Operation Global Media Domination: The Google+ Situation

well in fact I AM a big deal on Google+

well in fact I AM a big deal on Google+

You know how we hate to toot our own horn around these parts, but this must be said: apparently I’m kind of a big deal on Google+

which is really rather amusing, considering I’ve been banned twice in two days and am still banned. Nonetheless, here’s what my stats look like today:












Meaning that even though I can’t do my usual self-promotional link-dropping, and all my existing droppings have been mopped up from the Goog, other people are spreading my droppings all over the horizon. It’s kinda like Farmville, only I WIN!

And as to why I’ve been banned twice, that’s easy. I’m raincoaster, right? Over five million blog readers have encountered me as raincoaster, so when I started up in G+ I started as “rain coaster.” Now, I wasn’t stupid; the rules clearly say you MUST identify yourself by your real name, so I opened the account not from raincoaster at gmail dot com but from real.name at gmail dot com, and in the space provided for “other names” I put Real Name. I mean, why would you HAVE that space if you weren’t allowed to have more than one name, right? Or as this very wise person put it:

I actually got clipped by Google a week ago due to using the name CZ Unit. Which was interesting, since they asked me to use the name I am commonly known by.

I had to explain over the course of a week that my friends know me as CZ, family knows me as CZ, people in real life know me as CZ. I even asked my friends “What name pops into your mind when you think about me”? “What name do you call me when you see me across a room”

In both cases (and others) the results were unanimous: CZ. Even the person who turned me in used to call me CZ back in 1987 (yes, I have the NextMail with voice attachment

I had to point them to my LJ (cz-unit), something I have been keeping since 2002. 3,000 posts; probably not a sock puppet.

I had to have my friends send emails of support and they were even having notarized letters signed on my behalf saying that they knew me as CZ and only as CZ.

And I had to scan in a copy of my lunch bag as evidence that yes: My wife even writes “CZ’s Lunch” on my bag. What more positive, tangible ID would one need?

All of this brings up two points: First is who defines a person? Is it your parents? Your Job? The Government? Google? Your friends? You?

Second is just how wise is it to outsource your friend support network? I was on G+ for a week when I got clipped, and I still have my LJ as a backup. How about people who don’t have that? What are they going to do when their network vanishes due to upsetting the provider?

Very interesting stuff. I wrote about it on my LJ, it has been an interesting experience. But it does help me to answer the age old question:

“Who Am I?”

That’s a very, very wise post. My own experience was a little less profound, since I’m used to dealing with this question All the Damn Time.

The first time I was banned, there was no notification at all, and if someone hadn’t posted the direct link to the appeal process in the help forum, I wouldn’t have been able to ask for my account back. Google deleted that helpful forum post, by the way. Why, if they don’t want to be evil? It asked for links to places I was mentioned as “raincoaster,” and they had to be along the lines of registered accounts at Google-owned sites like YouTube or media mentions, that kinda thing. I gave them this list (stalkers, here’s your dream material!):



Is that enough, Google??? IS IT??? For god’s sake, the LinkedIn and Facebook vanity links are “raincoaster.”

Google emailed me after I filled in the form to tell me that changing my name from “rain coaster” to what I had on my LinkedIn Profile would be acceptable. My LinkedIn profile says “Real (raincoaster) Name,” so that’s what I did (subbing in quotation marks for parenthesis). Last night, they suspended my account AGAIN.

I guess something like 20 links is still not enough?

When are they gonna suspend Xeni Jardin, who also isn’t using her birth name?

And, as women are disproportionate users of pseudonyms (for “what are you wearing, baby” issues), this has become a gender issue. Yeah, I know it’s old skool and boring to call out sexism, but even if that was not the intention, that has been the result.

Don’t be evil. Bitches.

National Cleavage Day

That caught your attention, didn’t it?

Well, yesterday really was National Cleavage Day in South Africa, presumably the only podunk nation/state that Wonderbra could talk into this pulchritudinous publicity stunt. Which is not to say we look upon it as a cynically synthetic corporate holiday (although we do) but rather to say we think that Wonderbra is picking a nation that needs all the help it can get, seriously.

