Wednesday, July 8, 2020

People on Reddit think /u/MaxwellHill is Ghislaine Maxwell

Here's a weird conspiracy theory which sprang out of nowhere.  /u/MaxwellHill is a long-time moderator on Reddit.  He's the #2 moderator on /r/WorldNews and a prolific submitter, having accumulated over 14 million karma points.

However, he hasn't posted anything in the last seven days.  This led people to speculate that /u/MaxwellHill is the online alter ego of Ghislaine Maxwell.  The reasoning is that Ghislaine was arrested this past week, and the two of them have "Maxwell" in their names, so...maybe they're the same person?!

I assume there's no connection between /u/MaxwellHill and Ghislaine Maxwell.  I get why people might fool themselves into thinking there's a connection, but there's no substance here.  Nonetheless, users on /r/Conspiracy and /r/Epstein are digging through MaxwellHill's commenting history (Pizzagate style!), looking for any corroboration that he's Ghislaine.  For instance, he shared an article seven years ago titled "Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade."  He also allegedly stopped posting for about three days at the same time when Ghislaine Maxwell's mother passed away.

Here's the thing with MaxwellHill:  He's a semi-mysterious fellow, and he carries some weird baggage with him.  People have complained before that he pushes his own agenda in /r/WorldNews, and there was a controversy several years ago when he turned /r/Technology into a "total shit-storm" (per the Daily Dot).  He's a bit obtuse, and he seems to have no interest in nipping this conspiracy theory in the bud.  A fellow moderator from /r/WorldNews named Hasharin says he spoke with MaxwellHill earlier today to give him a heads up about the conspiracy theory.  Here was MaxwellHill's response:

Hasharin also mentioned that MaxwellHill is a Malaysian man, and that the username is inspired by a place in Malaysia which is literally called Maxwell Hill:   

Several Twitter usersmost notably Joe Leonard (@maelfyn)have shared speculation about MaxwellHill.  Joe Leonard's tweet thread has 5,400 re-tweets and 16,400 likes so far.  There have also been threads on 4Chan's /pol/ board filled with speculation.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Peloton stock

I just noticed Peloton stock is up to $59.16.

Remember last December when Peloton released that cringey ad and then their stock fell a bit and then everyone wrote articles about how the stock was falling?

Well guess who's laughing now.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Lindsay Ellis makes a mistake???

I was watching this video by Lindsay Ellis about Beauty and the Beast and Stockholm Syndrome.  At the 42-second mark she says "it's the only animated film ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and this is back when they had only five nominees."  I'm pretty sure she plum forgot about Up (which was nominated for Best Picture in 2010) and Toy Story 3 (which was nominated for Best Picture in 2011).  For a few minutes I wondered if maybe she didn't count those two because they weren't "animated" in the same way Beauty and the Beast was animated.  (They were made with computers and whatnot.)  However, both Up and Toy Story 3 were also nominated for Best Animated Feature in their respective years, so I don't think it's a semantics issue.

YouTube commenter Fafhrd42 called attention to this oversight, writing: "Nitpick, and arguably off-topic, but: Beauty and the Beast was the FIRST animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. Not ONLY. "Up" in 2010, "Toy Story 3" in 2011."  His comment received 82 likes.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The best episode of Community was just removed from Netflix

I've probably watched the "Dungeons & Dragons" episode of Community a dozen times.  It's 22 minutes of near-perfection, and it's no surprise that the episode's director, Joe Russo, went on to co-direct the biggest movie blockbuster of all time.  But the days of bingeing the episode on Netflix and Hulu are over.  All because of a blackface joke.  The Wrap reported:
Netflix has pulled the “Community” Season 2 episode “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” which features Ken Jeong’s character, Ben Chang, wearing blackface during a game of “Dungeons & Dragons,” TheWrap has learned exclusively.
TFW your episode gets removed for blackface
Other entertainment websites discussed the removal, including Den of GeekVulture, DeadlineComic Book Resources, Bleeding Cool, Hypebeast, and The A.V. Club.  Frustratingly, none of these websites were willing to say that "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is the best episode of Community.  Seriously, it's the best episode.  You can ask me; you can ask fans; you can ask the folks at Collider.  It's #1.  You might find some people who prefer "Remedial Chaos Theory," but let's be real.  I don't even play Dungeons & Dragons (cause it's a game for nerds) but I love the episode.

If I wrote for an entertainment website, I would title my post: "The best episode of Community was just removed from Netflix."  That way, the reader would immediately see my hand.  David Crow of Den of Geek was the only author I saw who really went to bat for the episode.  He referred to "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" as a "fan-favorite episode," and his whole post had a tone of, 'Yo, what the heck?'

Dan Harmon hasn't publicly commented on the removal.  I suppose there's a chance he approves of the removal.  But I hope that, deep down, he's outraged.  There's a novel I read several years ago called The Fountainhead.  It's about an architect named Howie Roark, and near the end of the book Howie comes up with a new design for low-income housing.  However, the builders decide to mess with Howie's vision for some reason, and Howie is so outraged he decides to blow the buildings to smithereens.  He gets arrested, and then he gives a long speech in the courtroom (probably the longest speech in the history of books) denouncing the parasites of society.  And everyone claps at the end.  I think it would be awesome if, in the middle of the night, Dan Harmon lays TNT around the Netflix building and blows it to smithereens, causing Netflix to go off the air permanently.  (No one would be hurt, of course.)  Then he'd have to blow up Hulu's headquarters for good measure. 

