Humor for a different Fourth
By Mark Hurst • July 2, 2020

As we go into Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., we're also about to mark a different milestone: completing the fourth month of lockdown. So whether you're celebrating the Fourth (of July) or the fourth (month of this amazing new dystopia), let's celebrate!

If you're new here, we've done this before: first with Fighting corona with humor (April 1), then with Take that, corona: more humor to get us through (May 1).

Take it away, laser cat.

Ha ha, just kidding. I think. Maybe we should just celebrate making it through the first six months of the year?

If you can't laugh, you gotta cry, right? Either way, it's best to face our problems head-on...

Movies and books can help lend us some context, as I covered in my recent Techtonic episode on movies for the pandemic (the interview starts at minute 14). This is also a handy guide:

Here's a gif from the movie Airplane with some, uhh, extra commentary. (Click to see the animation.)

OK, to be fair, it's not quite that bad - for most people, at least. Here are three quarantine journals that may look familiar:

(Above by Felicia Chiao)

Statues are in the news. I kind of liked this one.

Now for a reminder to wear a mask.

Seriously, wear a mask.

Just to summarize, wear a mask. Everyone got it?

A couple more movie references, in honor of my fellow Americans who apparently haven't gotten the memo - which, once again, is to wear a mask.

For any fans of my book Customers Included, about why most tech is user-hostile, I offer these:

Speaking of user-hostile tech, I'd strongly recommend the two most recent episodes of Techtonic, my radio show and podcast:

Listen to the June 22 show: Apple, the eBay story, facial recognition, and Joe Scarborough on Mark Zuckerberg.

Listen to the June 29 show: Facebook and the advertiser boycott, as well as Snapchat's Juneteenth filter, reverse-engineering TikTok, Google's laughable "privacy" pledge, Adobe as data broker, drones on protesters, racist facial recognition, Maria Ressa and Facebook in the Philippines, Big Tech stock growth, and a Grimes song. (Whew!)

Facebook is in the news. I have this comment, and and then this one, to suggest my solution to the Facebook mess: take down Facebook's algorithmic timeline and recommendations, get Zuck and Sandberg out, and break up the company.

With all that in mind, here's a job interview at Facebook...

Here's a weirdly accurate sci-fi film from the 1940s. It's in French, but you don't need the sound on. Just watch.

Finally, something that's hard to say. I'll let the image say it for me.

That's all I have for you this week. (If you missed it, here is last week's column and, heck, the whole archive.) However you decide to celebrate the Fourth, I hope it's a good one.

Meantime, keep in touch. I'll be wearing a mask.

- Mark Hurst
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P.S. OK, OK, one more. This story about Carl Reiner is really worth reading.

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