When was the last time you heard of a Playboy Bunny from South Africa? Come on, try. And have you eyeballed Winnie Mandela? The woman’s waist outmeasures her boobage by nearly two to one. I know middle-aged basement-dwelling geeks who have three cup sizes on her, and they’re men!

Speaking of which, it’s time to address the sexism inherent in a National Cleavage Day which includes only potential consumers of the Wonderbra. Surely we should, in the name of fairness, open it up to potential consumers of the Brossiere as well. And among those, there is one clear winner.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen and those of both genders who are less than ladylike or gentlemanly, the best chest in the world belongs to one person, and one person only, and that person does not use a Wonderbra.

Hugh Jackman, the perfect chest

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Coming Out at Christmas

It’s rare that tottering around YouTube finds one a new classic of the internets, but today it did indeed and in truth do even so. Behold, the London Gay Men’s Chorus performing Coming Out at Christmas:

and these are not the lyrics, but they ARE amusing.

Britain pwns Aussie vs Yank War

Bloody Hell

Banksy strikes again!

Banksy has left Louisiana and is headed north, stenciling and skewering as he goes. Here he strings up the KKK outside Birmingham, Alabama.

Banksy does the KKK in Birmingham

Supertouch has the story:

British street artist BANKSY has been on a southern road trip of late, starting in a pre-Gustav New Orleans before moving on to ALABAMA where he paid homage to the great white powers-that-be with his stenciled image of a hung KKK member on an abandoned gas station. Taking matters into their own hands yesterday, irate locals broke out their own spray cans to let the world know what they think of a snotty English street artist pointin’ fingers at their good ole boys. Too bad they didn’t realize that simply cutting out the stencil & selling it on eBay would have been the sweetest revenge.

But like I said on the comments over there, by doing this the thin-skinned knuckle-walkers of Birmingham have given Banksy two news cycles instead of just one, illustrated his point with their own repressive actions, and turned a static work of art into a piece of social-engineered, community-based performance art, with themselves playing the trained monkeys.

Nice work, Birmingham!

And here’s what a local has to say about it. Turns out the owner of the gas station is a black guy who really liked the work:

I went down to Birmingham from Nashville Monday night to check this out…it’s not everyday something like this is happens so close. Got to the site around 11:30pm (not a good idea in that neighborhood that late!) only to discover that the piece had just been painted over. The paint was still drying…I was gutted.

So…we went back Tuesday morning to get a better look. We ended up sticking around for pretty much the entire afternoon. There was a steady flow of the people in the neighborhood stopping by to check it out as well as those tipped off by sites like this. It was really amazing to see the range of responses that this piece evoked. Some people saw it as death to racism…other just saw it as hate. As one local said…”Hate breeds hate”…it didn’t matter to him who was hanging from the noose…all he saw was hate. Overall…it really sparked some great conversations between people who probably never would have stopped to talk if it weren’t for this piece. Love it or hate it…I think the piece did it’s job.

While we were there…we had started talking to and older African-American man who ended up being the property owner. He had seen the image the day before and had come back to take video of the place – only to find it painted over. He understood the painting and appreciated the quality of work…but he had no idea what he was dealing with…so I got to fill him in and explain why so many people were coming by to take pictures.

Long story short…in an effort to protect this image from further damage or from disappearing altogether…I told him he might want to take the piece down himself. Not sure if I’ll get some flack for that on this site…but I thought it was the right thing to do. So…my friend and I ended hanging out with this amazing gentleman for the day and helped him remove the work. He did let us each keep one of the blank grey panels…so I guess I can say I own an original Banksy! HA!

Anyways…I told him I told him I’d help out and try to get an idea of what something like this could fetch if being sold. Any feedback would be great! I’d also be curious to know if anyone thinks there is any restoration that can be done. I’m not thinking there is…but I thought I’d ask.

and pictures of the sad de-Banksyfication of the site.