The thing which annoys me most about the removal is that now, when I watch the episode, I feel a slight twinge when Chang appears on-screen as the Dark Elf.  The twinge isn't because I feel the joke is racist or offensive.  The twinge is because I know other people might have a problem with the joke as it is.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Here's another random person on the internet with a viral tweet.  His name is Dr. Paul (Doc) and his handle is @prewertdc.  On June 8th, he tweeted: "The fact that celebrities have raised $20,000,000 for rioters bail and $0 for looting victims speaks volumes about the elite."  The tweet received 1,400 comments, 34,600 retweets, and 70,700 likes.

Dr. Paul's bio says:  "chiropractor, husband, father, coach, avid golfer and outdoorsman. Pro#1A&2A, #KAG, Badger fan living in Hawkeye state. UNI fan."  He also has a few American flag emojis in his bio.  He follows 2,639 people and has 3,916 followers.  Granted, having 4,000 followers is kinda impressive, but it's still not a ton.  I first saw the tweet on the /r/DrainTheSwamp subreddit, in a post titled "<This."  The post received 385 upvotes.

The thing about this tweet is it's the type of rhetoric-grenade which sounds damning on the surface, but then it floats away into the ether along with 10,000,000 other rhetoric-grenades.   

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ryan Broderick: You're fired!

Ryan Broderick got fired from BuzzFeed due to plagiarism:

This stuff happens.  It wouldn't happen to me, of course, because I never plagiarize.  All the stuff you read on this blog is 100% my own material.

A lot of Ryan's stories centered around fact-checking and conspiracy theories.  Typical headlines included "Trump’s Campaign And Fox News Are Attacking A Twitter Employee Because They Think He Fact-Checked The President. They Have The Wrong Guy," and "Lifestyle Influencers Are Now Sharing Some Bogus Far-Right Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus On Instagram."

I don't know what Ryan's politics are, but I get the feeling he is not pro-Trump.  It will be interesting to see how his peers treat him going forward.  Another BuzzFeed writer, Benny Johnson, was fired several years ago for plagiarism.  Johnson is an unabashed Republican, and there was a good deal of Schadenfreude floating around when he was canned.  Johnson later went to work for IJR, the Daily Caller, and now TPUSA.  When Business Insider wrote about Johnson getting hired by TPUSA, they referred to him as a "serial plagiarist." 

Will the same thing happen when Ryan Broderick joins another publication?  Will people even give enough of a fuck to write about him?

Monday, June 29, 2020

DocktorRemulak does the deed

The Atlantic had an article about how SDG&E fired Emmanuel Cafferty. The article doesn't mention who exactly took the photo of Cafferty and posted it on Twitter, but it cites a local story from NBC San Diego:
After Cafferty told his side of the story, the initial social-media vilification he had experienced gave way to a kind of embarrassed silence. The man who had posted a picture of the encounter on Twitter deleted his account and admitted to Priya Sridhar, a local news reporter, that he “may have gotten ‘spun up’ about the interaction and misinterpreted it.”
The NBC San Diego story doesn't identify the guy who posted the photo on Twitter, either.  The report says:
NBC 7 spoke to the man who originally posted the picture on Twitter. He has since deleted his account and said he may have gotten "spun up" about the interaction and misinterpreted it. He says he never intended for Cafferty to lose his job.
The embedded video included an interview with Cafferty, and it briefly showed a screenshot of the tweet:

The top of the tweet is cropped off, but you can make out a large potion of the Twitter user's handle:

The Twitter user was @DocktorRemulak.  His display name was David Bentley.  Like the story says, he has deleted his account, but I made an archive of the cache here:  He followed 100 people and had 18 followers.  His bio said: "News Politics US News World News General News Government & Politics Gov Officials & Agencies."  On June 1st, he had tweeted: "I have been posting #TrumpIsTheAntichrist for months, now everyone will now find out he is the Devil incarcerated."

The tweet was amplified by another account, @Hwilsonia (Vote in November):

Hwilsonia's geotag says they're in San Francisco, and their timeline is full of posts about Black Lives Matter.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Anonymous on the DDoS attack

Here's another tweet I bookmarked a while back.  It's a tweet from June 15th by @YourAnonCentral (Anonymous).  It states: "The source of the DDoS attack on the United States is currently unknown. We speculate it may be China as the situation between South and North Korea is currently deteriorating."

@YourAnonCentral has a lot more followers than @yspyg78.  The account has 6,500,000 followers and it followers 850 people.  The bio states: "We support the weak against the powerful. Resistance is existence. #readtheroom #BlackLivesMatter #MMIW #NiUnaMas #OpDeathEaters #OpHongKong #OpRussia."  (There are also a few emojis.)

The tweet itself received 445 comments, 4,200 re-tweets, and 30,400 likes.  I assume whoever runs the account is anonymous (no pun intended).