim to be politically correct by any stretch of the imagination. Matter'n fact I'm certain I've raised eyebrows, caused Facebook desertions and much, much more with some of the things I've said and written.

And that, folks, is why a "delete" button was invented.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to every single one of the tunes above without any compunctions whatsoever.

In fact, while playing them, if I see someone who screws up their face in distaste at my musical proclivities, I'll probably just turn up the volume.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Queen: Detailed

A few weeks back I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, the chronicle of the band Queen leading up to their 1985 Live Aid appearance. 

And, yes, it was rather the mess. Timeline issues, missing information, fabricated biographical moments, more.

Still, it was enjoyable and entertaining. And, as a life-long Queen fan, that's all I was looking for. I went into it with the mindset of it being nothing more than a popcorn flick; I wasn't going to get bogged down with details. And guess what? It worked out for me just fine. 

Now, I've had the good fortune of seeing Queen live, 38 years ago to be exact on July 12th, 1980 at The Forum in Inglewood, California during their "The Game" tour. 

One of the most memorable moments of that concert was when Freddie Mercury took the stage atop Darth Vader's shoulders. Yes ... Queen's frontman atop one of the most evil dark lords of The Sith ever. And in a Flash Gordon T-shirt, no less. (1980 was the same year they recorded the titular soundtrack.) It was a cheer-worthy instant during the show, one of the many highlights of my long, long concert-going career. 

I've spoken of it many times with many people wondering if it ever really happened at all. 

It did. I know it did because I was there.

And now? I have proof:

Yep, someone posted a photo of that long-ago moment just as I remembered it. In this day and age of the internet and the prevalence of photoshopped images up the wazoo, one might doubt the validity of such an image. And I can completely understand that ...

But, again, I was there and I witnessed it first-hand.

It's nice to put a picture alongside the memory ...

And, hey! Bonus! Here's the setlist for that night!

Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover)
We Will Rock You (Fast)
Let Me Entertain You
Need Your Loving Tonight
Play the Game
Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)
Killer Queen
I'm in Love With My Car
Somebody to Love
Get Down, Make Love
You're My Best Friend
Save Me
Now I'm Here
Fat Bottomed Girls
Love of My Life
Keep Yourself Alive
Drum Solo
Guitar Solo
Brighton Rock (Outro)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Bohemian Rhapsody
Tie Your Mother Down


Sheer Heart Attack
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions
God Save the Queen (Thomas Augustine Arne cover)

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, November 30, 2018

5 Personal Things: The Quotation Edition

Well, well, well ... look what we have here: The final day of #NaBloPoMo.

Plus, it's November 30th, too. Readers of this blog will no doubt recall that dates divisible by 5 mean it's time for Michael to whip out his 5 Personal Things list yet again! I know! You're champing at the bit to get to the meat and potatoes of it all!

But this time it's going to be a little different ...

It goes without saying the vast majority of you would like to be face to face with me and see how I actually interact in the flesh, right? Well, to accommodate you I've devote this 5 Personal Things posting to quotations I actually say, things indicative of me, just so you can get an inkling of how I conduct myself in real life situations. I know ... what fun!

Strap in tight folks 'cause away we go ...

"It could be worse, it could be raining." I say this when someone notes a dire situation or predicament they might find themselves in at a given moment. I like to think it eases their tensions and anxiety about what they're about to take on ... but I could be wrong. (I mean, I have been wrong before ...)

"Zounds!" "Egads!" "Woof!" Common exclamations in light of unexpected events, happenings or otherwise.

"The only thing that belongs in your eye is your elbow." Stated when anyone tries putting anything into their eye other than their elbow. Examples: a contact lens, eye drops, a low-hanging branch, etc.

"Oh my gordness!" Another exclamation, said with gusto.

"That was my next guess." Said with an over-stated, frustrating tinge when trying to guess something - no matter if it's the 2nd time guessing or 100th time - when the other person asks me to guess something then answers for me.

"Huh, buoy ..." I use this in place of "Oh, boy" when someone says or does something embarrassing, when an action could turn out to be regrettable and other applicable moments.

"Oh, look at the time."
Said hurriedly when someone suggests something to do or somewhere to go and I don't want to do it or go there.

"Well, people in hell want ice water, too." A pithy response to someone who informs me what they want.

"And how's that working for you?" This phrase has endless possibilities in any given conversation. Usually proffered when the thing someone is doing or thinking is ineffectual.

"Bring your dog and we'll give him a bonus, too." Offered when anyone says something which contains the word "bonus." (Thanks, Groucho.)

"I'm right here." An outstanding reply to the common question "Where are you?" Usually said during telephone conversations for maximum impact.

"It's like pullin' teeth." One of my go to responses when someone is stubborn.

Any Blues Brothers quotation. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) how many times a good quote from the film The Blues Brothers is appropriate during the course of the day. And on multiple occasions throughout the day.

And there you have it, folks. The final #NaBloPoMo posting of 2018. While I didn't make the cut of 30 individual postings because I flubbed a few during vacationing, I feel I more than made up for it in relevant, entertaining content.

Hope you had as much fun reading as I had writing.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oh, No ... There Goes Tokyo

My #NaBloPoMo post today killed two birds with one stone:

On occasion I contribute to Warehouse Find, The Official Blog for

The blog's orchestrator - Jim Fitzsimons - tolerates my monkey business (sometimes) and posts (often reluctantly) the things I write. (So long as there's cash money involved to grease his palm. Personally I think he publishes my blatherings just because he often needs a nap and doesn't feel like grinding out something week in and week out ... but we won't delve into his questionable methods or work ethics right this moment.)

At any rate, click this link and read my latest contribution. 

Because it's better than unwrapping that extra large package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and sticking them onto your thighs where they'll just end up anyway.

The video below is a bit of a clue to the post at Warehouse Find. Please enjoy.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Blathering On

You know, I write. A lot.

I have in excess of 500 posts on this blog alone. Another 900+ on CliqueClack, the television / film site I used to write for before it went dormant. Another couple hundred plus at The Unbelievables site co-written with some good friends and probably close to 200 more on Hotchka, another television / film site I currently blather on. Hundreds more broken up on several other blogs I possess not to mention probably the same amount on fellow social media friends' sites and blogs, guesting and co-hosting.

What that translates to is a lot of writing. Not near as many as some, quite a bit more than others.

Along the way, I've angered, informed, sarcastigated, offered some boneheaded theories, proffered my own brands of justice / worry / knowledge / comedy and more.

But when it comes to this particular blog - Rupe's Value Added Services - which has been in existence for 11 years, I've never topped 100 posts in any given year. Yes, I've written 200 posts on average combined, yet I haven't on my own personal scribble-site. (The lone exception is my photo blog - F ( STOP) where I have 1,000+ postings over the course of 9 years. There, I have 4 years in a row running of 100+ postings ... but it's not a true writing site in my eyes.)

Well ... that changes with the unfurling of 2019. It's a personal goal of mine to cross that 100 post threshold next year and, by golly, I'm determined to do it come hell or high water.

I still have tons of thoughts and fodder to put down on virtual paper and only I can stop me. But ... I'm not going to. If that makes any sense. And it does to me.

Wait and watch and see ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )